Markham Stouffville Hospital recently unveiled its new Interventional Radiology (IR) suite.
On hand for the unveiling was hospital CEO Jo-anne Marr, hospital foundation CEO Suzette Strong, Chief of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Mitesh Mehta and MPP Paul Calandra.
“This is an exciting thing to see,” Calandra said. “State-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind, right here at Oak Valley in Markham Stouffville. This is awesome.”
The newly-constructed 2,465 sq. ft. suite houses a state-of-the-art GE Healthcare Interventional Radiology System – the first to be installed in a Canadian hospital.
The new suite has the latest image acquisition system, the Allia IGS 7, integrating three modalities for image guidance – Fluoroscopy, Computerized Tomography (CT) and Ultrasound.
With its laser-guided mobile robotic gantry, the Allia imaging system enables patients to be precisely positioned for minimally invasive techniques.
“Our community will receive the highest quality care in a comfortable, spacious and modern environment,” says Lynne Campkin, Director, Diagnostic and Laboratory Services. “The suite is equipped with the latest technology and was designed to reduce patient anxiety and promote safety for both patients and staff.”
The new suite welcomed it first patients in March 2022. The suite gradually opened to allow fully trained staff to transition seamlessly to the new suite and equipment.
Bibi Fazela Hussain, one of the first patients to inaugurate the IR suite, was initially nervous about her procedure but once she was in the waiting area she was feeling more relaxed.
“The staff here are so awesome, everyone treats you with so much compassion and really makes you feel at ease,” Hussain said.
Her procedure took about 40 minutes, once everything was done and she was back in the recovery bay, she had a big smile under her mask.
“The procedure went so fast, I didn’t feel a thing,” Hussain said. “I have lived in the community for 36 years – this is my hospital and I’ve seen it grow over the decades. I feel so honoured to be one of the first patients to have access to this technology.”
Sharing her same sentiment was Giovanni Spataro, a resident in the community for the past 18 years. He was also one of the first patients to inaugurate the new IR system.
“I’ve had this appointment for a few weeks and I feel so lucky to be using this new machine,” Spataro said. “I’ve seen this place become a great hospital.”
Hussain and Spataro are two of the many patients that will have access to life changing care in the hospital’s new IR suite.
The new suite will be able to see over 2,000 patients annually, using minimally invasive techniques that will improve patient outcomes.
“The backlog in non-urgent patient care, combined with today’s growing disease burden demands new solutions to help clinicians manage today’s evolving needs,” said Heather Chalmers, President of GE Canada. “Powered by GE Healthcare’s Edison intelligence platform, the Allia imaging system offers the first AI-driven imaging chain that may reduce radiation dose and contrast for interventional procedures. Ultimately, this will enable the team at Oak Valley Health to increase patient access and surgical capacity for the regions of York, Durham and beyond.”
The IR suite is self-contained and has a procedure room, control room, patient care station, six recovery bays, a radiologist office, clean and soiled storage, a washroom and an equipment room.
As part of the redevelopment, an ultraviolet light sterilization system was installed within the ductwork, in addition to the already stringent air filtration systems found in modern hospitals.
Also a first in Ontario, is the use of a UV Room Disinfector, mounted at ceiling level, using smart sensors to disinfect the room after every use.
Photo: Bibi Fazela Hussain was one of the first patients to inaugurate the hospital’s IR suite.