Constructing a crown jewel
Building bridges was Michael Kazda’s first career choice coming out of engineering school. But his path over the years has instead led him to a field that he considers more challenging but equally gratifying: the construction of hospitals. He’s overseen a few so far across the country, including the multi-storey Acute Care Tower currently being built at Royal Columbian Hospital.
“I went berserk more or less,” recalls Colin Lewis about his time in Royal Columbian Hospital’s Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) following a cardiac arrest. “I was going to throw my CPAP machine at them. I’m not usually like that at all.”
Reducing the footprint
You are not alone if the COVID-19 pandemic has made you think more broadly about the world in which we live. Royal Columbian Hospital’s anesthesiologists have been reflecting on what they can do to combat another of the 21st century’s greatest health threats: climate change.
When Jack Gin founded Extreme CCTV in 1997, his vision was to develop innovative technology to see what the human eye could not, at high speed, in complete darkness, and under seemingly impossible conditions. Under Jack’s leadership, Extreme CCTV helped establish a new standard in a digital world, providing information and security to some of the world’s largest organizations.
If the priority in 2020 was to bend the curve, the focus in 2021 was to get shots into arms. Dr. Carolyn Shiau was on the frontline of the monumental task of distributing COVID-19 vaccines to as many British Columbians as possible.
Much like the way we have adjusted our lives throughout the pandemic to follow the latest COVID-19 public health guidelines, hospital caregivers revise their approach to patient care when they can identify an opportunity to improve. At Royal Columbian Hospital, there has been a focus during the last few years on fostering a culture of quality improvement, and their efforts have resulted in some recent international recognition.
In September 2021, gastroenterologist Dr. Ken Atkinson became Royal Columbian Hospital’s site medical director amid an ongoing global pandemic and a major hospital redevelopment. This interview was conducted in November 2021.
The ‘crown jewel’ of Royal Columbian Hospital’s $1.49 billion redevelopment – a new Acute Care Tower – is increasingly taking shape since construction started in 2021.
Ahead by a foot
Cassii Clark has had many medical appointments since she became pregnant right around the start of the global pandemic. These have included weekly ultrasounds during pregnancy over concerns about her baby’s slow growth, an induced labour at 37-weeks, and an urgent late-night trip to the hospital after lab tests revealed high bilirubin levels in her newborn girl Quinn. The two have also been making regular visits to get Quinn treated for clubfoot, a process made more comforting from knowing that Dr. Shafique Pirani, the Royal Columbian pediatric orthopedic surgeon providing that care, is widely recognized for his pioneering work in correcting the deformity.
Mental health and the pandemic
Even if you allow yourself permission to imagine a return to pre-pandemic life, the complete story of COVID-19’s toll on society will likely not emerge for a while still. This includes the full effect on our mental health stemming from the anxiety, fear, isolation, financial hardship, and other stressors felt by many since early 2020.