North Van resident Steve Vanderhoek opted to travel to Squamish General Hospital last week for surgery instead of waiting to have it done at LGH. He’s seen here recovering at home.

Increased OR capacity at Squamish General Hospital delights North Van patient

Around 8 am on Feb. 1, Steve Vanderhoek left his Lynn Valley home and headed up the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish General Hospital for surgery to repair an umbilical hernia.

He could have waited to have the procedure done at LGH, but his surgeon Dr. Amanda Johner offered him the opportunity to have it sooner if he was willing to make the 45-minute trek to Squamish.

He was very willing.

His girlfriend packed him in the car and got him to the hospital by 9 am. By 4:15 pm, he was back in North Vancouver recovering at home.

“I was more than happy to travel to Squamish hospital for this procedure,” said Steve. “I have a lot of friends who live in Squamish and they’ve all said good things about the hospital. I was told it’s a good place to have an operation.”

Dr. Johner said Steve likely received his surgery at SGH four months sooner as she was already booking into May for surgeries at LGH.

Regional effort

As part of a regional effort to improve surgical wait times, VCH is increasing OR capacity at select and strategic locations. Squamish General Hospital opened a second OR Jan. 30, 2017 in response to this commitment

The decision to expand OR capacity in Squamish was based on wait times, physical capacity and ease of access to this rural site. By equipping and staffing a previously dormant OR space, patient wait times across the Coastal community of care will be improved.  This augmented capacity was created through a collaboration of Squamish based and LGH based surgeons working together to utilize the additional OR.

“We are excited and proud to offer these expanded surgical services to the patients in our community as well as the Coastal Community of Care,” says Cindy Sellers, Manager Acute Sea to Sky.

First week

In the first week (Jan. 30-Feb.6) of the expanded OR time at SGH, 13 additional patients had orthopedic and general surgery procedures over three OR days.  The longest waiting patient had been waiting 41 weeks for orthopedic surgery at LGH.

“We expect to treat more than 140 additional patients by the end of March,” says Corrie Irwin, Interim Director, Coastal. “What makes this Squamish surgical augmentation such an incredible opportunity is the capacity it brings for surgical access to the Sea to Sky corridor.  We are pleased to be able to create access for patients who have been waiting a long time for surgery and we also are able to bring increased OR access to residents in their home community.”

Focus on six specialities

The focus will be on six specialities including orthopedics, general surgery, ENT, urology, ob/gyn and plastic surgery. Additional procedures will be performed by over 17 Coastal Community of Care surgeons from SGH and LGH.





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