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2018

Please note: This is a list of news items featuring, or mentioning, North York General Hospital. In some cases, links to past clips or stories may have been removed by the media outlet and are no longer available.

Dr. Joshua Tepper discusses his new role as President and CEO of North York General Hospital
CBC Radio, Metro Morning with Matt Galloway, November 8, 2018
Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO of North York General Hospital, was featured this morning on CBC Radio's Metro Morning with Matt Galloway at 6:40 a.m. During his interview, he discussed his new role as President and CEO and highlighted how the hospital is evolving. Listen to the full interview here.  

New study associates highly effective blood pressure medication with small risk of cancer
CBC News, Nicole Ireland, Oct. 30, 2018
A new study by Canadian researchers linking a widely used class of blood pressure medications to a slightly increased chance of lung cancer highlights the balance doctors must achieve in evaluating risks versus benefits —and then communicating them clearly to their patients so they can make the best decisions for their health. The study, published in the BMJ (formerly known at the British Medical Journal), focused on ACE inhibitors, which have been prescribed for decades to millions of patients to treat high blood pressure. ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors work by stopping the production of the angiotensin hormone, which can constrict blood vessels...
Illustrate risk in a meaningful way
Helping patients make sense of medical studies like this one, and putting risks and benefits into perspective, requires doctors to evaluate complex research statistics and distil them into useful information, said Dr. Kimberly Wintemute, a family physician at Toronto's North York General Hospital. Red the complete article on the CBC News website.

Prone breast biopsy table enables faster, more comfortable procedures
Canadian Healthcare Technology, October 1, 2018
TORONTO – North York General Hospital, known as a technological innovator, has become the first hospital in Ontario (and the second across Canada, after the McGill University Health Centre) to implement a prone breast biopsy table that makes use of 3D mammography for needle guidance. The new system provides better accuracy, shorter procedures and improved patient comfort in comparison with traditional breast biopsy systems, most of which are performed in the upright position. The Affirm Prone Biopsy System was installed at the Toronto-based academic community hospital this March. (Hologic is the manufacturer of the system, and it's sold and implemented in Canada by Christie Innomed.) “We're committed to innovative imaging with compassionate care,” said Mike Sharma, Director of Clinical Diagnostics at North York General. “That's exactly what we've done with the new Affirm Prone biopsy table.” Read the complete article in Canadian Healthcare Technology

Toronto hospitals can't force unvaccinated nurses to wear masks, ruling says
The Globe and Mail, Tu Thanh Ha, Sept. 10, 2018
Nine Toronto-area hospitals have to scrap their policies forcing unvaccinated nurses to wear surgical masks, a labour arbitrator has ruled in a binding decision that concluded the hospitals couldn't provide scientific evidence to back up the practice. The arguments that witnesses for the hospitals presented were “insufficient, inadequate, and completely unpersuasive,” arbitrator William Kaplan wrote in a 53-page decision last Thursday. The decision focused on a grievance filed by the Ontario Nurses' Association against St. Michael's Hospital. However it is also binding on eight other institutions with the same policy: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Mount Sinai Health System, St. Joseph's Health Centre, Michael Garron Hospital, Women's College Hospital, North York General Hospital, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Read the complete article in the Globe and Mail.

Seniors healthier when medical care is coordinated
Reuters, Linda Carroll, Aug. 27, 2018
Reuters Health) - As America's population ages, experts are exploring how best to keep older people with multiple chronic illnesses healthy. A new study suggests that coordination between physicians may be key. In a reanalysis of 25 earlier studies including 12,579 patients, researchers found that coordination of care for older adults with multiple medical conditions resulted in improved health. Patients in the study had combinations of disorders such as heart failure and obstructive lung disease, arthritis and depression, diabetes and depression, or diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Currently more than 62 percent of older Americans have multiple chronic conditions, the researchers noted in CMAJ. And many of those seniors receive care from a variety of specialists who don't communicate with one another. “To address the challenges faced by our rapidly aging population, we need to focus on a more patient-oriented and holistic strategy that targets management of patients with common disease combinations, such as diabetes and depression, rather than treating one disease at a time,” said study leader Monika Kastner, a health services researcher at the University of Toronto, Canada, and research chair at North York General Hospital. Care coordination, Kastner explained in an email, can be defined as efforts by health care professionals to facilitate and coordinate appropriate, timely and efficient delivery of health care services for a patient. Read the complete article on the Reuters website.


CMAJ podcast with Dr. Sharon Strauss and Prof Monika Kastner
CMAJ, August 27, 2018
This August 27, 2018, Canadian Medical Association Journal podcast features Dr. Sharon Straus and Prof. Monika Kastner, Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Implementation at North York General Hospital. They shared the results of their research on effectiveness of interventions for managing multiple high-burden chronic diseases affecting older adults. They discuss whether the single-disease approach to management is better than an integrated multi-disease approach to care. Listen to the podcast.

NYGH offers online access to diagnostic images
Canadian Healthcare Technology, Aug. 22, 2018
North York General Hospital (NYGH)has partnered with PocketHealth to provide patients with online access to their medical imaging exams, in their original diagnostic formats. In the past, sharing imaging records has been an arduous process for both patients and film library staff. Patients would have to pick up a CD from the hospital every time they wanted to review their new exams with a physician, and each CD request could take hours to days to process. Since PocketHealth's integration in February 2018, NYGH patients have been able to store their entire medical imaging history on the cloud platform, a convenient and secure cloud alternative that allows patients to view and share imaging records from any device, anywhere. There is a $5.00 transfer fee at the time of enrolment, and it includes permanent access to all previous imaging records at the hospital, as well as new exams patients undergo over the following two weeks.  Once patients receive access, they can share their imaging in their original format (DICOM) electronically with any physician, or even burn their own CD or USB from home. Since its launch earlier this year, thousands of NYGH patients have registered, accessed, and shared their records through PocketHealth. Mike Sharma, director of clinical diagnostics at NYGH, says he couldn't be happier with how the partnership is going...: Read the complete article in Canadian Healthcare Technology.

She helped victims of the Toronto van attack. Now this CPR trainer is coming to U of T for resuscitation research
U of TNews, Geoffrey Vendeville, Aug. 22, 2018
Tiffany Jefkinshas known CPR since she was a teenage lifeguard. She practised it as a respiratory therapist at Toronto General Hospital for six years before working for a first-aid and CPR training business. She was so fascinated by resuscitation science, particularly the role that bystanders play in emergencies, that she applied to start a master's degree in health services research at the University of Toronto in the fall. Although she is experienced in CPR, she had never attempted to save a life outside of a hospital – until last spring. On April 23, she was a witness to the van attack near Yonge Street and Finch Avenue that left 10 dead, including a U of T student, and many more injured... Jefkins sought out counselling to deal with the trauma. “I felt like I was living in a dream for about a week,” she says, adding that she couldn't sleep and her thoughts often returned to the attack. The psychological aftermath of performing CPR happens to be a specialty of her supervisor at U of T, Katie Dainty. Dainty is an assistant professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation – where Jefkins is planning to do her master's–as well as a research chair in patient-centred outcomes at North York General Hospital. Read the complete article in the U of T News.

Hundreds of patients received less than full dose of chemo, Cancer Care Ontario finds
CBC News, Desmond Brown, Aug 17, 2018
Hundreds of cancer patients in dozens of Ontario hospitals may not have received the full amount of chemotherapy drug prescribed to them in the past year, a review commissioned by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has found. CCO found that more than the expected amounts of the drug remained in the IV tubing, resulting in a variation in intended dose delivery to 1,000 patients... A spokesperson at North York General Hospital says all of its affected patients have been notified and the issue resolved. "We have four active patients. They have all been notified and we have since rectified the problem," senior communications specialist Nadia Daniell-Colarossi told CBC Toronto. "When administering highly concentrated monotherapy drugs it has been identified that some of the dose may remain in the infusion tubing. Since this was identified, North York General Hospital has changed administration techniques to ensure that all of the intended dose is delivered," she wrote in an email to CBC Toronto Thursday evening. Read the
complete article on the CBC website.

Germ-blasting robot sets its sights on fighting C. difficile outbreaks
CBC News, Phillip Lee-Shanok, July 8, 2018
The Mississauga, Ont., company behind a robot that blasts away hospital germs using ultraviolet light says its Solaris Lytbot is the ideal weapon in the war against hospital-acquired infections such asC. difficile. "They wheel it into a room, set how long to run it for and hit go. Then they leave the room and away it goes," says Adam Steinhoff, chief operating officer and co-founder of Solaris Disinfection. The Lytbot cycles through a programmed pattern and fires pulsed UV light until it completes a 360-degree sweep of the room. The robot's beams have a devastating effect on germ cells and bacteria spores through what Steinhoff calls "cellular disruption." He describes it as a light energy hitting a cell, which in turn causes it to dry out and rupture... Dr. Kevin Katz, medical director of infection prevention and control at North York General Hospital, says some Canadian hospitals may feel reluctant to adopt the new technology. "UV light is able to kill bacteria andkill (C. difficile) spores — but you do need a higher amount of energy," says Katz. "While the science makes sense, the evidence that it reduces healthcare-acquired infections is evolving. It's not quite in the mainstream yet." Read the complete article on the CBC website.

Clostridium difficile infections have decreased 36 per cent in Canadian hospitals: study

Dr. Kevin Katz was featured in: The Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, CBCNews.ca, Ctvnews.ca, Global News, CityNews, National Post, Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Region Record, CBC Radio Ottawa, CBC Radio Windsor, CBC Radio Kitchener-Waterloo, CBC Radio Charlottetown, CBC Radio Fredericton, CBC Radio Iqaluit, CBC Radio Yellowknife, CBC Radio Kelowna, CBC Radio Vancouver, CBC Radio Sudbury, CBC Radio Kamloops, CBC Radio Saskatoon, 680 News Toronto and more.

Carly Weeks, Globe and Mail, June 25, 2018
Rates of Clostridium difficile in Canadian hospitals dropped by about 36 per cent in recent years, according to a new study that suggests increased attention to infection-control measures such as handwashing and avoiding antibiotics is helping reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections. The study, published on Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined trends at a large group of hospitals from 2009 to 2015 to determine if efforts to contain the pathogen were making headway.
The researchers found rates of C. difficile dropped significantly over the study period, a trend attributable to the increased vigilance at health-care institutions, said Kevin Katz, lead author and medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's North York General Hospital. Read the complete article in The Globe and Mail.

CBC News The National— Author Jamil Jivani on why young men turn to violence
CBC News The National, June 11, 2018
Author Jamil Jivani speaks to Rosemary Barton about why young men turn to violence, profiling his book Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity. Jamil Jivani was basking in hard-earned success until a cancer diagnosis came out of the blue, on Family Day weekend, he visited North York General Hospital's chemotherapy centre. Watch the video.

North York hospital plans major expansion
Post City, Hayden Kenez, May 30, 2018
North York General Hospital (NYGH) is planning to build two new towers devoted to both acute and outpatient care that officials say will help alleviate systemic overcrowding by adding an estimated 100 hospital beds to its facilities. One of the new structures will be located at 4001 Leslie St. — the hospital's main premises — and will house acute care services, increasing capacity for inpatients, emergency departments, surgery and critical care. The other tower will be located across the street, at 4000 Leslie St., and will provide a variety of outpatient services, including medical and surgical clinics, rapid assessment clinics, mental health clinics, family medicine, seniors' wellness and day surgery. It will also house some relocated administrative and support functions from the hospital's current main site, creating more opportunity for increased inpatient capacity across the street. Read the complete Post City article.

50th anniversary feature in the North York Mirror and Toronto.com

May 3, 2018, at Toronto.com
This feature includes a column by Murray J. Perelman, Chair of the Board of Governors, The next 50 years at North York General Hospital will bring change,an article North York General Hospital celebrates 50 years in the communityand an interactive timeline of significant moments in our history (following the article).

North York General Hospital 50th Anniversary
Snap'd North York,Ian Hanecak,May 1, 2018
In 1960, a group of local citizens established the North Metropolitan Hospital Association to explore building a hospital to serve the growing area of North York. By November 1962, land on the Leslie site was obtained and on March 15, 1968, Premier John Robarts officially dedicated North York General Hospital (NYGH). Fifty years later, NYGH is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals and is affiliated with the University of Toronto, primarily serving north central Toronto and southern York Region. Last month we joined former and current staff, volunteers and special guests for a wonderful anniversary celebration in the main atrium of the hospital. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has been a part of the hospital's half century of impeccable service - here's to another 50! See the photos in Snap'd North York.

Hallway Healthcare
Toronto Life, Alison Motluk, April 16, 2018
In this article North York General Hospital is mentioned as one of the hospitals embracing a new model: partnering with separate facilities that specialize in various types of non-acute care: rehab, long-term care and complex continuing care.


U of T study looks at benefits of having community paramedics do home visits for chronically ill patients
U of T News, March 22, 2018
Can paramedics fill the gaps in primary care for chronically ill patients? A team of researchers led by University of Toronto's Katie Dainty decided to find out. The researchers evaluated a trial training program for community paramedics in York Region and Grey County, which had community paramedics visit the homes of chronically ill patients for physical assessments. The idea was for these patients to get help without visiting the emergency room. Dainty, who is an assistant professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and research chair in patient outcomes at North York General Hospital, then studied the effectiveness of this program, and found that the trial program not only met the psychosocial needs of the patients, but also improved their health outcomes. Read the complete article in U of T News.

Ontario government to boost hospital funding by $822M to ease overcrowding, wait times
Toronto Star, Rob Ferguson, March 22, 2018
Ontario's hospitals are getting a pre-election cash infusion of $822 million, a 4.6-per-cent boost for the next year to ease overcrowding and reduce wait times for patients. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the money Thursday at North York General, saying it will fill gaps in services but would not guarantee an end to what opposition parties call “hallway medicine.” “What I can promise is people will get faster care in hospitals across the province,” Wynne told reporters, noting North York hospital's share will be $10.8 million. Read the complete Toronto Star article.

Dr. Sanjho Srikandarajah discusses the overprescription of opiods on Metro Morning

CBC Metro Morning, March 15, 2018
CBC Metro Morning guest host David Common speaks with North York General Hospital Anesthesiologist Dr. Sanjho Srikandarajah whose research says opioids are being over prescribed. The segmented noted that if you've ever had surgery, you probably left the hospital with a prescription for painkillers. Did you take them? Did you need them? Listen to the interview.
In spring 2017 Dr. Srikandarajah was a recipient of the Exploration Fund — a granting competition at North York General designed to provide initial funding for staff and physicians to develop new ideas for the delivery of care.