General Surgery Team Welcomes SickKids Surgeons to Humber’s ORs in New Partnership
In 2018, Humber River Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) solidified a partnership allowing SickKids general surgeons to operate in Humber’s state-of-the-art operating rooms. Currently, nine (soon to be ten) SickKids surgeons use the ORs at Humber.
This agreement extends way beyond operating privileges: It is a full partnership. When a SickKids patient has surgery at Humber River Hospital, they have access to Humber’s excellent Child Life Program. Our Child Life Specialists show and teach kids and parents exactly what will happen at every stage of their surgery journey using a medical teaching kit, the kids can practice putting an anaesthesia mask on Pepper the robot, and many kids even choose to drive to the operating room in a toy Tesla! Once inside the operating room, the parent is given an active role in comforting and coaching their kids during their anaestethic. Our Child Life Specialists make sure that parents are completely supported and prepared for what to expect in the operating room, so that even once the anaesthesia starts to take effect, everyone in the room feels prepared.
“Parents appreciate that they can come into the operating room,” says Dr. Sharifa Himidan, a SickKids surgeon and the Director of Community Paediatric Surgery. “And they love that at Humber River Hospital they have their own waiting space.”
The partnership with SickKids has meant that the number of paediatric surgery cases at Humber has increased. In anticipation of the expansion Humber has made changes to patient flow, staff resourcing, and protocol for administering medicine, requiring collaboration throughout the Surgery Program.
Anaesthesiologist Dr. JD Cyr and Chief of Anaesthesia Dr. Steven Bernstein, led a review and systems change of the medical directives for paediatric patients in Humber’s surgical program.
“I’m very passionate about working with children,” says Dr. Cyr. “Children require an extra level of care, which the Humber team is well equipped to provide.”
Families in our area can now access paediatric surgery closer to home, and families have shorter wait times for general surgery.
“Humber River Hospital is a welcoming community and families can feel that,” says Dr. Himidan. “As surgeons, our duty is to serve that community.”
By offering paediatric general surgery to our community, this partnership is strengthening Humber’s position as a leader in surgical care in Toronto.
“Dr. Himidan and her team bring decades of experience and best-in-class expertise to our Hospital,” says Dr. Hagen, Chief of Surgery at Humber River Hospital. “We’re very excited to expand our general surgery program by attracting the best talent in paediatric general surgery.”