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Women’s Health

St. Paul’s First Canadian Hospital to Install Latest Generation CT Scanner in ED


The $3.5 million donor-funded scanner provides faster life-saving diagnoses to the 13,871 patients needing CT scans at St. Paul’s emergency department each year

VANCOUVER, November 23, 2015 – St. Paul’s recently installed the latest whole heart CT scanner in their emergency department – the first installed in an ED in Canada – to significantly advance diagnostic performance at the hospital. It offers imaging exams to patients suspected of serious disease or injury where they need it most – in the emergency room.

Developed by GE, the new scanner will image the heart in a single beat. This latest technology will allow for more robust non-invasive imaging of coronary arteries, help further understand mechanisms of chest pain, and advance understanding of how to better manage structural heart disease, which is a focus of the Heart Centre here at St Paul’s. The hospital sees more than 13,000 patients with heart-related illnesses each year, which is more than any other hospital in Canada.

“This new scanner will further strengthen St. Paul’s role as a leader in cardiac CT,” said Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, chairman of the Department of Radiology for Providence Health Care and co-director of Advanced Cardiac Imaging for the Providence Health Care Heart Center at St. Paul’s. “The capacity to image the heart in a single beat has been disruptive for our advance cardiac imaging program particularly in a world leading role developing algorithms for imaging the mitral valve to guide transcatheter mitral valve intervention.”

The scanner produces exceptionally high resolution near-lifelike images in approximately five seconds making it easier for restless patients who may have difficulty holding their breath during a scan. The machine is fast enough to get motionless pictures of the heart despite heart rates of up to 100 beats per minute. In a single rotation the device can capture an image of most individual organs, including the heart and brain, entire joints, and most of the lungs and liver. Scanners with older technology require several rotations or scans to fully image an organ.

“With the recent release of the MRI strategy, we’re demonstrating our commitment to improve patient access to diagnostic imaging,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Thanks to generous donors from the community, patients needing CT imaging at St. Paul’s emergency department will have access to advanced and potentially lifesaving equipment.”

This advancement in care was made possible by the immense generosity of community members, including lead donors Mr. Reza Motallebi Kashani, who donated $2 million, and longtime resident of Vancouver, the late Mr. Robert Kenny, who donated $1.25 million, the largest estate gift received to date by the Foundation.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our donors and their families,” said Dick Vollet, president and CEO of St. Paul’s Foundation. “Time and time again, large-hearted community members have stepped up to help St. Paul’s continuously redefine the highest standards in patient care. This gift too will go a long way in improving emergency and cardiac care for British Columbians.”

The new scanner will focus substantially on cardiac cases, but it will also cover the whole breadth of emergency room cases from head injuries to abdomen pain and more. Installing this scanner in the emergency room also significantly reduces the potential for adverse outcomes, including death, for patients who might go into cardiac arrest during the imaging procedure.

The overall patient experience is also greatly enhanced. Before the installation of this advanced scanner in the emergency room, patients had to be prepped and transferred to the radiology department for diagnosis, and the entire process could take up to 90 minutes.

“We are proud to play a role with St. Paul’s on advancing diagnostic capabilities,” said Heather Chalmers, general manager of GE Healthcare Canada. “St. Paul’s is known for pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence in patient care. The Revolution CT will enable physicians at St Paul’s to diagnose even the most challenging cardiac patients, such as those with erratic or high heart beats.”

The new scanner will support the hospital’s world-leading Centre for Heart Valve Innovation, which under the leadership of Dr. John Webb, has pioneered the minimally invasive procedure to replace diseased heart valves in patients for whom the traditional open-heart surgery is too risky. In addition, Dr. Webb and his team have taught this procedure to healthcare professionals in more than 25 countries.

GE’s partnership with the hospital will support continued leading research in cardiac CT and will continue to strengthen St. Paul’s standing as a leader in the field.

Media are invited to see the new CT scanner at 1pm on Monday, November 23, 2015. Dr. Leipsic and a patient will be available for interviews and b-roll.

About St. Paul’s Foundation

St. Paul’s Foundation raises funds to support inspired care, research, and teaching at St. Paul’s. St. Paul’s is a treasured provincial health resource for all British Columbians. Our hospital specializes in the care of people with heart and lung disease, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, renal disease and people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. We integrate the best clinical care with real-world research and education, and provided care to more than 400,000 patients from across BC last year. For more information, or to donate, visit

About Providence Health Care

Providence Health Care (PHC) is one of Canada’s largest faith-based health care organizations, operating 16 health care facilities in Greater Vancouver. PHC operates one of two adult academic health science centres in the province – St. Paul’s – performs cutting-edge research in more than 30 clinical specialties, and focuses its services on six “populations of emphasis”: cardio-pulmonary risks and illnesses, HIV/AIDS, mental health, renal risks and illness, specialized needs in aging and urban health and is home to the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

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For more information:

Elaine Yong
Senior Communications Specialist – Media Relations
Providence Health Care
Tel: 604-682-2344 extension 66987
Cell: 604-837-6003