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2015 Highlights

Here is a sample of how PHSA has made significant, positive impacts on the health care system for British Columbians:

  • In collaboration with Cardiac Services BC, doctors at St. Paul’s Hospital and a group of physicians from around the province implant the first ever subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator in BC.
 

  • PHSA is named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the third year in a row.
  • PHSA is listed in Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals for 2015 as the fifth leading research hospital in the country.
  • BC Emergency Health Services is awarded Accreditation Status from Accreditation Canada, scoring 88 per cent overall and on high-priority criteria.
  • BC Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit is designated a leading practice for Accreditation Canada.
  • BC Centre for Disease Control was awarded five leading practice awards by Accreditation Canada in the following areas: Guideline and Tools for Reducing Immunization Injection Pain; Mobile IGRA (Interferon-Gamma Release Assays) Testing Program for TB; The Take Home Naloxone Program; BC Asthma Monitoring System (BCAMS); and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness and the Test-Negative Design.
 
 
  • Twenty-four PHSA investigators are successful in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Transitional Open Operating Grants Program and new Foundation Scheme Program. Fifteen of the 45 T-OOGP grants awarded in BC were to PHSA investigators and totaled more than $7.6 million over an average of four and a half years. Of the 22 Foundation Scheme Program awards given to BC researchers, PHSA investigators received nine, totaling $18.4 million over the course of five to seven years.
  • The BC Cancer Agency launches the second phase of the Personalized Onco-Genomics project, which sequences the DNA of individual patients to guide treatment. This project identified a life-altering treatment option for a patient with advanced cancer that dramatically reduced the cancer to barely detectable in weeks.
  • Cancer Cell publishes BC Cancer Agency research that brings new hope for the treatment of high-risk childhood sarcomas – a cancer that has seen almost no treatment improvement in the last 20 years in spite of intense research efforts.
  • BC Cancer Agency researchers are featured in Nature as part of a special issue highlighting 20 papers that are the outcome of a seven year project mapping the epigenome. A better understanding of the epigenome may assist in the design of new cancer treatments.
  • BC Cancer Agency Researchers develop predictive test for Follicular Lymphoma.
  • Researchers at the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia find a genetic variation that brings a five times higher risk of heart damage for cancer patients treated with a type of chemotherapy drug called anthracyclines.
  • Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency and Simon Fraser University announce a ground-breaking method to identify and separate stem cells that reside in the tonsils. Their research, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, sheds new light on the fight against oral cancer.
  • Scientists at the BC Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia make an important advance towards understanding the cellular changes that can lead to human breast cancer, producing breast cancer from normal human breast cells using a single cancer gene.
  • A prostate cancer drug developed by researchers at the BC Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia enters human clinical trials. The drug is designed to target and shut down metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer when other treatments have failed.
  • BC Cancer Agency oncologist, Dr. David Huntsman, is named one of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Top 10 Research Impact Stories of 2015 for his research on the genetic risk of an aggressive form of stomach cancer.
 


  • Research by the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia find that infants can be protected from getting asthma if they acquire four types of gut bacteria by three months old.
 
  • BC Emergency Health Services begins community paramedicine program with first locations in Northern BC, followed by communities in the Interior and on the coast.
  • Supporting BC’s Rural Health Strategy to provide health services and diagnostics when and where British Columbians need them, BC’s first digital mobile mammography vehicle begins operation.
  • Youth and young adults suffering from eating disorders in BC now have access to more community supports and resources, in addition to specialized care and treatment, with the opening of a new home for the Looking Glass Residence in Vancouver. 
  • In response to Canada’s support of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Provincial Language Service hires 30 additional interpreters for languages spoken by refugee populations.
  • Women who give birth at BC Women’s Hospital can now help build an ethnically diverse stem cell bank by donating their baby’s cord blood to Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank.
  • Dr Tex Kissoon, VP Medical Affairs at BC Children’s Hospital, is selected by the Council of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) as a Master of Critical Care Medicine.
  • Dr Adeera Levin of the BC Renal Agency wins the Aubrey J. Tingle Prize, awarded annually to a BC clinician scientist or scholar whose health research is internationally recognized as having a significant impact on improving health and the health system. Dr Levin is also appointed to the Order of Canada.
  • Dr Judith Hall, Pediatrician, BC Children’s Hospital and Geneticist, Child & Family Research Institute, is inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
  • Dr Jan Christilaw, President, BC Women’s Hospital, wins YWCA Women of Distinction award in the health and wellness category.
  • Dr Robert Brunham, Head of the Vaccine Research Laboratory at the BC Centre for Disease Control, achieves Fellowship status in the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Dr. Marco Marra, Director of the Genome Sequence Centre at BC Cancer Agency, receives the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s $50,000 Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research, one of the most lucrative honours awarded by a Canadian university.
  • Dr Dan Martinusen, renal pharmacist with BC Renal Agency in Island Health, is named a Fellow in the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists.


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