First Annual Georgian Bay Inter-professional Healthcare & Wellness Day

A female and male stand side-by-side in front of a wall of posters

On Wednesday June 15th 2016, the first annual Georgian Bay Interprofessional Healthcare and Wellness Research Day took place at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH). Hosted by the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP), the Town of Collingwood, Georgian College and the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, this collaborative initiative was a huge success!

The event was designed to promote community engagement and showcase the partnerships of CGMH, Georgian College, ROMP and the local area.

With over 120 in attendance and another 100+ livestreaming guests, Research Day attendee counts reached higher than 200! Attendees described the event as an “Education Expo”. Nearly 60 posters lined the halls of CGMH, showcasing quality improvement projects, program evaluations, community programs, rural resident research projects and more! All of these initiatives were from our very own south Georgian Bay community.

The leadership from the four partner organizations welcomed the large group in person and those who were live streaming. Chair of Research Day Committee and Chief of Staff at CGMH, Dr. Michael Lisi, addressed the group explaining, “We [at CGMH] are looking to break out of the silo of working as an independent hospital and are working to build partnerships with community organizations – Research Day is a demonstration as to what this is all about – community partners coming together to share and promote healthcare in our community.” Additionally, Dr. Lisi stated, “This is not your everyday healthcare experience. It relies on innovation and a willingness among all participants to strive for constant improvement. The result is better patient care.”

Dr. Peter Wells, Executive Director of the Rural Ontario Medical Program reminded participants of the local giant in healthcare, Dr. Bill Bigelow who developed the technique of using hypothermia for cardiovascular surgery from his research on ground hogs. This technique is still used every day throughout the world. Dr. Wells advised, “The Georgian Bay area has been at the forefront of community innovation and has been part of everyday healthcare provision, demonstrated through achievements such as moving all patients and organizations onto the same Electronic Health Record system and allowing for access to the unique e-prescribe system. A leader in community clinical education, the Rural Ontario Medical Program located in Collingwood was started here in 1988.”

Fay Lim-Lambie, Dean, Health, Wellness and Sciences at Georgian College stated, “Academic institutions have a responsibility to produce an interprofessional health workforce that is responsive to the health care needs of the community. This goal cannot be achieved in isolation. Education requires partnerships with health systems/institutions and community to ensure that healthcare professionals of tomorrow are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely care and meet the complex needs of patients in the future.”

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Greg Wells, scientist, broadcaster, author, coach and athlete, shared with guests his presentation, “Community Health and Wellbeing in Action: The Collingwood 150 Project Launch.” Followed by keynote speakers form Georgian College, Dr. Sara Lankshear, and Dr. Jacqueline Limoges, who presented their talk entitled, “Quality Improvement vs. Program Evaluation vs. Research: How to decided which method to use.”

Next we heard from additional speakers, such as Dave Zago from Health Quality Ontario reviewed provincial standards in healthcare provision. Dr. Michael Lisi discussed CGMH’s involvement in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program where he estimated 59% of adults undergoing surgery in Ontario will now do so in a hospital that is part of the Ontario Surgical Quality Improvement Network. Sean Hopkins, Pharmacy Lead at Royal Victoria Hospital demonstrated the Robotics in the Preparation of IV Hazardous Medications program. This state of the art technology is only one of three in the province. Dr. Jennifer Young, our local Family Physician and leader with the Ontario College of Family Physicians spoke to her provincial role as educator for Choosing Wisely reviewing unnecessary testing and overuse of prescription medication. Community members can see Choosing Wisely You Tube – a parody of the infectious Pharrell Williams song “Happy” – choose wisely when it comes to making healthcare decisions. Dr. Tara Gignac, ND spoke to the unique Family Physician and Naturopath collaborative that has started in the Collingwood area. To round out the day the graduating residents from the ROMP program and the Collingwood McMaster residency program presented their research and were welcomed as new doctors – Dr. Tan Lin, Dr. Caitlin Krempowich , Dr. Yixin Xie.

The Town of Collingwood sponsored the event with communications, media support and also initiated the livestream, so those at home could participate. Martin Rydlo, Economic Development stated, “Georgian Bay Research and Education Day increased collaboration among innovators in Health and Wellbeing in Collingwood. At this one of a kind event, the new Collingwood 150 project was launched. Collingwood 150 has the goal of identifying 150+ health & wellbeing projects and inspiring Collingwood to become Canada’s leading Healthy Active Living Community.” www.collingwood150.ca

The day would also not be possible without the Canada Summer Student Jobs Grant, announced by local MP Dr. Kellie Leitch’s office, which enabled a medical student to be hired by CGMH. Sarah Hutchings, third-year medical student worked tirelessly in a short period of time to enable posters and research day development. “This was an excellent learning opportunity. I am grateful to be a part of such an inclusive community of healthcare providers; Georgian Bay offers a diverse collection of research and initiatives to be explored.”

The Georgian Bay Interprofessional Healthcare and Wellness Research Day was created with a vision to illustrate the collaboration of health and wellness providers in the community. It is with the success of this year that we look forward to another great education expo and Research Day in 2017!