Meet Dr. Titus Wong, VCH’s new regional medical director

As VCH’s new Regional Medical Director of Infection Control, Dr. Titus Wong knows he’s got some big shoes to fill after taking over the role from long-time leader Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Bryce on March 1.

“Liz was one of the key reasons I came to work at VCH originally,” he says. “Because of her vision and the culture of innovation in Infection Control that she’d established for VCH.”

Embracing innovation and running with it

In the past six years, he’s embraced that culture and pushed his own boundaries, earning himself a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology after completing his Medical Microbiology residency with VCH shortly after arriving in 2012. These degrees come on top of a UBC degree in Pharmacy.

“He’s got an extensive knowledge of bugs and drugs,” is how Liz sums up Titus’ pathway to the new regional role.

As part of an innovative group of Infection Control (IC) professionals that has introduced Tru-D, a mobile UV-C disinfecting robot for surgical operating rooms, and Angus, the C-diff sniffing dog, Titus appreciates the value of a collaborative team that strives to continually learn new approaches.

Looking at the future of infection control today

He and the team of regional Infection Control members at VCH are already continuing the innovative IC work, including doing research for VCH facilities that aren’t even built yet.

“We’re looking into potentially using antimicrobial surfaces as a way of improving recovery times for patients in new builds like the Lions Gate Hospital Redevelopment Project,” he explains.

In this instance, the team is investigating the durability and efficacy of using copper as a material for certain surfaces in a patient room. They’re also examining whether using titanium dioxide paint on other surfaces will help keep a patient’s room clear of bacteria.

“On top of his curious personality, he’s got great teaching skills,” adds Liz. “He’s good at taking a concept or an idea, interpreting it and then communicating it to others.” It may stem from years spent as a piano teacher, helping more than 30 students reach the difficult Grade 10 level of the Royal Conservancy training.

But sadly there’s no time these days for inspiring fellow pianists. A world full of bugs and challenges awaits Titus and his colleagues as they strive to help their health care peers improve patient recovery times.

Any spare time he has available is happily shared with his three-year-old son, Lucas, and he’s still an active member of the UBC campus, now as an active contributor to medical education at UBC as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.