Providence In The News

British Columbia launches plan to fight against viral hepatitis based on HIV model

The plan to wipe out HIV infection by British Columbia health experts was so successful, they're trying to replicate the idea for the treatment of viral hepatitis. Concern about viral hepatitis is primarily in immigrant populations, according to Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, who announced $1.9 million in new provincial funding this week. She said it's common for people who come to Canada from other countries with less preventive vaccines to have viral hepatitis without knowing it - even those in their “prime.” 

BC invests millions in hospices, creates action plan for end-of-life care

BC's minister of health today committed millions of dollars to four hospices in the Lower Mainland, and announced an action plan for the future of end-of-life care in the province. “[When someone is dying] it can be a time where there is grief and sorrow, but it can also be a time of joy and celebration of that person's life, so I think for me, the important thing about the announcements we're making is it's not about dying, it's about living,” said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid today at a press conference inside the Vancouver Hospice Society hospice home in Shaughnessy, a new hospice that will now open its beds to patients due to the funding boost.

Heart disease often hits women hardest

More women are dying of heart attacks than men, but cardiologists still don’t understand why female patients have worse outcomes. 

Clean hands help BC hospitals cut infection rates

WALK INTO JUST about any health facility in the province and you’ll notice hand-sanitizer stations in every direction you look. They’re mounted on walls at entrances, in waiting rooms, outside elevators, and at patients’ bedsides. The antibacterial dispensers are a big part of preventing and controlling the spread of infections in hospitals and clinics.
“About 70 to 80 percent of hospital infections can be attributed to direct contact with patients,” said Dr. Marc Romney, Providence Health Care’s medical director for infection prevention and control. “So if we can ensure that those hands are clean…then we are much more likely to decrease rates of hospital-acquired infections.” Romney, a medical microbiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital, told the Straight by phone that the emergence of a new family of antibiotic-resistant bacteria called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is proving a challenge for infection-control efforts.

BC hospitals on watch for new CRE superbugs

Hospitals in B.C. are on the lookout for a new class of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that have hit more than 200 hospitals in the U.S. in only six months. The Centre for Disease Control in the U.S. has warned Canadian health authorities about the increase of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a deadly class of superbugs that are resistant to all known antibiotics. Dr. Marc Romney, a medical microbiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, said B.C. health authorities are aware of CRE and are taking preventative measures.

HIV Centre Director Says We Urgently Need a National Treatment Plan

When a U.S. doctor at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre announced she appeared to have cured a baby of the HIV virus, headlines roared that it could be a major discovery. However, Dr. Julio Montaner, the Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said in an interview with Yahoo! Canada News that it’s too soon to declare the baby cured of the virus and there isn’t enough research to call the case a breakthrough.

Staff at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital Earn Kudos for Professionalism

Re: Conditions during my hospital stays horrified me, Letters, Feb. 25

I was shocked to read the condemnation of Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. Our experience was diametrically opposed to Megan Balmer's. My aunt was a patient in an acute ward for 10 days. I spent much time there and saw efficient and compassionate nursing care. The nurses, student nurses and aides introduced themselves each day and took the time to update me on my aunt's condition. When I left a message that I'd like to speak to the doctor, I received a call within hours. The social worker made contact early on, and again, I was impressed by the care expressed for my aged aunt.

Dr. Julio Montaner, Director, B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

From the 2013 Influencer Index: This doctor from Argentina has changed the face of HIV/AIDS treatment since moving to B.C. This Argentinian transplant arrived in B.C. for a post-doctoral fellowship at UBC just as the HIV/AIDS epidemic detonated in the early 1980s. In his three decades in the province, Dr. Julio Montaner has helped remove the disease’s stigma and saved millions of lives.

Daily blood tests for all critically ill patients deemed unnecessary

Intensive care unit doctors at St. Paul’s Hospital have done away with daily routine blood tests on patients without affecting the quality of care, simply by challenging a long-held dictum that those who are critically ill need to have blood drawn that frequently.


Special deliveries: St. Paul’s Hospital a centre for treating and delivering the highest-risk mothers in the province

If you want proof of the extraordinary lengths to which women will go to bring new life into the world, spend a week in a maternity ward.


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