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Worldclass healthcare

VGH unveils future of medical education, patient care and research -- Expansion of unique state-of-the-art futuristic facility garners first-ever accreditation in Canada from the American College of Surgeons

November 14th, 2006
Vancouver: Vancouver General Hospital is unveiling today the future of medical education, patient care and research with the grand opening of the Phase II expansion of the Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation (CESEI).

The $3.2 million Phase II expansion doubles capacity for high-tech training and education for individuals and teams at all levels and across all disciplines; positions the Centre as the world leader in developing and assessing surgical technologies and procedures; and uses unique state-of-the-art technology to deliver highly specialized patient care to rural communities.

“The completion of Phase II of the Centre at VGH changes the face of medical education and health care delivery as we know it,” said Dr. Karim Qayumi, Director, CESEI, Vancouver Coastal Health. “This is a visionary re-thinking of how we approach research, medical education and patient care with innovative, unique ideas in a facility that is without comparison in the world today.”

Unmatched in its visionary scope and state-of-the-art innovations, the Phase II expansion helped the Centre at VGH recently garner accreditation from the American College of Surgeons as an approved education facility, the first such accreditation the organization has ever granted to a Canadian institution and one of only six in North America. Accreditation is awarded following peer-evaluation employing the highest standards today. “This prestigious accreditation enhances the reputation of our hospitals’ world-class facilities, personnel and ideas and positions us as a world leader to generate and disseminate knowledge across the world.”

Phase II of the expansion was uniquely donor-funded with a lead $750,000 gift from RBC Financial Group with a further $500,000 in funding from Zimmer and in-kind donations from ConMed Linvatec and other companies. “The generosity of RBC Financial and others is an example of how community-focused companies are helping to accelerate the pace of change at our hospitals and providing a step to the future to create innovative medical solutions for patients which were unthinkable a few years ago,” said Ron Dumouchelle, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

“Investing in medical training and education through expansion of the surgical education centre will benefit both patients and health professionals,” said Health Minister George Abbott. “The province is grateful for the efforts of foundations like VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation as well as the outstanding generosity of donors.”

“RBC Financial Group is pleased to support the Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation. We are thrilled to partner with VGH because of its strong track record and commitment to both healthcare and education - two areas that RBC Financial Group is committed to supporting,” said Graham MacLachlan, Regional President, BC, RBC Financial Group. “We’re pleased to know that our donation means that we have a state-of-the-art training facility in our own backyard, a facility that will help ensure British Columbians continue to receive world-class healthcare."

The Centre is the only facility of its kind in the world to pioneer and implement solutions to address patient safety issues and the costs associated with them. Phase II provides the sole “virtual hospital” setting to duplicate real-life scenarios among individuals and teams using hospital informatics to explore and assess issues with patient safety.

The expanded centre is the most complete, leading-edge facility of its kind in the world today. Sophisticated technology enables tele-mentoring so that world-renowned specialists at VGH can broadcast groundbreaking surgical techniques they have pioneered or so that they can quickly learn from their counterparts around the globe.

The expanded Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation at VGH also uniquely positions Vancouver Coastal Health to make tele-health a reality for patients from across the province with tele-consultations, tele-diagnostics, tele-surgery and tele-robotics. “The expanded Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation truly demonstrates the future of health care,” said Ida Goodreau, President and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health.

“Through state-of-the-art technology such as tele-consultations, diagnostics, surgery and robotics, patients and their physicians will benefit from the kind of life-saving medical expertise once only accessible by actually visiting Vancouver General Hospital.”

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity that raises funding for the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. For more than 25 years, the Foundation and its donors have been a bridge between the essential health care governments provide and the most advanced health care possible.

Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $2 billion in community, hospital and residential care to over one million people in communities from Richmond through Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, advancing health research and innovation across B.C., Canada, and beyond.


For more information:

Jon Hicke
Director, Marketing & Communications
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
tel: 604-875-5196
[email protected]

Laurie Dawkins
Director, Public Affairs
Vancouver Coastal Health
Tel: 604-708-5312
[email protected]

Backgrounder on the Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation at VGH

Training the health care professionals of today and tomorrow
The expansion:

Doubles the capacity for health care education and training—from basic skills for medical students to the Canadian Armed Forces Medical Units and the most highly qualified physicians seeking newly pioneered techniques.

Enables delivery and training of surgical techniques across vast range of disciplines such as cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, gynecology, neurosurgery and trauma

Establishes the CESEI as the national centre to assess tele-health initiatives, assessing cost effectiveness, privacy issues, and technology issues

Functions as a mock operating room for training and education purposes, but the facility can also double as a real operating room during emergencies

Enhances patient safety through the practice of “real life” scenarios and experiences with patient simulators.