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Inside this edition:
  • Jack’s incredible story of recovery from a life-threatening illness thanks to our new Long Stay Program 
  • Coming soon to Vaughan: the York University School of Medicine with Mackenzie Health as a lead partner
  • Introducing a new, safer way to administer IV medications – a first in Canada
  • Providing autism and other behavioural health supports across York Region and Simcoe County 
  • Tips on how to stay safe from ticks this spring 
  • A short video showcasing Mackenzie Health and Mackenzie Health Foundation’s 1000+ volunteers for National Volunteer Week

From struggling to breathe to regaining his voice: Jack’s incredible recovery

Jack Keys surrounds by his family and his care team at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital

Jack Keys, pictured in the grey sweater above with his family and members of his care team, experienced a remarkable recovery in the new Long Stay Program at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. 

Retiree Jack Keys faced a life-changing challenge when diagnosed with stomach cancer, leading to major surgery and severe complications that left him dependent on a ventilator. His family stood by his side, watching the daily toll it took on him. “He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t walk and more often than not, he was sleeping,” explains Bill, Jack’s son. “As a family, we were very concerned that he wasn’t going to pull through.”

Yet, through the new Long Stay Program at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, Jack found a new path to recovery. The 12-bed unit is part of a regional program that supports patients who are no longer in the most critical phase of their recovery but still require the use of a ventilator.

“The program focuses on helping patients recover and eventually leave the hospital,” explains Samantha McLachlan, Program Director of Critical Care.

Under the care of a dedicated multidisciplinary team, Jack regained vital functions like speaking and eating, each milestone bringing him closer to returning home. Today, Jack not only walks freely but also cherishes every moment with his family, celebrating a new lease on life provided by the Long Stay Program. Jack’s story was featured on CTV News, and you can read more about his inspiring story by visiting the Patient Stories page on our website.

Ontario government announces new York University School of Medicine with Mackenzie Health as lead partner

Premier Ford at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital holding a ceremonial shovel with a group of local politicians.

From left to right: Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities; Steven Del Duca, Mayor of Vaughan; Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education; Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice Chancellor of York University; Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO of Mackenzie Health pictured at a government announcement hosted at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital on April 3.

Mackenzie Health is proud to be a lead partner on a journey with York University as they plan to open a School of Medicine focused on training the next generation of primary care doctors. The new School of Medicine will be located on the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, adjacent to Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and kilometres from Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. 

The provincial government announced an initial investment of $9 million in its 2024 budget to begin the design and planning work. The York University School of Medicine will open in 2028 with the first class of 80 undergraduate medical students graduating in 2031. 

There are many benefits of having access to a primary care provider, especially in a community with a rapidly aging population like ours. Having access to a physician who intimately knows a patient’s full medical history and can deliver the comprehensive care patients need, especially as they age and begin to experience more complex health challenges, is so important to ensuring that our health care system functions in the best way possible.  

While the announcement of a medical school opening a few years from now may not be an immediate solution to the primary care shortage we’re experiencing today, it will go a long way towards training more family doctors. These are the family doctors who will enter the workforce in the near future to support health care needs of the growing community in western York Region and beyond. 

We’re excited for what lies ahead!

To learn more, read the York University news release

ICYMI: Mackenzie Health launches safer, first-of-its-kind technology in Canada for IV pumps

An image of a male nurse scanning a barcode on an IV pumpHave you ever wondered how your doctors and nurses make sure you get the right medication when it gets administered intravenously? They do it with the help of an intravenous (IV) medication pump! And here at Mackenzie Health, we’re using technology to improve the way we use these pumps to reduce the risk of errors and improve patient safety.

In April, Mackenzie Health became the first health system in Canada to launch a technology that allows for two-way information flow between an IV pump and a patient’s electronic medical record. The technology replaces the need for health care professionals to manually program pumps, significantly reducing the risk of human error, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes. To learn more, read our news release

Did you know Mackenzie Health has a Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences supporting clients across York Region and Simcoe County?

Two people holding hands. No faces visible.Mental health is just as important as physical health and the team of psychiatrists, psychologists, behaviour consultants and behaviour technicians at Mackenzie Health’s Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences work together with clients and their families to deliver personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs. 

"We know how overwhelming and scary it can be when a loved one is experiencing behavioural health challenges,” says John Clarke, Interim Program Manager. “Whether you’re experiencing a developmental disability, cognitive delay, autism or are living with the effects of an acquired brain injury, please know that our team of experts is here to help guide you and your family through the treatment option that’s right for you.” 

To learn more about the services offered and how to access them, visit our website.

Protect yourself against ticks this spring

A photo of Dr. Taher in scrubsWhile warmer weather is something everyone can get behind, it does bring with it some risks, including the risk of getting bitten by a tick. And after such a mild winter, tick season started early this year. 

Ticks can carry Lyme disease which can result in serious health complications. Dr. Taher from our Emergency Department shares what we need to know about ticks, how we can protect ourselves and when to seek medical attention. Take a look at the video. (2 minutes)

Thank you to our volunteers!

Every day when we walk through the hallways of our hospitals, we can’t help but admire the incredible people in purple vests who give selflessly to our teams, our patients and to our communities. We celebrated National Volunteer Week earlier in April and we were so proud to recognize and express our sincere thanks to the more than 1,000 hospital and Foundation volunteers who touch the lives of everyone they encounter. Hear from some of our volunteers as they celebrate their commitment to Mackenzie Health and Mackenzie Health Foundation.  (3 minutes)


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