Your support can help PRHC’s doctors perform more precise tumour removals and reduce surgery wait times

In the moments immediately following surgery, many breast cancer patients ask one important question: “Did you get it all?”

Dr. Brie Banks, a general surgeon at PRHC, knows how much this question means to them. It’s not just about the surgery.

“When patients ask, ‘Did you get it all?’ they’re really asking if they have permission to hope,” says Dr. Banks. “They want to know if the surgery went well and if they’re on the road to recovery.”

Breast cancer affects 12,500 women every year in Ontario, and those numbers continue to rise. Nearly all of those women will need surgery as part of their treatment—a lumpectomy being one of them.

Waiting for cancer surgery can be unbearable. Time crawls.

Patients have many worries: Is the cancer spreading? Will the surgery work? What will I look like after?

When patients arrive hours early at PRHC on the morning of their surgery, currently the first thing on the to-do list is having an eight-inch wire inserted into the breast by a radiologist, to mark the tumour.

Then, the patient waits, sitting for hours in a hospital gown with the wire protruding. It’s uncomfortable and frightening.

If the wire shifts, it complicates the surgery, making it difficult to remove all of the tumour without taking too much healthy tissue. It’s a process that adds anxiety and risk to an already difficult day.

There is a technology that can improve this aspect of breast cancer patient care and transform the experience for thousands of breast cancer patients in our region. It can make surgery easier and more precise, and reduce a patient’s worry and wait. It’s called breast seed localization technology and the PRHC Foundation is committed to funding it at PRHC.

With this new technology, a radiologist will place a tiny radioactive seed, as small as a grain of rice, instead of a wire to mark the cancer. This can be done a month before surgery and takes only 15 minutes. After placing the seed, patients can go back to their daily lives.

Then, during surgery, surgeons use a special tool to find and remove the tumour using the seed as a guide. This results in less scarring and physical change to the breast.

Beyond improving patient care, this new wireless technology will allow Dr. Banks and her colleagues to perform more lumpectomies—without the time constraints that come with wire placement on the day of surgery. With breast seed localization, doctors at PRHC can operate on three more breast cancer patients a day. More surgeries will mean more patients get the care they need, sooner. 

Dr. Banks says donor support will directly shape the care she can provide, especially since the government doesn’t fund hospital equipment at PRHC. “Your donation will allow more patients to hear those comforting words, ‘We got it all,’ and give them hope.”

She became a donor herself because she’s seen the difference this technology makes in the patient experience during an already challenging time. “It offers a better option for breast cancer surgery. I want this available for my patients.”

You, too, can help shape the future of patient care at your hospital. To donate or for more information, call 705-876-5000 or click here.

Pediatric Cancer Care Expansion

Childhood cancers are on the rise and PRHC is seeing the effects. PRHC’s pediatric cancer care program supports the greater region of Peterborough City and County, City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, eastern portions of the Region of Durham, and the Haliburton Highlands. Last year there were 605 pediatric cancer patient visits to the hospital by an average of 22 patients. This represents a 35% increase over the past four years.

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Digital Pathology

PRHC provides innovative, individualized and compassionate services across the spectrum of cancer care – including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship/palliative care. The Health Centre serves a regional area of 600,000 people and the number of cancer patients doctors, nurses and staff see at PRHC has grown significantly. Last year alone, there were over 23,000 patient visits to the Cancer Clinic.

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Electrophysiology Lab

The time has come to reinvest in PRHC’s Cardiac Centre for Excellence, unlocking new opportunities and ensuring the people, infrastructure,
systems and programs are in place to empower world-class cardiac care across the spectrum. With the first phase of this reinvestment complete – the renovation and upgrading of PRHC’s two Cardiac Cath Lab suites – PRHC is focused on the introduction of a new service to the region: electrophysiology.

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Hybrid Operating Room

A state-of-the-art hybrid operating room combines the strengths of a classic operating room and an interventional radiology suite. There, specialized clinical teams can perform multiple open and minimally invasive operations on the same patients, on the same day, in the same room. Revolutionizing vascular care, this investment will result in safer and more seamless, comfortable and cost-effective care, with better patient outcomes: less pain and complications, shorter hospital stays and rehabilitation – ideal for frail vascular patients.

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“Where you heal helps determine how you heal.”

A severe mental health crisis led Ashley Webster to seek emergency care at PRHC. There she started to receive the tools she needed to make positive changes in her life. To say thanks for that care and inspire donations in support of other mental health patients, she’s sharing her story…

“Imagine a world that’s always dark, where every step feels heavy. To me, it felt like a never-ending night, where the light just couldn’t break through. When you’ve felt this darkness, you want to do whatever you can to stop someone else from feeling that same isolation.

During my treatment and recovery, my garden became my sanctuary. With the sunshine on my face and my hands in the soil, those difficult days felt a little brighter and easier to handle. But, like recovering from any illness, my journey to healing requires time and space.

Just like cardiologists and surgeons need the right technology to treat our bodies, mental health professionals need the right tools and facilities to treat our minds. That includes spaces that are specially designed for mental health patients: rooms with plenty of natural light, and secure outdoor areas that help patients heal in safety and in peace. Knowing how important my garden was to me during my darkest days, I became a PRHC Foundation donor to make sure others have healing spaces in their treatment for recovery.

Please join me in supporting modern mental health facilities at PRHC and be part of investing in the future of mental health care in our region.”

For more information or to donate, please call 705-876-5000 or click here.

Make hope and recovery possible

More people than ever before are seeking mental health care. Patient wait lists are growing and at PRHC, the spaces where mental health diagnosis and treatment take place are over 15 years old and aren’t designed to support today’s standard of care.

For example, current patients of PRHC’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) have no access to the outside even though their stays could be weeks or even months long.

We can help by funding modern, safe spaces where PRHC’s doctors, nurses and staff will provide expert, compassionate care. With donor support, PRHC will invest $1.75 million to create a specially designed outdoor PICU courtyard to give patients access to natural light and fresh air, and support therapeutic best practices – helping shape the future of mental health care in our region.

For more information or to donate, please call 705-876-5000 or click here.

You’re helping hospital staff prevent burnout

In January, donations helped your hospital bring Dr. Jillian Horton, an award-winning medical educator, writer, musician, podcaster, and guest speaker, to an event attended by the Health Centre’s professional staff, including doctors, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners.

Dr. Horton develops programs related to health and wellness and in 2020 she won the AFMC-Gold Humanism Award. At the PRHC event, she shared valuable knowledge on preventing burnout.

Burnout is a growing concern in the healthcare sector affecting staff, including doctors, the ability of hospitals to recruit and retain healthcare providers, and ultimately, the quality of care.

Donor sponsorship of this event shows PRHC’s professional staff that we stand with them, that we understand the importance of their work – and our role in supporting it – now and for the future of healthcare in our region.

Thank you, donors!

For more info about your impact or to donate, please call 705-876-5000 or click here.