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The News


Moving... and improving our quality of care

WPSHC - Five years after moving in, this is being called our ‘mini move’ - the swapping of patients from units A and B to create what will officially become known as the Acute Care Nursing Unit and the Transitional Care Unit.
Our patient population has changed over the past five years and it is now commonplace to have between 25- and 40-percent of our acute care beds occupied by alternate level of care patients. The move taking place on Saturday, April 24 will cluster patients of similar acuity, make better use of private and ward rooms, and improve the quality of care we provide by focusing attention to patients with similar requirements.
After April 24 the current Unit A med/surg and Complex Continuing Care will become the Acute Care Nursing Unit. The area will be staffed with two nursing teams: acute med/surg and OBS/geriatric rehab. After the move, the current Unit B med/surg and OBS/rehab will be the Transitional Care Unit.
The activity taking place between 0930 and 1400 hours on April 24 will involve almost every department of the health centre along with staff who have volunteered to assist. Maintenance will be moving furnishings, housekeeping will be cleaning during the time each room is empty, communications/admitting will be tracking and recording each patient’s new location, dietary services will be preparing a special lunch, rehab staff and our Chaplain will be keeping ALC patients occupied with a ‘spring fling’ in the cafeteria, and nursing has meticulously prepared to provide seamless care throughout the transition.
This change in nursing units has required months of planning, cooperation from many departments, the support of physicians, as well as an open dialogue with ALC patients and their families. Similar information will be shared with acute care patients who will be here on April 24.

Astronaut tours West Parry Sound Health CentreAstronaut tours West Parry Sound Health Centre

WPSHC - You never know who you’ll  meet at West Parry Sound Health Centre. On Saturday, May 1, Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk toured the health centre and met with patients, visitors, staff, and physicians.
Dr. Thirsk was born in New Westminster, British Columbia. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University, and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Dr. Thirsk was selected as an astronaut in 1983. In 1996 he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia with six international crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission. He also served as backup astronaut for the 1984 Space Shuttle Mission STS-41G and for the Soyuz TMA-6 crew exchange mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2005.
In 2009, he became the first Canadian astronaut to fly a long duration expedition spaceflight aboard the International Space Station. He and two crewmates launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 27 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. When their Soyuz vehicle docked with the nearly-complete station two days later, the ISS became home for the first time to a permanent crew of six. As members of the ISS Expedition 20/21 crew, Dr. Thirsk and his five international crewmates performed an unprecedented amount of multidisciplinary research, complex robotic operations, and maintenance and repair work of Station systems and payloads. Following the undocking of his Soyuz spacecraft from the station and landing in Kazakhstan on December 1, Dr. Thirsk had lived and worked in space for another 188 days during this second voyage to space.

Prepared to operate the Provincial Massasauga Rattlesnake Anti-venom Depot

West Parry Sound Health Centre is prepared for another busy summer season when its catchment population booms and it once again becomes the active centre of Ontario’s Massasauga rattlesnake habitat. This snakebite season, WPSHC will be officially coordinating operation of the Provincial Massasauga Rattlesnake Anti-venom Depot.
Reestablishment of the central depot was announced by the North East Local Health Integration Network in late 2009. Under the agreement with the NE LHIN, WPSHC will manage the anti-venom stock to ensure its availability at a hospital anywhere in Ontario. This work will be coordinated by WPSHC Pharmacist Heather Logan-Lane.
Last summer, 14 people in Ontario were bitten by a Massasauga rattlesnake. Nine were treated at WPSHC and coordination of the expensive treatment was sometimes difficult. Reestablishment of the ‘hub’ system gives Ontario’s frontline clinical staff reassurance that pharmaceutical supplies will be available in a timely and coordinated fashion.
The Massasauga rattlesnake is the only poisonous snake in Ontario. It lives along the shores of Georgian Bay, in the Bruce Peninsula, the Wainfleet Bog, and in the Windsor area. Across the province, the number of bites varies each year, but in West Parry Sound the busiest season was 2002 when 10 bites were treated at WPSHC.
Specific information will be communicated to hospitals located near rattlesnake habitats on how to treat and notify the depot of a snakebite patient. Other locations in the province should continue to contact Poison Control Centre for direction.

High school students take part in Education Week at WPSHC

WPSHC - All last week West Parry Sound Health Centre welcomed Parry Sound High School students to learn new skills and to appreciate the valuable career options that are available in health care.
Education Week - May 25 to 29 - was organized by the health centre Board’s Education Outreach Committee in partnership with staff from PSHS and other Near North Board of Education schools. It is one of many partnership programs designed to enhance learning and promote a diversity of career pathways available for secondary school students. Last week at WPSHC, students took part in hands-on learning experiences that included: nursing knowledge, lab work, defibrillation, rehab and healthy living activities.
Many of the students taking part in the week’s activities are enrolled the PSHS Specialized High Skills Major program that focuses an academic program toward post-secondary options in health care. A part of the program supported by WPSHC also makes college-level credits available through additional learning outside of daily school hours.
The committee was prepared for its first Education Week event last fall, but the plan was sidelined when H1N1 influenza made it unpractical to have so many young visitors in the health centre.
“We’re very proud of our growing partnership with Parry Sound High School and the way staff there have actively promoted our mutual interests. Students in our community are being provided with expanded learning opportunities that will serve them very well in post-secondary settings and the health centre is planting seeds of growth in our richest recruitment area - our own young people,” said Board Chair Don Brickett.
“I must thank committee chair Sue Woodhouse, other trustees, health centre staff, and leadership from Parry Sound High School for working so hard to make this event possible. The greatest rewards will come in the years ahead.”