Award-winning unit gets $400,000 facelift to improve patient care

Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ) is celebrating the completion of nearly half a million dollars in renovations on its award-winning Geriatric Medicine Unit.

Vancouver, BC, June 20, 2013 – Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ) is celebrating the completion of nearly half a million dollars in renovations on its award-winning Geriatric Medicine Unit.  The unit received a substantial facelift, including much-needed new equipment that will improve the care of seniors staying in this acute care facility.

The renovations were aimed at improving and supporting patient rehabilitation and safe return home, including renovations to the dining room and patient rooms, access to a solarium as well as essential equipment like electric parallel bars, a training staircase, and an electric plinth (physiotherapy bed). The unit also received a new WanderGuard security system, allowing nursing staff to monitor patients with dementia and ensure they don’t leave the unit unaccompanied.

“We already have an award-winning team working on the Geriatric Medicine Unit, but now, thanks to the generosity of our donor, our team has a new unit to continue providing excellent care,” said Ann Adams, CEO of Tapestry Foundation for Health Care.

The renovations were made possible thanks to a $400,000 (US) donation to Tapestry Foundation for Health Care by Dolly Ching Wan Wong Lee. The unit is being renamed the Peter Chi Fai Lee Geriatric Medicine Unit in honour of Mrs. Lee’s husband, a philanthropist and real estate developer working in the US, Hong Kong, and Canada.

Elderly patients admitted to MSJ typically have multiple medical and cognitive complications that impact their ability to function in their daily activities. This results in longer hospital stays than the average adult patient. The goal of MSJ’s Geriatric Medicine Program is to treat and stabilize patients’ medical and psychiatric conditions, while actively working to maximize their abilities to get back to levels before their illness or admission to the hospital.

“Our team strives to provide more than just medical care for seniors,” explains Dr. Garey Mazowita, Lead Physician of Geriatric Medicine at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. “We’re striving to optimize function so patients can achieve the best possible, appropriate level of independence, even if they are in supported or extended care.

“We build care plans on a foundation of personal, family and cultural preferences and realities. The tensions between risk and safety are carefully weighed and discussed at the time of discharge, and wherever possible the family is an important partner in discussions.  We also respect the ongoing care that will be provided by community family doctors and others, and ensure they are adequately communicated with at discharge, or earlier as required.  The wonderful gift of more and better equipment through donations enables us to better reach our goals, and serve our patients and community.”

In 2011, the geriatric medicine team at Mount Saint Joseph was awarded the John F. McCreary Prize in recognition of exemplary inter-professional collaboration in clinical work and education as well as teamwork on the unit.  The unit sees approximately 340 patients each year, with an average stay of four weeks.

The unit is staffed by an inter-professional team of family physicians, geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, rehabilitation assistants, speech and language therapists, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers. There are 22 beds, four of which are designated for psychiatric patients with acute medical problems.

Marianne J. Dupré
Communications
Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tel: 604.877.8153 Fax: 604.877.8124
mdupre@providencehealth.bc.ca

Doreen Lam
Manager, Asian Giving Program
Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tel: 604.877.8361 Fax: 604.877.8124
dlam@providencehealth.bc.ca

Backgrounder

The 4 East Medicine Unit at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ)

  • The 4 East Unit was a pediatric unit between 1994 and 2003. In 2004 the care focus was shifted to geriatric medicine.
  • Approximately 340 patients a year are treated through the Geriatric Medicine Unit, which has 22 beds, four of which are designated for psychiatric patients with acute medical problems.
  • An inter-professional team in Geriatric Medicine is made up family physicians, geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, rehabilitation assistants, speech and language therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, and social workers.
  • A donation to the unit from Mrs. Dolly Ching Wan Wong Lee supported upgrades to the unit to make the care environment more conducive to specialized geriatric care.
  • On June 20, 2013 the unit was renamed the Peter Chi Fai Lee Geriatric Medicine Unit in recognition of Mrs. Lee’s late husband, a philanthropist and real estate developer working in the US, Hong Kong, and Canada.
  • The McCreary Prize, presented in 2011 to the care team in the Geriatric Medicine Unit at MSJ, has been developed to recognize and promote inter-professional teamwork in the health and human service professions. The award is named after Dr. John F. McCreary, the first Coordinator of Health Sciences at the University of British Columbia. It is intended to draw attention to Dr. McCreary’s vision of inter-professional collaboration in clinical work and education and the value of a team approach in meeting the health care needs of British Columbians.

Tapestry Foundation for Health Care

  • Tapestry Foundation for Health Care is a community leader caring for seniors.
  • The Foundation supports the largest number of seniors’ care beds in the Greater Vancouver area operated through Providence Health Care.
  • Sites supported include Holy Family Hospital, Marion Hospice, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Michael’s Centre, St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni, St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway-Heather, St. Vincent’s: Langara, Joseph Hospital, and Youville Residence.
  • Donations to Tapestry Foundation are used for medical equipment, quality of life programs and services, education, and research in the field of elder care.