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In 1912, the field of radiology was exciting and changing at a rapid pace. It was in that year that Dr. Gordon Richards joined St. Paul’s Hospital as a radiologist. Dr. Richards was known for his devotion to the development of radiotherapy to treat patients with cancer.

Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays, like x-rays, to destroy cancer cells in a given area.

Dr. Richards was appointed the first head of the Department of Radiology at Toronto General Hospital and devoted his career to improving radiotherapy and cancer services, including setting up the first training program in radiology in Canada in 1923. He was known as having “never learned how to play” because his life was engrossed in his work. He brought this same dedication to treating patients at St. Paul’s Hospital in its earliest days, when radiotherapy was still a developing medicine.

Today, Dr. Richards is considered the father of Canadian radiation oncology and without his trail blazing mindset, the world of radiotherapy and cancer services in Canada would be vastly different. 
Source(s): utoronto.ca

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In 2010, Providence Health Care created the prototype for RACE – Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise – in an effort to improve access to specialty care in Vancouver. 
The RACE line connects family physicians with scheduled specialists from a variety of specialty services through a single phone call, or via electronic request sent through the RACE app. The initiative was led by Providence and supported with funding from the Shared Care Committee (a partnership of Doctors of BC and the BC government). Prior to RACE, there were often communication delays between family doctors and specialists. “Sometimes the only way to get speedy information would be to catch someone in the hallway or in the doctors’ lounges. It was really inconsistent,” says Dr. Andrew Ignaszewski, a cardiologist at Providence and the Head of the Department of Medicine, and one of the program’s founders. 
Encouraging initial results showed positive feedback from physicians and patients alike, as well as a marked reduction in face–to-face specialist consults and unnecessary visits to the Emergency Department. Now offering more than 45 specialty areas, the RACE line has logged more than 50,000 consults since its inception, and an average of 1,000 calls per month! “Often patients don’t need a full consultation, just a question or two answered, and that shortens my waitlist,” says Dr. Ignaszewski. “RACE is all about giving the right advice to the right patient at the right time.” Learn more about RACE and Dr. Ignaszewski's work on the Daily Scan (link is in the bio)! #PHCcelebrates #PHC125 #RACE 
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For six years, St. John Hospice has been a beacon of compassionate end-of-life care for patients, family members and friends.

The 14-bed hospice features a home-like setting, a multidisciplinary care team and a large group of volunteers who provide extra support. Many of the staff, physicians and volunteers previously worked at Marion Hospice, which closed in September 2013 in tandem with the opening of St. John Hospice. Their dedication to caring for society’s most vulnerable made the transition a smooth one.

Much like Marion Hospice, dying, death and grieving are recognized as a part of life at St. John Hospice. The staff is committed to compassionate care that maintains individuals’ dignity and supports both patients and their families.

Congratulations on six years of excellence in hospice care!

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Throughout our 125 years, starting with our Founding Sisters, the people who work here have risen to the ever-changing challenges of the day. For example, during the Great Depression, those in need would line up at St. Paul’s where as many as 700 people would be fed in a day. 
Providence people have continued to carry on this legacy of service through events like Providence in the Park, a bi-annual PHC community outreach event hosted in the Downtown Eastside. Staff from all corners of Providence dedicate their Saturday to handing out donated clothing and blankets, serving warm coffee and lunches, and to give back to the community. It’s a tradition we embrace, and we’re thankful for everyone from the community who comes out to be part of the day.

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Mother Gamelin, who we celebrate every September, founded the Sisters of Providence along with Montreal Bishop Ignace Bourget. 
A Catholic women’s religious order dedicated to compassionate service, the Sisters of Providence accomplished many great things, including setting up schools, orphanages, homes for the aged, and most notably (for us) hospitals. In 1894, the Sisters responded to Vancouver’s growing needs and opened a 25-bed hospital, which we know today as St. Paul’s Hospital – PHC’s largest acute care site located in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown core.

Today, St. Paul’s serves thousands of people from across British Columbia because Mother Gamelin stepped up to her calling – her calling for caring, compassion, and service to our most vulnerable people.

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In 1982, St. Paul’s made an important advancement for people with significant hearing loss who have exhausted all medical options for treatment.

Thirty-seven years ago, the first cochlear implant surgery in Canada was performed at the hospital.

Since then, nearly 700 cochlear implant surgeries have been performed by the surgeons at the BC Adult Cochlear Implant Program, housed at St. Paul’s. Over the years, over 900 adult cochlear implant patients have benefited from the specialized care of our audiologists.

The results of a cochlear implant, which are surgically placed electronic devices that directly stimulate the auditory nerve to partially restore hearing, dramatically alter a patients’ quality of life, thanks to heightened auditory and oral communication and contributing to the physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of each individual served through the program.

Photo caption: Artist @kelsiegrazier is featured in the photo; photo by @cpienaarphoto

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At the turn of the century, Vancouver’s population was booming but the city faced a shortage of skilled nurses. The Sisters of Providence made the bold decision to start their own training school, and in 1907 the call went out for young women who could meet the necessary requirements to enter the new school: they must demonstrate good character, possess good health and be 20 years of age. 
On September 1, 1907, fourteen young women began their 3-year training program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Students attended lectures and received daily practical training in the wards under the close supervision of physicians and Sisters. The chief duty of the student was to follow the doctor’s orders implicitly and to keep the patient as comfortable and as cheerful as possible. 
After 67 years and the graduation of more than 4,000 students, the hospital decided to phase out its program and close the school in 1974. This was in response to a growing trend in training that emphasized a concentrated academic learning process followed by an internship, a practice still in place today. 
While nurses receive their academic instruction at institutions such as Vancouver Community College, the B.C. Institute of Technology or the University of British Columbia, their clinical training continues to take place at several of the city hospitals – including St. Paul’s - on a rotating basis.

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In its 125 years, St. Paul’s Hospital has been on the forefront of supporting our most vulnerable patients. It stepped up during the AIDS crisis and more recently, has been helping save lives in the midst of the severe opioid overdose crisis with non-judgmental, compassionate care. 
In February, St. Paul’s Emergency Department launched a first-in-Canada pilot project for opioid overdose patients. It began providing them with take-away doses of Suboxone after were treated and discharged. The three-day supply of the pill, which helps stop cravings and withdrawal symptoms, comes with easy-to-understand instructions and a clear follow-up plan for care. It started after St. Paul’s researchers and doctors noted how overdose patients are resuscitated in ED’s throughout BC but don’t get a chance to start treatment after they leave hospital. Some may find it hard to fill their prescriptions at the best of times. It’s even tougher for people with a history of substance use and mental-health problems. 
St. Paul’s Hospital sees the majority of overdoses in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, almost 10 times more than other hospitals. This year for #InternationalOverdoseAwarenessDay we remembered all those harmed by overdose, and saluted all at St. Paul’s who help save lives of people struggling with substance use. 
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