Published: January 2024

When Sean Heron attended Nipissing University in North Bay, he was in his element. This avid hiker enjoyed the area’s countless hiking trails and being outdoors. However, he also started to notice a shift in his mental health. That shift would eventually bring him back home to Ottawa and lead him to The Ottawa Hospital’s mental health team and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. 

It was during Sean’s first year in North Bay that he started to have mental health challenges, including intrusive thoughts, diet and sleep disruptions, and waning trust in others. He realized something was wrong and took the initiative to get checked at a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and PTSD. But Sean wasn’t convinced by this assessment. “I did my research, and I realized that what I had was nothing close to what those conditions were described as. But I kind of left it at that and just continued with my life,” explains Sean. 

When things didn’t improve, he left school and North Bay and returned home to his parents’ house. He got a job in the grocery industry, but in 2021, he started to hear voices at home and at work. “One day when I was at work, I asked a colleague if they heard the same thing, because I couldn’t believe that I was hearing these things,” says Sean. “It was kind of concerning.” 

Sean’s parents were more than a little concerned. “I could always see it in their faces that they were so worried — it was hard on my parents,” remembers Sean. “There were times where I lashed out. I started yelling at them because in my head, I had this delusion that they were part of this — part of the reason why I was feeling this way. I never talked to them like that before, so it was out of character for sure.” 

Sean described the voices as high pitched. “It didn’t sound like human voices. It was like a dog whistle sort of thing. I would hear full sentences.” 

Sean (left) with his family at Nipissing University.

Discovering the hospital’s On Track: First Episode Psychosis Program

Concern over what was happening eventually brought him to The Ottawa Hospital’s Emergency Department at the Civic Campus. Our mental health program provides early diagnosis and treatment of severe mental illness. With two psychiatric emergency services and 96 acute inpatient beds, our hospital is the largest provider in the region for acute mental health care and often the first place those experiencing a mental health crisis in our city will turn to for help. When Sean arrived, he was introduced to On Track: The Champlain First Episode Psychosis Program.

"Something important to recognize about schizophrenia is one of the first things that happens is people lose the ability to recognize there is something going wrong."

— Dr. Sarah Brandigampola

Read our Q&A with Dr. Brandigampola

Dr. Sarah Brandigampola, a psychiatrist at The Ottawa Hospital, recalls when she first met Sean. “He was very ill. He was lucky to have parents who knew something was going on and were trying to get him some kind of help — there were safety concerns — but up to that point he was told he wasn’t right for certain clinics,” explains Dr. Brandigampola. “So, by the time we met, Sean had been sick for at least a year, if not longer.”

It was February 2022 when Sean was diagnosed with schizophrenia — he had what’s described as auditory hallucinations, according to Dr. Brandigampola. “The experience of hearing people speak to you, even when you’re alone — it’s very distressing. Something important to recognize about schizophrenia is one of the first things that happens is people lose the ability to recognize there is something going wrong.”

This is known as a neurological phenomenon called anosognosia. “When people have anosognosia, it doesn’t matter how much you tell them the voices aren’t real or you’re not being followed, they can’t comprehend that,” explains Dr. Brandigampola.

It turns out, Sean’s early symptoms began when he was in North Bay. His first symptoms were very similar to depression, he couldn’t focus and started losing motivation to go to school and going out with friends. Dr. Brandigampola says this is very typical for the early stages of schizophrenia — people start to isolate themselves and lose interest in things. That can go on for months or years before the voices or delusions begin. It’s at that point, many people turn to drugs or alcohol to help alleviate that pain. That’s exactly what happened in Sean’s case.

Almost a sense of relief with diagnosis of schizophrenia

The diagnosis brought almost a sense of relief to Sean. “It was like this validation — that you’re not alone. It is a known condition and there was help available, so really, it was a relief.” 

"It was like this validation — that you're not alone. It is a known condition and there was help available, so really, it was a relief.”

— Sean Heron

Now that Sean was enrolled in the On Track program, he had a full team of professionals ready to help him. As Dr. Brandigampola explains, it’s a recovery focused program. Remission is a step in the process to eliminate the symptoms, but recovery is the goal — to get the patient’s life back on track in terms of school, work, relationships, and hobbies. “We want them living a life that has meaning to them and where they’re pursuing their goals.”

The first step in the treatment is a medication to help quiet the voices. This can take some time to achieve, but Sean responded well. Things significantly improved when he went from oral medication to a monthly injection — it’s long-acting and patients don’t run the risk of forgetting to take a pill daily.

Sean and his dog.

Once he began medication, the next step was to work on the basic structure of his day, because Sean had been spending all of his time alone. That’s where his recreational therapist came into the picture. Patients like Sean are introduced to a variety of interest groups to help them reintegrate into social settings. There are groups for walking, sports, education, and a general recreation group. “Sean was interested in those groups, and that was a way for us to get him out of the house,” according to Dr. Brandigampola.

Full team assembled to assist

Another member of Sean’s team included a neuropsychologist, who did cognitive assessments. This helped prepare Sean for a goal that was very important to him — returning to school.

Incredibly, in September 2022 — only seven months after his diagnosis — Sean enrolled as a part-time student at Carleton University majoring in psychology. “Given just how sick he had been and how he had been isolated for a long time, the groups helped get Sean active again and helped motivate him to ask himself, ‘What else do I want?’” explains Dr. Brandigampola.

Occupational therapists also helped set Sean up for success. “Melissa was my occupational therapist and she helped me get to where I needed to be to start school. She helped me set up appointments with academic advisors to see what kind of credits I needed to continue with. She even helped me pick my courses,” says Sean.

Maeve Blake is a social worker at The Ottawa Hospital.

The team is also made up of 10 primary clinicians — five registered nurses and five social workers. Maeve Blake, a social worker, was one of Sean’s clinicians in his first 18 months of the program. Her role was to oversee, counsel, and support patients like Sean throughout the program. “The primary clinician works closely with the patient and their family if they’re open to that. We can provide psychoeducation about schizophrenia, what recovery can look like, how clients can promote their own recovery, and what helps in terms of lifestyle changes, social supports, substance use — all those kinds of things,” explains Maeve.

How to set patients up for success?

Small goals are set for the patient to help put them on a path for success. “A big piece of the work that I did with Sean early on was behavourial activation. We worked on activity schedules and addressed how his substance use at the time was getting in the way of his recovery and his goals,” explains Maeve.

“Sean wanted to go back to school and finish his degree, so that’s what we worked on. At On Track, we focus on what’s important to the client,” says Maeve. “It’s not about us imposing goals on them but about getting to know them as individuals — help me understand your life and what’s important to you.”

There are common themes within patients, but it’s very much a uniquely tailored approach based on each patient’s needs, according to Maeve.

Sean with his family.

The first year of the program focuses on getting people well and stable, while the second year is about setting goals and helping the patient work towards them. Then by the third and final year, the care team can start to take a step back with a goal of transitioning the patient back to their family doctor.

This specialized program has worked incredibly well for Sean, who is currently in his second year of the program. Maeve says he’s always been internally driven to get better, and she admits that’s not always the case with some patients. “What was lovely to see as Sean’s symptoms became better controlled was how warm and genuine he is. Watching his true personality re-emerge was wonderful and uplifting.”

"This is a young man who got his life back. It’s a family that got their son back. It shows that these types of interventions work.”

— Maeve Blake
When it comes to seeing patients improve, Maeve is quick to point to the scope of the program, and she gives full credit to the patient’s commitment. “The wrap around supports that we offer in addition to psychiatry care are phenomenal. I can’t think of any other program that gives this comprehensive and holistic approach. This is a young man who got his life back. It’s a family that got their son back. It shows that these types of interventions work.”

“I don't know where I would be without this program.”

Today, Sean is 25 and continuing his studies part-time. He still loves playing video games and in the warmer months, you’ll find him biking and hiking — he loves the outdoors. He also continues with the On Track program — a program he’s truly grateful for. “It’s like a gift really. I don’t know where I would be without this program.”

"This is world-class care, and this is what I would want for everybody — certainly my loved ones.”

— Dr. Sarah Brandigampola

Dr. Brandigampola is quick to point out that the program does take self-referrals, so if people have concerns about themselves or someone they care about, they can always call the On Track program and arrange a consult.

For Sean, treatment will be lifelong, but as he gets older, Dr. Brandigampola is hopeful new research advancements — including advancements made at The Ottawa Hospital — will provide patients like him more options.

But for now, this program is an important steppingstone. “This is a critical program for patients with schizophrenia. This is world-class care, and this is what I would want for everybody — certainly my loved ones.”

If someone needs help:

Anyone can self-refer to www.accessmha.ca. This is a centralized place to get access to any mental health care (substance use, anxiety, depression, etc.) in Ottawa. The Crisis Line number is: 1-866-996-0991

Published: April 2023

If you pass by the new campus development site on Carling Avenue, you’ll notice action. Construction on the 50-acre site is in its first phase — that means prepping the land for the new hospital campus and building the parking garage. After years of planning and re-imagining what the future of healthcare could look like, the vision to replace the near century-old Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital is becoming reality.

Once completed, the new state-of-the-art campus will be a catalyst for reshaping healthcare for patients across eastern Ontario, western Quebec, and Nunavut. The potential for research breakthroughs could be limitless, especially when seeking new treatments and finding cures for cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s, ALS, and other diseases.

When the new campus opens its doors, it will build on Ottawa’s leadership as a hub for healthcare, research, and training — attracting the best medical minds and scientists in the world. And most importantly, it will transform the patient care experience.

Jason-Emery Groën is the Vice‑President, Design Director at HDR.

What will you experience when you step into the new hospital campus?

A project of this magnitude includes a vast team, but with one shared goal — to create an exceptional experience for our patients, their families, and our staff.  

That’s where Jason-Emery Groën comes into the picture — he’s the Vice-President, Design Director at HDR, an architecture and engineering firm working on the project. Jason-Emery has over two decades of experience on a global scale — his design experience is wide-ranging, including complex multi-billion-dollar healthcare facilities and campuses.  

“Our team views this project as an extremely rare, perhaps once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine spaces and environments where healthcare is delivered.”

– Jason-Emery Groën

“Our team views this project as an extremely rare, perhaps once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine spaces and environments where healthcare is delivered,” explains Jason-Emery. 

As plans continue to take shape for the design of the new hospital campus, Jason-Emery can help us visualize the healthcare experience. He starts from the moment you arrive at the main plaza and enter through the front door into the bright and open concourse along the front of the new building. “The concourse is a double-height space with two main towers that span across the main entrance.”

Straight ahead will be the information desk, where some key, high-volume clinics are nearby. This will minimize the travel distance for most people coming and going from the hospital. To the left will be the taller in-patient tower, containing a series of in-patient rooms with a dedicated focus, such as the mother-baby unit, critical care, and acute care. To the right will be the tower that will house a host of other services, including in-patient and out-patient mental health services.

As Jason-Emery explains, there is a key objective in mind when planning the main plaza of the building. “It’s to bring everyone to a central and similar location upon arrival. As visitors move through the main corridors, the design aligns these along the exterior of the building facing the main plaza so, you can always look outside and see where you came from. That is a very simple human requirement, and we feel it’s very important in a space that is about wellness.”

In episode #81 of Pulse Podcast, listen to Jason-Emery Groën describe the future of healthcare as plans continue for the new campus development site on Carling Avenue.

Listen Now:

What will the new trauma centre mean for patients?

How patients arrive at the new campus in emergency situations will also be a newly designed experience — one that’s intended to deliver care as quickly as possible. From dedicated access routes for ambulances to a rooftop helipad to state-of-the-art surgical suites and operating rooms with the most advanced technology, this will all contribute to a more streamlined ebb and flow for patients and staff. 

Our hospital is home to the only Level 1 Trauma Centre for adults in eastern Ontario, serving 1.3 million, primarily in the Ottawa regions, but some coming from as far away as Nunavut, and the need for care continues to increase. Over the last five years, there has been an approximate 40% increase in trauma codes activated by the team, with falls and motor vehicle collisions as the leading causes of injuries.  

For Dr. Edmund Kwok  the Deputy Head of Quality, Safety & Performance in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital  the new efficient flow of the Trauma Centre will be a game changer for this team.  

“We’re in the early stages of planning, but part of that includes trying to understand from a care perspective what’s the most effective, efficient way to deliver the care for these patients,” says Dr. Kwok. “That includes things like proximity to key resources like CT scans and operating rooms.” 

The plan for new surgical suites is an interventional platform, meaning it will bring together surgical suites and radiology all on a single floor. “That is fundamental to the core of the services delivered in a trauma centre,” explains Jason-Emery. “A lot of advancements are happening in that sphere of healthcare. For example, hybrid operating rooms with space built in for diagnostic imaging to take place right in the room. So, the design needs to be flexible for future technological changes.” 

Dr. Edmund Kwok, the Deputy Head of Quality, Safety & Performance in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital.

Intentional design that considers the patient and their loved ones

As Dr. Kwok explains, time is of the essence when seconds matter, so deliberate design is key for the trauma centre. “We want a design where patients will flow through with as little physical movement as possible. We’re also looking at how people interact with the space around the patient. For example, how do we design the placement of equipment in the trauma bay? When the patient does need to be moved, how do we seamlessly move not only the patient but also their whole care team?” 

“I think we have the ingredients for a real world-leading trauma centre here. I think this is a foundational piece to attract talent. It will have a kind of domino effect where people are excited and they will want to come and learn and practice.”

– Dr. Edmund Kwok

Also considered in the planning will be the patient’s family and loved ones. Whether they arrive with the patient via ambulance or on their own, these loved ones are anxious for information. “It can be quite stressful for those loved ones,” explains Dr. Kwok. “We need to provide them with a quiet, private space where our social workers and other team members can communicate with them — away from the hectic action that is happening in the trauma bay. Those are important pieces that we need to think about.”  

From the physical design of the new trauma centre to the human factor considerations for patients, staff, and families, there will be a long-term impact. “I think we have the ingredients for a real world-leading trauma centre here. I think this is a foundational piece to attract talent. It will have a kind of domino effect where people are excited and they will want to come and learn and practice,” says Dr. Kwok. 

How will single-patient rooms change the patient experience?

TOH_Electronic Glass Window_Colour

Floor-to-ceiling windows for an abundance of natural light.

TOH_Interactive-Smart-Screens_Colour

"Smart" in-room digital screens will connect patients to their care providers, health information, and appointments while allowing them to order a meal and stay in touch with loved ones.

TOH-Icon_Shower_Colour

Private, accessible bathrooms, each with their own shower.

TOH_LovedOne_Colour

Space for loved ones to spend the night.

TOH_Patient in Bed_Colour

Extra space around the patient bed will give healthcare workers unfettered access to deliver care.

For patients who are admitted to the hospital, the new campus experience will be transformational. The most significant change will be single-patient rooms — this is becoming the gold standard for new hospitals around the world.  

“This has been part of the communication and engagement with many community members. Imagine seeing the land and the sky simultaneously — it is important for many cultures. Just having the ability to see that, frankly for anyone, we think is fantastic.”

– Jason-Emery Groën

When you enter the patient room, you will see full-length windows, intentionally giving patients an unobstructed view from their bed of the sky to the ground. It seems simple, but this is an important part of the wellness journey. “This has been part of the communication and engagement with many community members. Imagine seeing the land and the sky simultaneously — it is important for many cultures. Just having the ability to see that, frankly for anyone, we think is fantastic,” says Jason-Emery. 

Giving patients greater control over their environment is also an important design consideration. For example, the design team is exploring the possibility of using “smart glass” to build in more customization. The specialized glass can darken or turn opaque, allowing a patient to adjust the amount of light coming into the room with the touch of a button.  

There will be a bedside terminal integrated with a digital smart screen that will allow staff, patient, and their loved ones to track health information. It will also help keep patients connected with people outside the hospital. 

A key design element of the patient room also includes the private washroom and the patient’s ability to move in and out of it. “This is quite an innovative design,” explains Jason-Emery. “We are studying a double-door system that slides open to provide four times the amount of clearance and access to the space than is typical in a hospital patient washroom. This is important in terms of thinking about the need for healthcare moving forward, an increasingly elderly population with mobility challenges. So being able to widen that access in a way that still is discreet and promotes its privacy is being factored into the design.”

While each patient room will include space for a loved one to spend the night comfortably, family lounges are being designed as well. “It’s also about families having appropriate spaces to gather,” explains Jason-Emery. “Even though we’ve created a single-patient room, that doesn’t mean it can accommodate a large family or gathering. Even beyond that, what if a family might have a particular ceremony they wish to partake in? Could they smudge, for example, or partake in other cultural activities?”

How will the new campus prioritize accessibility?

While the patient rooms will be fully accessible, the new hospital campus will be a welcoming place for everyone. “Accessibility has been embedded into all aspects of the design process of this project,” explains Marnie Peters, the accessibility expert for the new hospital campus.

It goes beyond the washroom in the patient’s room with the double sliding doors and the direct route from the patient’s bed to the toilet or the roll-in shower. “We want every washroom to be accessible. So, anybody — staff, visitors, patients — can use any bathroom. This is a basic human need,” explains Marnie.

Another key factor is making sure all spaces are accessible for people using mobility devices and other health equipment. There’s also the consideration of clear directional signage that’s easy for people to understand. Marnie explains that asking a patient to follow the red dots to get where they need to go might not be possible for someone who is colour blind or has low or no vision. “So, we’re going to look at different strategies for signage and wayfinding, and how that works together. This will complement the seamless architecture in terms of direct and intuitive routes and making it easy for people to find their destination,” says Marnie.

Marnie Peters, an accessibility expert for the new hospital campus.

Even arriving at the hospital will provide patients, their families, and staff with more ease when it comes to accessibility. There will be 72 accessible parking spaces, including a large number that will be van-accessible parking spots, and 144 limited mobility parking spaces — which are meant for those who might not need a larger accessible spot, but still need closeness to the entry.

“It's an honor and a pleasure to be working with a really talented group of people, but also to be able to make sure that this premier hospital will be fully inclusive for everybody in the community.”

– Marnie Peters

Another new aspect of the design will be exterior moving sidewalks to help reduce fatigue and allow people to get to their destinations with less stress. As the detailed design process continues, Marnie will be there with a specific focus to create a welcoming environment for all. “It’s an honour and a pleasure to be working with a really talented group of people, but also to be able to make sure that this premier hospital will be fully inclusive for everybody in the community.”

The future is closer than ever

While the design work continues and the early construction phase moves forward, the pieces are starting to take shape. The future home of the new campus offers an incredible opportunity to provide the space for state-of-the-art care and recovery for patients. Research will also be a vital component — our world-leading research will be integrated into every aspect of the campus. This gives patients access to innovative and potentially life-saving therapies — building on the successes we’ve seen to date. The impact of what happens inside will have a ripple effect through the region, across the country, and around the world. Ultimately, patients will be the ones who see the real benefit.

As we head into the 100th anniversary of the Civic Campus next year, we are once again building a hospital for future generations. But this time, it will pave the way for a transformation of healthcare unlike anything we’ve seen before. For Dr. Kwok, it means having a building that matches the capabilities of the incredibly talented people working there. “I think it’s time for Ottawa to have a re-design, a bigger hospital, and trauma centre for sure. We will need the capacity physically to deal with what’s asked of us. So, it will be great for the city, for the region.”

Published: March 2023

The search for the silver bullet for sepsis has been decades in the making. However, The Ottawa Hospital is taking a big step forward in the next phase of a world-first clinical trial using stem cells in patients with septic shock — not so much a silver bullet, but a seed that could lead to future innovative treatment options and impact millions of patients. The hope is to not only save more lives but also improve the quality of life of those who do survive this devastating illness.

Sepsis is caused by our own body’s response to infection. When that infection spreads through the blood stream and over-activates the immune and coagulation systems, it can cause the heart and other organs to fail. Sepsis is associated with a death rate from 20% to 40% and upwards from that, depending on the patient. Survivors of this devastating condition often have their quality of life impacted and often for the long term. Sepsis knows no borders and impacts people globally.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis occurs when the body has an extreme, life-threatening response to an infection. The infection includes bacteria that enter the blood stream, triggering a chain reaction during which the patient’s immune system response damages its own tissues, potentially leading to organ failure and death.

Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre is an intensive care unit (ICU) physician and senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital, and it’s her care of critically ill patients that has motivated her research into sepsis. Over the years, she’s witnessed the debilitating impact it can have on patients and their families. “It’s why I’m doing this research. As researchers, we love science. We love posing questions and the thinking that goes with these questions, and we love the answering those scientific questions. But the main reason we’re doing research is to help patients,” says Dr. McIntyre. “If there’s some way we can just move that needle to help these patients and their families, that just means so much.”

The global impact of sepsis

Sepsis is recognized as a global health priority. It’s estimated there are 48.9 million cases of sepsis annually and 11 million sepsis-related deaths — those account for almost 20% of global deaths. It is also the leading cause of death among COVID-19 patients.

To put that in perspective, a study published in 2021 led by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and ICES (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) showed that severe sepsis is linked with higher mortality, increased hospital readmission, and higher healthcare costs. In Ontario alone, sepsis related costs are estimated at $1 billion per year.

“It’s the complexity of the infection and the challenge that drew me to the research, but also knowing the potential to really help patients and see if we can make them better.”

– Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre

According to Dr. McIntyre, sepsis is the most common reason why patients are admitted to ICUs. “They account for about 20% of the cases in the ICU at our hospital. From a provincial glance, over a four-year period, there were 270,000 cases of patients that were admitted to hospitals in Ontario for infection — about 30% had the more severe form of sepsis, with infection plus organ failure which amounts to about 67,500 patients a year in Ontario alone – it’s staggering,” explains Dr. McIntyre.

These data are a key motivator to learn more about sepsis and how to treat it. “It’s the complexity of the infection and the challenge that drew me to the research, but also knowing the potential to help patients and see if we can make them better,” says Dr. McIntyre.

Putting a face to the impact of the infection

Ten years ago, sepsis changed the life of Christine Caron — a single, working mother with four children who, at the time, ranged in age from 15 to 24. Throughout the winter and spring of 2013, she hadn’t been feeling well. Then in late May, while playing tug-of-war with her four dogs, her left hand was accidentally nipped. “It wasn’t a serious bite, just a break in the skin. I had no redness or pain, so I washed it out and disinfected the area,” recalls Christine.

Four days later when Christine was at work, she realized she hadn’t gone to the bathroom all day — eventually she learned this was because her kidneys were shutting down. The following day, she set out for a morning run. “I was winded and had to walk home but felt better after a shower. Later that day, I had terrible stomach pain — like someone had punched me in the stomach — and felt disoriented. I went home and slept. My son woke me up at one point to say I was breathing funny, but I assured him I was fine and fell back to sleep. I was shocked when I woke up and realized how long I had been asleep,” says Christine.

Christine Caron is a survivor of sepsis.

She remembers feeling agitated and more symptoms developed, including sweating despite feeling cold and becoming very thirsty. She went to a local urgent care centre, but it was closed. “I had no idea how sick I was, and the thought of sitting in an emergency department was overwhelming. I decided if I wasn’t feeling better in the morning that I would go to the hospital then.” 

Later that night, while her children slept, she became very sick — flu-like symptoms as she describes it. “I lay on the bathroom floor, probably ‘till three in the morning. I thought about calling an ambulance, but I didn’t want to wake up my family,” says Christine. “I wasn’t thinking clearly. I now know this was delirium.”

The next morning, a friend took Christine to a local hospital. “I was dizzy, I could barely breathe. I handed my health card to the attending nurse and then I collapsed,” explains Christine.

Christine wouldn’t regain consciousness for a month. On June 13, she woke up at the Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital to learn the devastating news of what sepsis had done to her body. This was when she heard about septic shock for the first time. “I had bronchitis that progressed to walking pneumonia. It was this condition that compromised my immune system resulting in the reaction to the bacteria when I was nipped by my dog. It quickly escalated to septic shock.”

As it would turn out, the sepsis infection had caused irreparable damage. By June 22, Christine began a series of surgeries to amputate her legs, her left arm, and remove dead tissue from her remaining limb and her face — changing her life forever. Little did she know at the time, but this set her on a path of becoming a voice for sepsis survivors. By early July, she was released from the hospital and would learn a new way of life at our Rehabilitation Centre, where she learned to walk again and received support for PTSD. Today, Christine is an active advocate for sepsis survivors, awareness, and for research.

Moving the needle for sepsis treatment

For decades, there has been little progress in advancing specific treatment for sepsis, but world-first research at our hospital shows that a specific type of stem cells may be the key to helping balance out the body’s immune system to improve its response to sepsis. Laboratory studies and early clinical trial results were so promising that Dr. McIntyre’s research was awarded $2.3 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Stem Cell Network to begin a larger trial. “Researchers around the world have spent decades trying to find new therapies for septic shock, but so far nothing has improved survival, nor the quality of life for survivors of this devastating illness,” says Dr. McIntyre. “We urgently need new treatments for septic shock and to test them in randomized controlled trials like this one.”

This injection of funds will allow the team to expand the trial to 10 centres across Canada to see whether the stem cells can reduce patients’ needs for organ support in the ICU.

For Dr. McIntyre, this research, which is a huge collaboration among hospital colleagues, including Drs. Duncan Stewart, Dean Fergusson, and Shirley Mei, as well as colleagues throughout Canada and abroad. It provides hope that years of dedication to this mysterious illness may finally move the needle forward for sepsis treatment. “These stem cells hold, in my opinion, immense therapeutic promise for the treatment of sepsis, because these cells act through many mechanisms that relate to sepsis. Not only do they recognize and ultimately kill the bugs causing the infection, but they also calm the immune and blood-clotting responses that our body has to the infection,” explains Dr. McIntyre.

“I see this trial as the very first beginning — it’s a little bud, and we’re just going to grow from it.”

– Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre

And while Dr. McIntyre says her research has shown these cells have other benefits, such as restoring energy to the tissues, and reducing vessel leakiness and the swelling that goes with it, treating sepsis is still an enormously complex problem. “We can’t expect that there’s a silver bullet that’s going to completely cure sepsis, but from what we have learned so far, these cells have the potential to make a real dent in the immense death from sepsis, and we hope will improve the quality of life for survivors of this devastating illness.”

Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre is an intensive care unit physician and senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital.

The “little bud” that will grow into future sepsis research

This clinical trial is just the starting point to learn more about this deadly infection, and the results will help inform future trials. As the research advances, and more is learned about how the body responds to these cells during sepsis, it will help identify future patients that may have the most to benefit. “So, I see this trial as the very beginning — it’s a little bud and we’re just going to grow from it,” explains Dr. McIntyre.

The growth of this research has been cultivated by what Dr. McIntyre describes as a major collaborative team approach. It includes researchers, both basic and clinical, cell manufacturing experts, trainees, project managers, clinicians, and nurses, as well as patient and family partners, and sepsis survivors, like Christine, who is the lead patient partner. “Working with these patient partners has just been illuminating about post-sepsis survivorship. People like Christine have been so helpful in enabling us to understand the need to study more about the survivorship of these patients and their families, and the quality of that survival,” explains Dr. McIntyre.

“Sepsis took so much from me — it scarred me in so many ways. We need to advocate and educate because sepsis does not discriminate.”

– Christine Caron
Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre with Christine Caron, who is a lead patient partner in sepsis research.

There’s a mutual admiration between the two women, who have each seen sepsis through a very different lens. Christine is thrilled to have her voice heard and to see that needle move forward. “Dr. McIntyre’s research is phenomenal because a lot of patients come out with organ damage, and stem cell research could save so much for so many people. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if it did?” Christine adds, “Sepsis took so much from me — it scarred me in so many ways. We need to advocate and educate because sepsis does not discriminate.”

“If there's something that we can do to reduce death and help how patients survive this immense illness, we’ve just got to go there.”

– Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre

And so, for Dr. McIntyre, it’s those faces she sees in the ICU and those like Christine, who work alongside her, that continue to motivate her with each step forward in the search for answers in this challenging puzzle of sepsis. “If there’s something that we can do to reduce death and help how patients survive this immense illness, we’ve just got to go there.”

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research, and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.

Published: December 2022

Content warning: Graphic description, in his own words, of the injuries he sustained.

Travis Vaughan shares the story of the night of December 18, 2019, when he arrived by air ambulance to The Ottawa Hospital Trauma Centre after a snowmobile crash in rural Ottawa that left him with life-threatening injuries. This is Travis’ story, told in his own words, about how our orthopaedic trauma team was ready to save his life. 

It was a late afternoon on a Wednesday in December, and we just received our first real snowfall of the season. I was excited to get home from work to take the snowmobile out. My wife would be home from work soon, so I wasn’t planning on staying out long — just a quick loop and back home for the night. There was still light in the sky, but we were inching closer to the shortest day of the year.

I was on my way back — about 300 yards from the house — when the snowmobile hit a patch of very rough ground under the snow. As soon as the skis hit the frozen furrows of ground, the front end of the snowmobile broke apart. The machine rolled, taking me with it.

It all happened in the blink of an eye. While in the air, I remember being confused as to why the snowmobile suddenly upset, then I hit the ground hard.

“I’m grateful that through all of this, I was able to stay calm and keep my breathing steady, thanks to the reassuring support coming from the other end of the phone.”

– Travis Vaughan

Initially I didn’t think I was any worse for wear, until I looked down. My leg was torn wide open, and my femur was completely exposed — there was a lot of blood, but no pain. My adrenaline kicked in immediately. Luckily, I had stuffed my cellphone in my pocket and was able to dial 911. I explained to the calm voice of the operator that I was lying alone in a field just north of Almonte. She asked several questions, and I conveyed the severity of the situation, explaining my left leg was dangling and nearly detached. I was trying to make a tourniquet, but didn’t have a belt and wasn’t able to get my waist band torn out of my snow pants. I was acutely aware the situation was dire — if help didn’t arrive quickly, things would likely not end well. I remember her telling me there was all kinds of help on the way, and the Ornge air ambulance had been dispatched.

My hands started to numb from the bitter cold, and I wanted to call my wife, but the operator insisted I stay on the line until help arrived. I’m grateful that through all of this, I was able to stay calm and keep my breathing steady, thanks to the reassuring support coming from the other end of the phone.

Desperate for help to arrive

Unfortunately, the cold air caused my phone to die, cutting me off from the 911 operator. Sitting alone I remember thinking — you’re 32-years-old, this isn’t how it’s supposed to end. It was a surreal feeling. Strangely, it wasn’t scary — a warm calm sort of settled over my body. I remember thinking either I was going to hear sirens and see help coming, or I wasn’t, and this would be it. I started to think about my wife and family, and all the happy milestones I would miss.

But my next thought was different — and it hit me like a train — if I didn’t survive this, it would be my wife and family left to pick up the pieces, not me. I was furious with myself for succumbing to self pity while not thinking of how devastating and difficult this would be for my loved ones. This was the most intense thought I’ve ever experienced. From that moment on, I was going to give everything I had left to live; putting one hand in front of the other, I began to crawl. The next thing I knew, our dog came running towards me across the field. He looked at me with a what-did-you-do expression. He knew I was in trouble and stayed by my side as I slowly dragged myself home.

My wife, Jenn, and my brother, Tyler, who was living with us at the time, were both at home by the time I got to the house. I pushed open the door, and my wife turned and looked at me. I can still see the shock on her face. She came running towards me, grabbed me a belt and covered me with a blanket, before going to find my brother for help.  

“From that moment on, I was going to give everything I had left to live, putting one hand in front of the other, I began to crawl.”

– Travis Vaughan
Travis' dog heard his cries for help and remained by his side as Travis dragged himself home.

Tyler raced to make a tourniquet to help ease the blood loss; not many people could have done that, and I’m here because of it. Soon, the emergency responders started to arrive and they applied a proper tourniquet, started fluids, and worked to stabilize me. I was loaded into the ambulance — time was of the essence, so they quickly transported me to the awaiting air ambulance. The pilot had tried to land in the yard, however, due to trees and uneven ground, he had to set the helicopter down on the road. My memory starts to get a little fuzzy here, I’m so grateful to my wife, brother, the police officers, paramedics, and firefighters for the role they played in saving my life. 

“When I say a team, it’s no exaggeration — my family told me there were close to 20 professionals ready and waiting. It was powerful to witness, and it’s not lost on me that because I was at a Level 1 Trauma Centre, I had immediate access to any equipment necessary. This level of care is unbelievable.”

– Travis Vaughan

Unbelievable care awaited me at the Trauma Centre

When we landed at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus a full team awaited me. When I say a team, it’s no exaggeration — my family told me there were close to 20 professionals ready and waiting. It was powerful to witness, and it’s not lost on me that because I was at a Level 1 Trauma Centre, I had immediate access to any equipment necessary. This level of care is unbelievable. 

Travis with his wife, daughter, and brother.

The team had received details of my injury while I was in the air. I remember feeling the first sigh of relief when we arrived — I was in good hands. My family was also in good hands, and that was equally comforting to hear afterwards. My wife received a phone call from a physician on the way to the hospital explaining what had already been done and what was planned. When my mother, sister, and wife arrived at the hospital, they were met by a social worker who was exceptional and again briefed them on all that was going on.

“It was my wife and brother that gave me my first fighting chance to live. Now, it was up to the trauma team to do the rest.”

– Travis Vaughan

It still amazes me to this day that I remember so much about that experience. I recall the faces of the trauma team as they did a full evaluation to determine if there were any other injuries. Each person acted quickly and concisely to get answers. I remember a CT scan showed I didn’t have any head trauma and my neck was fine — but I was hypothermic because of the extent of time I was outside.

The damage to my femur and surrounding tissue was extensive and critical. I recall someone saying the tourniquet Tyler put on my leg is likely the reason I made it to the hospital alive — it was my wife and brother that gave me my first fighting chance to live. Now, it was up to the trauma team to do the rest.

What is trauma care like at The Ottawa Hospital today?
The Ottawa Hospital and its Trauma Centre at the Civic Campus are responsible for 1.3 million residents, ranging from as far west as Pembroke to as far east as Hawkesbury.
What is trauma care like at The Ottawa Hospital today?
We’re the only Level 1 Trauma Centre for adults in eastern Ontario.
What is trauma care like at The Ottawa Hospital today?
The Civic Emergency Department was renovated in 2003 to treat 60,000 patients a year, today treats over 90,000 a year, and we project that by 2030, we will need to treat more than 120,000 a year.
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In 2021–2022, we admitted 992 patients for trauma care, up from 958 in 2020–2021.

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40.3% of trauma patients in 2021–2022 were 65 or older.

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Falls and motor vehicle collisions are the leading causes of injury at 43% and 33.8% respectively in 2021–2022.

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67% of patients arrive directly from the scene, 33% from another facility.

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Fracture cases annually: 3000+ (2000+ of these cases require hospitalization)

Orthopaedic trauma team gave me a chance at a full recovery

Getting the femur positioned back in my leg was going to be the first, and very painful, thing to do. Dr. Allan Liew, Director of Orthopaedic Trauma, was the lead, and I remember an orthopaedic resident was with me — standing right by my head. They explained how they had to try and put my femur back in my leg. The resident had a good sense of humour, which really helped in that moment, and he said to me, “Ok, this is going to suck.”

And it really did, but it had to be done to help put me on the right path to recovery. Later that night, once I was stabilized, Dr. Liew took me into surgery. I had a debridement — which is basically a thorough cleaning of the wound — and that’s when they realized there was some bone loss from the accident. What I mean by that is a piece of my femur was missing — still back in the field. So, my leg had to be stabilized with pins and bars just above the knee.

This whole surgery was crucial to reduce the risk of infection, and Dr. Liew did an incredible job with what he had to work with. That first surgery was critical in setting me up for a successful recovery.

I returned to the operating room on December 21 for another debridement, which gave my surgeons the chance to reassess how the tissues were doing, as well as the bone. Then four days later, on Christmas Eve, I had a third surgery — a definitive fix, as it was called. A plate and screws were used to stabilize my femur, but also, the surgical team needed to start the process to build back the missing bone. A block of bone cement was placed in the area where the bone was missing. Amazingly, the body will start to form a healing membrane around the cement, and six to eight weeks later I would return to have the block removed and a bone graft placed inside the membrane.

Travis underwent several critical surgeries to set him up for a successful recovery.

Orthopaedic trauma team gave me a chance at a full recovery

Getting the femur positioned back in my leg was going to be the first, and very painful, thing to do. Dr. Allan Liew, Director of Orthopaedic Trauma, was the lead, and I remember an orthopaedic resident was with me — standing right by my head. They explained how they had to try and put my femur back in my leg. The resident had a good sense of humour, which really helped in that moment, and he said to me, “Ok, this is going to suck.”

Travis underwent several critical surgeries to set him up for a successful recovery.

And it really did, but it had to be done to help put me on the right path to recovery. Later that night, once I was stabilized, Dr. Liew took me into surgery. I had a debridement — which is basically a thorough cleaning of the wound — and that’s when they realized there was some bone loss from the accident. What I mean by that is a piece of my femur was missing — still back in the field. So, my leg had to be stabilized with pins and bars just above the knee.

This whole surgery was crucial to reduce the risk of infection, and Dr. Liew did an incredible job with what he had to work with. That first surgery was critical in setting me up for a successful recovery.

I returned to the operating room on December 21 for another debridement, which gave my surgeons the chance to reassess how the tissues were doing, as well as the bone. Then four days later, on Christmas Eve, I had a third surgery — a definitive fix, as it was called. A plate and screws were used to stabilize my femur, but also, the surgical team needed to start the process to build back the missing bone. A block of bone cement was placed in the area where the bone was missing. Amazingly, the body will start to form a healing membrane around the cement, and six to eight weeks later I would return to have the block removed and a bone graft placed inside the membrane.

Finally, after 10 days in hospital, I was able to go home. While I missed Christmas with my family, they were always present at the hospital. Staff also went the extra mile to celebrate Christmas with me. I was lucky to be alive and hopeful The Ottawa Hospital’s specialist were setting me up for a full recovery. But my journey wasn’t over — one more big surgery awaited me.

‘Superman’ surgeon leaves a lasting impression

That’s when I would meet Dr. Geoff Wilkin — or as I refer to him, Superman. He’s an orthopaedic surgeon who would lead that final surgery. Initially, the plan was for a short, routine surgery for bone grafting. However, after reviewing the imaging he wasn’t pleased with how my leg was healing and decided he wanted to re-align the femur — a redo if you will. Admittedly, I was shocked by this news. I had mentally prepared for a brief procedure, and now I was in for a six-hour surgery. But the truth was, I was having difficulty bending my knee, and Dr. Wilkin explained this was the best opportunity to get it right. If this wasn’t fixed properly, I would face a lifetime of issues that would impact my quality of life.

“Dr. Wilkin’s thoroughness and determination gave me the best chance at a future with a fully functional leg. He went so far past the extra mile to give me the best opportunity at recovery. He's given me a second lease on life — I will be forever grateful for that.”

– Travis Vaughan

On February 13, 2020 — just before COVID-19 hit our city — I was back in the operating room. Mine was a complex case. First, Dr. Wilkin had to remove that cement spacer in my femur. Then, he realigned the femur into a better position and attached two new plates to it. Up next was the bone grafting, where bone was harvested from my pelvis and placed in my thigh.

Dr. Wilkin’s thoroughness and determination gave me the best chance at a future with a fully functional leg. He went so far past the extra mile to give me the best opportunity at recovery. He’s given me a second lease on life — I will be forever grateful for that.

Travis with his orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Geoff Wilkin.
Travis with his daughter.

On to the best part. Thanks to the team that was waiting for me the night of the accident and those I would meet in the days and weeks ahead, including a long list of amazing nurses, I’m doing well. I don’t know that I’ll be skiing in the Rockies or running a marathon, but I was around to experience something far better. In October 2021, my wife and I welcomed our first child, a daughter. I now can chase her around the playground and enjoy any other activities she chooses to pursue growing up.

I’m beyond lucky to live in a city with access to the world-class care I received that cold December night. While my life hung in the balance, the trauma team was ready for me, and that’s something I will never forget.

Dr. Geoff Wilkin

“There are two important time points in acute orthopaedic trauma care. There's the initial time of injury, when we are focused on stabilizing measures to save life and limb. But the second, and bigger, piece of my job is putting people’s injuries back together as perfectly as possible to maximize their recovery and their return to function. My goal is to get people back to the level of activity they had before their injury — that's what we are always striving for with any injured patient.

Travis was one of those guys that every time I saw him, he was doing better and better. Despite everything he went through, his positive attitude and determination to get better never failed. Today, he's doing really well — he is enjoying an active life with his young family and his injury is largely a thing of the past. It feels great to have helped him get there.”
Download episode #72 of Pulse Podcast to hear Travis Vaughan reunited with his orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Geoff Wilkin.

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CTV News Coverage — Graham Richardson reports that construction for the new hospital campus parking garage is getting underway.

Browse Current Issues

  • Twenty-third Edition – Building the best hospital for you
  • Twenty-second Edition – The Ottawa Hospital and Hydro Ottawa partner on innovative new central utility plant
  • Twenty-first Edition – The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus development an economic anchor for our community
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  • Nineteenth Edition – The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus design showcased on international stage
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  • Eleventh Edition – Tree relocation begins at the New Campus Development
  • Tenth Edition – The New Campus Development gets the green light from Ontario government, the new hospital construction to boost Ottawa’s GDP by $2 billion, and more!
  • Ninth Edition – Parking structure highlights, getting to the new campus, naturalizing the site, and more.
  • Eighth Edition – How a new trauma centre will save lives, an update on the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Circle, a feature on artwork by Algonquin artists Simon Brascoupé and Mairi Brascoupé, and a letter on hospital parking by Chiefs of Staff from hospitals across the region.
  • Seventh Edition – A commitment to the canopy at the New Civic Campus, creating a transit-oriented hospital, and more.
  • Sixth Edition – New sustainability benchmarks in the New Campus Development, an update on the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Circle, an an interview with Orleans Councillor Matt Luloff, and more.
  • Fifth Edition – The proposed design of the cutting-edge new campus, “Early works” projects beginning on the New Campus Development, an interview with River Ward Councillor Riley Brockington, and more.
  • Fourth Edition – How the finance team is planning for a $2.8 billion hospital, an interview with Chair of Ottawa’s Planning Committee Jan Harder, how the New Campus Development will transform the patient experience – and more!
  • Third Edition – How architects are designing the hospital with Ottawa’s daylight and weather patterns in mind, a look at groundbreaking research, and the team working hard behind the scenes to plan a hospital for the future.
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  • First Edition – How we will partner with the Unionized Building and Construction Trades Council.

It’s time for a building that matches the capabilities of our people and meets the needs of every patient.

Our bold plan includes a $2.8 billion, world-class healthcare centre — a continuously evolving tool for innovation and state-of-the-art technology that brings the latest medical advances and research breakthroughs to the bedside. 

YESTERDAY
When the Civic hospital opened in 1924, lifesaving medicine like penicillin and vaccines for diseases like influenza, measles, and polio seemed impossible.
TODAY
We’re internationally recognized for our groundbreaking work in cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.
TOMORROW
Our new hospital campus will be the most technologically advanced research hospital in the country. It will transform how we care for patients.

How will we get there?

With your help. Our $500-million campaign goal will require unprecedented support from the community. Together, we will build Ottawa’s most important healthcare infrastructure project and re-imagine the future of healthcare.

SINGLE-PATIENT ROOMS

With space for loved ones to spend the night and a private, accessible bathroom, patients will have the privacy they need to heal. Each room will be equipped with a “smart” digital screen that will connect them with their care provider, health information, and appointments while allowing them to order a meal and stay in touch with friends and family. 

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Space for loved ones to spend the night.

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"Smart" in-room digital screens will connect patients to their care providers, health information, and appointments while allowing them to order a meal and stay in touch with loved ones.

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Dedicated hand hygiene stations will be located inside the door for healthcare providers and visitors.

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Extra space around the patient bed will give healthcare workers unfettered access to deliver care.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows for an abundance of natural light and electrochromic glass that allows the patient to control the level of tinting.

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Private, accessible bathrooms each with their own shower.

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Space for loved ones to spend the night.

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Dedicated hand hygiene stations will be located inside the door for healthcare providers and visitors.

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Private, accessible bathrooms each with their own shower.

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Extra space around the patient bed will give healthcare workers unfettered access to deliver care.

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"Smart" in-room digital screens will connect patients to their care providers, health information, and appointments while allowing them to order a meal and stay in touch with loved ones.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows for an abundance of natural light and electrochromic glass that allows the patient to control the level of tinting.

INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR A HEALTHIER PLANET

We aim to be net-zero when it comes to our carbon footprint.  

With innovation infused into every detail of our new hospital, it will withstand climate change and environmental disasters, while supporting water conservation, energy-efficient building services, and green transportation.

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Reducing energy demands and incorporating renewable energy technologies

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Using low-carbon fuel sources

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Designing for climate and disaster resilience

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Building accessible, enclosed pathways for pedestrians, wheelchair users, cyclists, and LRT passengers

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Addressing human and food waste

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Using micro-grid and smart-grid design for hydro

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Planning for water conservation

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Preparing for widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles, including adding EV charging stations

BUILDING ONE OF CANADA'S MOST ACCESSIBLE HOSPITALS

Incorporating best practices of universal accessibility and ensuring compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the hospital design aims to accommodate a wide range of abilities and make navigating the 2.5-million-square-foot facility efficient for everyone. 

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Well connected to public transit.

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Easy to understand and predictable wayfinding.

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Moving sidewalks will help people to get to their destinations quickly and comfortably.

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Each patient room will have an accessible washroom and extra space for wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

Patients can access their private washroom through double sliding doors that meet on a corner to allow for a direct route from the bed.

INCLUSIVITY AND DIVERSITY

We’ll continue to focus on recruiting a diverse workforce and providing dignified and compassionate care to patients of any age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious background, or socioeconomic status. 

The Ottawa Hospital works together with and seeks guidance from an Indigenous Peoples Advisory Circle to build a common future for Indigenous health and healing. With an evolving membership of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities, organizations and health service providers, the Circle informs design and development planning for the new campus.

It's time to create a better tomorrow.
It's time to rethink impossible.

Join us as we transform the future of healthcare.

About the Campaign to Create Tomorrow

The Campaign to Create Tomorrow is the largest fundraising campaign in our region’s history. It will help fulfil the most ambitious vision ever for the future of The Ottawa Hospital, focused on four critical pillars.  

NEW CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

See how we’ll become the most technologically advanced hospital in the country, using the latest tools to provide the right care in the right space with the right provider.
Learn More

WORLD LEADING RESEARCH

Through our unique collaborative model of clinicians and researchers working side-by-side, we will bring groundbreaking discoveries to patients in Ottawa — and around the world.
Learn More

STRENGTHENING CRITICAL SERVICES

From trauma care to cancer advancements to neuroscience, we will strengthen our critical services for patients across the region.
Learn More

For questions related to the new campus development project, please visit https://newcampusdevelopment.ca/

JUNE 24, 2020 OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa Hospital Foundation welcomed four new members to their Board of Directors in June. Collectively, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation board strives to be the most efficient, effective, and respected hospital foundation in Canada, providing optimal support to The Ottawa Hospital. Each new member strengthens the board with backgrounds in business, finance, and medicine.

The four new board members are:

  • Russell Jones, prior to his retirement, he was CFO of Shopify Inc. He joined Shopify in early 2011 and took them public in May 2015. Russell also held senior executive roles at Mitel Corporation, Newbridge Networks, Watchfire, and Quake Technologies.
  • Vanessa Kanu, Chief Financial Officer at Mitel. Vanessa leads Mitel’s global finance operations including accounting, treasury, taxation, planning, and analysis and reporting. She is a 2020 Businesswoman of The Year finalist with the Ottawa Business Women’s Network.
  • Janet McKeage, Vice-President and Investment Counsellor for RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. Janet provides comprehensive discretionary investment management for high net worth clients, corporations, foundations, and endowment funds throughout Canada and internationally.
  • Dr. Emily Segal, PhD, CPSych, ExecHealth, Longwood Psychology. Dr. Segal is private clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist in Ottawa who trained at McGill University and Harvard Medical School. She understands the importance of translating the latest advancements in research to clinical use.

Michael Runia, Chair of the Board, welcomed the new board members at a recent virtual meeting. “We’re thrilled to welcome the experience each of these community leaders brings to our board. Their dedication to philanthropy will help steer us forward during these unprecedented times.” The Ottawa Hospital Foundation acknowledged the commitment of three outgoing board members: Sam Bhargava, Susan M.W. Cartwright, and Whitney Fox for their years of service. Members traditionally serve nine-year terms with the board.

About The Ottawa Hospital:

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s top learning and research hospitals, where excellent care is inspired by research and driven by compassion. As the third-largest employer in Ottawa, our support staff, researchers, nurses, physicians, and volunteers never stop seeking solutions to the most complex healthcare challenges.

Our multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, attracts some of the most influential scientific minds from around the world. Our focus on learning and research leads to new techniques and discoveries that are adopted globally to improve patient care.

We are the Regional Trauma Centre for eastern Ontario and have been accredited with Exemplary Standing for healthcare delivery — the highest rating from Accreditation Canada. We are also home to world-leading research programs focused on cancer therapeutics, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, chronic disease, and practice-changing research.

Backed by generous support from the community, we are committed to providing the world-class, compassionate care we would want for our loved ones.

For more information about The Ottawa Hospital, visit ohfoundation.ca.

Creating
A Better
Tomorrow

Your support today unleashes
the potential of tomorrow

Every day people come to The Ottawa Hospital searching for answers; and every day, our innovative research brings hope to patients and their families. Every life changed, and every life saved through compassionate care and groundbreaking work at our hospital is made possible because of you.

We want you to be at our side; to help us push new discoveries and treatments forward, equip our team with the latest technology and equipment and ensure that our patients receive the very best care.

Creating Tomorrow

A Canadian-first clinical trial gives lymphoma patient a third chance
Faced with the return of his lymphoma for the third time in ten years, Owen Snider was running out of options. But there was new hope when he was accepted into a made-in-Canada CAR-T therapy clinical trial.
Catastrophic injuries require novel approach by our plastic surgery team
Karen Toop was hit by a snowplow while crossing the street in January 2012. She was critically injured when she arrived at our Trauma Centre. A multi-disciplinary team was ready to care for the injuries that some only see once in their career.
A meningioma tumour leaves mother facing blindness
With vision in her left eye deteriorating quickly, Michele Juma travelled from her home in Sault Ste. Marie to The Ottawa Hospital where she received specialized care after learning she had a meningioma tumour – and time was not on her side to save her vision.
From leukemia patient to multi-marathoner – with a walker
Leukemia patient, Bob Hardy, had a 40% chance of survival. But hope was restored after treatment at The Ottawa Hospital.
Celebrating a “re-birthday” each year since having a cancerous brain tumour removed
Ten years ago, The Ottawa Hospital saved Kimberly Mountain’s life after the discovery of cancerous brain tumour. Today, she’s confident if the cancer comes back, The Ottawa Hospital will be ready to save her again.
Hope despite aggressive skin cancer diagnosis
Diagnosed with a stage 4 melanoma at the age of 62, Dan Collins feared for his life when he learned about the aggressive form of cancer. However, immunotherapy treatment gave him a reason to hold out hope.