KHSC recognizes achievements as organization marks fifth anniversary

Despite the rain and dreary weather, Kingston Health Sciences Centre staff gathered in City Park to mark the five-year anniversary of the organization’s creation.

Nearly five years exactly, Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) were brought together under the umbrella of Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), and marked the occasion with a ceremony in City Park. Today, Thursday, Mar. 31, 2022, staff gathered again to mark KHSC’s fifth anniversary.

Dr. David Pichora addresses KHSC staff and media in front of a tree planted five years ago in City Park to mark KHSC’s creation. Photo by Josie Vallier.

“At the time we planted a tree between our two hospital sites to mark this new chapter for our organizations,” said KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora. “So, it’s only fitting that we gather here again on the occasion of our anniversary, beside our tree. Fifth anniversaries are traditionally celebrated with gifts crafted from wood to represent deep, strong roots. This is true for us at KHSC, where over the last five years we have built strong roots together.”

According to a release from KHSC, when the integration of the two organizations was announced, the two hospitals entered into an agreement that protected the unique cultures at each site, including the faith-based mission and history at HDH, and the secular traditions at KGH.

“Five years ago, many people in health care watched our integration with interest as we brought together Catholic and secular hospital sites into one new organization,” said Dr. Pichora. “I can say with confidence that we have demonstrated that we could not only survive, but thrive.”

Over the last five years, KHSC has become nationally recognized as one of Canada’s premier health sciences centres, for the highly specialized care offered to patients and families, but also for the health research that is being conducted in the research institute.

“This recognition came at a time as our new organization was navigating the pandemic, operating a new COVID assessment centre, accepting hundreds of COVID patients from Toronto, and running vaccination clinics, all while navigating very difficult staffing shortages,” Dr. Pichora expressed. “I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and this has been made possible by our staff, physicians,and volunteers. All of our accomplishments would not have happened without their leadership, perseverance, and commitment to our mission of caring for patients, families, and each other through everyday actions, significant moments, and exciting breakthroughs.”

Over the last five years, KHSC’s accomplishments have been many. The organization highlighted the following details:

Bringing innovative care closer to home:

KHSC offered novel new cardiac procedures for patients suffering from various heart conditions, implemented a new living kidney donor transplant program, offered new treatment for patients suffering from strokes, improved hearing for patients through a new bone-anchored hearing aid program, became designated as a district epilepsy centre, and launched a new robotic-assisted surgery program.

Upgraded equipment and facilities:

KHSC has also opened the new Breast Imaging Kingston facility, created the W.J. Henderson Centre for Patient Oriented Research, added a second MRI to the KGH site, acquired a novel portable MRI to improve care in Northern Ontario, adopted virtual care technology, invested in a new shared electronic Patient Care System for southeastern Ontario, moved ahead with redevelopment planning for our KGH site, added birthing tubs to the labour and delivery unit allowing for in-hospital water births, and opened a state-of-the-art hybrid Operating Room.

Built partnerships to improve health care in the region:

Created a new Alternate Level of Care transitional unit with Bayshore, launched the KHSC@Home program, played a leading role in the creation of the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team, improved care by offering ultrasound services at Street Health’s Bagot Street site, and created key partnerships to reduce wait times for procedures such as cataract surgery.

“Most impressively, we have been able to achieve these feats without losing focus on the core values at the heart of our organization, offering compassionate, patient-centred, high-quality care to the patient that rely on us every day,” said Dr. Pichora. “In every department, unit, and program, we have demonstrated leadership not only locally, but on a national and global scale as well. We should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together.”

“Looking forward, I know there is still much we can accomplish as we begin to transition out of the pandemic,” he continued. “We will find innovative ways to deliver new and novel procedures, train the next generation of health care providers, and put ourselves on the map as a Canadian health care leader. I am incredibly excited to see what the next five years will bring.”

With files from Josie Vallier.

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