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Author: Kristina Yuen
“Allan’s joie de vivre brings a sense of humour and joy to every fundraising event he attends.”
Dr. Allan Burgmann, has been an honorary member of the LGH Foundation team for many years.
Many of you will know him from his day job as the Medical Director for Acute Psychiatric Services. At the Foundation not only is he an Honorary Director on our Board, he has been an ambassador for our mental health campaigns and a participant in many of our fundraising events.
When LGH Foundation launched the campaign to raise $24 million it was our biggest campaign to date. Dr. Burgmann was an eloquent and passionate champion for the need to replace the previous run-down mental health facility with a building that could properly support the needs of patients and staff.
More recently, Dr. Burgmann was front and center of the Emergency Mental Health Campaign to create the Psychiatric Emergency and Assessment Treatment Area and upgrade the triage zone in the Emergency Department.
He’s also been an enthusiastic participant in many of our events. Allan’s joie de vivre brings a sense of humour and joy to every fundraising event he attends. Whatever the situation, he always has a hat or an outfit to make the occasion special.
Watch the video below to catch a few of our favourite outfits.
“She leads from a place of passion and care, and with that she is able to thread together system design that leads to great outcomes.”
Congratulations to Nikki Brown, Program Lead for Home Health, Chronic Diseases & Health Connections, North Shore Community, the recipient of our Clinical Practice Award.
Drawing on her experience as an ICU Nurse, Home Health Case Manager, a Clinical Coordinator, and a Director of Nursing, Nikki has brought a well-rounded perspective to her role of Program Lead.
She has scaled solutions from front line to systems level quickly and skillfully while approaching her work with an open, collaborative, joyous approach that inspires and motivates her colleagues.
Nikki has provided clinical guidance, networking direction and support to ensure that a high quality of care continues in our Coastal Community. At a time when our system is seeing staffing shortages throughout, Nikki developed interim processes and plans to ensure the most vulnerable are receiving continuous care, while others can still access care as needed, and that staff are able to manage all of these demands.
Without Nikki’s guidance, hundreds of clients would lack proper access to the care they need, and accepting new clients would be nearly impossible. Nikki’s inventive processes along with her resourcing and collaboration skills have allowed for continuous care for all, and better support for staff.
Learn more about Nikki and watch her receive the award below.
“Mina exemplifies outstanding achievement in her dedication to clients, the program and her team!”
Congratulations to former Coordinator of Mental Health Housing at the HOpe Centre, Mina Molavi, the recipient of our Les Janz Leadership Award.
Mina has been the team lead for Mental Health Housing since 2010, and since that time she has led the team and supported clients and their families with respect, dignity and professionalism.
Since being a Team Leader, Mina has grown the North Shore Mental Health Housing team into a multidisciplinary one, which provides clients with complete care. With her big personality, booming laugh and her appreciation for all the eccentricities of her team, Mina has created an environment that is accepting, inclusive and has room for playfulness.
Mina also values the contributions and insights of all staff members. She recognizes and honours their strengths while giving them autonomy along with clear guidance when needed. Several team members also mentioned that they applied for and stayed in positions with the Housing Team because they love working under Mina’s exemplary leadership.
“I’ve been working on the North Shore my entire career,” says Mina. “I’ve been with this team for 12 years now, and you are all like family to me. It’s such a privilege to be nominated. Thank you very much everyone.”
Learn more about Mina and watch her receive the award below.
Congratulations to our four recipients of the 16th Annual North Shore Health Care Awards held virtually at Lions Gate Hospital on Tuesday, February 14th.
Healthcare staff from across the North Shore attended the ceremony virtually to celebrate and support more than 35 outstanding staff members who were nominated by their peers.
Introducing the 2022/2023 Recipients
“She has been a beacon of light since day one and does not hesitate to go the extra mile!”
Congratulations to Social Worker at the HOpe Centre, Denise Carter, the recipient of our Workplace Inspiration Award.
Denise is one of the original staff members recruited to the Carlile Youth Concurrent Disorders Centre to help form a large multidisciplinary team to treat the mental health of youth and their families.
Since day one, she has been a beacon of light who uses her optimism, humor and professional competence to achieve positive outcomes in challenging situations. Her colleagues say “she’s an individual who bring positive energy to the workplace and does not hesitate to go the extra mile!”
Denise’s involvement in the Centre’s quality assurance committee and in developing educational groups for patients has also led to greater patient engagement, and her work has enabled the entire team to achieve treatment goals that are personalized to each patient and their family. With Denise’s support, the Carlile Centre team has been able to better coordinate care and reintegrate youth back into their communities with optimal support.
Learn more about Denise and watch her receive the award below.
Motivated by the impact that colorectal cancer has had on several generations of their family, North Shore residents Greg and Kelly Wolfe have set out to improve the odds for other local families dealing with Canada’s third most common form of cancer.
The couple has ushered in a new era of endoscopy screening technology to all four suites in the Coastal Community of Care Endoscopy Program at Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) and Squamish General Hospital (SGH).
Their $360,000 donation will deliver Canada’s first-ever use of leading-edge artificial intelligence technology to help physicians detect subtle, potentially cancerous growths during routine colonoscopy screening.
“This kind of detection technology is changing the landscape of our field,” says LGH Gastroenterology Division Head Dr. Jin Ho. “By improving and increasing polyp detection rates, we can effectively reduce the incidence of colon cancer and will ultimately save lives.”
Vancouver Coastal Health physician Dr. Richard Lewis, who played a key role in advocating for the testing and purchase of the detection equipment has worked with the device on an ongoing basis, sees the difference in detection it offers.
“Based on our evaluation, the device appears to be very sensitive to subtle polyps which may be pre-malignant,” explains Richard. “Previous studies using the device have also suggested there is an increased rate of detection of small and subtle polyps, with the detection rate of these pre-cancerous polyps correlating with the subsequent risk for developing colon cancer.”
Giving Back Based on High-Tech Know How
The Wolfes are the enthusiastic donors whose lives have been touched by colorectal cancer firsthand, with Kelly being the most recent family member to have battled it.
The couple hope the new devices will make state-of-art colon cancer detection and diagnosis available to everyone in their community and that their donation might inspire others in the BC technology sector to support technology adoption in other areas of medical care.
After a career as an executive in the enterprise software industry, Greg began researching for advanced technologies in early cancer detection after Kelly was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Connecting with former colleagues, he learned about the Medtronic GI Genius device and began advocating with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Ho as well as Medtronic to generously fund an evaluation of the technology.
“I’d like to challenge my colleagues from high-tech to first, make sure you get a colonoscopy and then, get involved in making a difference in how we all support our health care professionals, whether it’s through a donation of funds or helping address significant technology needs,” says Greg.
Partners for Life-Changing Care
The Wolfes were thrilled to be able to be contribute to the community, recognizing the role that Dr. Lewis, who initially treated Kelly for colorectal cancer, and LGH Foundation played in bringing the interested parties together.
“Without the research and support of Richard and the guidance of LGH Foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver this additional level of detection for our community,” says Kelly.
LGH Foundation President & CEO Judy Savage is clear on the difference that the Wolfe’s contribution will have on both patient care and staff morale in the endoscopy department.
“It’s only through donations like this, and Kelly’s and Greg’s generosity, that we’re able to fund this type of game-changing care.” says Judy. “We all appreciate their willingness to support our health care teams here at LGH with the latest tools after being inspired by the care they received here.”
Under the Hood of New Technology
There will be four of the devices – known as a Medtronic GI Genius–– offering patients from across the region access to this endoscopy technology.
The device is about the size of a DVD player and is compatible with any colonoscope video system. Plugging into the existing camera and monitor, the device works in real time to highlight regions of the colon suspected to have visual characteristics consistent with different types of mucosal abnormalities during a typical procedure such as a colonoscopy.
Acting as a support tool for the physician conducting the procedures, the device integrates concepts such as Big Data, Cloud, and AI technologies inter to identify and mark abnormalities consistent with colorectal polyps, including small flat polyps.
Through this process, the precision of the device helps increase the adenoma detection rate (ADR) for the physician, with less reliance on the human eye, which studies show reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
Just a few weeks after being discharged from the Cardiac ward at LGH, North Shore resident Jose Dino returned bearing gifts and gratitude.
Jose, a general manager for Telus visited the Emergency Department at the end of November suffering from a number of symptoms that he thought were the result of an allergic reaction. In fact he had a serious heart condition and spent eight days on the LGH Cardiac unit undergoing tests and treatment.
While on the road to recovery, Jose had plenty of opportunity to watch the cardiac care team at work. “I wanted to come back to personally thank them all,” he explains. “I was really impressed with so many things. The emotional support, the friendliness, the expertise and knowledge of the staff and the very positive high-level commitment to patient care.”
As well as delivering chocolate treats, a few stuffed Telus critters for festive stocking fillers, Jose delivered a heartfelt speech. “I had time to watch the nurses, doctors and specialists and it really opened my eyes and made me realize how hard it is to work in health care. I thought to myself, this is a great hospital and that’s why I got in touch.”
Thank you Jose, for taking the time to say thanks and thank you to our health care teams in the Emergency Department and Cardiac Medicine for helping Jose on the road to recovery.
It’s been a tumultuous year for North Shore couple Sharon and Dennis Harper.
After many years of caregiving both sets of parents passed. They also lost a couple of very long-lived pets – a Bichon Cocker Spaniel and a Chihuahua.
Feeling ready for a fresh start, they booked a much-deserved post-pandemic vacation. “All of a sudden they were free to travel without restrictions,” recalls Dennis. “We were having the time of our life.”
Unfortunately, disaster struck just a few days into the trip which included an Ireland and UK cruise with a few city excursions. While visiting with relatives in the UK city of Liverpool, Sharon was hit by someone riding a motorized scooter.
Her knee cap was shattered and with no ambulance available for several hours, she was placed on the floor of a taxi for an uncomfortable ride to the local hospital.
After being patched up by the emergency department, Sharon and Dennis spent a few more days in the UK before finally being flown back to Vancouver.
When they landed at YVR they headed straight for Lions Gate Hospital pulling their luggage with them. Within the hour, she had X-Rays in hand and an orthopedic surgeon scheduled for surgery the very next day.
Following the three-hour surgery to repair the broken kneecap with metal screws and wire, Sharon was back home for the start of a long recovery.
The Harper family have had many emergency visits to Lions Gate Hospital over the years, and they have always taken note of the staff who always went the extra mile to support them.
“I know our health care system is under pressure but you don’t hear enough about the good stories. The care and support that was available when we really needed it was impressive,” says Dennis. “The staff here really deserve our appreciation and I have nothing but great things to say about Lions Gate Hospital and the care Sharon received,”
As a show of appreciation for the exceptional support of Dr. Zarkadas and the staff in the Emergency, Surgical Services and Radiography departments, Dennis visited the Foundation to make a donation in their honour.
Sharon is now on the mend and looking forward to the day when she and Dennis can arrange a new dream vacation.
It may look like a cross between a Zamboni and a crane, but the Shimadzu Portable X-ray Machine has been a game-changer for LGH’s Medical Imaging Department.
Each year, thousands of X-rays are performed at LGH, and when trauma patients are unable to be transported or require bedside care, portable X-ray assistance becomes essential.
The versatility of portable X-ray machines allow operators to avoid unnecessary transport and movement of patients while offering fast and accurate information on-the-spot. These benefits present an opportunity to save more lives and improve the quality of patient care at our hospital.
The fully digital Shimadzu Portable X-ray Machine can be used to examine anyone, but has proven particularly beneficial for reaching more seriously ill patients such as those in the Intensive Care, High Acuity and Post-Surgical Units at LGH. This innovative machine has also been used in the Emergency Department to instantly determine fractures from a stretcher in the trauma bay.
“We are grateful for the generosity of donors who fund technology and give us the opportunity to work with innovative machines. It’s been a huge asset to the Radiology Department and has really helped us a lot,” says Yvonne van Gelderen, Site Coordinator for Medical Imaging at LGH.
As the demand for X-ray services expands in our community, the Radiology team relies on specialized equipment to provide efficient and dependable care to all. This new machine has replaced an aging unit bought over two decades ago, and staff have already seen major improvements in patient care capabilities.
The Shimadzu Portable was funded through a bequest from the estate of Francis Barrie Stewart.
Thank you for all of your wonderful submissions. The winner of our 2022 Christmas Card Design Contest is 13-year-old Sentinel Secondary student Vivian Song. Her winning design is now on sale at the Foundation office at LGH and all Save-on-Foods stores on the North Shore.
The cards cost $15 for a pack of 12 and all proceeds from sales will support our Technology Transformation Campaign.
Heart-warming care. Ground-breaking facilities. Read about it