Leadership inspires greatness

News / Women’s Health
By Christine Maloney

KHSC gynecologists helping to guide improvements in treatment options available to women

Leadership is demonstrated every day in every way throughout Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). Whether someone is actively listening to feedback, creatively solving problems or enthusiastically embracing change in the workplace, examples of people striving to do their very best for themselves, their co-workers and for the patients and families we serve are everywhere at KHSC.

The Obstetrics and Gynecology team at KHSC is taking exceptional strides to provide patients with the ideal treatment for many gynecological procedures: Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), which, among other things, improves outcomes and reduces length of stay in the hospital. Recently, the surgical expertise required for a MIS program in women’s health has been bolstered with the recruitment of three fellowship-trained MIS gynecology surgeons.

“We have the well-trained, compassionate staff; now we need the 21st century tools that will enable them to deliver minimally-invasive care in a timely way, close to home,” says Dr. Graeme Smith, Head of the Obstetrics & Gynecology department at KHSC.

Doctors Romy Nitsch, Shawna Johnston, and Graeme Smith have worked with hospital leadership, the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation and the community through Kingston’s B’nai Brith, a Jewish Community group, to raise approximately $250,000 to purchase highly specialized MIS equipment; 40% of which was donated by the physicians in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“This is an exciting step forward in creating a program of excellence for low-risk, minimally-invasive gynecology surgery, which will expand health care options and improve quality of life for women across southeastern Ontario,” says Stacey Wolfrom, Operational Director of the Women and Children’s Programs at KHSC. 

“We are thrilled that this equipment brings us closer to ensuring that women suffering from painful gynecological conditions, such as ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids and endometriosis, have access to surgeries that will speed recovery, lessen scarring, and reduce the pain and blood loss associated with traditional open surgery,” says Dr. Nitsch.

The equipment, comprised of telescope-like instruments with small video cameras attached that interact with high-definition monitors and specialized lighting, is expected to arrive at KHSC this summer and be in operation early in the fall.

“As a surgeon, with this equipment, I will be able to assure my patients that not only are they in the very best hands, but that those hands are using the very best tools to care for them,” says Dr. Johnston.