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Feb. 19, 2015 – In recognition of Heart Month, the regional cardiac program for Scarborough-Durham will wrap up its annual campaign of community and hospital activities with an official grand opening celebrating the expansion of the Central East Regional Cardiac Care Centre, which will be held next week. Located at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital campus, the regional cardiac centre has been renovated and upgraded with new facility space, equipment and technology. This opening event will celebrate:

  • Three new cath labs – two renovated labs with new equipment, and one all-new lab

  • A new designated procedure room for pacemaker implants;

  • An expanded cardiac short stay unit for preparation and recovery of patients;

  • A new media room for videoconferencing and telemedicine; and

  • A renovated main hallway and entrance to the cardiac centre.

The event will also thank municipal, regional, provincial and community stakeholders who have supported the growth of our regional cardiac care program.

Where: Rouge Valley Centenary, 2867 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough
             Cardiovascular Rehab Education Theatre, 11th Floor

When: Thursday, Feb. 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (*Media are asked to arrive at 3:15 p.m.)

What: The event will include:

  • Brief address on the regional program and how it is saving the lives of patients from Scarborough and Durham every day;

  • Ceremonial ribbon cutting with regional program leaders, local politicians and patients; and

  • VIP tour of the new cardiac centre

Who: There will be three speakers at the ceremony:

  • Joan Wideman, Chair, RVHS Board of Directors;

  • Dr. Joe Ricci, Program Chief, Cardiology, RVHS; and

  • An RVHS cardiac patient

Photo opportunities will be available during the ribbon cutting and VIP tour of the facilities.

New procedure offers relief, better quality of life

Feb. 18, 2015 — Heart patients in Scarborough and Durham with chronically blocked blood vessels now have the option of receiving treatment closer to home at Rouge Valley Centenary (RVC) hospital campus in Scarborough.

The Central East Regional Cardiac Care Centre, based at RVC, is now offering a new chronic total occlusion (CTO) angioplasty procedure. Patients with CTO have blockages in their hearts that they could have been living with for months or even years. They might be suffering from chest pain or shortness of breath during physical activities despite medications prescribed by their cardiologist.

Robert Keene, 63, of Oshawa, was one of those patients. He could tell something was wrong. He felt different, uncomfortable, and was slowing down. “I had shortness of breath, a dull ache when exerting myself, and a very low energy level,” he says. “I thought I had indigestion, and it was very bad in the evenings,” he adds. Keene did not know that he had a CTO — in his case, a complete blockage in his heart’s right artery.

Regional cardiac care program offers heart check-ups at community sites

Feb. 2, 2015 – The Central East Regional Cardiac Care Program for the Scarborough-Durham area is offering its annual Heart to Heart community cardiac clinics as part of Heart Month.

Now in its fourth year, the clinics will be held during February at community locations from Scarborough to Oshawa. Healthcare professionals from the regional cardiac care program — including cardiovascular rehabilitation exercise therapists and cardiac diagnostic technicians — will be on hand to perform blood pressure tests and provide brief consultations on heart disease risk factors. Staff will also be offering information on: what to do if you are having a cardiac emergency (start with calling 911); heart disease prevention; and how to become more heart healthy.

The regional cardiac program provides access to leading state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and specialized cardiac services — all closer to home for patients in Scarborough and Durham. Regional services include: cardiac catheterization and intervention procedures (for unblocking blood vessels in the heart); arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) studies, treatment and management; and cardiovascular rehabilitation and education. Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) is the designated regional cardiac care centre, delivering care in partnership with The Scarborough Hospital, Lakeridge Health, and the Central East Local Health Integration Network.

"Our regional cardiac care program is here for you at all stages of your heart health journey,” says Dr. Joe Ricci, program chief of cardiology at RVHS. “Heart Month is a perfect opportunity to learn about the services available in Scarborough and Durham, from life-saving emergency cardiac procedures, to life-changing cardiovascular rehabilitation. If you want to improve the quality of your heart health, our cardiac care team is here to help. This February, you can meet with us just by heading to your local mall or community centre.”

When and where

The community is invited to the Heart to Heart clinics at the following locations:

Malvern Town Centre, 31 Tapscott Road, Scarborough
Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Drive, Scarborough
Saturday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pickering Town Centre, 1355 Kingston Road, Pickering
Saturday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oshawa Legends Centre, 1661 Harmony Road North, Oshawa
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Regional cardiac program videoconferences weekly rounds across Ontario’s Central East

Jan. 5, 2015 – Cardiologist Dr. Jason Burstein is delivering a presentation on Multi-Vessel Coronary Artery Disease to a crowded house at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital campus, which is home to the Central East Regional Cardiac Care Centre for Scarborough-Durham.  

His talk today is part of weekly cardiovascular rounds, offered every Tuesday morning. However, his audience extends far beyond those in attendance in the hospital.

Using the videoconferencing capabilities of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), these rounds reach medical professionals at several hospital sites across the vast geographical footprint of the Central East Local Heath Integration Network (LHIN).

Dr. Joe Ricci, medical director of the regional program, says, “The program is very well-integrated, even though it is diverse and very large. Using the OTN has been part of the way we have accomplished this.”

Dr. Ricci organizes the weekly rounds, planning out the presenters a year in advance.  About half of the speakers are local physicians, who are affiliated with the program, and half are from other centres. The rounds are eligible for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. Rouge Valley provides documentation for those participating, including cardiologists, internists, general practitioners, registered nurses, allied health, technicians and other staff. Presentations are recorded and archived.