this week i started a new job! in this newly created position, i am managing the digital and social media for providence health care, one of the largest faith-based health care organizations in canada. and i could not be more excited.
i’ve always had an interest in medical advances and scientific breakthroughs, especially when technology plays a part of it. as well, with each passing year, i’ve become acutely aware of the importance of disease prevention and living a healthy, balanced life. i’m getting to the time in my life where people close to me are facing illnesses and aging.
as such, i’ve been looking for work that would be meaningful to me, a career that would not only get me up enthusiastically in the mornings, but stoke that fire in my belly and contribute to something that would help people live healthier and longer lives.
providence health care’s populations of emphasis include: heart/lung, kidney/renal, HIV/AIDS, urban health, mental health and seniors’ services. their services include 3 hospitals, 4 residential facilities, 1 hospice, an addiction clinic and a youth health clinic. there are 1,153 medical staff/physicians, 6,675 staff, 1,600 volunteers, 209 researchers at their 4 research centres.
in 2014, they performed 16 heart transplants, 132 kidney transplants and delivered 1,597 babies. they also had 112,277 ER visits, with a total 564,097 patient encounters.
other achievements and work in progress include:
- along with vancouver coastal health, becoming the first organizations in canada to lauch a pilot program for a rapid HIV test with pharmacies and clinics
- transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) was pioneered at st. paul’s and its medical director performed his 1000th hearth valve replacement procedure last year
- transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a ground-breaking laparoscopic procedure, was invented at st. paul’s. the procedure takes less than an hour with a full recovery time of under a week. it is set to be tested north america wide in a study of 1,200 patients
- st. paul’s is the only canadian site involved in US pilot study on effects of vivitrol on patients with HIV who also have opioid/alcohol addiction
- researchers at st paul’s, UBC and PROOF centre of excellence are developing blood tests using genomics to recognize biomarkers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- st. paul’s is the first hospital in canada to use hand-held ultrasounds. with this technology, patients can be diagnosed and treated up to 30 hours faster than waiting for test results from a full ultrasound or echocardiogram
that’s just the tip of the iceberg. for other ways providence health care is pushing the boundaries of medicine, check out their 2014 annual report.
i haven’t felt this excited about work since my time with vancouver opera. to spend 40+ hours out of your week doing something that will contribute to, in whatever small way possible, the betterment of society – whether it be for arts and culture, animal advocacy or health.
having been on the receiving end of medical services, i have been beyond appreciative of the care and attention that was given to me. i also realize i am extremely fortunate, as tens of thousands of people around the world do not have the same level and continuity of care. now being on the other side of 40, i find these things weighing heavily on my mind.
as i’m not a doctor, nurse, paramedic or even a caregiver, i hope that i can still make a difference in my own way.
i have a feeling this may be the right path for me.