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St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
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E-news from St. Joe's Foundation | 2022 May Edition 

Rachel Chuvalo

A Mother’s Gift Made in Memory of Her Daughter Helps to Make a New Robotic Procedure Possible

St. Joe’s Surgeons Perform Canada’s First Fully Robotic Esophagectomy

Jackie Dean-Rowley lost her daughter, Rachel Chuvalo (pictured above), to esophageal cancer in 2013, when Rachel was just 31 years old. For nearly a decade afterwards, Jackie was searching for a meaningful way to honour Rachel’s memory while also making a difference in the lives of people living with this deadly form of cancer.

Last year, Jackie met with Dr. Waël Hanna and learned he was researching ways to operate on the esophagus using a surgical robot. To help Dr. Hanna and his colleagues in Thoracic Surgery at St. Joe’s receive the training they needed to use the robot for this new procedure, Jackie provided a $10,000 donation made in memory of Rachel.

The training was put to use on March 30, 2022 as David Paterson, a Burlington resident and patient at St. Joe’s, became the first person in Canada to undergo a fully robotic esophagectomy. Dr. Hanna and Dr. John Agzarian performed the procedure using the da Vinci Xi surgical robot that was generously funded by our donor community. The surgery took eight hours to complete, and David walked out of the Hospital eight days later. He’s since received the good news that he’s in remission and currently cancer-free.

While robotic surgery wasn’t an option when Rachel was battling esophageal cancer, her mom says it gives her some comfort to know that her daughter’s legacy is changing and improving the lives of others, like David. To hear about the surgery from Dr. Hanna, to see how David is doing, and learn more about this mother’s story of loss and remembrance, watch this CHCH news story.

Run for Women

Do it For You, Do it For Mom

Registration for the Run for Women Closes MONDAY!

Love Mom? Love Shoppers Drug Mart Swag? Hurry, and sign up today for the LOVE. YOU. by Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women, supporting women’s mental health programs and services right here at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Registration for the event closes on Monday, May 9, 2022 (that’s the day after Mother’s Day!). Don’t delay, click on the button below to sign up today and receive your technical running T-shirt, commemorative bracelet, and the super-covetable Swag Bag filled with hundreds-of-dollars-worth of health and beauty products from Shoppers Drug Mart!

The Run for Women is Helping Women to Cope with the Impact of COVID-19
From job loss to juggling work-life balance, coping with isolation in lockdowns to having to care for others, Dr. Sheryl Green, a psychologist at St. Joe’s Women’s Health Concerns Clinic, has seen firsthand how COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate emotional toll on women, especially among new and expecting mothers. With funds raised through last year’s Run for Women, Dr. Green and her colleagues completed valuable research on the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health, and how cognitive behavioural group therapy can help.

“The research being done right now at St. Joe’s has the power to meet the unique care needs of women in Hamilton, and across Canada,” Dr. Green says. “Your support for the Run for Women will help ensure that the very next woman who is referred to St. Joe’s will get the expert mental health care she needs today, and into the future.”

Sign up or donate

Sometimes New Moms & Babies Need the Help of our SCN

Sometimes New Moms & Babies Need the Help of our Special Care Nursery

Sometimes the babies born at our Hospital arrive a little early or are born with a medical condition that means they can’t go home right away. When that happens, newborns will spend a few days to a few weeks in our level two Special Care Nursery. In fact, every year St. Joe’s cares for about 600 babies who need mechanical life support to breathe and eat, and to help monitor their vital signs.

When this happens, our care teams rely on a Giraffe OmniBed Carestation. This piece of equipment converts from an incubator to an infant warmer and provides comfort, safety and stability for babies as they develop the strength they need to go home with their loving families. The special openings in the incubator allow access for testing and medical care while also enabling parents to reach inside and build a bond with their new baby through comforting touches and support.

There’s just one problem. One of the Giraffe Omnibed Carestations in our Special Care Nursery at St. Joe’s is nearing the end of its lifespan, and we really need another one. In honour of the moms in your life, we hope you might consider making a donation to help our Hospital purchase this piece of equipment that isn’t funded by the operating dollars St. Joe’s receives from the province.

You can even send mom a virtual e-card to let her know you’ve made a gift to St. Joe’s in her honour this Mother’s Day. To learn more, click here and on behalf of the tiniest patients we serve, thank you!

Make a gift in honour of mom

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