In the Media

Medical experts, health advocates and community leaders

2020

Dr. Lisa Barrett addresses COVID-19 concerns:

Safety of seniors in coronavirus outbreak

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood discusses how to keep seniors safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The Globe and Mail, March 18, 2020.

Dalhousie University COVID-19 Research Network

Featured on Global News Morning, Associate Professor Melissa Andrew, Division of Geriatric Medicine, at Dalhousie University, speaks about the newly formed COVID-19 Research Network at Dal. Global News Morning, March 12, 2020.

Articles featured in the QEII Times, February 2020

  • DAMIT study led by Dr. Peter Hull (Dermatology), QEII Times, February 21, 2020.
  • Geriatric Outreach Program for memory clinic patients (Geriatric Medicine), QEII Times, February 21, 2020.
  • PrEP program led by Dr. Lisa Barrett (Infectious Diseases), QEII Times, February 21, 2020.

Electronic frailty index: FI-Laboratory

Drs. Sam Searle and Kenneth Rockwood, Division of Geriatric Medicine, helped to create an electronic frailty index – called FI-Laboratory – that aims to improve the way clinicians measure a senior’s frailty in the context of their sudden illness. The study was published in the CMAJ, January 6, 2020, Volume 192, Issue 1. Read the Saltwire Network article, January 6, 2020.

2019

November

Stronger superbugs vs antibiotics

"If things do not change as far as resistance goes, we could certainly be looking at a situation where routine surgeries are impossible, or associated with higher surgical site infections, and chemotherapy becomes difficult because we can’t prevent those infections in patients without immune systems," said Bonnar.
"So it really will affect all areas of medicine and that’s why we get very concerned about antimicrobial resistance, because it’s not just one niche of medicine." Dr. Paul Bonnar, Division of Infectious Diseases. Read the article on Global News Halifax, November 20, 2019.

More than one cancer drug on shortage list: N.S. oncologist

"We have struggled, there's been times when we have been quite short," said Colwell, who is also the president of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists. "We had to change the way we give it." Dr. Bruce Colwell, Division of Medical Oncology. Read the article on CTV News Atlantic, November 18, 2019.

Dr. Bruce Colwell discusses drug costs

Marie Adsett interviews Dr. Bruce Colwell, Division of Medical Oncology, on the topic of oral drug costs in Nova Scotia and Canada. Watch the video on CTV News Atlantic, November 16, 2019.

N.S. could save millions by adding staff in Hematology

"Patients being sent to Boston for costly procedure that could be done cheaper here", says Dr. Sudeep Shivakumar, Interim Division Head, Division of Hematology. CBC News, November 14, 2019.

Kenneth Rockwood on aging Maritime population

Bruce Frisko interviews Geriatric Medicine professor, Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, who discusses Atlantic Canada's aging demographic. CTV News Atlantic, November 9, 2019.

October

Cancer clinics in Yarmouth and New Glasgow continue

Health Department approves funding for 2 full-time positions and locum role. Read full story on CBC News, October 30, 2019.

Nova Scotia doctors reach tentative agreements with government

"After 11 months of negotiations, the group representing physicians in Nova Scotia has reached tentative contract agreements with the province's Department of Health and Wellness. ... More than 3,100 physicians will be impacted by the agreements, according to Doctors Nova Scotia. Read full story on CBC News, October 28, 2019.

Treating short circuits in the heart

Dr. Amir AbdelWahab, a QEII cardiac electrophysiologist, is leading the RAPID-VT Pilot study aimed at advancing care for life-threatening heart arrhythmias. QEII Times, October 18, 2019.

Facing the fight

Sue Pleasance, Associate Director of Research in the Division of Hematology, honours Dr. Stephen Couban at the fifth annual Ride for Cancer during opening ceremonies on September 28, 2019. QEII Times, October 18, 2019.

Free health information sessions at the QEII

Elissa Hughes, Team Lead in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, is part of a team that organizes Staying Healthy in Mid-life and Beyond, a series of free health information sessions to promote healthy living and continued learning in the community, held at the QEII. QEII Times, October 18, 2019.

Breathing easy, sleeping better

Dr. Debra Morrison, a member of the Division of Respirology is part of a QEII observational study underway to revolutionize obstructive sleep apnea treatment. QEII Times, October 18, 2019.

Cancer clinics in Yarmouth, New Glasgow suspended due to doctor availability

Doctors who serve travelling cancer clinics in Yarmouth, N.S., and New Glasgow will stop making the trips from Halifax as of Nov. 1 due to workloads they say are no longer manageable. Read full story on CBC News, October 17, 2019.

 

September

Movie début for Dr. Duperé - Her Last Project

Dr. David Duperé was a part of the movie, "Her Last Project". Her Last Project, September 2019.

Patients with brain trauma experience improved mobility after customized exercises

Dr. Anita Mountain, a member of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation says 'she “absolutely” recommends patients exercise. She said many reports indicate exercise helps people recovering from brain trauma.' Patients in Glace Bay are experiencing these benefits. The Chronicle Herald, September 22, 2019.

Dr. Brendan Carr announced as NSHA President & CEO

On December 16, 2019, Dr. Brendan Carr will serve as Nova Scotia Health Authority's President and CEO. Read the full story on NSHA News. September 20, 2019.

August

Government adds 16 new seats for NS medical students

The Nova Scotia government is creating 16 seats at Dalhousie University's medical school specifically for students from the province. Read story on CBC News, August 8, 2019.

Exploring what harm reduction may mean for patients

Dr. Tommy Brothers, a third-year resident in internal medicine, is exploring what harm reduction means for hospital patients. He says having physicians in hospitals trained to prescribe methadone or buprenorphine can save lives. “It reduces by half a person’s risk of dying. It’s an enormous opportunity to help people get treatment.” Dr. Brothers is one of the physicians interviewed for a DoctorsNS Magazine cover story on the increasing number of doctors who are taking a harm reduction approach to opioid use disorder. DoctorsNS Magazine, August 2019

Cancer specialists concerned about national shortages of vital drugs

"My point in raising this publicly is not to alarm patients," Dr. Gerald Batist, director of the Segal Cancer Centre at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital. "But to start to bring this into the public discourse so that we have some pressure on our government and on drug producers to find a solution to this."
Dr. Bruce Colwell, a medical oncologist at QEII Health Sciences in Halifax, sees more frequent drug shortages at his hospital. "I've dealt with sometimes two, three [shortages] but eight is for me a record," said Colwell, who's also president of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists. Read full story at CBC News, August 5, 2019.
Drug Shortages Canada website --> https://www.drugshortagescanada.ca/

July

Government of Canada invests in health research at Dal & NSHA

Results of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Grant Spring 2019 Competition revealed that Dr. Sudeep Shivakumar, Principal Investigator of EPCAT III was recently awarded $4.48 million, over a five period through payment to Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). Congratulations to Dr. Shivakumar and the team! Faculty of Medicine News, July 22, 2019.

June

Retrain the brain:  Game of 'Peg-the-Mole'

With funding from the TRIC program, Dr. Gail Eskes (cross appointment to the Division of Neurology) is using a computer game called Peg-the-Mole to try to figure out how stroke patients can retrain their brains. Dr. Eskes is collaborating with Dr. Richard Braha, program manager for Acquired Brain Injury, and occupational therapists on his team at the QEII’s Nova Scotia Rehabilitation and Arthritis Centre on the research project. QEII Times, Summer 2019.

Dr. Horton appreciates community-minded gift & its opportunities

A $4-million donation from the Murphy family will help to shatter some misconceptions about palliative care and raise awareness of its importance for patients facing a life-limiting illness and their families, says Dr. Robert Horton, a palliative care physician at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. He spoke about these issues in welcoming the gift from the J & W Murphy Foundation — $3 million to create an Endowed Chair in Palliative Care and $1 million to fund Hospice Halifax. QEII Times, Summer 2019.

May

Gene therapy offers new hope for Fabry disease

Fabry disease is a genetic disease that prevents the breakdown of certain fatty materials, due to the absence of a cellular enzyme called alpha-galactosidase. “This fatty material accumulates in the brain, kidney, heart and other tissues, causing pain, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease, strokes and other problems,” noted Dr. Michael West, the nephrologist who approached Deveau to enroll in the gene therapy trial funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). View full story in NSHA News, May 10, 2019.

Dr. David Brake receives CPSNS Gold-headed Cane Award

Dr. David Brake’s service to his patients, community and profession was recognized May 3 with the presentation of the Gold-Headed Cane Award by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) at its annual awards ceremony. Dr. Brake, a GIM assistant professor at Dalhousie, currently practises at Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Cape Breton Post, May 1, 2019.

April

Hospice Halifax celebrates ribbon cutting with partners

NSHA President and CEO Janet Knox joined Premier Stephen MacNeil, Mayor Mike Savage and others for the official opening of a new hospice Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 618 Francklyn Street, Halifax, NS. Hospice Halifax will welcome about 150 patients a year whose palliative care needs can't be met at home and who don't need care in a hospital. Hospice Halifax will also provide services and support for about 1,800 family members, friends and peers every year. View the full story at hospicehalifax.ca. April 17, 2019.

March

Mobile monitoring could transform heart treatments

As cardiac failure approaches epidemic proportions, Dr. Heather Ross advocates the use of mobile technology in monitoring patients’ health. Ross, who completed Cardiology training at Dalhousie and holds numerous leadership roles at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network (UHN), was keynote speaker at the Department of Medicine’s Annual Research Day on March 28. The Chronicle Herald, March 28, 2019.

Spotlight on Dean of Medicine - Dr. David Anderson, Hematologist

This article features Dr. David Anderson in his current role, Dean of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. Dr. Anderson's primary appointment is with the Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine. Faculty of Medicine News, March 18, 2019.

Internal Medicine specialists refer patients to the HMU

Internal Medicine specialists, aka Internists, refer patients for admission to the hospitalist medicine unit (HMU) at the Halifax Infirmary, as necessary. Most physicians in our Department (of Medicine) have internal medicine training in addition to their subspecialty training, like Cardiology and Hematology, for example. Dr. Elizabeth Burton explains that the term “hospitalist” is fairly new and not necessarily well known by the general public. To learn more about hospitalists, check out the Canadian Society of Hospital Medicine. View the complete story in NSHA News. March 7, 2019.

February

Virus research targets immune-system aging

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett is studying the blood of patients with chronic viral infections to learn how the immune system becomes worn down – much like that of much older people who are virus free. With research scientist Dr. Sharon Oldford, her goal is to improve the effectiveness of vaccines. QEII Times, Winter 2019.

Virtual medical neighbourhoods

A new pilot study, initiated by gastroenterologists Dr. Jennifer Jones and Dr. Stacey Williams, is aimed at improving care and decreasing wait times. Learn more about the patient-centered Digestive Health Virtual Medical Neighbourhood. QEII Times, Winter 2019.

J & W Murphy Foundation donates $4 million to palliative care

A life-changing donation of $4 million dollars to palliative care from the J & W Murphy Foundation will support both Hospice Halifax and the creation of an endowed research chair in palliative care. Dr. David Anderson, Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine Dean, welcomed the opportunity to recruit a world-class researcher for this position and the recruitment will be a collaborative effort between Dalhousie Medical School and Nova Scotia Health Authority. Faculty of Medicine News, February 27, 2019.

Health research boosted by $3.4 million in federal funding

Seven researchers affiliated with Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health Authority have received $3.4 million in funding from the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project. Two of the researchers are associated with the Department of Medicine, Dr. Karthik Tennankore (nephrologist) and Dr. Susan Howlett (pharmacologist / geriatric medicine). See the complete story – Faculty of Medicine News. February 7, 2019.

January

Dal rheumatologist wins national teaching award – Dr. Trudy Taylor

Dr. Trudy Taylor wins the Clinical Teacher of the Year for 2019 award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). Faculty of Medicine News. January 25, 2019.

Frailty a key risk factor for dementia

Researchers at Dalhousie University have found that frailty, more so than amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, is a key risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. PhD candidate Lindsay Wallace, lead author, and her supervisor Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, are optimistic their findings will be influential, as they were published this week in Lancet Neurology — one of the highest-impact journals in the field. Dal News, January 18, 2019.

Canada's first emergency department MRI

Medical teams and patients at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax will soon have faster access to critical information needed for diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. A partnership between Nova Scotia Health Authority and Synaptive Medical Inc. will see the installation of a dedicated magnetic resonance imaging machine, commonly known as an MRI, in the emergency department. MRI machines use powerful magnets and computers to take detailed pictures inside the body. The new machine has been designed specifically to screen the brain following traumatic injuries.

The MRI is expected to be in place by September. A research project study will study MRI use in the emergency department over the next three years. Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness News, January 7, 2019.

See also: Cutting-Edge Neuro-MRI Technology to Set New Healthcare Standard, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, January 7, 2019.