Media Release |
Mar. 30, 2005
Bladder Care Centre Opens at UBC Hospital
Imagine the demoralizing isolation of being trapped inside
your home for fear of losing control of your bladder in public.
This scenario of urinary incontinence (UI) is about to change
for tens of thousands of B.C. patients who now have access
to innovative treatments, with the opening of the Bladder
Care Centre at UBC Hospital.
“With the generous support of our donors, this new
centre will offer innovative bladder care services, programs
and research that will significantly improve the quality of
life for the people of B.C. living with this condition,”
says Ron Dumouchelle, president & CEO, of VGH & UBC
The only one of its kind in the world, the centre will provide
an accessible, coordinated and integrated system of care to
approximately 10,000 patients annually. In addition, the centre’s
research program will rapidly translate discoveries into new
diagnostics and treatments.
“This multi-focused centre combining patient care,
health professional education and fundamental research is
a model of integrated health care,” says Alison Buchan,
associate dean, Research, UBC Faculty of Medicine. “The
centre will position the Faculty of Medicine, UBC and Vancouver
Coastal Health Research Institute as national leaders in determining
the causes and prevention of bladder disorders.”
The centre has recently been awarded a $1 million US grant
from the prestigious National Institutes of Health to be the
only centre in the world to study how cranberry juice works
with respect to urinary tract infection.
In addition, the centre is the only place in the world to
offer non-invasive examination of the bladder through the
use of near-infrared spectroscopy. The centre’s director,
Dr. Lynn Stothers, developed the technique, which offers critical
information about blood circulation to the bladder, filling
and voiding, without the use of catheters.
Other centre features that are unique in Canada include clinical
staff trained in nursing, urology, gynecology, pharmacy, neurology
and physiotherapy. Also, the centre’s measuring devices
and equipment are linked to a common database that enables
seamless data collection to aid rapid and comprehensive care.
“We are incredibly proud of this new centre and its
multidisciplinary approach,” says Dr. Bernie Bressler,
executive director of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute
(VCHRI). “In addition to integrating health professionals
together in a unique diagnostic, treatment, education, and
research hub, the centre will translate its research findings
and treatment approach out in the community. This year we
plan to train eight nurse continence advisors who will work
from community health centre locations across Vancouver Coastal
“So many people are suffering in silence with this
condition,” says Stothers. “We want to offer a
new resource that provides a wealth of services including
an academic and treatment hub as well as services that extend
into the community, making it easier for people to get the
help they need.”
An estimated 1.5 million Canadians, including nearly 60,000
people in the Vancouver and Richmond area, suffer from UI,
according to Canadian Continence Foundation estimates. The
numbers are expected to double within 20 years as the population
ages. UI most often affects middle-aged women and those with
a history of complications at childbirth; long-term care residents;
and those with spinal cord injury.
In addition, direct and indirect costs of UI in Canada are
about $2.6 billion per year.
The Bladder Care Centre is supported by UBC Faculty of Medicine,
Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Research
Institute, and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation donors
(including Pfizer Inc and Teck Cominco) who raised nearly
$600,000 for the project.
For more information on bladder incontinence, visit the Canadian
Continence Foundation website at http://www.continence-fdn.ca/indexeng.htm.
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity
that raises vital funding for life-saving equipment, world-class
research, and improvements to patient care for Vancouver General
and UBC Hospitals. The foundation and its donors have contributed
more than $185 million to support the critical needs of hospitals.
VCHRI is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
In academic partnership with the University of British Columbia
and philanthropic partnership with the VGH & UBC Hospital
Foundation, the institute advances health research and innovation
across B.C., Canada, and beyond.