Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program celebrated yet another milestone as the team recently performed its 1,000th advanced cardiac procedure on Dec. 11.
Brian Sills had the honour of being that patient and, after his successful angiogram, he commented on the treatment he received.
“Everything runs so smoothly here,” said the 61-year-old Penetanguishene resident. “Right from the very start, people have been kind and happy which makes a big difference when you are facing a scary situation. The team here was so professional while, at the same time, compassionate and understanding. Not only was I patient 1,000, I also received very good news today, an early Merry Christmas from the cardiac team.”
In early January, RVH celebrated their historic first angiogram. The program – a partnership with Southlake Regional Health Centre – then expanded in September to include more advanced cardiac procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, fractional flow reserve and optical coherence tomography.
“The milestone we are celebrating today is yet another move forward as we gradually ramp-up services over the next few years,” said Dr. Mark Kotowycz, cardiac intervention unit medical director. “In early 2019, we will start accepting stable inpatients from other hospitals in the region and, in 2020, the heart program will operate 24/7 and paramedics will begin transporting North Simcoe Muskoka heart-attack patients directly to RVH for treatment, bypassing other local emergency departments.”
In October, the program expanded again and welcomed a second interventional cardiologist, Dr. Tony Lee. He hails from Toronto and, for the past seven years, has been practicing at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Having these advanced cardiac services, including a highly-skilled team, now available at RVH means that most patients in North Simcoe Muskoka will be able to get lifesaving intervention, closer to home, within 90 minutes of a heart attack,” says Kotowycz.
Photo: Dr. Mark Kotowycz (left), interventional cardiologist and cardiac intervention unit medical director, and Dr. Stephen Pizzale (right), cardiologist and cardiovascular program medical director, with the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program at RVH, congratulate Brian Sills of Penetanguishene, along with wife Andrea, on being the program’s 1,000th patient and on the good health news he received following his angiogram.