It’s been a little more than one year since staff, patients and families from our Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital sites met in City Park to plant a maple tree as a way of officially putting down roots for our new Kingston Health Sciences Centre. One year later we’re happy to report that the tree is growing strong and so are we.
Working together we have created a health sciences centre that is putting Kingston on the map. As a multi-site, teaching and research hospital that provides complex, acute and specialty care, we have shown that we offer the same highly specialized services that are normally offered in bigger cities such as Ottawa, Toronto, London and Hamilton.
We first must recognize our staff, physicians, learners, volunteers, and patient experience advisors across both of our hospital sites for all their hard work this year. Together we have made hundreds of small improvements, that when viewed together with some of our larger initiatives, demonstrate the monumental change that is taking place here at KHSC.
Working together we have created a health sciences centre that is putting Kingston on the map. As a multi-site, teaching and research hospital that provides complex, acute and specialty care, we have shown that we offer the same highly specialized services that are normally offered in bigger cities such as Ottawa, Toronto, London and Hamilton. This means that we are offering this care closer to home for the residents of Southeastern Ontario. For a city the size of Kingston, our community is now punching above its weight with a health sciences centre that measures up to the biggest and best in the province.
This, in turn, is allowing us to recruit some of the best and brightest health-care providers from around the world. Take a walk down one of our hallways and you will meet doctors, nurses, researchers, students, along with many other health care providers and administrative staff, who have chosen to move to Kingston specifically to learn and work with us. This is the draw of a health sciences centre.
With more than 5000 staff, 2000 learners and 600 physicians, we’re also now one of the largest employers in Southeastern Ontario. As a major economic driver, our success creates a ripple effect contributing to prosperous communities in a catchment area that spans more than 20,000 square kilometers. A thriving KHSC not only improves the health of these communities, but contributes to their economic success.
In our first year we also opened the door to new partnerships that extended our work beyond our walls as we improve the overall health of our community. With community partners such as Street Health we are working to do our part to address the growing opioid crisis in Kingston. With the United Way and many other community health and social service providers we are looking at the youth mental health services available in our city. With our regional hospital partners we are extending specialized services such as innovative stroke and cancer care to their communities.
The government is also taking note of our efforts. This past year the Minister of Health visited KHSC to announce the province’s accelerated support of our redevelopment project of our KGH site. This will transform the spaces in which we deliver surgical, emergency, neo-natal and obstetrical care, as well as lab services. At an estimated cost of more than $500 million, a new tower on Stuart Street will guarantee that we will continue to provide the highest quality of care to the next generation of patients and families.
While we still have much work to do, we can be proud of our progress this past year. We look forward to the opportunities and challenges of the years to come as we continue to deliver compassionate and high-quality care, teach the next generation of health care providers and shape the future of health-care through exciting medical research.
Thank you for believing in us as we started this journey and for your support through our first year as KHSC. Together we have been able to do more for our patients and families than we could have ever done alone. We are excited to see what the future brings.
Dr. David Pichora
President and CEO, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Board Chair, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Building a foundation
For close to 200 years Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital have been fixtures in our community. We are woven into the fabric of what shaped Kingston as it grew from a small town into the thriving city it is today. During this time, our two hospital sites developed unique cultures - HDH rooted in the Catholic tradition and mission of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph, and KGH as a secular organization shaped by its role in providing patient and family centred complex, acute and specialty care to generations of patients and families.
In our first year under the banner of Kingston Health Sciences Centre, a large focus of our work was to preserve these rich cultures and traditions, while creating something new for future generations of patients and families. We shared with each other what made our individual sites special, and started to blend our services to create a more seamless experience for our staff, learners, volunteers, patients and families.
We also began the work of building a foundation for our new organization. To do this we came together to talk about who we are, what we stand for, and where we are going, starting a powerful conversation to create a new mission, vision and set of values to unite us. During these conversations, we learned about what was common between us and how we can come together to make our community healthier.
After months of work spent planning for integration, teams from the former Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospitals walked to City Park to meet on a rainy spring day and plant a maple tree to commemorate the creation of Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
Teams across both of our sites worked hard this year to make many small changes, which along with our bigger initiatives really shaped KHSC in its first year. We’ve introduced new email addresses, integrated departments and started using shared technology just to name a few examples.
Dr. Shawna Johnston won this year’s KHSC Exceptional Healer Award. She was one of 21 physicians nominated for the award by patients, families and staff for their work to provide patient and family centred care. This former HDH award was extended to both KHSC sites as a way of bringing our teams together.
An annual KGH tradition, the Community Showcase was extended to our HDH site this year as a way of celebrating all the professions that work at KHSC each day. This event is our way of celebrating and recognizing our teams for their excellent work and share what different departments around the hospital are doing to improve care as well as the patient- and family-experience.
Another legacy event, our Strawberry Social, was expanded to include staff at both sites. This event has been an annual tradition at our KGH site each summer and was extended to include everyone who works, learns or volunteers at KHSC.
This year we held a number of engagement sessions with our staff across both sites to learn about what is important to them and what brings them back to work each day. These discussions were crucial as we began to write a new mission, vision and set of values for KHSC.
We couldn't do what we do without the help of our volunteers. They play an invaluable role at both hospital sites connecting with patients, supporting family members, complimenting the high quality care offered by our staff, and helping to raise funds to help purchase hospital equipment and patient comfort items. This year we brought volunteers from our HDH and KGH sites together to streamline and standardize our volunteer processes and experiences. Across both sites this year, 1000 volunteers contributed 89,000 hours to 80 programs and services across KHSC.
Achieving more, together
As the complex, acute and specialty care provider for roughly 500,000 people in Southeastern Ontario, it was important that we not only focused on the work to bring together our two hospital sites, but that we also continued to forge ahead to offer new services, procedures and treatments to improve the lives of our patients and families.
This year we unveiled a new live donor kidney transplant program, began to offer a new life saving treatment for patients suffering from a major stroke, and became the first hospital in Canada to perform an innovative cardiac procedure for patients suffering from Atrial Fibrillation. These are just a few of the impressive achievements that have been made possible by our talented teams.
Earlier this year KHSC unveiled its new Live Donor Kidney Transplant program, making us the first hospital in the region to offer this important service. Donors are able to give a kidney to someone in need which helps improve the recipient’s quality of life as they will no longer require dialysis three times per-week.
This year KHSC became the first hospital in Canada to perform a hybrid cardiac ablation.The procedure is a revolutionary treatment for patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation - the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. The new procedure will help patients heal faster, stop or reduce their use of medication, as well as reduce the number of hospital visits that they will require in the future.
A new stroke treatment is now available 24/7 at KHSC and it’s already proving to be a game changer for some patients. KHSC has become one of a small number of hospitals in Ontario that is now able to offer this procedure. It's called an Endovascular Thrombectomy (EVT) and during the procedure a team of experts work together to delicately remove the blood clot that is causing the stroke using a catheter.
In October, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that we had been designated a District Epilepsy Centre. One of just a handful in the province, the designation means that KHSC will have access to new funding to grow our services to support patients with Epilepsy.
In January, former MPP Sophie Kiwala visited our HDH site to announce the Province’s support for our rapid assessment hip and knee clinic, providing roughly $700,000 in funding for this service at KHSC. The clinic is playing a key role in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s strategy to improve wait-times for hip and knee patients in Ontario.
Creating the future of care through research and teaching
As an academic health sciences centre, one of our major objectives is to foster innovative research that changes the future of health care and results in better patient outcomes. Perennially listed as one of Canada’s top 40 research hospitals, KHSC delivers on this mission through our two research institutes. Our Clinician Scientists forge ahead, finding answers to medical mysteries, discovering new ways to treat diseases through the use of new technology, all the while focusing on improving outcomes for patients around the globe.
With more than 2000 learners coming through our doors each day, we also play an important role in teaching the next generation of health-care providers. Through partnerships with our local educational institutions such as Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College, along with several other post-secondary schools around the province, our two hospital sites act as a classroom, providing the experience these learners require to begin their careers in health care.
In September, KHSC along with Queen’s University and the KGH Research Institute unveiled the new W.J. Henderson Centre for Patient Oriented Research. The state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot space provides researchers with a location to partner with patients on groundbreaking studies. Here KHSC's VP of Health Sciences Research Dr. Roger Deeley speaks about the space at the grand opening event.
KHSC surgeons and researchers have partnered with a team in the U.K. to develop a tool that will transform the way cancer is surgically removed in the future. Known as the NaviKnife, it combines an “intelligent” surgical tool called the iKnife, developed at Imperial College in London, England, with real-time mapping capability developed in Kingston.
A gift of $500,000, from the W.J. Henderson Foundation earlier this year is supporting a novel new research study into Atrial Fibrillation. This condition is the most common type of arrhythmia – which is also known as an irregular heart rhythm. The study is being led by Dr. Benedict Glover (centre) and will look at how lifestyle modifications could improve outcomes for patients.
A KHSC study is helping to shed some light on a serious but often misunderstood health condition known as delirium. A team lead by Dr. Gordon Boyd was first to find a possible cause for the condition. The team demonstrated that low oxygen levels in the brain are a risk factor for developing delirium in an Intensive Care Unit.
This year our partners at Queen’s University rolled out a new way to train the medical residents in Kingston. These learners are now trained and assessed using a new model called competency-based medical education (CBME) and Queen’s is the first school in North America to implement it across all of its specialty programs all at once. This new method will help ensure graduates are kind, compassionate and above all competent physicians.
Improving care for our patients and families
Quality, safety, and the experience of our patients and families are core components of how KHSC measures itself on a daily basis. We are always looking at new and innovative ways to improve the quality of care we provide, ensure that it’s done as safely as possible, all the while striving to make the experience for patients and their families better than ever before. This work speaks to the heart of our role as the complex, acute and specialty care provider for the people of Southeastern Ontario along with our role as a community hospital for the people of Kingston.
KHSC has recently seen an impressive jump in rankings for emergency wait-times in Ontario hospitals. KHSC’s overall emergency wait-times have recently improved from 53rd to 28th best in the province. When looking at wait times for admitted patients who are waiting for a bed on an inpatient unit, KHSC has improved from 61st to 24th best.The time spent waiting to be initially assessed by a physician also improved to the 15th best time in Ontario.
A significant amount of work this year focused on our first Accreditation as an integrated organization. Teams spent hours reviewing policies, procedures, guidelines and practices across hundreds of requirements in advance of the surveyors visit in April. This work brought together our two sites using common quality standards to improve patient care.
This year our Pediatric teams adopted a Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS) that scores our young patients on a number of criteria. Depending on the patient's score, teams can accurately predict a critical event such as a heart attack before it begins. The teams can then take corrective action to stop a critical event, potentially saving the child's life.
Thanks to a major gift from the Kingston Lion’s Club, KHSC was able to install to permanent birthing tubs in our Labour and Delivery Unit. The tubs can be used to help control pain through water immersion or for waterbirth under the supervision of a trained midwife, which increases choices for our patients and families.
KHSC celebrated a significant milestone earlier this year when former Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins visited our KGH site to announce the government’s support of our Phase 2 Redevelopment Project. The project is estimated to be worth more than $500 million and will see the construction of a new tower to house a new Emergency Department, Operating Rooms, NICU, Labour and Delivery Units, Labs and a data centre.
Teams at KHSC are working with our partners in community care and the other hospitals in our region to develop new care pathways for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as well as those who require hip replacements or palliative care. This ensures we are providing a streamlined approach to care across the region. Here our teams take part in an INSPIRE conference for COPD which is based on a model created by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.
Fostering a culture of giving
Much of what we do on a day-to-day basis wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community. Donors, working with our University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, support research, purchase new equipment, support staff education and of course help provide us with new spaces in which to deliver patient care. Our redevelopment project, for example, requires a community share of 10 per cent to be raised by our community, plus 100 per cent of the cost for associated equipment, to help secure the remaining 90 per cent of funding from the Provincial Government. We know that health care is near and dear to the hearts of everyone in our community and we thank all those who make donations and organize special fundraising events to support our work.
This year, Dr. Jason Izard, appointed to the Department of Urology at KHSC, will be receiving a $38,000 grant from the TELUS Ride for Dad fundraiser to further his treatment into prostate cancer.
Donors helped to support the purchase of patient care items this year such as compassion carts (pictured here), books for waiting rooms, iPads for mental health therapies and communication options, and a pool therapy program for chronic pain patients.
This year, UHKF received $25,000 for the Pediatric Unit at KHSC from the Kids for Kids Hockey Tournament. The tournament is an annual event, with teams from around the province competing, that raises funds for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as other children's charities in our community.
Thanks to donors, more than $250,000 in grants are used for education purposes so that our caregivers are able to continue to deliver state-of-the-art health care.
Donor Jack Keyes announces a $100,000 gift which will be used as an endowment fund to support inpatient and outpatient mental health at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
Shaping the future, together
While much of our work this year focused on efforts to bring our two hospital sites together, we also began the important work of creating a new strategy to guide KHSC for the next five years. It is important that we create a plan for KHSC that is bold and positions us as an organization that is sharply focused on delivering the highest quality health care, along with leading-edge research and teaching.
We cannot build this strategy alone, so we have spent months engaging with our staff, physicians, volunteers, along with our patients and families to help us understand what is important to them. We have also expanded the conversation to include our academic and health care partners from across the region so that we can all work together to create a healthier community.
These discussions have made it clear what we need to do in the future. We need to continue building on our strengths, such as providing patient- and family-centred care and delivering quality in everything we do. We need to seize opportunities, making care more accessible, creating a more engaged workforce and responding to the forces of change in healthcare. We also need to realize our aspirations, integrating all parts of our health-care system and realizing our academic potential as we strive to make the whole community healthier. With this feedback we are now hard at work finalizing this aspirational strategy to guide our day-to-day work and build a health sciences centre of which our community can be proud.
We spent an afternoon at St. Lawrence College's Innovation Centre, learning about how we can better work with our education partners such as SLC and Queen’s University in order to to continue training the healthcare providers of tomorrow.
While engaging with our partners in the health and social sectors, we learned about the complex needs of our patient population and came up with new and innovative ways to collaborate and serve them better.
During a series of strategy presentations geared towards staff, everyone had the opportunity to contribute to what they thought were crucial elements to include in our next strategy.
The Board of Directors spent a day together discussing the role we play in delivering healthcare to the region and shared what was important to them when planning for the future.
We heard from many Patient Experience Advisors as we gathered feedback at our Patient and Family Advisory Council meetings to learn their perspective on the future of KHSC.
We thank everyone who took time to help shape our strategy and to those who contributed to such a successful first year as KHSC. Stay tuned as we continue to grow and change health care together; we believe the best is yet to come.
Stay Connected with KHSC
We invite you to stay connected with us so you can keep track of the exciting things happening at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. You can read all of our most recent news on our website or engage with us on social media by following our accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
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Financial and Performance Reports
To learn more about our performance over the past year, you can also click on the following links to check out our latest Strategy Performance and Quality Improvement Plan reports, Management Discussion and Analysis document and our audited financial statements.