Mount Saint Joseph Hospital Offers New Cardiac and Seniors Services

Vancouver, BC — Seniors and heart patients now have access to much needed cardiac testing and outpatient seniors services, thanks to a new clinic at Providence Health Care’s Mount Saint Joseph (MSJ) Hospital.

The new Heart and Elder Care Ambulatory Clinic, located on the third floor of MSJ in East Vancouver, brings together much needed cardiac diagnostic testing and outpatient seniors care services under one roof.

“The new cardiac testing services at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital will provide clinicians the information they need to determine lifesaving care for patients while in the hospital and after they are discharged home,” said Dr. Sammy Chan, cardiologist and associate director of Providence Health Care’s Healthy Heart Program. “Faster access to these services also means shorter wait times for access to specialized services through the Heart Center at St. Paul’s Hospital.”

This new clinic is made possible thanks to over $390,000 raised by Tapestry Foundation for Health Care through its annual Scotiabank Feast of Fortune fundraising dinner, and through individual donations. These donations helped fund the purchase of a brand new echocardiography machine, used to evaluate the structure and function of the heart, and a Holter monitoring and analysis unit, which analyzes the electrical activity in the heart for 24hrs
or longer.

Previously, patients would have needed to be transported by ambulance to and from St. Paul’s Hospital for cardiac diagnostic services, causing unnecessary discomfort for sick and frail patients. As well, longer waits for cardiac diagnostic services delays diagnosis and treatment. The goal of the new Heart and Elder Care Ambulatory Clinic at MSJ is to combine cardiac and seniors care services to help patients transition successfully from the hospital back to the community. This interdisciplinary approach means better health outcomes for seniors in hospital and after they return home.

Outpatient seniors care will be an integral part of this new clinic. Services will be provided by a specialized team that includes geriatricians, geriatric psychiatrists, a social worker, nurses, and physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Outreach services which will support seniors as they transition from the hospital to home and the outpatient clinic services will help seniors remain healthy at home for longer.

“Many patients who need cardiac care services in the hospital tend to be seniors aged 65 and older,” said Dr. Janet Kushner-Kow, geriatrician, MSJ, Providence Health Care. “The streamlined and improved coordination of heart and seniors care, thanks to the close partnership of all services in this new clinic will result in more efficient, effective care and better health outcomes.”

Tapestry Foundation continues to raise funds for additional equipment needed for the new Heart and Elder Care Ambulatory Clinic. Donations can be made online at, or by calling the foundation office at 604.877.8335.

Photos available upon request.

About Tapestry Foundation

Tapestry Foundation for Health Care raises funds for seven hospitals and residences operated by Providence Health Care. Sites supported include Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Brock Fahrni Pavilion, Holy Family Hospital, Honoria Conway at Saint Vincent’s, Marion Hospice, Saint Vincent’s Hospital Langara and Youville Residence. Donations support seniors care, hospital and hospice care, and physical rehabilitation services at these sites.

About Providence Health Care

Providence Health Care is one of Canada's largest faith-based health care organizations, operating 15 facilities within Vancouver Coastal Health. Guided by the principle “How you want to be treated,” PHC's 1,200 physicians, 6,000 staff and 1,500 volunteers deliver compassionate care to patients and residents in British Columbia. Providence’s programs and services span the complete continuum of care and serve people throughout B.C. PHC operates one of two adult academic health science centres in the province, performs cutting-edge research in more than 30 clinical specialties, and focuses its services on six “populations of emphasis”: cardiopulmonary risks and illnesses, HIV/AIDS, mental health, renal risks and illness, specialized needs in aging and urban health.


Marianne Dupré, Communications Officer
Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tel: 604.877.8153

Arthur Yee, Communication Specialist
Providence Health Care
Tel: 604.789.5807

Background: Echocardiography Machine

  • The echocardiography (ECHO) is a powerful diagnostic used to evaluate the structure and function of the heart and associated vessels.
  • This painless test uses ultrasound waves to produce images of the heart.
  • ECHO readings can help cardiologists diagnose potentially life-threatening problems inside the patient’s heart. For example:
  • the cause of an abnormal heart sound (murmur)
  • check the size of the heart chambers
  • look for fluid around the heart
  • Inspect the pumping capability (muscles) of the heart
  • ECHOs are frequently used to investigate patients with shortness of breath.

Improvements to patient care:

  • Our specialists in the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department often need information that ECHO provides to decide on the best medical or surgical treatment for their patients.
  • MSJ has never had its own machine to provide this service. Now, no longer have to transport patients by ambulance to St. Paul’s Hospital for this testing, causing unnecessary discomfort for sick and frail patients. The longer wait for the ECHO also delays diagnosis and treatment.
  • Adding ECHO services will have an immediate impact on the care MSJ provides for both inpatients and outpatients. It will also speed up patient access to important services and decrease wait times at the SPH Heart Centre.

Background: Holter Monitor and Analysis Unit

  • The Holter monitor is a portable electrocardiography (ECG) device that is attached to the patient’s chest by electrodes and worn around the waist or neck.
  • The monitor is used to continuously monitoring the electrical activity in the heart for a 24-hour period or longer.
  • The ability to monitor the heart over a long period of time provides heart specialists with a way to look at all the electrical activity that happens during that time, including abnormal rhythms that may occur infrequently.
  • The Holter Monitor Analysis Unit enables specialists to download the information from the patient’s portable monitor and analyze the results.
  • The analysis unit can calculate important information such as minimum, maximum and average heart rates. It can also pinpoint potential heart rhythm abnormalities that require more tests.

Improvements to patient care:

  • The information supplied by the Holter monitor can help specialists to diagnose and treat serious and potentially fatal heart rhythm problems.
  • By adding a Holter monitor and analysis service at MSJ, cardiac patients from both hospitals will have shorter wait times for this frequently used test.

Background: Mount Saint Joseph (MSJ) Hospital

  • Mount Saint Joseph (MSJ) Hospital is a vital, full service community hospital on Vancouver’s east side with 208 acute and residential care beds. MSJ is under the umbrella of Providence Health Care.
  • Opened in 1946 by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, MSJ first served as a refuge for sick and disadvantaged immigrants, particularly the Chinese.
  • Continuing to build on the Sisters’ legacy, MSJ has earned an international reputation for excellence in providing for the needs of multi-faith and multi-ethnic communities.
  • MSJ is home to BC’s first rapid access breast diagnosis clinic. More breast reconstructive surgeries are performed at MSJ than at any other hospital in the province.
  • All ophthalmology surgeries in the Providence Health Care system are performed at MSJ. Providence Health Care is the largest cataract service provider in Western Canada.
  • More than 19,000 patients are seen annually through MSJ’s emergency department.