Hear from Dr. Jolly one of St. Mary's two cardiac electrophysiologists about the difference the new electrophysiology (EP) surgical suite is making in the ability for the Regional Cardiac Care Centre to care for the hearts of Waterloo Region and beyond. Construction has just wrapping up and equipment is arriving as the opening of the EP suite draws even closer.
St. Mary’s will be the last Cardiac Centre in the province to obtain a fully functioning Heart Rhythm Program.
Until then, patients who require heart rhythm treatment must travel outside of the region for care, where they will wait, on average, 100 days to receive treatment. By adding this service to our already nationally recognized Cardiac Centre, we aim to cut wait times for Heart Rhythm patients in half; enhance the continuity of care for cardiac patients; reduce the stress and anxiety that travel has on patients and their families; and foster innovation within the program by attracting top ranked physicians and staff to the Region.
Most importantly though, bringing Heart Rhythm to St. Mary’s means our patients will have access to a full range of cardiac services, close to home, when they need them most.
Why is it needed?
Patients diagnosed with heart rhythm issues are also often diagnosed with coronary artery disease, identifying a need to treat both the “electrical” and “plumbing” issues of the heart. Since people are rarely diagnosed with a heart rhythm issue on its own, arrhythmia patients within our Region are currently treated at St. Mary’s for any issues related to the cardiovascular system or “plumbing”, and are then referred outside of our Region for care related to Heart Rhythm.
This has resulted in disjointed care. Adding a full Heart Rhythm program to the existing services offered at St. Mary’s will ensure access to a full continuum of cardiac services for residents of Waterloo Region and beyond.
Closing the Funding Gap
The Ontario Government requires that the community fund 10% of capital costs as well as 100% of costs associated with new equipment. For the Heart Rhythm Program, this meant a community investment of $15 million.
It is with the utmost joy that we announce that the close of 2017 marked the conclusion of fundraising efforts for the Heart Rhythm Program at St. Mary’s. It was a $15 million undertaking, made possible thanks to you.
Many in the community contributed substantially over the duration of the campaign, and we are so thankful. We owe a very special thank you to one incredible partner and benefactor – The Lyle S. Hallman Foundation – for their outstanding gesture of generosity and support. Their $1.5 million investment completed our fundraising efforts for this long anticipated project; ensuring residents of our Region will have access to a full continuum of specialized cardiac care, close to home.
On behalf of everyone at St. Mary’s, thank you for your on-going investment and support. Your generosity ensures that care will be here, when you need it most.
Susan Dusick | President/CEO, St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation