A joint message from the Centre Board Chair and President & CEO
Inspiration Empowers Achievement
At West Park, we continue to draw inspiration from our patients whose courage and determination enable them to realize their potential while facing life-changing health challenges. Our patients motivate us to deliver on our vision and strategic priorities.
In the past year, we were very proud that our neurological rehabilitation service achieved Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction status. This distinction formally recognizes the excellent work by the entire stroke rehabilitation team. By participating in the accreditation process, we benefitted from the opportunity to assess our program against national standards, ensuring that we are delivering on our commitment to provide exemplary care for our patients.
One of our top strategic priorities is to create an integrated campus of care and this year, we achieved three notable milestones with our campus development project. First and most significantly, we completed the Stage 3 submission, the final planning document that outlines the project vision and the architectural, technology, design and landscape features we want to incorporate in the new hospital. Submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in October, the Stage 3 submission represented the collective effort of more than 450 patients, family members, employees, physicians and volunteers.
In February, West Park and Infrastructure Ontario announced the three pre-qualified teams who will be bidding to design, build, finance and maintain West Park’s new six-storey, approximately 730,000 square foot facility. The shortlisted teams submitted their proposals in response to the request for qualifications process we began in September.
Finally, in March, we received zoning approval from Toronto City Council, following a complex consultation process that began last July with community and stakeholder input. This zoning amendment means we can move full steam ahead with the new building project. We are thrilled to see this multi-year initiative continue to move forward on schedule.
We also have a strategic priority to enhance our financial capacity to thrive, both now and in the future. In 2016-17, we were delighted to achieve a surplus position despite very significant financial constraints and growing demands for services. By managing the Centre’s resources very carefully, optimizing operations through analytics, and investing wisely, we are safeguarding our financial capacity to thrive.
Our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities would not be possible without the unwavering commitment, determination and talent of our staff, medical staff and volunteers. Together, we are driven toward exemplary care that helps patients get their life back.
Warren Law, Chair, Board of Directors
Anne-Marie Malek President and CEO
Arnold Ramroop Got His Life Back
Out of nowhere, Arnold Ramroop suffered a major stroke from a brain bleed. The Toronto engineer couldn’t walk or talk and was facing a prognosis of long-term neurological deficits. With limited mobility and no way to communicate his needs, he was very frustrated.
West Park’s Neuro Rehabilitation service was fundamental to transforming Arnold’s life, helping him regain his ability to walk, talk, and function in normal daily activities and return to guiding his family-run engineering business.
“When he left West Park, he was rehabilitated to the person we knew him to be,” says daughter Anita.
Arnold and his family are grateful that he got his life back. “I consider myself lucky to have been here,” he said.
A joint message from the Chief of Staff and the Chief Nursing Executive
Advancing Excellence in Exemplary Care
Last year we continued to advance excellence in exemplary care with several impressive achievements.
Most notably, West Park earned Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction status. This achievement validates the dedication of our interdisciplinary team who in addition to providing patients with specialized stroke services have established stroke care as a core competency through their leadership and commitment to research and education.
Before the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation passed last June, we were already planning how to best meet the needs of patients requiring assistance in death. We have established a policy that is currently seeking stakeholder feedback. Our interprofessional team, which includes physicians, nurses, a chaplain, an ethicist, a pharmacist and a social worker, is ready to provide assistance and education to patients and families.
In our nursing practice, we made two significant improvements. First, we increased our capacity to provide care to patients with complex health issues by increasing the number of regulated nursing hours per patient per day. Second, in advance of new legislation, two nurse practitioners completed the additional education requirements for prescribing controlled substances, establishing their competency for safe and ethical prescribing and managing patients who require these medications.
We completed our sixth Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), which measures the hospital against targets we establish. For six of eight indicators, we met, exceeded, or performed within corridor. For example, we completed a best possible medication discharge plan for 90 per cent of patients, 5 per cent higher than our baseline. We were also pleased to see that there were 176 outpatient visits to our geriatric day clinic, significantly higher than our baseline estimate of 100 visits for the first year of its operation.
The two QIP indicators that did not meet corridor ranges fell just slightly below their targets. The percentage of discharge summaries sent to primary care practitioners within three business days was 86 per cent compared to the target corridor of 89-94 per cent. We are committed improving primary care practitioner access to clinical information and have altered the indicator to strive for the two business days. This is supported by our work to pilot an electronic discharge summary.
The other QIP indicator below target was the number of daily hours of stroke rehabilitation therapy at 2.4 hours, narrowly missing the corridor of 2.5-3.0 hours. Although we missed our target, West Park performs exceptionally well against the provincial medium of 1.09 hours per day.
Finally, we also embedded a palliative care program into our services, and developed a patient and family engagement strategy. We look forward to increasing patient and family engagement at a variety of levels to keep improving West Park’s programs and services.
Dr. Nora Cullen, Chief of Staff
Barbara Bell, Chief Nursing Executive
Let’s Boogie! A Dance Study at West Park for People with COPD
After improving significantly in a rehabilitation program, many people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) find it difficult to maintain their progress when the program ends.
At West Park, researchers are investigating the effectiveness of dancing to music to help people with COPD sustain or improve their level of physical activity post-rehabilitation.
“I work with stroke patients using dance, so it made sense to see if it might help people living with COPD,” says Dr. Dina Brooks, a Senior Scientist who has been on staff at West Park for over 20 years. “Dance is fun and social. Patients prefer it to exercise on a treadmill or going for a walk. It is also an excellent way to address balance issues, which affect many of these individuals.” Dr. Brooks is also a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.
West Park is home to an internationally recognized Respiratory Rehabilitation Service. Dr. Brooks is collaborating with Dr. Roger Goldstein, West Park’s Director of Respiratory Medicine and Dr. Kara Patterson, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.
In the study, two groups of 10 participants meet for a 1-hour dance session twice a week for eight weeks, boogieing to a variety of dance styles tailored to their preferences, including tango, contemporary, salsa and cha-cha. Two trained dance instructors with experience working with people with chronic illnesses lead the sessions.
“We are measuring physical activity, balance, quality of life, and satisfaction,” says Dr. Brooks. “We are also tracking participants’ heart rates.” Participants are over the age of 40 and have completed pulmonary rehabilitation at least four months in advance.
Dr. Brooks, a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Rehabilitation Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the recipient of several teaching and research awards and research grants, has authored/co-authored many studies at West Park .
This study is supported by a Breathing as One - Boehringer Ingelheim Canada COPD Catalyst Grant of $30,000 from the Canadian Lung Association. Results will be available in the fall of 2017.
“Learning from this research will inform the design for a larger trial in the future,” says Dr. Brooks. “From the smiles and level of engagement we’ve seen so far, we hope that dance proves to be an excellent way for people with COPD to realize their potential.”
Patty De Guia Got Her Life Back
Patty De Guia had one goal above all others after rehabilitating at West Park from an amputation - to walk her kids to school, without crutches, holding their hands.
Patty's right leg was amputated above the knee after being diagnosed with cancer. Working with her team in Amputation Rehabilitation and the Prosthetics Departrment Patty was able to reclaim her life.
"I got my life back and everything moving forward is just so much better," says Patty.
West Park Foundation
A Transformative Year
The year 2016-2017 was another successful year for West Park Foundation as it prepared to meet its ambitious goals in support of the new West Park.
It was the first full year of the Foundation’s $80 million Get Your Life Back Campaign to support the capital costs of the new hospital, and significant progress was made. This included contributions from four of Canada’s five largest banks, with public celebrations held for two (RBC at $500,000 and TD at $800,000). Other generous gifts included $150,000 from Menkes Developments and $100,000 from Deloitte.
These gifts are going to have a major impact on the new hospital, providing an expanded day hospital, a new geriatric service, a resource centre, an exercise lab and improved patient lounges and dining rooms.
The Campaign is also set to become much more visible. Beginning in summer 2017, visitors to the hospital will see both indoor and outdoor banners that feature the ‘get your life back’ brand and the Campaign(pictured below).
In addition to the successful Chairs’ Invitational Golf Tournament held August 30, the Foundation launched two new signature events designed to better respond to market preferences and raise awareness of the hospital among a broader network:
• At UNCORK UNTAP UNWIND in November, 350 guests enjoyed an evening of food by famed Chef Mark McEwan, terrific wine, whiskey and beer, and great live music, in the historic Distillery District.
• Tournament of Stars, a celebrity basketball tournament, was held on March 31 – April 1 at the University of Toronto. NBA alumni, including former Raptors, and other celebrities hit the courts with 12 energetic teams who fundraised very generously in support of West Park.
This spring, the Foundation completed its application for accreditation by the Imagine Canada Standards Program, the highest professional standard for fundraising in the country. Achieving accreditation will bolster trust in the Foundation and position it as a leader among fundraising organizations.