February 2006 The newsletter of
Promoting wellness. Ensuring Care.
Keeping your heart healthy this year • Clean Hands poster winners • HSDA goes “Coastal”
Greater Accessibility Two great reasons
staff and patients look
Faster Treatment forward to the AACC
ucked away amid a maze of tall
T buildings is the Health Centre at
Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). The
entrance is slightly obscure but step inside
and you’re quickly immersed in the hustle
and bustle of the Surgical Outpatients
Department, which includes Burns,
Orthopaedics Trauma and Hand Injury
Clinics. By the time most people are sipping
on their second cup of coffee, the telephones
are ringing off the hook and medical
personnel are rushing from patient to
patient. One of those patients is Andrew
Butler who is back at the clinic to have
stitches removed from his knee. “The clinic
is crowded but it’s not bad. Parking is the
problem – there is none,” he says.
This Surgical Outpatients Department is
one of about 35 hospital clinics and
programs that are moving to the new
Academic Ambulatory Care Centre (AACC)
on the VGH campus in August 2006. Nine
UBC Faculty of Medicine programs and
over 190 physician-teaching clinics will
also move into the AACC.
When asked about the advantages of
moving into a centralized facility for staff
and patients, Clinical Resource Nurse
Janet Rigby is quick to list the many Andrew makes a return visit to see Clinical Resource Nurse Janet Rigby
at the VGH Surgical Outpatients Department—one of 35 hospital clinics
benefits – one of which is the close and programs moving to the new Academic Ambulatory Care Centre in August.
proximity of working alongside other
medical professionals. “Presently, Other reasons to look forward to the AACC
surgeons work in separate buildings The new Surgical Outpatients In addition, there will be five private
across several city blocks,” says Rigby. Department will boast one large patient exam rooms – one of which will
“When we move into our new clinic at the nurses’ station, more personal be devoted to children and another to
AACC we hope to work with orthopaedic computers and four Picture Archival patient isolation.
surgeons and plastic surgeons on each and Communications System (PACS) One patient cubicle and a private exam
side of the clinic. This will greatly reduce computers for viewing X-rays. room will be equipped with an overhead
their travel time and make contact easier Dedicated functional rooms will be set lift to enhance staff and patient safety.
for the team.” up for physiotherapy and occupational There will be five levels of underground
therapy, which will decrease waiting parking.
continued p. 12 times for patients by releasing exam
2 call us:604-708-5281 February 2006
Changing to meet your needs
2005 Staff Readership Survey Results for Current
Your feedback is important to us. 49% agree or strongly agree with the being neutral (down from 26%).
We are committed to continually statement (down from 51%), with 41% “I enjoy reading about things
improving Current to meet your needs. being neutral (up from 33%). happening in other parts of VCH” –
In the November issue of Current we “The writing is clear and easy to 70% agree or strongly agree with the
invited you to complete a readership understand” – 82% agree or strongly statement (up from 60%), with 22%
survey and fax it back to us. This is the agree with the statement (up from being neutral (down from 30%).
third readership survey for the three- 80%), with 16% being neutral (down The survey also gave participants an
year-old newsletter. We also conducted from 17%). opportunity to write specific
an online survey – a random sampling “The NEW design is interesting and comments. Here’s what some of you
of 25% of VCH employees who have an appealing, making it easy to find and had to say about what you would like to
email address were sent a link to the read content that interests me” – 52% see in Current:
online survey. We received close to 200 agree or strongly agree with the • Articles on recognition of employees
responses. statement (down from 68%), with 42% doing exemplary jobs.
The survey used a five-point scale being neutral (up from 26%). A new
• Different programs and services
format, meaning that respondents were design often takes getting used to.
new initiatives. (Note from Current:
asked to rate their agreement with a Current will monitor this over the next
We started doing the Kudos section
statement from 1 – 5, with 5 being a year.
based on your feedback in previous
‘strongly agree’. Here are some of the “Current provides a balance between readership surveys, and we will
results (statement is shown, followed stories focused on employees and continue with this.
by the results with a comparison of last stories focused on issues and
• Information about healthy lifestyles.
year’s survey results). strategies” – 56% agree or strongly
(Note from Current: We have
“Current is useful to me as a source of agree with the statement (up from
periodically had articles on health
information” – 63% agree or strongly 48%), with 37% being neutral (down
promotion. We now have a new
agree with the statement (up from from 43%).
section – Healthy Living – that
52%), with 28% being neutral (down “Current helps me learn more about better reflects VCH’s vision of
from 34%). the people in the community of VCH” – supporting healthy lives in healthy
“Current helps me understand about 73% agree or strongly agree with the communities)
the vision, values and strategies” – statement (up from 65%), with 19% continued p. 12
2 Cover story 6 Clean Hands poster 10 Sharing success stories
3 Staff Readership Survey 11 What’s in a name?
Results 7 Keeping you safe
12 and more...
4 Healthy Living Section 8 Safety Huddles a routine
part of patient safety C Research News
5 More options for staff Centre Insert
9 Quality and Safety
February 2006 3
Keeping your heart healthy this year
When psychologist Carl Jung said: Your 2. Get moving, start laughing did you know:
vision will become clear only when you Take the stairs, walk to the grocery
• Heart disease is among the most
can look into your own heart, he wasn’t store, or bike and get your body
common cause of death among
referring to heart disease. But the moving. Try reading a joke a day, as
same could be said about this leading laughter also helps to reduce stress.
cause of preventable death among men • A Mediterranean diet rich in
3. Quit the nic tomatoes, olives, and green
and women. A vital muscle about the
People who quite smoking reduce vegetables can greatly reduce the
size of your fist, the heart has become
their risk of heart disease by 50 per risk of heart disease.
more vulnerable in today’s lifestyle
cent after only a year. Need some help?
than ever before. Did you know that • Most beans, berries, and many
80% of Canadians are at risk of apples contain high levels of
cardiovascular disease? Here are some 4. Avoid high blood pressure antioxidants, which are believed to
tips for keeping your heart happy and Often called the silent killer, people help fight heart disease.
healthy. who are overweight, inactive, or drink
• A daily dose of Vitamin E may also
excessive amounts of alcohol are at
1. Eat heart-healthy help reduce the risk of coronary
increased risk for high blood pressure
Choose healthy fats like olive and disease.
and may not even know it. People with
canola oils over fatty meats, whole • Post-menopausal women are 10
high blood pressure are at greater risk
milk products and hydrogenated times more likely to die of heart
of heart disease or the onset of a
vegetable oils. Just a teaspoon of disease than breast cancer.
sudden heart attack.
butter contains a whopping 90 calories,
Making modest lifestyle changes can Warning signs of a heart attack
whereas five squirts of olive oil from a
improve not only your overall health, The warning signs of a heart attack vary
pump spray can contain a mere 10. Eat
but it can also work wonders for your from person to person and could be mild
the recommended five to 10 servings of
heart. or severe. If you or someone you know
fruit and vegetables each day as this
has any combination of these signs, call
will help to lower blood cholesterol.
911 immediately. It could save a life.
- Sudden discomfort or pain that does
not go away with rest
- Pain may be in the chest, neck, jaw,
shoulder, arms, or back
- Pain may feel like burning, squeezing,
heaviness, tightness, or pressure
- In women the pain may be more vague
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing
• Cool, clammy skin
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon
4 February 2006
Giving employees more options
One Certification Coming to VCH in April
Over the past year, VCH has reached agreement with all four at more sites, staff will find it attractive to establish and
bargaining associations (Nurses, Facilities, Community and maintain their employment relationship with VCH.”
Paramedical Professionals) to bring the many worksite One certification (“OneCert”) will provide more employment
seniority lists together into one seniority list for each choices for staff with postings conveniently on-line, and allow
association. more access to education and training opportunities from
“We are the first Health Authority in BC to reach agreement smaller worksites. Organizationally it will also standardize
about merging seniority lists,” says Anne Harvey, VCH Vice- employee transactions across the region and be more
President of Employee Engagement. “It is very much to the efficient for managers.
credit of VCH Regional Director of Employee Relations,
Wayne Balshin, and representatives from the unions that we HOW STAFF CAN FIND OUT MORE
have been able to do this.” OneCert bulletins, forum schedules and “Questions and
Answers” for each Bargaining Association are on display
“We see the One Certification Project as a way to improve
near the posting boards at your location. Information is also
retention and recruitment and start building a culture of
posted on VCH Connect, our Intranet, including the One
career development at Vancouver Coastal,” adds Harvey. “We
Certification Agreements for your bargaining association.
are confident that with more opportunities and more choices
These are accessible through any VCH computerized
workstation: from www.vcha.ca, go to the Employee
Engagement Intranet pages and click on OneCert. You can
• Talk to your Employee Relations Advisor or Shop Steward
• E-mail your questions or concerns to vch one firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is what One certification (“OneCert”) means to our staff:
More Job Choices, More Access Job Postings On-Line On-Line Forms and Tracking for
to Education and Training Starting in April, employees will also Managers
Beginning in April, VCH unionized staff be able to view job postings on-line at Today, managers have to navigate
will be able to apply for vacancies in work (via VCH Connect, our Intranet several different databases and forms
their bargaining association at any site www.vcha.ca) and at home using the to initiate human resources
throughout the VCH region (not Internet (www.vch.ca). Posting boards transactions such as recruitment
including affiliated employer work will be removed, and computer kiosks requests, leaves, terminations and
sites). Staff applying for these postings will be established in roughly 35 other changes. Employee Engagement
will be considered internal candidates locations at VCH sites for staff who do is introducing a new regional system
at any site within VCH and will take all not have ready access to computers at called EE Online that will standardize
their seniority, benefits and banks to home or at work. The kiosks will forms and processes and result in a
the new worksite. Staff can apply for include a computer, fax machine, single electronic record for each
postings covered by a different union telephone and the form required to fax employee. Managers will also be able
but under the same collective your application to Recruitment. Staff to monitor the progress of their
agreement. For example, a BCGEU forums are being scheduled to transaction.
member can apply for a posting demonstrate how the new process
covered by CUPE. works.
February 2006 e-mail us: email@example.com 5
Clean Hands for Life Poster Contest
Clean Hands for Life is part of the
ongoing efforts of Vancouver
Coastal Health (VCH) and
Providence Health (PHC) to improve
patient safety by strengthening
infection control measures across
the region. Over the past two years
they have increased the number of
Infection Control Practitioners,
assigned an Epidemiologist to
track and monitor infections,
and undertaken renovations to
Emergency Departments to better
isolate and treat those patients with
The recent poster contest is one
element of the Clean Hands for 1st Place (Teenagers) – Jane Kim, 16
1st Place (Preteen 11-14) – Isela Chavez, 14
Life hand hygiene campaign. It
generated a lot of interest from
VCH & PHC staff and their children 1st Place (Adult) – Lisa Kuramoto
with over 140 submissions.
1st Place (Child 10 and under) – Michael Rosen, 10
Posters were judged in December,
on originality, visual impact, quality
of artwork, impact of the Clean
Hands for Life message. Winners
received a letter of congratulations
and a cash prize.
The runners-up in the four
categories are as follows:
2. Christina Bortignon, Aged 11
3. Lauren Desjardins, Aged 12
2. Albert Law, Aged 18
3. Emma Winterbottom, Aged 15
2. Nathan Felton, Laboratory
Assistant, Prostate Centre, VCH
3. Margaret McEwen, Nutritionist,
West Community Centre, VCH Staff can check out the entire list of winners and their posters on VCH Connect,
our intranet site at www.vcha.ca
6 call us:604-708-5281 February 2006
T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F VA N CO U V E R COA S TA L H E A LT H R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T E
Being PREPAREd for Infectious Disease
SARS, West Nile, E Coli, Influenza,
Tuberculosis…. Emerging and re-
emerging infectious diseases are a
serious and immediate threat to both
health populations and economies,
locally, nationally, and internationally.
A new weapon to fight such diseases is
on the horizon. VCHRI is the home base
for a promising new initiative that brings
together talented researchers from
several organizations. The purpose is to
launch a cutting-edge scientific strategy
to develop better drugs and vaccines for
infectious diseases. Called PREPARE
(for Proteomics for Emerging Pathogen
Response), this Genome BC and Genome
Range and recognized site(s) of origin of emerging and reemerging infections. v-CJD, variants
Canada funded project will ready us for Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease; E. Coli, Escherichia Coli.
the challenge of emerging infectious
diseases by creating a new method for
identifying drug and vaccine targets in These researchers will interact closely Diseases at the University of British
microbial pathogens. with Infectious Disease researchers at Columbia; and Dr. Brett Finlay,
UBC to create a strong, active research Professor in the Michael Smith
Using the principles of network science
network with a unifying interest in Laboratories, and the Departments of
and state-of-the-art approaches such
discovering targets in pathogens Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
as proteomics, bioinformatics and in
suitable for the development of novel and Microbiology and Immunology at
silico (computer modeling) drug design,
therapeutics and vaccines for emerging the University of British Columbia.
PREPARE will identify the key proteins
infectious diseases. “Vancouver has world class expertise
that keep microbial organisms like
viruses and bacteria alive — and find The team is led by the following three in molecular microbiology, drug
drugs that will “knock out” the proteins, renowned senior scientists based at development, bioinformatics, and
killing the microbes. VGH, the BC Centre for Disease Control, vaccine development,” says Dr. Reiner,
and UBC: Dr. Neil Reiner, Professor whose expertise is in microbial
Laboratory space at the VCHRI site of
and Head of the Division of Infectious pathogenesis and host defense. “Right
the PREPARE project will be the home
Diseases at Vancouver General Hospital now we are scattered through the city,
to a team of 10 Infectious Disease
and UBC Department of Medicine; but this project allows us to develop a
researchers when renovations are
Dr. Robert C. Brunham, Director, coordinated program of excellence to
completed by the end of June 2006.
Medical and Academic Affairs, British respond and provide rapid solutions to
This laboratory will house newly funded
Columbia Centre for Disease Control address newly emerging infectious
equipment and instruments to help
(BCCDC), and Professor in the Depart- diseases.”
identify potential microbial drug targets.
ment of Medicine, Division of Infectious
EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org / C A L L 6 0 4 - 8 7 5 - 4 3 7 2 1
Continued from p.1
The PREPARE team also includes two
Around VCHRI Program Update:
other senior scientists: Dr. Michael
Burgess, Professor, W. Maurice Young Centre for Hip Health
Centre for Applied Ethics, UBC and VCHRI is pleased to announce Dr. Heather McKay as interim director of
Dr. Robert McMaster, Professor and the Centre for Hip Health and Musculoskeletal Research (CHH). Dr. Tom
Head, Department of Medical Genetics Oxland, who initiated and led CHH since its inception, is stepping down
Dr. Heather McKay
at VGH and UBC, as well as two of the as director to spend more time in his lab.
country’s leading up-and-coming Dr. McKay, professor of Orthopaedics and Family Practice at the University of British
researchers: Dr. Artem Cherkasov, Columbia, has been a pivotal member of CHH since its formation. She is a pioneer of
a bioinformatician and molecular research into skeletal health and osteoporosis prevention through physical activity in
modeling specialist based at VGH, and children, and she is one of the founders of Action Schools! BC.
Assistant Professor, UBC Division of
Dr. McKay takes over directing the Centre as plans are getting underway for development
Infectious Diseases; and Dr. Leonard
of an innovative 40,000 sq ft research facility, which will be shared with the Prostate
Foster, Assistant Professor, UBC
Centre at VGH.
Department of Biochemistry and
Canada Research Chair in Organelle “I’m delighted to serve as interim director,” says Dr. McKay. “We are excited as our plans
Proteomics. progress for our new facility, which will house cutting-edge musculoskeletal imaging,
risk assessment and intervention, population health research and surgical innovations
“The scientific strategies we will use
laboratories. CHH has the potential to transform the health of British Columbians through
are at the cutting-edge and this can
our unique lifespan approach that embraces prevention as eagerly as treatment. We hope
only be done by bringing people
that within 12 months of its opening, our new facility be home to over 150 researchers,
together with these critical talents,”
staff and graduate students representing 18 academic faculty members from 15 different
Reiner notes. “Within 2-4 years, we
departments, committing all or substantial research time to musculoskeletal health.”
expect to show that this approach
produces new and better drug and The Centre for Hip Health is a leading edge research centre affiliated with Vancouver Coastal
vaccine targets, which in turn will Health Research Institute and the University of British Columbia, Department of Orthopaedics.
allow the development of better Located on the Vancouver General Hospital campus in the heart of Vancouver’s biomedical
drugs and vaccines.” community, CHH recently received two CFI grants for construction of an innovative 40,000 sq.
ft. research facility. CHH encompasses the broad themes of early detection and progression
The PREPARE team specializes in
of osteoarthritis, prevention of hip fracture and surgical solutions for hip disease. The research
molecular microbiology, proteomics
crosses the lifespan, from primary preventive programs in children to early detection of disease
and computer aided drug design and
in adults and intervention programs for the at-risk elderly.
will develop its approach by focusing
on major human pathogens of
public health importance including
Salmonella, E. coli, Chlamydia and
Staphylococcus. Once PREPARE’s
Celebrate Research! March 4-11
scientific strategy has been
Mark this important week in your calendar and join us for the 6th annual
established, the team can deploy Celebrate Research Week. This is an exciting week showcasing our amazing
the platform in response to new researchers and their work at VCHRI and UBC (and other UBC affiliated
infectious threats, enabling Vancouver research institutes and teaching hospitals). Events include lectures, seminars
an opportunity to become a global and symposia on topical and timely issues from every discipline imaginable
centre for the creation of drugs and —and even some you could not dream of.
vaccines that can protect the world
against emerging infectious diseases, For the full roster of events, including non-health related,
pathogens, as well as creating new visit www.research.ubc.ca/celebrateresearch
opportunities for biotechnology and
Be on the lookout for VCH Research Institute events, including a free public
lecture on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:00 pm on “Battling Infectious Disease”
and the VCHRI Trainee event. Visit www.vchri.ca for more information.
2 RESEARCH NEWS FEB 2006
Left: Rendering of the ICORD
International Research Centre, VCHRI GRANT
designed by Architects—Mussen
Cattell Mackey (from Vancovuer)
and Smith-Carter (Winnipeg).
Below: Dr. Marcel Dvorak,
Associate Director Clinical
It’s about the
Research, ICORD; Cordula and
Günter Paetzold Endowed Chair
in Spinal Cord Clinical Research.
You have a research plan. You are
clever and capable and talented and
UNDER motivated to do the research. But
have you convinced the reviewers that
CONSTRUCTION it should be done, that it must be done,
and that you are the one to do it?
It’s my job to help ensure that you have.
Building new hope for people Sometimes, this is about the words.
with spinal cord injury But it is always about the research.
My role as the Grants Development
This month, after a nearly four-year wait to secure funds and a building envelope, Advisor involves many aspects of
construction will begin for the new ICORD (International Collaboration On Repair preparing a grant proposal, including:
Discoveries) building. Located at 10th and Willow at VGH, the old Willow Chest participating in discussions at the
building will first come down, and then the new six-storey, 11,000 square-metre inception of the project; looking for
facility will take its place. holes in the arguments and the
research plan; and highlighting
When it is complete in early 2008, the new Centre will be home to ICORD researchers
concepts that are inadequately
(over 40 of ICORD’s 55 principal investigators, as well as 300 researchers, trainees,
explained and remain confusing. I
and staff), the VGH Spine Centre, the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation, and
will work with you to create both an
the brain interface group of the Neil Squire Society. “This is our dream,” says Chris
excellent project and a clearly written
McBride, ICORD Managing Director. “By bringing these multidisciplinary groups
together under one roof, we can work closely with each other and with people with
spinal cord injuries (SCI) to accelerate the discovery, development and validation of It’s important to realize that Grant
therapies and practices. Our mission is to promote full functional recovery and Development is not a “service” in the
improved quality of life after spinal cord injury.” traditional administrative sense,
where you drop off your grant, the
We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. administrator does his or her part,
Winston Churchill and then passes it back to you for
submission. Instead, the process
The ICORD building is also in itself a research project. The entire building will be
should be an iterative collaboration.
treated like a living research entity continuously testing different systems that may
While I won’t write it for you, I will
improve the quality of life for people with SCI and other physical disabilities. “In
assist you in producing a clearly
partnership with different organizations, we will look at and test everything ranging
articulated research proposal by
from light switches and environmental controls to lab benches, elevator buttons, and
critically reviewing each successive
simulated living and working environments which will analyze a wide range of equipment
draft to improve its quality.
and systems,” says McBride. “This gives us an incredibly exciting and interesting
opportunity to live out our mandate of looking at everything from ‘cells to community’ Although I may be able to improve your
to find solutions and improve the lives of people with SCI.” McBride adds, “We also grant in the last few weeks before you
expect to have a lot of interest globally in this type of research and systems testing submit it, I can be much more effective
and we will be able to share with other groups and organizations around the world if you contact me when you are still in
what we find.” the planning stages.
For more information and the full text of this article, visit online at www.vchri.ca Contact me at Tamara.English@vch.ca.
EMAIL email@example.com / C A L L 6 0 4 - 8 7 5 - 4 3 7 2 3
Announcing the Winners of the
Grants & Education
2006 in it for life Mentored Clinician Scientist Awards
This past December, Dr. Bernie Bressler, VP Research, VCH and Executive Director of VCHRI, announced the awardees of
the 2006 in it for life Mentored Clinician Scientist Awards, which are funded by VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
The following three VGH clinicians will receive salary awards of $50,000/year for two years, with possible one-year renewals,
to support them in developing their research careers as independent investigators.
DR. JULIE IRVING, Ovarian Cancer Research We wish to acknowledge and thank the in it for life
program (OvCaRe); Department of Pathology & Investigator Awards committee members chaired by
Laboratory Medicine (Mentor: Dr. Blake Gilks) — Dr. Linda Peritz, Associate Director, VCHRI:
”Genetic Profiling of Synchronous Tumors of the Dr. Anthony Chow, Immunity & Infection Research
Uterine Corpus and Ovary” Centre; Department of Medicine, UBC
DR. ALAN SO, The Prostate Centre at VGH; Dr. Ross MacGillivray, Department of Biochemistry, UBC
Department of Surgery, Division of Urology Dr. John Fleetham, Centre for Respiratory & Critical
(Mentor: Dr. Martin Gleave) — “A Phase I Trial Care Medicine; Department of Medicine, UBC
Using Intravesical Antisense Oligonucleotide Dr. Lynn Raymond, Brain Research Centre at UBC
Targeting Hsp-27 for the Treatment of Superficial Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, UBC
Bladder Cancer” Dr. Hugh Anton, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre;
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, UBC
DR. CORINNE HOHL, Emergency Department
Research program; Department of Surgery, Division We also thank our funding partner, VGH & UBC
of Emergency Medicine (Mentor: Dr. Riyad Abu-Laban) Hospital Foundation. For 25 years, in partnership with
— ”Adverse Drug Events in the Emergency its donors, the Foundation has helped advance world-
Department — A Research Program in Patient Safety” class health care for British Columbians.
Please go to http://www.vchri.ca/s/IIFL_Investigator.asp to read the project abstracts from these winning applications.
Calling all PhD trainees… Welcome
BECOME VCHRI’S TOP “DOC” VCHRI welcomes Erika Yep. Erika is assuming the Financial and
IN OUR TOP DOCTORAL HR management portfolios. She will work closely with VCHRI
STUDENT AWARD management in budget planning and financial reporting for the
COMPETITION Institute, and assist researchers and administrative staff with UBC
& VCH processes and procedures.
PhD candidates at VCHRI who intend to
Erika’ s background includes eight years with UBC’s Department of Financial
graduate in 2006 are eligible to apply for
Services and, more recently, administrator of research grants and contracts for
the VCHRI Top Doctoral Student Award.
UBC Department of Medicine and the Medical Animal Facilities at JBRC and ARU.
The award includes a $300 cash prize, a
Contact Erika at 875-5125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
presentation opportunity during Celebrate
Research Week, March 6 –12, 2006 and
lunch and networking with the Executive Research Education
Director of the Research Institute. The VCHRI Research Education Program’s winter/spring line-up of workshops is
Find full details on the VCHRI web site at on our website. Go to http://www.vchri.ca/s/Workshops.asp to peruse the topics.
www.vchri.ca and send us your application
by February 17, 2006. If you have general questions about the VCHRI Research Education Program, contact
Patricia Tait at email@example.com or 604-875-4111 x66782
Vancouver Coastal Health Research News is published by the Vancouver Coastal Health Research
Research Institute Institute in conjunction with VCH Communications & Community
828 West 10th Avenue Engagement and Current. If you have story ideas or feedback, please
V5Z 1L8 email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-875-4372. — Lisa Carver, Editor
4 RESEARCH NEWS FEB 2006
Keeping you safe!
ver the holidays the
Environmental Health Officers
(EHOs) on the North Shore did
some Holiday Food Safety promotion
during the two weeks prior to
EHOs visited food stores on the North
Shore that sell turkeys and provided
tear off information sheets “FoodSafe
tips for a safe turkey dinner” that could
be provided to their customers
In the week prior to Christmas, an
educational display with the above
information as well as other timely food
Nader Massoud, Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer at the display set up in the Market area of
Park Royal Shopping Center in West Vancouver safety tips was set up for one day in
each of Capilano and Park Royal malls.
Sunshine Coast opens first cold- Visitors to the display were provided
with the tear off turkey tip sheet and a
weather emergency shelter probe thermometer to be used to
check the temperature of their turkey
Thanks to the work of the Extreme local business and community
(and if stuffed, the stuffing) to ensure it
Weather Emergency Shelter Task organizations.
was cooked to the correct internal
Force*, the extreme weather emergency The shelter provides a place to sleep, a temperature to prevent food borne
shelter opened this winter on the hot shower, and a few snack-type things illness.
Sunshine Coast to provide respite from to eat. Organizers hope to provide hot
Visitors were also offered various other
extreme weather conditions for those in meals sometime in the future.
education sheets and fridge magnets
need. Presently, this is the only
Although excited about having tangible and encouraged to enter a draw for
emergency shelter on the Sunshine
results from the housing forum last digital meat thermometers.
Coast. Located at the Arrowhead Centre,
year, Molnar acknowledges that much
the shelter accommodates 10 people Public response to the promotion was
work is still needed to get funding for
per night when temperatures go below very positive and the hope is that the
next year and deal with the issues
zero Celsius. They will soon move into a promotion will be repeated and
larger building, which will enable them expanded next year.
For more information or to find out how
to provide room for up to 20 people. For more information, please call Randall
you can help with donated items,
“An emergency response centre didn’t W. Ash, Chief Environmental Health
contact Eleonora Molnar, Community
exist before,” explains Eleonora Molnar, Officer, Coastal, at 604-983-6751.
Developer, Sunshine Coast,
Community Developer for VCH and
Chair, Extreme Weather Emergency
Shelter Task Force. “Thanks to those
*Last year local leaders, representatives
involved in the project, and funding from
for federal and provincial programs,
The Sunshine Coast Regional District,
experienced planners, and the community
the District of Sechelt, and the Town of
came together to discuss housing issues
Gibsons we have been able to open the
on the Sunshine Coast. As a result, the
shelter”. The funding provides salaries
Extreme Weather Emergency Shelter
for two on-call shelter workers.
Task Force was formed to examine the
Supplies such as mattresses, blankets,
possibility of opening an emergency
and toiletries, have been donated by
shelter for the homeless. February 2006 7
rrors, near misses and good catches. No, it’s not the language of
E football – or baseball for that matter – but it is the language of
safety huddles at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). Staff throughout
VCH meet formally on a weekly basis to talk specifically about patient
Safety Huddles safety and make decisions about improving the work they do.
Banfield Pavilion is an extended care facility in Vancouver with about 192
residents each with individual and in many cases complex needs. Parm
a routine part of Pannun, the Resident Services Coordinator/Educator on Banfield’s third
floor says they have been doing safety huddles there since August 2004.
patient safety “Since their inception, safety huddles have not only become a routine part
of the work we do but they have become an essential part of our belief in
protecting patients,” explains Pannun.
“A small error can spell disaster to our vulnerable residents,” adds
Pannun, “so dedication to patient safety is a top priority.” Their current
huddles include Pannun, all nurses on the day shift, a representative from
pharmacy and a nurse clinician who shares information with the rest of the
units at Banfield.
There is generally a lot of discussion at the weekly huddles as nurses
recognize that it’s a safe environment to discuss any concerns they might
have. It’s also a great opportunity to capitalize on the fact that a pharmacy
representative is available to answer their questions. “Good catches” from
Safety Huddles are shared across the authority through an internal shared
drive that a number of staff can access.
To find out more about Safety Huddles, please contact Linda Dempster, Regional
Director, Clinical Quality and Safety at 604-875-5642 or Linda.Dempster@vch.ca
A recent safety huddle at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Staff
pictured from left to right: Rene Maldanado, Soile Silander, Nargis
Nurses love the safety huddles and it has been a good way for
Karsan, Pharmacist Esthementrie Prashad, Jean Carr, Jessy Philips,
Sonia Calayan, Nicki Ram and Sherryl Ladrillono.
them to improve their professional practice,” says Pannun. For
example, a number of nurses suggested a proper method to track
the use, placement, removal and disposal of fentanyl patches.
Now, a proper procedure has been established and it has been
Infection Control week generates awareness
I To celebrate the annual Infection Kim Miya RN
N control week at George Pearson Dogwood Lodge
F Centre, GF Strong Rehabilitation
E Centre, Dogwood Lodge and UBC Ana Hernandez RCA
George Pearson Centre
C ONT R OL Hospital, Infection Control circulates a
crossword puzzle (this year it was early
T fall). The puzzle generates discussion Stanley Auer
WI NN E R S among employees who often work on Area Supply - GF Strong
O the puzzle together, as well as
N between staff and infection control. Jeanette Eyre
This year’s winners of the ever-popular In conjunction with other Detwiller Staff
draw to win a 2006 British Columbia
Entertainment Book were:
8 February 2006
Quality and Safety are highlighted
Safer Healthcare Now! is an ambitious patient-safety campaign aimed at reducing avoidable
complications and deaths in Canadian hospitals by implementing six evidence-based strategies to
reduce avoidable adverse events and mortality. You can check out the VCH website for more
details at www.vch.ca or staff can go to VCH Connect, our staff Intranet at www.vcha.ca.
Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH)
participation in the Canada-wide Safer Other achievements in Richmond
Healthcare Now Initiative (SHCN)
continues. This month we are
featuring some of the work in Work around the surgical site infection bundle:
Richmond’s newly formed surgical site infection prevention task
Rickie Avitan is a Clinical Resource force’s role is to take responsibility for issues relating to pre and
Nurse and the only PICC Insertion postoperative infection. They will be reviewing the evidence around
Specialist in Richmond. A PICC or administering perioperative antibiotics and blood sugar levels, for
Peripherally Inserted Central example. Both are key components to a patient’s positive recovery
Catheter, is a long, flexible tube that is from surgery.
put into a vein in your arm and
threaded up into a large vein just Dr. Peggy Yakimov, Richmond’s Senior Medical Director, says surgical
above your heart. A PICC is just one nurses now use a ‘surgical time-out’ form. This means that the
of a number of different central lines surgery does not proceed until all requirements on that form are met.
that could form part of a patient’s Another area the surgical site infection task force will be looking at is
therapy and is used for giving fluids or appropriate hair removal. Evidence suggests that clipper preps
drug treatment into your bloodstream. significantly reduce the rate of surgical site infections. As a result,
Often patients requiring PICCs will razors have been removed from Richmond operating rooms and data
have them in for weeks, if not months is being collected to see how this affects postoperative infection rates.
at a time, until the end of their
therapy. Richmond is also piloting executive walk-abouts:
Avitan is now working on a PICC Although this isn’t part of the six Safer Health Care Now strategies
Insertion Program for Richmond and it does fit into the whole culture of safety. Teams of two include a
she’s proud of the work being done. director and another senior leader that visit a unit for about 15-20
“In two years, we haven’t had one minutes and ask questions about patient flow, patient safety and
infected PICC,” claims Avitan. This is workplace health. One member of the team records key initiatives
not only good news for the patient but and questions. “What’s great about this, is that there is a follow-up
it also means that the health authority process,” says Dr. Yakimov. “Staff receive a written report of what
is able to save precious staff time and was discussed as well as an indication as to what they plan to do.
resources if central lines are inserted It really provides everyone with valuable information and
properly and cared for properly from establishes good contacts throughout the hospital with leaders at
the beginning. all levels.”
Once patients are released from
hospital with their central lines, they
continued p. 12
February 2006 e-mail us: email@example.com 9
Sharing success – the achievements
of mental health consumers
“informing!” perform together.” Choir members
have been attending for as many as
four years and as little as three weeks.
Will Sampson, a choral soloist, talked
about studying music at Capilano
College and later being diagnosed with
schizophrenia. He talked about starting
out in the Highs and Lows Choir before
hese are just some of the to join programs and activities in the
going on to audition for the Vancouver
audience comments about community,” added Heah. “The Bach Choir. Sampson spoke about the
Sharing Our Success Stories, a recovery process can be slow, and importance and enriching capacity of
series that started in November of having hope in the future is essential music in his life and how he overcame
2004 focusing on mental health for consumers. Getting involved and his shyness, “Initially, I felt
consumers’ strengths. trying new things, despite the uncomfortable during the breaks in
Initially, it was a partnership between difficulties, takes courage, but it’s also practice…not knowing what to talk
the Canadian Mental Health rewarding. Hearing mental health about, but, over time, I felt more at
Association (CMHA) and two consumers talking excitedly about ease.”
Occupational Therapists, Tom Heah taking on challenges and being
Attendance at the first session drew 34
and Ann Webborn with Vancouver successful is inspiring for all of us.”
people and since then, there have been
Community Mental Health Services. The first session was about singing. four more Sharing our Success
Heah and Webborn knew that many of The Highs and Lows Choir sang two sessions: Volunteer work, Work, Art
their clients were having positive and songs from their repertoire – an old and Conquering Waves (dragon boat
successful experiences in a wide range English folk song and an African love racing). At each session speakers
of endeavours. “We believed that if song. Afterward, two choir members share their experiences and successes.
other consumers and their friends and talked about the history of the choir of Feedback from the audience is very
families heard some of these stories, it mental health consumers and one positive and many comment that the
might inspire them to take the big step mental health professional. Members sessions are “inspiring”.
of joining a group, going back to shared their experiences of being in
For more information, please contact Tom
school, joining the Art Studios, or the choir and spoke about some of the
Heah at 604-253-5353 or Ann Webborn at
becoming a volunteer,” said Webborn. benefits as, “being part of something
again…feeling at peace when
“We also felt that if case managers
singing…feeling accepted as part of the
heard these stories, they would be
group, and the good feeling when we
more likely to encourage their clients
10 call us:604-708-5281 February 2006
HSDA goes “Coastal”
The northern-most Health Service “Coastal” refers to the mountain range As HSDA names are not for external
Delivery Area (HSDA) in Vancouver that is an integral part of the four use, they should not be used on public
Coastal Health has changed its name diverse areas of the North Shore, Sea- materials. This means they should not
to recognize the tremendous strides to-Sky, Sunshine Coast and Powell appear on letterhead or business
made in working together across the River. Finally, the new HSDA name cards. As a result, there should be no
full continuum of care in all of the makes a clean break from the five cost associated with this name change.
communities between the North Shore health organizations that came However, if there are materials with
and Pemberton and Powell River. The together late 2001 to form “Coastal”, the old HSDA name, please use them
new name is “Coastal” and it replaces which is a part of Vancouver Coastal up before ordering new stock.
North Shore/Coast Garibaldi. Health. “I firmly believe and the feedback I
The idea for the name change came in Support for the name change was received supports the idea that
part from staff members suggesting strong in both an online survey for “Coastal” will reinforce the strides we
the “/” in North Shore/Coast Garibaldi HSDA staff and in feedback from have made in terms of integration
serves to separate the rural areas from various staff groups and physicians. “It across the continuum of care in each of
the urban. is important to remember the purpose our communities and across the
The new name draws from the of an HSDA,” says Ellen Pekeles, Chief HSDA,” adds Pekeles.
“Coastal” in Vancouver Coastal Health, Operating Officer, Coastal. “It is a For more information, please contact Clive
suggesting a connection between our nickname we use with Vancouver Camm, Regional Communications Leader,
communities, and doesn’t highlight one Coastal Health to describe a specific Coastal, at 604-984-3868.
area over another. Geographically, administrative or budget area.”
Identifying yourself on a business card
The purpose of a business card is to communicate your name, More information on how we represent ourselves can be found
role, area of responsibility and contact information to someone in the VCH Corporate Identity Standards Manual, which can be
who may not understand the complexity of Vancouver Coastal accessed on the intranet (www.vcha.ca). Click on “Policies and
Health. Therefore, HSDA names should not appear on business Manuals” in the upper right hand corner and then
cards. “Communications and Community Engagement.” The manual
Instead, consider this example of a fictitious Jane Smith who is can be found under the “Internal and External
Manager of Assisted Living in the newly named HSDA “Coastal”. Communications” link.
By listing the four distinct geographic areas that comprise
“Coastal” by their commonly used names, anyone can Site, Service or Facility
understand Smith’s area of responsibility.
2222 Any Avenue
Vancouver, BC V2V 2V2
Title Tel: 604-123-4567
June Smith Cell: 604-123-4567
Manager, Assisted Living Fax: 604-123-4567
North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunshine Coast, Powell River www.vch.ca
Program or area of
responsibility Content info
February 2006 11
Changing to meet your Looking forward to the AACC cont’d. from p.2
needs cont’d. from p.3 Another benefit to consolidating Orthopaedics and Burns, eliminating
• Strategic initiatives. ambulatory services is providing the need to go back and forth to the
• Articles about innovative client care. patients with easy access to radiology, supply room.”
which will be located across the hall Located on the corner of West 12
• More articles on rehab and
from the Surgical Outpatients Avenue and Oak Street, the AACC is
community initiatives for dealing
Department on the third floor. The connected to the underground tunnel
with chronic disease.
current arrangement relies on hospital system that spans VGH, allowing quick
• Research initiatives.
porters to transport patients two and convenient patient transport from
• Health promotion and disease blocks away for X-rays, which is time- one hospital tower to another. Patients,
prevention. consuming and inconvenient for staff like Andrew Butler, will be pleased to
• Updates on health care services. and patients. hear that the AACC will have five levels
M OV I N G FO R WA R D While patients do not seem to mind the of underground parking and is easily
Every year Current conducts a crowded facilities at the Health Centre, accessible by public transportation.
readership survey. And every year the the downside is a lack of patient It is anticipated that more than 1,000
newsletter changes based on that privacy. On a typical day, a resource staff, researchers and students will
feedback. Here are a few of the team of 11 – comprising therapists, work and learn at the AACC each day,
changes we’re making thanks to your medical residents, students, nurses providing much-needed focus on
suggestions: and a staff doctor – work together in a outpatient care.
• Date of each issue on the bottom of dense space with only a thin curtain
Staff can find out more information on
every page to help identify where separating five patient exam beds. “Our
patient centred care at the AACC by visiting
the article came from. new clinic space will have room for
the AACC section on the intranet or
• More health promotion (see new more cubicles – nine in total – which
emailing the AACC Project Office at
section called ‘Healthy Living’). allows for better patient flow,” says
Rigby. “There will be supplies at each
• More articles on the work being
bed and specialty carts for
done by colleagues.
• More articles on programs and Richmond Quality and Safety cont’d. from p.9
initiatives across VCH.
are generally cared for by community “Collaboration is the key to so many of
• More articles showing the benefits health staff. They too have benefited the successes in the area of patient
to our patients and staff. from Avitan’s learning tools. The safety and clinical quality,” says Avitan,
We will also continue to provide community health practitioners now get “the goal is the well-being of the
information on the strategic direction a form that details where the patient’s patient or client and to get there, we all
of the authority. PICC is located and helps them in work together.”
R E AC H I N G O U T TO T H E keeping the site clean and free from For more information about Clinical
CO M M U N I T Y infection, and flushing it to ensure there Quality and Safety at VCH, please
Current will now be sent to external are no blockages. contact Linda Dempster, Regional
groups throughout Vancouver Coastal Avitan has been writing manuals and Director, 604 875 5642 or
Health. This way, people in the learning packages on everything and Linda.Dempster@vch.ca.
community can see the great work anything to do with central lines. Look for more news about quality and safety
that is being done at Vancouver Nurses use the manuals to trouble achievements in Richmond and elsewhere
Coastal Health and get a better shoot. She is also involved in the throughout VCH in future issues of Current.
understanding of our programs and monthly teaching on the hospital units
services. So don’t be surprised to see around central lines.
a copy of Current in your doctor’s
office, at your local library or CURRENT is published monthly EDITOR: CONTRIBUTORS: DESIGNER:
community centre. by Communications & Community Kathleen Butler Donna Cairns Maile Conwi Paul Romanowski
Engagement. If you have story ideas Clive Camm Jennifer Hamilton
As always, please send your comments to or feedback, please e-mail Lisa Carver Kristjana Hawthorne
email@example.com or call 604-708-5281. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-708-5281.
12 call us:604-708-5281 February 2006