Inaugural Director Appointed for Innovative New Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital

Vancouver, November 19, 2007 — The fight to detect, prevent and care for heart and lung diseases has taken a significant leap forward with the appointment of internationally renowned heart and lung researcher Dr. Bruce McManus as the inaugural Director of the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Launched in June 2007, the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital merges and integrates all of Providence’s heart and lung research, education and care programs under one umbrella. It is the only such institute of its kind in Canada.

“Dr. McManus provides a level of expertise, leadership and passion for heart and lung research that is unrivalled in the country,” said Dianne Doyle, President & CEO, Providence Health Care. “In his six-year appointment (2000-2006) as Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, he led the development and implementation of a bold and widely-praised strategic research plan for Canada to address outstanding questions related to cardiac, respiratory, vascular, brain (stroke), blood, critical care, and sleep disorders and diseases.

“His leadership to the new Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St Paul’s Hospital will transform cardiovascular and pulmonary research and care, moving new solutions from the laboratory to the clinics and communities for improved care of British Columbians.”

Heart disease is the biggest killer of Canadians – an illness that 74,000 die from each year. About eight out of every 10 Canadians are at risk of developing some form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetimes.
Chronic or infectious lung and respiratory diseases are also on the rise, impacting one in every five Canadians. The burden of heart and lung ailments on the health care system in costs and patient numbers dwarfs all other human health problems.
“Dr. McManus’ leadership and established national and international linkages with heart and lung researchers, clinicians and institutions will further give BC an edge in attracting the best and brightest minds in research, prevention and care,” said Dr. Yvonne Lefebvre, President, Providence Health Care Research Institute.

“They and their breakthrough work, in turn, will on one hand, optimize the use of resources for care, and on the other, attract more funding from all sectors -– government, industry, private donors, competitive awards, and foundational sources – investments that will lead to new knowledge, new disease-prevention methods, and better treatments for heart and lung illnesses.”

St. Paul's Hospital has been providing cardiovascular care since 1950. Its cardiac program – now at home in the Heart Centre within the Heart + Lung Institute – provides a broad spectrum of cardiovascular care including many leading provincial programs in areas of need like healthy heart programs, adult congenital heart disease care, heart failure, heart transplantation, heart valve replacement without the need for surgery, and several others. Research and care are closely linked and will be further developed together in the Heart + Lung Institute.

Similarly, the Hospital's respiratory care programs span an impressive continuum – providing key clinical services for such lung conditions as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders such as bronchitis and emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis. The tradition of international leadership in respiratory research started by Dr. James Hogg extends now for 30 years and reaches from the basic laboratory into all clinical domains.

The risk factors, causes, mechanisms and outcomes for disorders of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels are often in common. Such is the case in regards to dramatic heart and lung consequences of tobacco smoke and air pollution.

“Together, heart and lung failure constitute an enormous burden of illness in Canada,” said Dr. McManus. “They are responsible for the most admissions through emergency departments, most admissions to ICUs, most hospital costs in general, the most drug costs, the most professional costs, and the most suffering.

“Through the Providence Heart and Lung Institute – and in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation with like-minded professionals and the public at large across British Columbia – we will build on the successes of past pioneers, present research and clinical leaders and health partners to solve the remaining mysteries of heart and lung health and disease and diminish the suffering of heart and lung patients and their families for generations to come. The Heart + Lung Institute as a vehicle for innovation and impact will change the landscape here and across the country.”

About Providence Health Care
With 6,000 staff, 1,000 physicians and 1,400 volunteers, Providence Health Care is the largest faith-based health care organization in Canada, operating seven sites in Vancouver, BC, including St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Marion Hospice, and complex care/residential services at Langara, Brock Fahrni, and Youville sites. Providence is renowned for its research in more than 30 clinical specialties. Its teaching and research programs are affiliated with the University of British Columbia.

For more information, please contact:
Shaf Hussain
Communications, Providence Health Care
Tel: 604.806.8566
Media Pager: 604.667.4397