In the news – 2019 archive

Archives: 2019, 2018, 2017


Dec. 31

Should kids drink whole fat milk? Study offers new answer
Research by Dr. Jonathon Maguire

Children who drink whole milk are less likely to be obese, according to a study which questions international dietary guidelines. Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a researcher and pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, analyzed data from 28 existing studies across seven countries involving a total of 20,897 healthy children aged between one and 18 years old. Those who drank whole milk had a 40 percent lower chance of being overweight or obese compared with those who drank low-fat milk. The findings were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
– Also featured on CTV News Channel and the Daily Mail

Dec. 30

Meet the brains behind the push to get more women in neurosurgery
Comments by Drs. Michael Cusimano, Han Yan, Teresa Purzner, Nardin Samuel, Ann Mansur and Jessica Rabski
CBC News Toronto

According to the Canadian Medical Association, only 11 per cent of the 333 total neurosurgeons practicing in Canada are women. But strides are being made at the hospital level to change that. St. Michael’s Hospital, for example, usually sees one woman resident training in the neurosurgery specialty. This year there are seven. Dr. Michael Cusimano, the hospital’s neurosurgery department lead, says it’s up to people in the industry to make space for diversity, and that the talent has always been there but medicine hasn’t been making the space for it.

Dec. 23

Family honours son’s memory by spreading hope, Christmas cheer to patients at Toronto hospital
Comments by Jane Watson, Alla Agisheva and Alie Drabble
The Globe and Mail

For the 16th year in a row, Jane Watson and her family spent Christmas Eve morning hand-delivering gifts to as many patients as they could at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Ms. Watson brought “Project Hope” to St. Joseph’s as a way to pay forward the kindness that the hospital’s staff showed her and her husband on the night their son, William Thomas, died suddenly when he was only six weeks old. Alla Agisheva, a nurse in the hospital’s inpatient mental-health unit, was on shift when the Watson family came to deliver their gifts two years ago. She said some of her patients don’t get many visitors and “Project Hope” helped them feel like part of a family.

Dec. 22

Translational simulation connects learnings to patient outcomes
Comments by Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak and Kristen Daly
Hospital News

Much like the aviation industry uses flight simulators to train pilots, health care professionals introduced simulation techniques to learn first-hand how to care for patients and respond to critical situations in a controlled, safe environment.

Dec. 19

Have your holiday stress massaged away at Providence Healthcare
Comments by Chiara Campitelli-Thompson and Anna Marie Sneath

The approach of year’s end brings with it a rush to check off wish-lists and for many, a rush to utilize the balance of their paramedical benefits — if they can get a last-minute appointment. Scarborough residents will be pleased to learn that Providence Healthcare provides audiology, acupuncture, and chiropractic, chiropody, and massage therapy services year-round at a reasonable cost. Chiara Campitelli-Thompson, interim manager of ambulatory services and patient care manager, and Anna Marie Sneath, director of health disciplines, say it’s little-known that the clinics are available to the public, and with Providence’s trusted reputation for quality care, it’s a service the community could be utilizing more.

Dec. 15

Bowel movements during menstruation
Comments by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Global News

Periods can cause cramping, mood swings and acne, but they can also wreak havoc on your digestive system. Bowel movements that coincide with the start of your period typically differ from your regular bowel movements and are often looser and more frequent, or diarrhea. According to Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician-gynecologist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, hormones are largely to blame. Dr. Kirkham said some of the same hormones that cause cramps and inflammation also lead to some of the bowel changes.

Dec. 10

Online decision aid provides more knowledge about the benefits of genomic sequencing
Research by Dr. Yvonne Bombard
News Medical

A decision aid developed to support patients undergoing genomic sequencing can reduce the amount of time patients spend speaking with overburdened genetic counselors while helping them were more knowledgeable about the benefits of sequencing, suggests a study led by Dr. Yvonne Bombard of St. Michael’s Hospital. The study evaluated the effectiveness of the Genomics ADvISER, an interactive online decision aid designed to guide patients who have had their genome sequenced and are being offered additional medical information revealed by the sequencing. Dr. Bombard said when patients start to open the Pandora’s box to find one thing they did want to know about their genome, they might find more than they bargained for.

Dec. 5

Moisturizing can prevent food allergies and other baby skincare tips you need to know
Interview with Dr. Sam Cammisuli
Today’s Parent

Dr. Sam Cammisuli, a pediatric dermatologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, described babies’ skin as a wall made of bricks and mortar which keeps good things in, like water, and bad things out, like bacteria, allergens, dust and animal dander. Dr. Cammisuli said that bathing babies too vigorously can strip all the oils from the skin, which can be particularly harmful for babies because it disrupts normal skin barrier function and further dries out the skin. He recommended a short bath every day, and that soap or cleanser is only really required if the baby has soiled their diaper.

Study examines the relationship between sugars and heart health
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Medical Xpress

The impact of sugars on heart health depends on the dose and type of sugar consumed, suggests a new study led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital. The team, led by Dr. John Sievenpiper, a staff physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, examined the relationship between total and added sugars that contain fructose on cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality. Dr. Sievenpiper said sugars behave differently depending on the type, dose and food source. Different sugars in varying amounts from different sources can have different effects on our health.
– Also featured on U of T Faculty of Medicine

Research uncovers why some diabetes medications positively impact heart health
Research by Dr. David Mazer

A study led by St. Michael’s Hospital set out to discover why a certain class of diabetes medication has been perceived to have a positive impact on heart health. Published in Circulation and presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions last month, this research was part of the EMPA-HEART CardioLink-6 randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of a diabetes drug – empagliflozin – on left ventricular mass in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Dec. 4

Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto find that cannabis dependence and abuse nearly doubled heart attack risk post-surgery
Research by Dr. Karim Ladha
The Growth Op

Cannabis users who have either abused the drug or are dependent on it are almost twice as likely to suffer a heart attack after surgery, according to a new study led Dr. Karim Ladha at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto. The report aimed to identify if patients with a cannabis use disorder diagnosis from a doctor face more risks of post-operative complications. Dr. Ladha said that cannabis users tend to be younger and have less cardiovascular risk factors and even despite that difference, they were still at higher risk.

Dec. 2

Half of homeless people have experienced traumatic brain injury: study
Interview with Drs. Gary Bloch and Nathan Churchill
Global News

Roughly half of people who are homeless or in unstable housing have experienced a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime, a new study in Lancet Public Health has found. Dr. Nathan Churchill, a scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital who was not involved in the study, said when a person experiences brain injury, their brain essentially bounces around in their skull, causing damage to the brain tissue with a “cascade” of effects. Dr. Gary Bloch, who has worked with homeless and marginalized populations for 17 years as a family doctor with St. Michael’s Hospital and Inner City Health Associates, said the numbers are “shocking” but not that surprising.

Nov. 28

MRIs of dense breasts find more cancer but also false alarms
Interview with Dr. Adena Scheer
CBC News

Giving women with very dense breasts an MRI scan in addition to a mammogram led to fewer missed cancers but also to a lot of false alarms and treatments that might not have been needed, a large study found. Dr. Adena Scheer, a surgical oncologist at St. Michael’s Hospital who was not involved in the study, says the research is timely because people have been looking for answers about dense breast tissue and the sensitivity of mammograms. Dr. Scheer said that this study really doesn’t apply for the average woman and mammograms are more than enough for breast cancer detection. Her advice is to be breast aware – similar to being aware of your cholesterol levels, women should be aware of their breast density.
– Also featured on CBC The National

Learning from medical mistakes
Comments by Dr. Teodor Grantcharov
TIME Magazine

The OR Black Box, developed by Toronto-­based surgeon Teodor Grantcharov, is just like an airplane’s black box that records data throughout a flight to keep track of anything that goes wrong and improve overall safety. The OR version records audio, video, patient vital signs, feedback from electronic surgical instruments and more. Hospitals can then analyze the data or use it as a teaching tool.

Advent: The season of waiting and preparing
Quote from Maria Dyck
The Catholic Register

At St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Advent starts with lighting up the darkness to counter the early sunsets of fall in Toronto. The annual St. Joe’s Promise Festival of Lights features kids, candy, music, dancing and lots and lots of lights. Philanthropists Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex have donated thousands of Christmas lights to ensure that their community hospital doesn’t sit through this season in the gloom. St. Joseph’s Foundation president Maria Dyck said Bachir wants to bring joy to people, especially at Christmas.

Nov. 26

Toronto kidney recipient celebrates 40-year anniversary
Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman
Global News Toronto

In the late 1970s, Tom Mitrovski was suffering from kidney failure and was told he had five to 10 years to live. November 27, 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of Mitrovski’s new kidney – a remarkable success according to Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman, the head of nephrology at St Michael’s Hospital. Ontario has experienced an increase in donors since Mitrovski was out on the list. Back in the 1970s organ donation in Ontario averaged around the 30 per cent compared to 60 per cent today. Dr. Zaltzman said most people don’t realize how many people can be helped by one donor. As many as 30 people can be helped through a single deceased organ donor.

Nov. 24

Questions to ask about how your medical data could be used by researchers
Interview with Dr. Yvonne Bombard
The Wall Street Journal

In genetic studies, scientists have started to return findings about participants’ own health, such as a predisposition to developing heart disease or certain cancers. While this is helping make research less one-sided, there is often still a mismatch of expectations between scientists and participants. Dr. Yvonne Bombard, a scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital who specializes in genomics health-services research, said a recent policy statement by the American Society of Human Genetics strongly recommends that researchers re-contact participants when a genetic change is reclassified or is reasonably expected to affect participants’ medical management.

Nov. 16

Cut dairy from your diet? You may be deficient in vitamin D, calcium
Comments by Dr. Jonathon Maguire
CBC News’ Marketplace

Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician and child nutrition researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, said that alternative milks are not standardized in nutrients, so even though many nut and coconut milks are fortified with vitamins, they vary in nutrient levels and apart from soy milk, they often lack protein. Dr. Maguire also expressed concern that many alternative milks have high levels of added sugar. While children do not need dairy milk so grow and develop, he said it is helpful for kids that are not getting all of the nutrients they need in their current diet.

Nov. 11

Hospitals adopt program to fulfill ICU patients’ dying wishes
St. Michael’s was a study site for the program
CTV News

The Three Wishes Project is a program that sees hospital staff collaborate with families to fulfill dying patients’ end-of-life requests in four major cities in Canada and the U.S. For the patients’ families, these final acts of compassion provided them with the opportunity to celebrate their loved ones’ lives and connect with the hospital staff that who tended to them.

Nov. 9

Why studying music and the brain is so fascinating, and so difficult
Interview with Dr. Corinne Fischer
CBC News’ Second Opinion 

Dr. Corinne Fischer, a geriatric psychiatrist and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, is using “familiar music” with people who have Alzheimer’s disease as a cognitive activator. Her team studied 20 patients with either early-stage Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment to figure out what was occurring in their brains while they listened to familiar music, compared with music they had never heard before while undergoing MRI scans. What they found was that when participants listened to songs they knew well, dating back at least 20 years, there was much more brain activity in several additional areas of the brain compared with the unknown songs.

Nov. 7

Surgical objects being left inside more patients in Canada
Interview with Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, at 0:50
CBC News’ The National

A new report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information said 553 sponges, medical instruments and other objects were left in patients between 2016 and 2018. Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, a surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital, said it’s frustrating and time-consuming when equipment is missing during surgery, which is why the OR Black Box – a technology he founded which records audio and video during surgeries – is helpful in assessing surgical procedures to reduce distractions and improve patient safety. He said the technology provides an opportunity for surgeons and surgical nurses to learn what they can do better, and what they are doing well.
Extra coverage: CBC Radio’s The Current (segment begins at 9:45)

Nov. 6

The physical and mental benefits of the Mediterranean diet
Interview with Dr. David Jenkins – please note this clip is half Italian, half English

According to two new studies carried out in Great Britain and Japan, the Mediterranean diet can help to maintain a healthy mind, preventing the decline of cognitive functions. Dr. David Jenkins, a physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, considers the Mediterranean diet to be a lifestyle which includes eating lots of fresh, plant-based foods, plenty of physical activity, and eating meals with family. Dr. Jenkins said that the health data of those who consume a Mediterranean diet shows lower risk factors for arterial disease.

Nov. 5

Opioids: a mother and her child escape the “black hole”
Interview with Dr. Maya Nader – please note this article is in French

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the number of babies hospitalized in Canada linked to neonatal abstinence syndrome has not decreased since 2014-2015. Dr. Maya Nader, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, said although figures are stable and not rising, it may be a false reassurance. In Canada, cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome is the highest in Ontario, with 976 newborn hospitalizations related to NAS in 2018-2019.
Extra coverage: Radio-Canada (top story of evening newscast)

Nov. 2

Providence Healthcare Foundation’s Silver Ball
Comments by Jennifer Stewart (at 8:10) and Melissa Morey-Hollis (at 41:10)
Additional coverage, including a patient interview, at 21:44
CTV News Toronto

Oct. 31

From the CEO’s Desk: Leadership in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times
Article by Dr. Tim Rutledge
Hospital News

In this month’s From the CEO’s Desk, Dr. Tim Rutledge, president and CEO of Unity Health Toronto, applies the acronym “VUCA”, which is used to describe conditions or situations that are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, to health care in Ontario. VUCA was coined in the 1980s and was initially used in military education, though it has taken root in literature on leadership and business strategy over the past two decades. Dr. Rutledge said he looks forward to collaborating with system partners, breaking down silos in the system, learning from leaders in other sectors, and partnering with those Unity Health Toronto serves – patients, families and communities.

Cuddle Cot provides bereaved families more time with babies after loss
Comments by Luisa Guerrera and Lindsey Peacocke
Hospital News

A new device at St. Joseph’s Health Centre is being offered to families coping with a stillbirth or neonatal loss. At least seven families have used the Cuddle Cot since its arrival to St. Joseph’s Family Birthing Centre (FBC) earlier this year. It is a bassinet attached to a cooling mechanism that’s designed to preserve the baby’s body to allow families to spend a bit more time with them. Luisa Guerrera, patient care manager at the FBC said the Cuddle Cot offers some comfort because unlike adults, when babies pass away, they have such a short life that families don’t have the benefit of time and experience.

Respecting patients’ time
Comments by Lexie Brand and Miriam Sarpong
Hospital News

Patients at St. Michael’s diabetes clinic can now get text notifications after they check in for their appointment letting them know what their estimated wait time is and if they have time to leave and come back. Project Manager Lexie Brand said MySMH is helping improve patients’ experience because it’s putting the time back in their hands and is also increasing transparency. Because health care is not always on time, My SMH allows patients to know what the situation is and decide what they’d like to do.

Adults in lower walkability neighbourhoods found have a higher predicted cardiovascular risk
Research by Drs. Nicholas Howell and Gillian Booth

A study led by researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto and ICES found that people living in neighbourhoods considered to be the least walkable were up to 33 per cent more likely to have a high predicted 10-year cardiovascular risk compared to individuals living in the most walkable neighbourhoods. Dr. Nicholas Howell, first author of the study and a PhD graduate in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s, said the findings demonstrate that walkability is associated with clinically relevant differences in cardiovascular disease risk, and from a public policy perspective, could support the idea that the benefits of walkable neighbourhoods could be significant enough to move the dial for individual health.

Oct. 28

6 natural heartburn remedies during pregnancy
Comments by Dr. Nirmala Chandrasekaran
Today’s Parent

One of the most frustrating side effects of pregnancy can heartburn, or an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest after you eat. For some women, spicy foods set it off, while others experience it after eating large meals, lots of citrus or anything at all. Dr. Nirmala Chandrasekaran, an OB/GYN at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said heartburn is a common symptom during pregnancy and shared popular natural remedies such as ginger, apple cider vinegar, and herbal teas.

Oct. 24

Protein mutation that causes inflammatory bowel diseases becomes dysfunctional
Research by Dr. Greg Fairn
News Medical

A new study led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada and Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China has uncovered why a protein mutation that causes inflammatory bowel diseases is dysfunctional. Dr. Greg Fairn, a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael’s, said these findings point to the potential importance of palmitoylation – too much or too little of this process can impact inflammation – and that now the question is whether there is potential to fine tune this process to one day lead to treatment for a variety of inflammatory disorders.

Oct. 23

90,000 free naloxone kits distributed by Ontario pharmacies in under 2 years
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
CBC News

About half the 61,000 people who picked up a naloxone kit under a provincial government program that made them available for free at pharmacies were not opioid users themselves, according to a study by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Tara Gomes, corresponding author of the study and a clinician-scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s, said these people could be friends and family of people who are at risk of an opioid overdose and want to have a naloxone kit on hand in case they are able to intervene to help save that person’s life.

How brain damage from concussion can be evident a year later
Research by Drs. Nathan W. Churchill and Tom Schweizer

Concussion damage may linger a full year after an athlete returns to play, according to a new study from St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Nathan Churchill, a research associate in the Neuroscience Research Program at St. Michael’s, said after a concussion, doctors usually clear athletes for play when symptoms disappear. But this new study, which relied on a series of MRI scans, suggests subtle brain damage may persist even when symptoms like headaches and concentration problems improve. The findings raise questions about when, if ever, the brain returns to normal, and if these brain changes translate into a worse outcome if athletes have another concussion before recovery is complete, he said.

Oct. 18

ID1 inhibition may improve efficacy of glioblastoma treatment
Q-and-A with Dr. Sunit Das

Investigators from St. Michael’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have determined that the transcriptional regulatory protein ID1 appears to maintain cancer stem cells in glioblastoma.

Oct. 17

Certain blood pressure meds tied to suicide risk in study
Research by Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

A common type of blood pressure medication might be associated with an increased risk of suicide, a study from St. Michael’s Hospital suggests. People taking angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) appear to be more likely to die by suicide, compared to those who take another type of blood pressure drug called ACE inhibitors. Muhammad Mamdani, lead researcher and director of the Applied Health Research Center of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, said more work should be done in this area, but if he had a choice as a patient, he would be choosing the ACE inhibitor over the ARB.

Oct. 16

As cannabis vaping set to become legal, public health experts urge strict control
Comments by Dr. Samir Gupta
CBC News

Cannabis vapes are among a series of new products — including edibles, extracts and topicals like lotions — that officially became regulated on Oct. 17, 2019. The earliest these will be for sale legally in Canada is mid-December. For Dr. Samir Gupta, a respirologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the deaths and severe lung injury that’s landed young people in intensive care needing mechanical ventilation to breathe mean “we need to press the pause button” on legalizing cannabis vaping products.
Extra coverage: CBC News’ The National (segment begins at 33:40)

Oct. 14

To ease dementia agitation, drugs may not be best option
Research by Drs. Jennifer Watt and Sharon Straus

Symptoms of aggression and agitation in dementia patients may respond better to non-drug therapies such as massage, touch therapy and outdoor activities, a new study suggests. In a reanalysis of more than 163 studies involving nearly 25,000 patients, Canadian researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that multidisciplinary care, massage and touch therapy, and music combined with massage and touch therapy were more effective than patients’ usual care, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Extra coverage: Newsweek and The Times of London

‘They haunt us for the rest of our careers:’ One doctor’s experience treating victims of gun violence
Interview with Dr. Dave Paskar
The Globe and Mail

Dr. Dave Paskar has treated more victims of gun violence than he can remember. For the past 4½ years, he has been a trauma surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto, one of the city’s two major adult emergency centres. The hospital received 55 gunshot-related traumas in 2018; in the first eight months of 2019, it received 43. He explained first-hand how the victim of a shooting is treated, and what it’s like telling relatives the worst news about their injured loved-one.

Oct. 11

In Canada, 40% of people did not visit a family doctor after being released from prison
Research by Dr. Tara Kiran
Medical Xpress

About 60 percent of people who were in Ontario’s prison system were seen by a family doctor in the two years after being released from prison compared to 85 percent of people in the general population, according to a new study in Canadian Family Physician. Dr. Tara Kiran, one of the authors of the study, said that half of the people in the study were readmitted to prison within two years of release, which begs the question—how many of those readmissions could have been prevented if people had been connected with a family doctor who could support them to manage their depression or substance use?

Oct. 10

Painful periods have a lot to do with race and we need to talk about it
Comments by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham

Black women are three times more likely to suffer from agonizing uterine tumours than white women. So why aren’t we hearing about it more?

Oct. 7

Giving blood pressure and other essential medicines free improves health, trial shows
Research by Dr. Nav Persaud
CBC News

When people who couldn’t afford essential medications to lower blood pressure or control diabetes received the treatments free, their health improved, according to a randomized trial that could inform Canada’s pharmacare discussion.
Extra coverage: CBC News’ The National (segment begins at 35:10)

Doctors say political activism part of their jobs on issues affecting health
Comments by Dr. Gary Bloch
The Canadian Press, via the Victoria Times Colonist

Dr. Gary Bloch, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said doctors who see the often terrifying impacts of social policies are increasingly choosing to get politically involved.

Oct. 4

Slaight Family Foundation donates $15M to 13 Toronto hospitals
Thirteen Toronto hospitals are getting $15 million from the Slaight Family Foundation to support seniors’ care. The funds will also go to support four national organizations — and it follows a June 2019 announcement of $15 million to create the Allan Slaight Seniors Fund at the United Way Greater Toronto. The hospitals receiving funds are: Baycrest, CAMH, Michael Garron, North York General, Scarborough Health Network, Sinai Health, Sunnybrook, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, Toronto Rehab, Princess Margaret and Women’s College Hospital.

Trauma surgeon’s experience treating gun victims
Interview with Dr. Dave Paskar
The Globe and Mail

Dr. Dave Paskar is a trauma surgeon at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. He explains first-hand how the victim of a shooting is treated, and what it’s like telling relatives the worst news about their injured loved-one.

Oct. 2

Female surgeons in Ontario earn less than male counterparts, study finds
Research by Drs. Fahima Dossa and Nancy Baxter
The Globe and Mail

Female surgeons in Ontario earn 24 per cent less than their male counterparts for each hour they spend operating, according to a new study. In general surgery, women performed more operations such as cyst removal and biopsies, while their male counterparts did more lucrative procedures such as gastric bypasses, said one of the authors, Dr. Fahima Dossa, a surgical resident at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Nancy Baxter, a general surgeon at St. Michael’s and an author of the study, said female surgeons may also be less aggressive when it comes to billing.
Extra coverage: The Canadian Press (via the National Post), CBC Radio’s The Current (segment begins at 53:00) and Global News AM 640

Sept. 27

How to prevent infections at work, at home and at play
Interview with Ina Belu
Hospital News

Ina Belu is an infection prevention and control practitioner at St. Joseph’s Health Centre who advises staff on best practices for preventing and reducing the spread of infections to support a safe and healthy environment. No matter where you are – at work, at home or at play – Belu’s top tip to prevent infection is hand hygiene, especially before eating or handling food, after using the bathroom or taking out the trash.

Making infection prevent fun: introducing the IPAC Olympics
Interview with Dianagris Balakrishnan; Rosalyn Espiritu; Vina Magno; Cameron Thomas
Hospital News

It’s not every day that Dianagris Balakrishnan finds herself covered in pudding at work. But one day this summer, she had so much of it on her personal protective equipment (PPE) gown and gloves that it was dripping onto the floor. The pudding had been spread by Cameron Thomas, an infection prevention practitioner, as part of an education session at St. Joseph’s Health Centre called the IPAC Olympics. Balakrishnan’s task was to remove the gown and gloves without getting any pudding on her skin or clothes underneath.

Researching the biomarkers of suicidality
Interview with Dr. Sakina Rizvi
Hospital News

Dr. Sakina Rizvi, a scientist at the Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Suicide and Depression Studies Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, is the lead of a new project, The Biomarkers of Suicidality. The project was recently chosen as the second recipient of a $190,000 research grant from St. Michael’s Research Innovation Council (RIC), a group of St. Michael’s Foundation donors who pool their funds, evaluate research applications and select high-potential projects to support. Dr. Rizvi said in her research about half of treatment-resistant patients seem to be more at risk of suicide, and she wants to know why.

Sept. 24

Cuddled infants have shorter hospital stays, Toronto hospital finds
Interviews with Dr. Michael Sgro and volunteer Anne Malcangi
CTV National News

A “significant” number of infants who were cuddled ended up having shorter hospital stays, according to a small study conducted by staff at a Toronto hospital. Dr. Michael Sgro, chief of pediatrics at St. Michael’s Hospital, led the study which involved 23 babies born with symptoms of drug withdrawal. But he said the cuddling benefit would affect all babies. While most hospitals have a round-the-clock care team for newborns and infants, St. Michael’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit actually includes a team of 28 “cuddlers.”

New study on medication and breast milk
Interview with and research by Dr. Rajeev Muni
CTV Toronto

Certain drugs used to treat retinal diseases are excreted into breast milk, raising possible safety concerns for developing infants, suggests a first-of-its-kind study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and published in Ophthalmology. The researchers found that the transfer of the medication in breast milk resulted in the suppression of VEGF in babies. Rajeev Muni, co-lead author, a vitreoretinal surgeon at St. Michael’s and a project investigator at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, said that the VEGF is a growth factor that’s very important for the development of babies.

Sept. 23

As Nova Scotia’s suicide rate climbs, parents fight to change systems that shut them out
Interview with Yvonne Bergmans
CBC Radio’s The Doc Project, and

Suicide interventionist and social worker Yvonne Bergmans, of St. Michael’s Hospital, created Skills for Safer Living in 1999. The group meets once a week over 140 days, getting participants past the 90-day period that’s considered high risk for people leaving the hospital. Dr. Bergmans works with suicidal patients in the emergency room and has observed that many of them have something in common – a lack of awareness or the ability to identify their feelings.

Synthetic oral cannabinoid use found to be more common among older adults with COPD
Research by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris
News Medical

A study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that older adults in Ontario with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were twice as likely to use prescription synthetic oral cannabinoids compared to older adults without COPD. Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, lead author, respirologist at St. Michael’s and associate scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and ICES, said that the study shows patients and clinicians are turning to cannabinoids more frequently to manage the symptoms associated with COPD, but little is known about the potential dangers associated with this medication class.

Sept. 21

What Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy filing means for Canada
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
CBC News

Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. this week to protect itself and its owners from more than 2,000 lawsuits over their role in the ongoing opioid crisis, but the move has put pressure on Canadian efforts to bring the company to face legal action here. Dr. Nav Persaud, a family doctor at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, says the bankruptcy filing speaks to the lack of federal regulation Purdue Pharma has faced in Canada over its marketing of OxyContin. A key point of contention in the lawsuit is the claim from Purdue Pharma Canada that it is a “separate company” from Purdue Pharma in the U.S. and the actions taken to settle litigation there don’t “directly affect” its business in Canada.

Sept. 20

Supporting patients and families is key to palliative care at Providence Healthcare
Michael Pasquale discusses his mother’s care

In 2016, Providence Healthcare renovated the palliative care unit, designing the environment and services to support both patients and their loved ones. In addition to a contemporary and homelike patient unit, the new Family and Caregiver floor includes overnight suites for family members needing to stay close by, a children’s room and a multi-faith prayer room. Respite care is offered for up to two weeks to give caregivers time for rest and renewal. Caregivers can use the time for self-care, a vacation, or to manage professional obligations.

Sept. 19

Street medicine brings health care to Atlanta’s homeless
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang

Dr. Stephen Hwang, who studies homelessness and health at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said that regardless of their housing situation, the sickest patients require the most time and effort. He notes it’s unclear if street medicine – where a clinic sends medical teams to spots in the city where homeless people gather to offer a range of services – has a large-scale impact. Instead, he says each personal interaction can add up.

Sept. 17

Standards needed for orthobiologic use in fractures
Interview with Dr. Aaron Nauth
Orthopedics Today

Having a good framework regarding the different components of fracture healing may help surgeons identify which components each orthobiologic influences, said Dr. Aaron Nauth of St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Nauth said, because healthier, younger patients typically experience better bone healing with and have a better response to orthobiologics, surgeons are more likely to use orthobiologics in patients with the kind of health problems that compromise bone healing.

Sept. 16

How med schools are finding more diverse students
Interview with Dr. Kate Peiyin Zhang
CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art

Dr. Kate Peiyin Zhang’s journey from a low-income upbringing to medical school graduate is unusual in Canada. When she applied to medical school, she thought her chances were slim — not because her marks were poor, but because she did not have the typical resume-rounding experiences that many applicants showcase, such as working on research projects, volunteering abroad or athletics.

Looking back… moving forward: Six years after my shunt was installed
Comments by Dr. Michael Cusimano
The National Post

When Gilda Katz was 67, she had a programmable ventricular peritoneal (VP) shunt inserted in her brain at St. Michael’s Hospital. Katz reflected on her experience with idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH) and on her treatment by St. Michael’s neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Cusimano.

Standards needed for orthobiologic use in fractures
Comments by Dr. Aaron Nauth
Orthopedics Today

Some factors related to the patient or surgery, including inadequate blood flow and fracture stability, can result in fracture nonunion. However, literature shows most of these traumatic fractures promptly heal after surgical treatment. For those that do not, sources told Orthopedics Today the use of orthobiologics may provide a needed boost in healing.

Sept. 15

Drugs used to treat retinal diseases are excreted into human breast milk, study finds
Research by Dr. Rajeev Muni and Dr. Verena Juncal

Certain drugs used to treat retinal diseases are excreted into breast milk, raising possible safety concerns for developing infants, suggests a first-of-its-kind study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and published in Ophthalmology. Dr. Rajeev Muni, co-lead author, vitreoretinal surgeon at St. Michael’s and project investigator at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, will continue to explore the possible effect these drugs have on the infant over a long period of time.

Sept. 13

Couple hosts soiree to help neo-natal intensive care unit at St. Michael’s Hospital
Interview with Kerry O’Reilly Wilks
The Globe and Mail

Kerry O’Reilly Wilks was so impressed with the care she received at St. Michael’s Hospitals NICU that she donated 150 quilts to the unit and eventually joined the hospital’s board to champion the NICU. She and her husband also began hosting an annual fundraising event for the unit called Malachy’s Soiree. The fourth Soiree will be held on Sept. 26 in Toronto and Ms. O’Reilly Wilks said total proceeds from all the events will top $1.5-million. The money has helped fund new equipment which has already saved lives.

Sept. 12

Saving Rabbit
Interview with Dr. Michelle Klaiman

In a documentary which follows Peter, a.k.a. ‘Rabbit,’ a 26-year-old facing addiction and finding his way toward recovery, Dr. Michelle Klaiman, an emergency physician and addictions specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital, highlights the gravity of the opioid crisis. Dr. Klaiman notes that publicly funded treatments typically have a three month wait list, and how harm reduction keeps people safe while they continue to use drugs while awaiting treatment.

Sept. 5

New drug could be game changer for people with Type 2 diabetes, local research shows
Research by Dr. Subodh Verma
CTV News London

The drug Empagliflozi has recently become available in Canada to help regulate blood sugar levels for patients with Type 2 diabetes. In collaboration with researchers from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Western University researchers studied the effects this drug has on cardiovascular health by looking at the effects diabetes has on reducing stem cell efficiency. Patients administered Empagliflozin showed reduced cardiac events like heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

Sept. 4

Canadians far more likely to fill prescription for opioids after routine surgery than patients in Sweden, study shows
Research by Dr. Karim Ladha
The Globe and Mail

A new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open found that about 79 per cent of Canadian patients and 76 per cent of U.S. counterparts filled an opioid prescription in the seven days following a routine surgical procedure, compared to just 11 per cent of patients in Sweden. Dr. Karim Ladha, one of the study’s authors and an anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, said that the North American approach of opioids being the best painkillers for acute pain is not practiced by other countries.
Extra coverage: The Canadian Press (via CP24), CTV News, the Los Angeles Times and Nature

Sept. 3

It’s illegal for kids under 19, so why are so many able to buy vaping products?
Interview with Dr. Akshay Bagai
CBC News

Dr. Akshay Bagai, the director of the cardiac intensive-care unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, says that there have been no reports of acute lung injury in Canada due to vaping, though it’s a serious concern. Dr. Bagai warned that most vaping products contain nicotine, the same chemical that makes cigarettes so addictive, and says nicotine has also been shown to stunt adolescent brain growth. He advised that people who vape and parents of children who vape should report any mysterious illness to their family doctor or Health Canada.
Extra coverage: CBC News at 6 and an additional CBC Health article

Foot and leg amputation related to diabetes and poor circulation on the rise in Ontario
Comment by Dr. Charles de Mestral

Diabetes and peripheral artery disease (poor circulation) are responsible for more than 80 per cent of leg and foot amputations in Canada. The number of leg and foot amputations is on the rise, according to a new study by researchers at ICES, a non-profit research institute that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues.

Sept. 1

Dispensing Naloxone in emergency department receives positive reponse
Comments by Krystal Fox and Kate MacWilliams
Hospital News

Last fall, the Emergency Departments (ED) at St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre began dispensing Naloxone kits, a drug that helps reverse opioid overdoses. Anyone seeking care in the ED because of opioid use has access to a free kit that has lifesaving results. Fast forward and ED Registered Nurse Krystal Fox says the team has experienced a largely positive reaction from patients and family members who take a Naloxone kit with them after treatment.

Faster, better ED care
Comments by Yvette Williams, Jeya Nadesalingam and Adrian Khan
Hospital News

Most patients probably don’t think twice about who’s drawing their blood or starting their IV in the hospital. But in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, it’s because of who’s doing this that patients are receiving care faster. An innovative collaboration has placed St. Joseph’s phlebotomists (also known as medical lab technicians, or MLAs) — who traditionally work behind the scenes and in outpatient clinics — right in the heart of the busiest area, helping relieve pressure on nurses and physicians.

Aug. 31

Diabetes medication shows potential to reduce heart disease
Research by Dr. Subodh Verma
Medical Xpress

A new study from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada shed lights on how a class of medications that help regulate blood sugar for patients with Type 2 diabetes can also protect against heart disease. Dr. Subodh Verma, a cardiac surgeon and scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) of St. Michael’s Hospital, said that the large-scale clinical trials provide clear evidence that SGLT2 inhibitors can also protect our patients who have diabetes from heart disease.

Aug. 28

HIV self-test kit launching clinical trial, could be on sale in 2020
Interview with Dr. Sean Rourke (segment starts at 33:15)
CTV News

As HIV rates continue to climb in Canada, researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital are launching a clinical trial for an HIV self-testing kit that could be on sale in 2020. Dr. Sean Rourke, the study’s principal investigator, says Canada is playing catch up in not just approving the tests for sale, but also in attitudes towards HIV self-testing.

Aug. 23

Code Orange: inside a Toronto hospital’s preparation for the next catastrophe
Interview with Dr. Carolyn Snider
The Canadian Press, via the National Post

St. Michael’s Hospital’s Emergency Department’s latest simulation was designed to test the hospital’s response to catastrophe, a bombing at a transit hub. The hospital carried out the latest exercise in preparation for the next mass shooting, attack or disaster. Dr. Carolyn Snider, chief of the emergency department, says sadly it’s a matter of when, not if.

Aug. 22

Cameras in the OR: educational asset or legal liability?
Interview with Dr. Teodor Grantcharov

The OR Black Box, developed by Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, a staff surgeon at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, is an operating room fitted with cameras that collect images from 360 degrees, and sensors that monitor both the room and the people in it. However, no names, dates or room numbers are captured; faces are blurred and voices distorted. Dr. Grantcharov notes that the identification allows people to learn without the risk of surgical scrutiny or a breach of patient privacy.

Treating inflammation with inflammation
Research by Dr. Alan Lazarus
Medical Xpress

Scientists at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) have uncovered a new potential approach to treat multiple types of autoimmune disease including arthritis in lab models. Dr. Alan Lazarus, co-director of the Hematology-Immunology Translational Research Collaboration at the KRCBS and lead author of this study, says that while more research is needed, this may mean a new treatment is only a half-step away for patients.

Aug. 21

10 ways to support a friend with a baby in the NICU
Interview with Jeanette Doherty
Today’s Parent

Jeanette Doherty, a social worker who specializes in the NICU at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said that babies are in the NICU because either they came early or the baby is sick and that parents are often very frightened. But there are ways to make this challenging experience a little bit easier on parents such as offering to prepare food, emotional support or lending a hand with household tasks.

New toolkit enhances early detection, treatment of iron deficiency in pregnancy
Research by Dr. Michelle Sholzberg
News Medical

The implementation of a novel quality improvement toolkit has shown to enhance early detection and treatment of iron deficiency in pregnancy, according to a study led by St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Michelle Sholzberg, co-lead author of the study and a hematologist, said screening for iron deficiency in pregnancy is recommended by health agencies, but with low awareness of its implications and competing priorities in busy obstetric clinics, it doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Aug. 19

Weight Watchers app for kids faces backlash
Interview with Dr. David Jenkins
The Morning Show on Global News Radio

Dr. David Jenkins, a physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, said that a new weight loss app for children, which includes weight loss success stories and before and after photos, is disappointing and speaks to increased obesity rates in children. Dr. Jenkins fears that the app places too much focus on body image for children, but highlights the need for children to adopt more active lifestyles.

Aug. 15

Scientists looking at phages to help fight superbugs
Interview with Dr. Karen Cross
CBC News’ The National

Researchers are looking at something called phages, a kind of virus that scientists say act as a ‘natural predator’ to bacteria, to see if they can help battle the superbugs that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

Aug. 14

How bleeding, trembling, talking mannequins train hospital staff to save your life
Video features Dr. Doug Campbell, Ashley Rosen and Filipe Santos
CBC News

The simulation lab at St. Michael’s helps doctors practise procedures, deliver babies and save lives.

Aug. 13

Could home testing kits for HIV become as commonplace as pregancy tests?
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning

Why Canadian researchers are launching a nationwide study and hoping to get Health Canada on board.
Extra video coverage on CBC News’ The National:
HIV self-test kit launching clinical trial, could be on sale in 2020 (Aug. 20)

Aug. 12

Big pharma and medical school funding
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
Global News

It takes years of training to become a qualified doctor in Canada and it all starts with medical school. You may be surprised who is funding medical education.

Aug. 8

HIV self-testing kits for blood examined for licensing in Canada
Interview with Dr. Sean Rourke
CBC via The Canadian Press

Dr. Sean Rourke, a scientist with the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, is launching a study on HIV self-testing kits with the aim of gaining federal approval for the first such device in Canada. Dr. Rourke said the clinical trial will begin in Toronto this week before expanding across the country in coming weeks. The neuropsychologist said data will be collected on 1,000 people who will take the one-minute, finger-prick blood test at sexual health clinics in several provinces.

Aug. 7

‘It turned my life around’: Spinal cord stimulators help ease chronic pain
Story and video with patient Nikki McManus and Dr. Aaron Hong
CTV News

A Toronto woman, who has suffered from debilitating pain for 10 years, said a new device installed in her spine has swept all her suffering away.

Aug. 3

Pets definitely allowed at Scarborough’s Providence Healthcare
Comments by Charissa Chow

Providence Healthcare is helping its patients feel a bit more at home, through its pet visitation policy. The policy welcomes dogs and cats to visit patients under the supervision of family members or friends, and contributes to the recovery and quality of life of patients, residents and clients.

Aug. 1

What causes type 2 diabetes?
Comments by Dr. Gillian Booth
Hospital News

What causes type 2 diabetes: genes, diet, activity level? All three? Dr. Gillian Booth, an endocrinologist and scientist in the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, has been exploring another cause: where you live.

July 31

The most powerful social determinant of health
References work by Dr. Gary Bloch
Canadian Family Physician

In an article by Dr. Paul Sawchuk, President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Poverty Tool – an inventory of benefits that might be available to patients such as income benefits, food supplements, and telephone and transportation subsidies – is featured. The Poverty Tool was created Dr. Gary Bloch of St. Michael’s Hospital, and tries to address how some of the people who are eligible for social or financial support also struggle with taking the necessary steps to secure those benefits.

July 29

St. Michael’s Hospital appoints first female physician-in-chief
Interview with Dr. Sharon Straus
CTV News’ Your Morning (segment begins at 15:14)

The gender gap in medicine is not a pipeline issue, said Dr. Sharon Straus, St. Michael’s first-ever female physician in chief. Formal search processes, networking and mentorship would help to close the gap, and Dr. Straus hopes that she can address these issues and solutions in her new leadership role at the hospital. Dr. Straus also noted that men have a responsibility to help close the gender gap, and that it’s important for the medical field to reflect the diversity of our communities.

Ten things that I wish I had known as a woman entering academic medicine
Column by Dr. Karen Burns
The BMJ Opinion

Although the number of women that have been entering into medicine has increased over the past five decades, progress in gender parity lags behind with fewer women in prestigious positions, leadership roles, or promoted to the highest academic ranks, according to Dr. Karen Burns of St. Michael’s Hospital. In an opinion piece published in BMJ Open, Dr. Burns compiled a list of 10 things she wishes she had known earlier in her academic career and insights on how she would respond to them today.

July 24

MS patients often undertreated due to therapeutic inertia
Research by Dr. Gustavo Saposnik
Reuters, via M.D./alert

Therapeutic inertia (TI) is common among neurologists treating patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and leads to undertreatment, according to new research by Dr. Gustavo Saposnik.

July 23

Hospital ‘black boxes’ begin providing data that will help reduce distractions, errors in operating room
Interviews with Dr. Teodor Grantcharov and Katie Hogan
CTV News

Inspired by aviation disasters, a Canadian research team is pulling back the curtain on a secretive high-risk environment by putting “black boxes” in operating rooms. The “OR Black Box,” which has been installed in about a dozen hospitals throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe, is producing data that its lead developer says could make surgeries safer.
Extra video coverage on CTV News:
‘Distractions are very common’
OR black boxes could lead to safer surgeries

Emergency room doctor says more treatment resources needed with more access to alcohol
Interview with Dr. Michelle Klaiman
CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

Michelle Klaiman, a doctor of Emergency and Addiction Medicine for St. Michael’s Hospital, shares her experience treating patients with alcohol-related health issues in the wake of a study released on Monday that said ER visits related to alcohol use doubled in Ontario over 13 years.

July 22

Looking back at the Danforth shooting as Toronto marks anniversary
Comments by Dr. Najma Ahmed
Global News

Dr. Najma Ahmed, a trauma surgeon and surgeon-in-chief with St. Michael’s Hospital, was on call the evening of July 22, 2018, and was paged to come in as part of a code orange, meaning “there has been a catastrophe in the city” and increased resources are needed. She shared her recollections and thoughts about the day and how the hospital responded.
Extra coverage: Global News video, Toronto Star article and column.

July 17

Meet Goop’s number-one enemy
Comment by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham

Whether it’s dubious wellness product claims, misconceptions about basic anatomy or confusion over reproductive rights, Dr. Jen Gunter will set you straight. How this ob-gyn from Winnipeg became the most important truth teller in women’s health.

July 16

St. Michael’s Hospital’s first ever female Physician-in-Chief
Interview with Dr. Sharon Straus
CBC News’ Metro Morning

‘How did I normalize this and what do we have to do to address it?’: Dr. Sharon Straus, St. Michael’s Hospital’s new Physician-in-Chief, says for years she didn’t notice the gender gap in the upper echelons of medicine.

29% of athletes who die of sudden cardiac arrest have symptoms — here’s what to look for
Research by Dr. Paul Dorian
Runner’s World

It seems like there are more and more cases of young, healthy people suffering cardiac arrest and sudden death during marathons. Is this really something to worry about—and what does it mean for your health at your next race?

July 13

Scarborough’s Providence Healthcare offers new hope for patients on peritoneal dialysis
Patient story, featuring Ray Mark

Across Toronto, few rehab facilities are equipped to provide peritoneal dialysis. Providence Healthcare set out to change this by recently training 30 clinicians to offer this treatment for people needing both rehab and peritoneal dialysis. As it turns out, this was a lifeline for Ray Mark.

July 10

Study identifies new potential target in glioblastoma
Research by Dr. Sunit Das
Medical Xpress

Researchers are hopeful that new strategies could emerge for slowing the growth and recurrence of the most common primary brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma, based on the results of a study published today in Cancer Research.

July 5

Doctors still believe men are the best surgeons and women are better as family physicians
Comments from Drs. Fahima Dossa and Nancy Baxter
Daily Mail (London)

New research by Washington University in St Louis exposes a deep-rooted gender bias in the medical field that may partly explain why there are fewer female surgeons, and women are consistently paid less than their male peers in medicine.

July 4

Ontario sets record for number of organ donors and transplants
Quote from Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman
CTV Toronto

An unprecedented 388 lives in Ontario were saved in the first three months of this year thanks to increased organ donations and transplants. During the first few months of 2019, 106 deceased donors gave the gift of life to patients desperately in need of organs. An additional 553 donors helped by providing eyes, skin, bones and heart valves to those in need. Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman, a transplant specialist at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, says he and those who are awaiting a transplant are thrilled by these results.

June 27

Cholesterol lowering effect of soy protein remains consistent over time
Interview with Dr. David Jenkins and Dr. John Sievenpiper
MD Magazine

A recent study that examined clinical trials spanning more than two decades found that the soy protein’s cholesterol-lowering effect is consistent over time. Dr. David Jenkins and Dr. John Sievenpiper of St. Michael’s Hospital purport that their findings support the original health claim made by the FDA and added that the FDA’s decision to examine the health claim surrounding soy is both disheartening and could result in a shift that undermines plant-based proteins.

Even the threat of homelessness may bring higher stroke risk
Interview with Dr. Stephen Hwang
Medical Xpress

Traditional risk factors, like smoking, could help explain why marginally housed individuals may be at higher danger for stroke, said Dr. Stephen Hwang, director of the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. But social elements like poverty, deprivation and chronic stress also could play a significant role. Hwang says addressing the cognitive and brain health of disadvantaged populations is of enormous importance, and is often neglected.

June 26

Better medicine: Carolyn Snider created a groundbreaking program to lift young people out of violence. Her next goal: better emergency medicine for all
Profile of Dr. Carolyn Snider
Smith Magazine, Queen’s University

Today, Dr. Carolyn Snider is chief of emergency medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Fifteen years ago, she was a resident working in trauma rooms at St Mike’s and another Toronto hospital, Sunnybrook. One day, a young man came in. He’d been stabbed in the arm. Snider remembered him as nice. They chatted. She sutured his arm. A few months later he was back. This time he’d been shot. Though he survived, the bullet had gone in his spine. He was left paralyzed. Snider remembers it as an important moment in her career, one that left her wondering: Doctors are supposed to heal, but isn’t prevention part of the job, too?

June 25

Exposure to pollution can offset health benefits of walkable neighbourhoods, study finds
Interview with Nicholas Powell
Toronto Star

While walkable neighbourhoods have beneficial health effects for its inhabitants, those benefits are reduced significantly by exposure to air pollution, a new study by Dr. Gillian Booth and Nicholas Howell finds. The study, published by St. Michael’s Hospital, finds that several features of walkable neighbourhoods — high population density, nearby shops and services, proximity to thoroughfares and vehicle-heavy areas — could potentially offset some of the benefits associated with neighbourhoods where residents are more likely to walk or cycle rather than drive. And while this doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy to live in a walkable neighbourhood, it means the benefits can be less, if not entirely non-existent.

June 20

Acclaimed documentary on caregiving puts spotlight on ‘unsung heroes’
Interview with. Dr. Fiona Menzies
Bloor West Parkdale Villager /

St. Joseph’s Health Centre is presenting an upcoming screening of the 2018 documentary The Caregivers’ Club at the Revue Cinema in recognition of Seniors’ Month. Dr. Fiona Menzies, head of geriatric care at St. Joe’s, said The Caregivers’ Club is an all-too-realistic portrayal of families coping with a sudden health diagnosis, throwing their lives into chaos. “These are crises you really can’t plan for,” said Menzies. “It’s heartbreaking.”

June 17

Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre opens new kidney dialysis unit
Comments by Anna Rosario, Lani Quijano, Salah Bachir, Dr. Stavros Karanicolas and a patient

With the opening of the Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre at the St. Joseph’s Health Centre, operations have effectively doubled. Some 2,800 additional clinic visits are expected to be accommodated as a result of the expansion.

Nearly 400 Ontarians died of opioid overdose last summer: province
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
The Canadian Press, via the National Post

Nearly 400 Ontarians died from opioid overdoses last summer, according to new provincial data. Public Health Ontario has released updated statistics that indicate 388 people died from opioid-related causes from July to September 2018, down from 414 deaths during the same period in 2017.

June 14

Power breakfast benefits MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
Mentions Drs. Patricia O’Campo, Carolyn Snider, Nav Persaud and Naomi Thulien
The Toronto Sun

St. Michael’s Hospital is $1 million closer to a big financial goal. In showing the world how to tackle health care for the most marginalized in society, the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $25 million.

June 13

‘Breakfast of Influencers’ at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital aims to raise awareness about urban health care
Comments by Dr. Carolyn Snider
The National Post

It happens almost daily, says Dr. Carolyn Snider, chief of emergency medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto: A person arrives in her department with an issue that is, on its face, absolutely not an emergency. They just need a prescription refill.

Linton, 93, has been playing music in hospitals for over 30 years
Comments by George Linton, Susan Bertoldi and Rita Sarunas
The Catholic Register

George Linton understands the power of music and how much joy it can bring. Take a walk with the spry 93-year-old through the halls of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in the heart of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood and it’s plain to see. An elderly man, hobbling along with his cane, sees Linton with guitar strung over his shoulder and asks him to play a tune.

June 12

Expert panel calls for $15B universal, single-payer pharmacare
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
CBC The National

An advisory council set up by the Liberals has proposed the biggest change to Canadian healthcare in decades. It calls it a national project, a transformation, and a universal public program for prescription drugs. The research of Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician and a scientist at St. Michael’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, was cited in the report as “a starting point” for determining which drugs all Canadians should have free access to.

June 3

Countries’ essential medicines lists vary greatly from one another and WHO’s model list
Research by Dr. Nav Persaud
Medical Xpress

Countries’ essential medicines lists vary from one another and from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) model list, pointing to a potential need for greater care in selecting medicines that best meet the health care priorities of a population, suggests a study led by Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital.

May 30

Top soccer players not getting proper concussion screening: study
Research by Dr. Michael Cusimano
The Canadian Press, via the National Post

A new study by researchers in Toronto suggests that many of the world’s top soccer players aren’t being properly examined for possible concussions. The results could have an impact around the globe since soccer is one of the world’s most popular and fastest growing sports, said Dr. Michael Cusimano.

Many older adults fall at home in well-lit rooms
Comments by Dr. Sharon Straus

Among the elderly, most falls happen at home in well-lit rooms, according to a new study. The authors suggest the issue isn’t people having problems seeing where they’re going – rather, it seems they may be trying to do too much at once. When people do fall, they should have their home assessed for potential trip hazards to help avoid another accident, said our Dr. Sharon Straus, who was not involved in the study.

Former Providence health care patient on how stroke affected his life
Interview with former patient Rob Hill
Global News

After suffering a stroke in 2016, Rob Hill received six months of physiotherapy and occupational therapy at Providence. He praised his caregivers for helping him overcome initial challenges, but also explained the life-altering changes he faces every day. He will attend Cuisine & Cuvée, a party at REBEL featuring great food and live music, all in support of Providence.

Volunteers offer comfort and compassion
Comments from Michael Kidd
Hospital News

It’s not yet 10 a.m. and a man arrives at the St. Michael’s Hospital emergency department with a significant head injury, perhaps from an accident on the skateboard he clutches in his hand. Dazed, he glances around the busy room trying to orient himself. Within moments of his arrival, Colin, a volunteer, is at his side,gently guiding him to a chair and taking his health card to the nurses’ check-in station.

May 22

Firearm mortality highest in young men, and is associated with race and education
Research by Drs. Prabhat Jha and Anna Dare
Medical Xpress

Firearms are a leading contributor to mortality in men aged 15-34 years in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, according to an observational study using national data for 106.3 million deaths, including 2.5 million firearm deaths in these 4 countries, published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

May 19

Early paralytic agents for ARDS? Yes, no, and sometimes
Research by Dr. Art Slutsky
New England Journal of Medicine

Therapeutic strategies in ARDS should ideally be tailored to the specific underlying disease or injury mechanism at any given point in time, rather than being applied uniformly to all patients. Early paralytic agents for ARDS? Given their long-term neuromuscular safety profile in the ROSE trial, we suggest that paralytic agents can sometimes be used, when physiologically and clinically indicated.

This Toronto doctor helps people get more money to improve their health
Interview with Dr. Gary Bloch
Global News

A few years ago, a woman came in to see Dr. Gary Bloch at his family medicine clinic in Toronto. The woman was starting to develop complications of diabetes — numbness in her feet, kidney problems, vision problems, Bloch said. His treatment? Helping her improve her income.

May 14

Complaints by gun-rights activists against Toronto surgeon ‘abuse of process,’ regulatory body says
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
The Globe and Mail

Ontario’s regulatory college for doctors says dozens of complaints lodged against a physician advocating for gun control were a politically motivated attempt to silence her and an abuse of its process.

May 9

Partnership meant to fill gaps on cannabis consumption risks and benefits with hard evidence
Mentions research by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris
The National Post

The Ontario Lung Association and its industry partner, Tetra Bio-Pharma, have joined forces to fund and promote medical research that the two partners believe should help resolve some of the major controversies over the possible lung health risks and benefits of using cannabis.

Scarborough’s Providence Healthcare can connect caregivers to community supports
Tips from Erin Leneeuw

Our health-care system is complex and ever-changing, and it can be difficult to know where to turn. The Scotiabank Learning Centre (SLC) at Providence Healthcare is a community resource that equips people with knowledge to help them make the best decisions along the way. Erin Leneeuw, clinical resource co-ordinator in the SLC, shared a few tips.

May 8

Canada facing doctor shortage
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran
CBC News

Statistics Canada estimates that 4.5 million people across the country are without a family doctor, with most between the ages of 20 and 34. A panel of doctors discuss possible solution to the shortage.

May 6

Six hospitals to deliver enhanced care to patients in unique restorative care facility
Comment by Dr. Tim Rutledge

Six Greater Toronto Area hospitals are working side by side under one roof to provide specialized care for patients who no longer require acute hospital services.

Rethinking anxiety meds
Panel interview with Dr. Alexander Caudarella
TVO’s The Agenda

Whether it’s named Ativan or Valium, benzodiazepine anxiety medication is pervasive. It may be helpful for everything from acute cases to long-term anxiety, but it also carries with it an addictive element. Benzos contribute to approximately half of the opioid deaths in Ontario. The Agenda discusses whether it’s time to reconsider how common it’s become.

Soy protein lowers cholesterol, study suggests
Research by Dr. David Jenkins
Medical Xpress

Soy protein has the ability to lower cholesterol by a small but significant amount, suggests a new study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

May 1

The Church and dementia
Interview with David Rebelo
The Catholic Register

As both a Catholic teacher and founding member of Dementia Advocacy Canada, Matt Dineen wants to visit parishes to explain what they should do to be dementia-ready and — perhaps more important — why they should do it.

Supporting both patients and caregivers is key in palliative care
Interviews with Maggie Bruneau and a patient’s family
Hospital News

Maggie Bruneau knows that delivering the best palliative care means offering flexibility and options, for both patients and caregivers.

A salute to unsung heroes: Susan Davidson
Feature about Susan Davidson
Hospital News

Susan is the hero to the sick and to the healed. She is the hero to the engaged and to the disenfranchised. She manages the practice of a dozen or so consultant pediatricians for Sick Kids and St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

April 24

Delivering help to indigenous parents
Featuring Dr. Patricia O’Campo and Dr. Janet Smylie
University of Toronto Magazine

A unique project provides support to women during pregnancy and after, with the aim of creating healthier families

April 18

St. Joseph’s Hospital has a new unit
Comments by Paula Podolski

The new at St. Joseph’s is focused on providing a healing environment for adults suffering mental health crises, said Paula Podolski.

April 15

APOE gene impacts sleep depending on gender and severity of Alzheimer’s
Research by Dr. David Munoz
News Medical

The gene most often associated with risk of Alzheimer’s Disease impacts sleep depending on gender and the severity of Alzheimer’s in a patient, suggests a study led by researchers at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS).

April 11

Canadian trauma surgeons called for gun control. They were told to stay in their lane
Interviews with Drs. Najma Ahmed and David Gomez
The Washington Post

Najma Ahmed figured she knew a thing or two about gunshot wounds. As trauma surgeon at a downtown Toronto hospital, she sees them up close, toiling elbow-deep on the front lines of torn human flesh. But when she spoke out in favor of tighter gun control in Canada, a chorus of voices told her to pipe down: She wasn’t qualified to comment — not on this.

April 9

From bionic arms to predicting patient surges in ER, AI is reshaping patient care
Interview with Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
The Canadian Press via The Globe and Mail

The Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training (CHART) was created to design and implement innovative programs using AI/machine learning to streamline certain hospital systems and to improve care, from decreasing emergency department wait times to predicting which patients could take a turn for the worse – and when.

The dangers of a keto diet in pregnancy
Comments by Dr. Howard Berger
Today’s Parent

When you’re trying to grow a baby, extreme low-carb is not the way to go. Here’s what you need to know, whether you are currently on the diet and recently pregnant or you’re currently pregnant and wondering if the keto diet is a good idea.

April 8

New dialysis centre opens at St. Joseph’s Health Centre
CTV News Toronto (segment starts at 8:20)
On April 7, 2019, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation celebrated the opening of the new Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre. The hospital is thankful to Salah Bachir and all of the donors who helped make this new space a reality.

Saturated fat, good or evil? How to decipher contradictory nutritional research
Research by Dr. David Jenkins
The Washington Post

Nutrition research is not well-funded, says Dr. David Jenkins. For that reason, nutrition research trials usually have only 70 to 120 subjects. Small studies don’t provide powerful results, so researchers repeat the same small study many times, then group similar studies together in what’s known as a meta-analysis.

Liquid meals show modest benefit in type 2 diabetes
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Reuters, via M.D./alert

Liquid meal replacements may help people with diabetes lose weight and could modestly improve some measures of metabolic health, according to a new systematic review.

April 6

Eating nuts for good health
Column featuring research by Dr. David Jenkins
The National Post

This isn’t the first time that nuts have been found to be helpful in preventing cardiovascular problems. So what’s the magical ingredient? Dr. David Jenkins believes it’s not just one substance, but that nuts contain dietary fibre, magnesium and a good amount of healthy unsaturated fats.

A drug to prevent 1 in 5 deaths? It’s called ‘food’
Interview with Dr. Gary Bloch
CBC News

More than half of diet-related deaths and many diet-related disabilities were attributed to three factors: too much salt, too few whole grains and not enough fruits.

Could pasta actually be your weight loss friend?
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper

Is pasta as bad as all the fad diets say it is? Research suggests that it can help rather than sabotage our weight loss efforts.

April 1

Electronic tool has potential to improve asthma care
Research by Dr. Samir Gupta and Courtney Price
Hospital News

A first-of-its-kind computerized decision support tool has the potential to improve the quality of asthma care in primary care settings. With the Electronic Asthma Management System (eAMS), asthma control in a study by Dr. Samir Gupta increased from 14 per cent to 59 per cent of patients. The self-management tool lets patients know how to adjust their medications if their asthma flares up.

Incentive payments for family doctors may not have intended results
Research by Dr. Rick Glazier

An incentive payment called the “access bonus,” designed to encourage better access to family medicine and discourage patients from seeking care outside their family doctor’s office, may be inadvertently benefiting family doctors with lower levels of access in Ontario, according to a new study by researchers at ICES and St. Michael’s Hospital.

March 28

St. Mike’s study using HIV-positive organ donors
Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman
CTV News

Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman, the director of the Kidney Transplant Program at St. Michael’s, said the hospital is studying the use of HIV-positive donors and that their organs would only be used for recipients who are HIV positive. He said he has no doubt Canada will eventually have HIV-positive donors, but added that the impact on waiting lists will be minimal due to the small pool of healthy potential donors and recipients.

Liquid meal replacements contributed to greater weight loss than low-calorie diets: review
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Medical Xpress

Liquid meal replacements helped overweight diabetes patients lose an average of about five pounds more than others who tried a conventional low-calorie diet, according to a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

March 22

Hears the pitch: Ryerson-led research team invents a new mode of photoacoustic imaging
Research by Drs. Michael Kolios, Michael Moore and Xiao-Yan Wen
Science Codex

Did you know that music and diagnostic imaging have something in common? Sounds have a lower or higher pitch depending on the size of the object that creates them. Tubas and double basses are big and produce deep low-pitch sounds, while flutes and violins are small and produce high-pitched sounds. What’s interesting is that the same effect occurs when biological structures like cells or tissues emit sound – the pitch varies with size.

March 21

Medical view of gun violence welcome
Editorial focused on efforts by Dr. Najma Ahmed
Winnipeg Free Press

New Zealand has acted promptly to reform its gun laws following recent shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead and dozens injured. Canada should take note.

March 20

Review of osteoporosis clinical practice guidelines finds majority lack patient values
Research by Dr. Joanna Sale
Medical Xpress

Patients’ voices are ignored all too often in osteoporosis clinical practice guidelines, say researchers, who reviewed 70 English-language guidelines around the world and found less than 40 percent included any mention of patients’ beliefs, values or preferences (BVPs).

March 18

Low awareness of heart risks, heart health among young women
Research by Dr. Beth Abramson

Young women are largely unaware of the risks they face from cardiovascular disease, even though it remains the top cause of death for American women, researchers warn.

March 17

Scarborough’s Providence Healthcare offering 3 free community sessions
Interview with Erin Leneeuw

At Providence Healthcare, the focus is on helping people flourish both within the hospital and in the community. Providence’s Scotiabank Learning Centre (SLC) — located in our hospital — helps patients, caregivers and people in our community cope with conditions such as stroke, dementia, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.

March 14

African mothers 50 times more likely to die after c-section than moms in rich countries, study says
Commentary by Dr. Anna Dare

African mothers who give birth by cesarean section are 50 times more likely to die after the procedure than women living in high-income countries, the research says. The study, published Thursday in the journal Lancet Global Health, found that the maternal mortality rate in African countries was “substantially higher than expected.”

March 13

Toronto surgeon, medical group call complaints to regulatory body about gun law advocacy ‘abuse’ of system
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
Global News

An organization of doctors fighting for stricter gun legislation in Canada says Ontario’s medical regulator will not be pursuing numerous complaints launched against one of its founding members.

How granting dying wishes is helping people ease the pain of losing loved ones
Feature about the Three Wishes Project and interview with Orla Smith
CBC News

The Three Wishes Project, originally launched in an intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, grants dying patients and their loved ones wishes. The project’s goals are to dignify the patient’s death, to help family members celebrate their loved one’s life, and to help clinicians improve their care.

March 12

Vegan pregnancy is safe if you do it right
Interview with Dr. Sari Kives
Today’s Parent

Your vegan pregnancy diet should pay close attention to nutrients, supplements and meal plans. Here’s what you need to know.

Majority of 200,000 deaths in children aged 5 to 14 in India, China, Brazil and Mexico are preventable, study suggests
Research by Drs. Shaza Fadel and Prabhat Jha
Medical Xpress

Most deaths of children aged five to 14 in India, China, Brazil and Mexico arise from preventable or treatable conditions, suggests a new study published today in The Lancet.

March 7

Toronto trauma surgeon target of complaints by gun-rights advocacy group
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
The Globe and Mail

A Toronto surgeon who treated victims of last summer’s Danforth shooting is being challenged by a firearm lobby group, which has filed dozens of professional complaints against her as part of a wider campaign in opposition to a group of Canadian physicians pushing for stricter gun control.

Predictors ID’d for successful removal of mechanical ventilation
Research by Dr. Martin Dres
HealthDay, via Medical Xpress

Mechanically ventilated patients who pass a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) and are extubated reach a higher level of wakefulness, indicated by a higher odds ratio product (ORP), according to a study published online March 1 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

March 6

As 2nd person declared HIV-free, advocate says finding ‘functional cure’ is key
Interview with Dr. Darrell Tan
CBC Radio’s The Current

After researchers declared a second person HIV-free, one advocate says we need to focus on finding “a functional cure” that allows patients to “coexist” with the virus — without taking drugs.

Therapy dogs bring some comforting four-legged medicine into the lives of hospital patients
Interview with Charissa Choi
The Catholic Register

When Harley travels the halls at Providence Healthcare, he gets the rock star treatment. Everyone wants a piece of the mixed-breed Bijon-Coton de Tulear dog. People stop in their tracks, both patients and staff, to share a friendly word with Harley. And he laps it up.

A new wound-care initiative is tackling painful wait times
Patient feature, plus interviews with Chiara Campitelli-Thompson, Dr. James Mahoney and Janeth Velandia
Hospital News (pages 28 and 30)

Trevor Kampen marvels at the number of people he’s met during his journey from St. Michael’s Hospital to Providence Healthcare to treat his debilitating pressure wound, a condition caused by his spina bifida.

March 5

Study shows success of measles vaccine campaigns in India
Research by Drs. Benjamin Wong and Prabhat Jha
Science Daily

A mass measles vaccination campaign saved tens of thousands of children’s lives in India between 2010 and 2013, according to a new report.

March 3

Doctor debunks anti-vaccination arguments amidst a measles outbreak in B.C.
Interview with Dr. Anne Wormsbecker
CBC News Network

Pediatrician at Unity Health Toronto, Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, joins CBC News Network’s Michael Serapio to discuss what people need to know about vaccinations as British Columbia battles a measles outbreak and Toronto tackles a vaccination misinformation campaign.

March 1

AI implemented for Emergency Department forecasting at St. Michael’s
Interviews with Dr. Muhammad Mamdani and Ray Howald
Canadian Healthcare Technology (page 21)

When considering a solution for staff scheduling challenges in the bustling emergency department at St. Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Muhammad Mamdani suggested artificial intelligence.

Feb. 24

Doctors moonlighting as inventors face unique hurdles to commercialization
Interview with Dr. Joao Rezende-Neto
The Canadian Press, via the National Post

In Dr. Joao Rezende-Neto’s 25-year career as a trauma surgeon, he’s only twice dealt with patients who insisted on forking over big bucks to buy equipment for a procedure.

Feb. 22

Drs. Michael Cusimano and Kamran Khan among 2018 President’s Impact Award winners
Interview with Dr. Michael Cusimano
University of Toronto

From youth-level hockey to professional football, neurosurgeon Michael Cusimano’s research has influenced policy across the sporting world to reduce concussions and save players’ lives.

Feb. 19

Oral antifungal drug used to treat yeast infections linked to higher rates of miscarriage: study
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
The Globe and Mail

A drug commonly used to treat yeast infections is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage in pregnant women, according to new Canadian research.

Feb. 14

New eHealth tool shows potential to improve quality of asthma care
Research by Dr. Samir Gupta
News Medical

A new electronic decision support tool for managing asthma has the potential to improve the quality of asthma care in primary care settings, suggests a study led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

Feb. 11

Doctors take stand against gun violence, call for stronger firearm laws
Interview with Drs. Najma Ahmed and David Gomez
CBC News

A group of doctors in Canada is taking a stand against gun violence and calling for stronger laws governing firearms to prevent shooting deaths and injuries.

Art exhibit showcases link between health, poverty
Interview with Dr. Stephen Hwang, Dr. Pat O’Campo and Sara Wolfe
CTV News

An interactive display at Brookfield Place highlights Toronto’s urban health challenges, such as homelessness.

Toronto’s St. Mike’s Hospital participating in trial in attempt to halt overdose deaths
Interview with Dr. Dan Werb

Drugs sold on the streets today are often cut with fentanyl, and are killing users right now. Awareness campaigns haven’t worked, political options take years of debate and legislating to arrive on the front lines, and meanwhile, people keep dying.

Managing young women at high risk of heart disease
Research by Dr. Beth Abramson
Science Codex

Deaths from heart disease have decreased in recent decades, but these decreases have not occurred in women younger than 50. A new review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides guidance for physicians to identify and manage premenopausal women at high risk of heart disease.

Inside an attempt to disrupt the opioid crisis
Interview with Dr. Dan Werb
The Big Story podcast

We’ve already seen the impact that having users inject in a safe space can have on overdoses, so what if we offered to test the drugs for them before they injected. A new program that’s part of a massive focus on urban health through Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital is going to make that offer and see where it leads.

Feb. 8

Opioid crisis
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning

Health advocates call it an opioid crisis, and they want the province to declare a state of emergency. But what that would actually do remains heavily debated. Peter Duck speaks with Dr. Tara Gomes – one of the province’s top drug policy researchers.

Feb. 7

St. Mike’s art exhibit focuses on poverty and health
Interview with Dr. Stephen Hwang
The Toronto Sun

A new exhibit at St. Michael’s Hospital uses art to show the effects of poverty on health. Research from the hospital’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions has been translated into five art installations which feature patients’ stories.

Providence Healthcare patients can practice outdoor mobility in an indoor setting
Interviews with Sarane Poon and Dellene Sakaguchi

Inside the walls of Providence Healthcare is a parked SUV, patches of artificial grass and gravel, concrete sidewalks, ramps and curbs. The Toyota Canada Motor Skills Clinic is a specially designed room where rehabilitation professionals can help their patients practice and regain their strength and mobility.

Feb. 5

What I’ve learned as a trauma surgeon
Dr. Najma Ahmed speaks at TEDxDownsviewWomen
TEDx Talks

What is it like being a trauma surgeon? What’s it like being a woman AND a trauma surgeon? Dr. Najma Ahmed shares her experience of working in the operating room and challenges women to continue to show up and makes strides for the next generation to come. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Jan. 30

St. Michael’s Hospital’s trauma team shows why seconds count for Toronto’s victims of violence
Interviews with Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak, Sue Zelko and Dr. Najma Ahmed
Global News

In the basement of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto, members of the trauma team gather inside a state-of-the-art simulation lab for a full-scale exercise — one that is painfully too familiar to many in the room.

What is a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team?
Interview with Sivi Joachim

Two people on the forefront of the public response to those suffering from mental health crises speak about their experience.

Men get postpartum depression, so why aren’t dads screened?
Interview with Dr. Andrew Howlett
The Huffington Post

Mark Williams is shocked Canada doesn’t provide screening for perinatal mental illness for women or men.

Jan. 28

Health advocates urge Ontario to declare state of emergency over opioids
Interview with Dr. Alexander Caudarella
The Globe and Mail

The Ontario government should immediately declare a state of emergency to combat the worsening opioid crisis, according to health leaders and harm-reduction workers who say the province’s current approach risks making a bad situation worse.

Jan. 27

Is there a better way to measure how cannabis causes impairment?
Interview with Dr. Tom Schweizer
The Globe and Mail

Police who suspect people are driving under the influence of cannabis may ask them to perform a roadside sobriety test, or have them give blood or saliva samples. But even policy-makers recognize these methods, which work reasonably well for alcohol, are unreliable when applied to cannabis.

Jan. 24

Soluble fiber may improve diabetes control
Research by Dr. Vladimir Vuksan

People with diabetes who take soluble fiber supplements have slightly lower blood sugar than diabetics who don’t add this type of fiber to their diets, a research review finds.

Jan. 23

Transgender Canadians far less likely to be screened for cancer, raising risk
Research by Dr. Tara Kiran
CTV News

People who are transgender are significantly less likely to receive cancer screenings than the general population, raising their risk of developing the disease undetected in situations that could have been preventable.

Jan. 22

Food Guide recommendations to limit sugary drinks could influence school nutrition programs, expert says
Interview with Dr. Jonathon Maguire
The Globe and Mail

Nutrition experts say recommendations on beverages in the new Canada’s Food Guide will be felt most by young Canadians, as they are among the largest consumers of sugary beverages and have daily exposure to school-based nutrition programs.

Cleaning fluid blocked from optic nerve in glaucoma patients, study finds
Research by Dr. Neeru Gupta

Canadian researches have discovered the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) – which flushes waste from the optic nerve – is disrupted in mice with glaucoma.

Jan. 21

People classified as trans by health-care providers may actually identify as male or female: study
Research by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Global News

According to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) about sexual orientation and gender identity data, some people prefer to identify themselves by their current gender identity and not as a trans male or trans female.

Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones: Canada’s family doctors get guidance on treating youth with ‘gender dysphoria’
Research by Dr. Joseph Bonifacio
The National Post

Hormone suppression can delay puberty and give youth “more time to make decisions about transitioning,” write the authors of a new review.

‘If you don’t ask, then you won’t know’: family doctors guided on care for transgender teens
Research by Dr. Joseph Bonifacio
CBC News

A growing number of young people identify as transgender, but many miss out on vital care from a family doctor. The authors of a new Canadian review aim to change that.

Jan. 17

Gun violence takes a heavy toll on families of victims, says trauma surgeon
Interview with Dr. Bernard Lawless
CBC Radio’s The Current

For Dr. Bernard Lawless, helping families process that a loved one has been shot can be as difficult as treating the gunshot wounds themselves. “Most people don’t get to rehearse their reaction to a catastrophic event,” he says.

Travel precautions persist for Zika-hit areas
Interview with Dr. Kamran Khan
CBC News

The Zika virus should remain a concern for some Canadians planning winter vacations in sunny climes, doctors say. Public health officials are reminding travellers to protect themselves because even a single mosquito bite can transmit a host of illnesses, including Zika.

More Americans mixing opioids with sedatives
Research by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris

As if the opioid crisis wasn’t already bad enough, new research shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans taking dangerous combinations of opioids and sedatives.

Jan. 15

Geriatric Psychiatric Clinic supports complex needs of older adults
The Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic is part of a multidisciplinary program, The Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto, housed at Providence Healthcare since 1988. The role of the clinic’s geriatric psychiatrists is to assess, consult, and treat elderly patients who may have a mental health issue, dementia syndrome, behaviour disorder, or a psychosocial problem.

Jan. 14

Toronto adult day program for people with dementia gives caregivers respite
Patient story, featuring interview with Elizabeth Davison
Global News

The Adult Day Program at Providence Healthcare is more like a social club for individuals with moderate to severe dementia. The home-like environment supports caregivers who have a family member living with memory loss.
– More coverage on Global News Radio 640’s The Exchange

Jan. 9

Early rehabilitation in critical care the focus of pilot project
Interviews with Dr. Andrew Baker and Deanna Feltracco

For patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, early mobility can be a key factor to a successful recovery. Now a pilot project underway at St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre will further study the impact of movement on recovery and provide a standardized toolkit of best practices to critical care units across the province.

Jan. 7

New Regent Park program provides holistic support for new Indigenous moms
Interview with Dr. Pat O’Campo
CBC News

Dr. Patricia O’Campo, interim VP of Research for St. Michael’s, talks to CBC about the Baby Bundles Project, which aims to stop apprehension of Indigenous children.

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