18Getting a handle on a quiet epidemic Chronic diseases—diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure and vascular disease—have been called a “quiet epidemic.” They are on the rise as our population ages. Alberta’s Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration is
investigating the root causes of chronic disease in order to
improve the health of patients living with or at risk of chronic
disease. Established in 2010, the team has developed into
a model of collaboration and knowledge transfer and their
research has helped improve patient outcomes.
Robotics makes brain surgery
more accurate, less invasive
Calgary neurosurgeon Dr. Garnette Sutherland has spent
his career breaking new ground in neurosurgery. His first
“world first” was a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
system for operating rooms. It provides surgeons with 3-D
images during an operation. He followed that with another
milestone: the neuroArm, the world’s first MRI-compatible
surgical robot for both microsurgery and image-guided
biopsy. Surgeons control the neuroArm from a workstation,
guiding its movements via images on a screen. Because it
can move in smaller increments than the human hand,
neuroArm is the ideal tool for performing delicate surgery
inside the brain.
Team players in Taber make a difference
Motivated by a desire to significantly improve his own
practice, a family doctor from Taber has helped transform
primary care across the country. In the 1990s, Dr. Rob Wedel
began to search for ways to reorganize the Taber Clinic to
achieve better quality care, better access and better patient
and provider satisfaction. The local clinic became a one-stop experience for patients with care provided by a team
of health-care professionals. Besides having a major impact
on health in the local community, the team-based approach
to primary care pioneered in Taber is serving as a model for
similar clinics in Alberta and across Canada.
Heart attack care in Calgary gets top marks
If you’re having a heart attack, your best bet for the best
treatment is: get to the hospital within one hour, and go to a
hospital equipped with the technology to open blocked blood
vessels. Those two factors combine in Calgary and as a result
the city has the lowest heart attack death rate in Canada.
Calgarians have access to the Foothills Medical Centre, which
offers the blood-vessel-opening procedure 24/7.