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 isinvestigating the root causes of chronic disease in order toimprove the health of patients living with or at risk of chronicdisease. Established in 2010, the team has developed intoa model of collaboration and knowledge transfer and theirresearch has helped improve patient outcomes.
Robotics makes brain surgery
more accurate, less invasive
Calgary neurosurgeon Dr. Garnette Sutherland has spenthis 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-Dimages during an operation. He followed that with anothermilestone: the neuroArm, the world’s first MRI-compatiblesurgical robot for both microsurgery and image-guidedbiopsy. Surgeons control the neuroArm from a workstation,guiding its movements via images on a screen. Because itcan move in smaller increments than the human hand,neuroArm is the ideal tool for performing delicate surgeryinside the brain.
Team players in Taber make a difference
Motivated by a desire to significantly improve his ownpractice, a family doctor from Taber has helped transformprimary care across the country. In the 1990s, Dr. Rob Wedelbegan to search for ways to reorganize the Taber Clinic toachieve better quality care, better access and better patientand provider satisfaction. The local clinic became a one-stop experience for patients with care provided by a teamof health-care professionals. Besides having a major impacton health in the local community, the team-based approachto primary care pioneered in Taber is serving as a model forsimilar 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 besttreatment is: get to the hospital within one hour, and go to ahospital equipped with the technology to open blocked bloodvessels. Those two factors combine in Calgary and as a resultthe city has the lowest heart attack death rate in Canada.
Calgarians have access to the Foothills Medical Centre, whichoffers the blood-vessel-opening procedure 24/7.