If you watch medical dramas on TV, you may have the impression that hospitals are chaotic and noisy (not to mention full of intrigue). So if you haven’t been to St. Paul’s, you might be surprised at just how orderly and calm it is.
We asked Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, Head of Radiology, about the special feeling you get at St. Paul’s. “Every time I walk in the door, I’m struck by the amazing atmosphere we have. It’s a genuine community totally dedicated to patient care: calm, yet buzzing with energy and purpose.”
Dr. Leipsic continues, “That positive, confident atmosphere comes from our talented staff and reflects the deep connection between our people, our patients, and our donors.” Intrigued, we wonder how donors (like you!) contribute to the ambiance of the Hospital. He gets right to the point, “It’s simple: Donors save and improve the lives of the people we care for.”
Curious to learn more, we ask Dr. Leipsic to show us around the hospital and share his “insider’s” perspective on the important role of donors behind the historic façade on Burrard Street.
Dr. Leipsic is an engaging and enthusiastic tour guide. As we walk past the Surgery Department, he notes that dozens of operations are happening at this very moment. Asked for more details, he says, “One of the patients appears to be a young woman with a heart condition. A few years ago, she might have died from her illness. Now, she can expect a long and healthy life thanks to the research, medical breakthroughs, and compassionate care all happening right here at St. Paul’s.” We simply couldn’t do what we do without donors like you.
Improving the quality and quantity of life
Down the hall, we see an older lady using a translator to chat with her doctor. Dr. Leipsic explains that the woman’s recent illness, coupled with the language barrier, made it challenging for her to get the care she needed. But with St. Paul’s donor-funded translation services, she’s not only communicating with her caregivers, she’s now on the mend. Patients at St. Paul’s represent many different cultures and ethnic groups. Translation services are essential to their well-being and would not be possible without your support.
Continuing on, we pass the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) clinic. CF is a genetic disorder that makes it hard to breathe and digest (among many other life-altering complications). Dr. Leipsic mentions that St. Paul’s is home to the very first stand-alone adult CF clinic in North America. He recognizes one of the patients, a young man in his 30s, and they have a friendly chat. “People with CF used to live shorter, much more limited lives,” Dr. Leipsic says. “But because of donor-supported research, more people with CF are pursuing their dreams and living longer.” You can hear the pride in his voice when Dr. Leipsic observes, “Some CF patients at St. Paul’s are in their 70’s!”
He goes on to explain that these innovative health strategies – in CF and so many other areas – are a hallmark of the work being done at St. Paul’s. And that their impact reaches well beyond our own community. It’s inspiring to learn that the ground-breaking research happening right here isn’t just helping this young fellow. It’s helping people across Canada and around the world. “There’s a lot riding on what we do,” Dr. Leipsic notes with his usual candour. “It makes me both proud and humble at the same time!” Your donations help CF patients (and so many others) live longer, fuller lives.
Heart of the hospital
Next up, we visit the Imaging Department. Dr. Leipsic is a radiologist. So as you might expect, he believes that imaging is the heart of the hospital. After all, so many patients, across so many departments, are touched by it.
“We perform close to 200,000 imaging procedures annually including CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and angiography. The ability to see what’s going on inside the body helps us diagnose disease and save the lives of people who would not have had much hope even a few years ago.”
Dr. Leipsic continues, “Not only that, but diagnostic imaging is one of the fastest growing areas in medicine today. And St. Paul’s – again, thanks to our generous donors – is doing a great job keeping up with the demand and the technology.”
Your donations at work
Throughout our tour, Dr. Leipsic provides a running commentary on how your donations are making a meaningful difference to the comfort and care of our patients. He points out blanket warmers in palliative care; special nutrition for patients following surgery or treatment; and clean pajamas and warm clothes for those in need.
“These things are only possible with your support. And every doctor at St. Paul’s agrees. In fact, so does every nurse, every receptionist, accountant, and security guard. Our donors know that everyone deserves compassion and dignity, especially when they’re going through a scary time. And they show it with every gift they give.”
When you give to Greatest Needs at St. Paul’s, your donation helps where patients and staff need it most. Asked if he has a parting message, Dr. Leipsic doesn’t hesitate: “Thank you! Your donations help save lives. I know, because I see it every single day.”