Letter from Dr. Shargall, Head of Thoracic Service
I would like to welcome you to the new website for the Thoracic Surgery service at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. I hope this website will be a good resource to you as you or your family members receive care at our institution. We aim to provide the best of care to our patients, using the most up to date techniques. We have a vibrant educational program as part of the Department of Surgery at McMaster University, including a residency program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, undergraduate students and international clinical fellows. We also conduct an innovative research program which includes patient pathways and post-operative fast track studies.
We have a comprehensive multidisciplinary clinical team consisting of four thoracic surgeons, along with respirologists at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, anaesthesiologists, thoracic nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers and nutritionists. The Thoracic Surgery staff is supported by high quality chest radiology and chest pathology teams. We have a close collaboration with the Juravinski Cancer Centre, the regional cancer centre for the Hamilton/Niagara region. The Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program (LDAP), a combined collaboration between St. Joseph’s Healthcare and the Niagara Health System (NHS) for assessment and treatment of patients with lung cancer is the biggest of its kind in Ontario and continue to grow, providing timely assessment and treatment to all in need and improving patients satisfaction.
The Thoracic Service at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is growing quickly and is becoming one of the largest programs practicing complex thoracic surgery in Canada. We have great pride in our program and we continuously strive to improve patients’ outcomes and care.
Please return to this website regularly for updates, new educational material and news relating to Thoracic Surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
Dr. Yaron Shargall
Head of Service of Thoracic Surgery, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Academic Division Head, Division of Thoracic Surgery, McMaster University
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, McMaster University
Who we serve
The Thoracic Surgery team at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is responsible for the thoracic surgery needs of roughly 1.8 million people living in the Hamilton, Niagara, Burlington, Brant, Haldimand and most of Norfolk county. This area is called the Local Health Integration Network 4 (LHIN 4). LHINs were created in Ontario in 2006 and are designed to integrate hospitals, communities and government services. There are 14 LHINs in Ontario.
When it comes to Thoracic Surgery and in particular lung cancer, the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant LHIN has certain challenges that need to be met. (Data source from CCO/ICES Atlas, 2008).
- Lung cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in LHIN 4
- In 2004, LHIN 4 had 13.2% of all lung cancer cases in Ontario, the highest percentage of all other areas including Toronto
- LHIN 4 has a considerably higher incidence of lung cancer than most of Ontario, with 73.8 people diagnosed per 100,000 compared to the provincial average of 52.
- LHIN 4 is above the provincial average on a number of parameters, including the number of aging citizens, smoking and second-hand smoking exposure. These are all risk factors for lung cancer, which is reflected in the fact that LHIN 4 has a higher than average projected number of lung cancer cases.
Regionalization in Ontario
Up until 2010, thoracic surgery cases were treated at local hospitals such as Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, the Niagara Health System, as well as Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. The Canadian healthcare system has been undergoing a series of changes over the past decade to regionalize, or centralize, specialized services in one hospital location to best use resources and to foster collaborations and networks between surgeons in a specific region. After the Niagara Health System transferred all Thoracic surgical patients in 2010, the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital began referring all Thoracic surgical patients to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton in January of 2011.
The effect of regionalization and the successful LDAP program has led to big changes in the Thoracic Surgery service, currently consist of four full time dedicated Thoracic surgeons. The thoracic surgeons based at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have a growing presence and interaction with other physicians and healthcare professionals at the NHS LDAP clinic in St. Catharines, ON.
- Colleen Stang, RN Nurse Navigator for the Lung Diagnosis Assessment Program (Lung DAP)
- Deanna Burnett, Nurse Manager, Chest Unit