Humber River Hospital and SickKids Partner to Create New Complex GI-Surgery Clinic
In a new partnership with SickKids, Humber River Hospital has become the only community hospital in Ontario to offer a Complex Gastrointestinal (GI)-Surgery Clinic for its young patients. Dr. Sharifa Himidan, a SickKids surgeon and the Director of Community Paediatric Surgery, and Dr. Lara Hart, a Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Humber River Hospital, worked together to launch this multidisciplinary clinic as a one-stop shop for their patients.
“Surgery and GI work together for so many conditions, so when Dr. Himidan approached me with the idea, I thought it was great,” says Dr. Hart. “The reality for many of our patients was that I would see them for a GI appointment, and refer them for a surgery consultation on a different day. It’s a lot of appointments. Our goal with this new clinic is that paediatric patients needing GI surgery will be able to have all of their consults with GI, Surgery, and Nursing Dieticians at one time.”
“The community needs it,” says Dr. Himidan. “Humber River Hospital’s catchment area has a large population of children with conditions such as Crohn’s who may require surgery so they can start medical treatment safely, and now we can offer them this service close to home, and get them the treatments that they need more quickly.”
The new Complex GI-Surgery Clinic will serve children with GI conditions that likely require surgery, including kids with complex Crohn’s, Perianal Crohn’s, anal rectal malformation, and complex constipation. Dr. Hart and Dr. Himidan ran their first trial day in December 2020, where four young patients were given the opportunity to have their multi-disciplinary consultations happen all in one day.
“It was a fantastic pilot,” says Dr. Himidan. “For three of the kids we were able to provide the interventions they needed during a short stay at the Hospital. One had surgery. The best part is that they did not have to wait in pain for months – we were able to start their treatment plans right away.”
While the clinic has been largely on hold during the third wave of COVID-19, the team is planning for their next clinic day once elective paediatric care can safely resume.
“Having this option for our patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases is amazing,” says Dr. Hart. “Their treatment requires collaboration, so this allows us to provide complete care including surgical and medical management, together.”
“I am proud to be launching this new clinic with Dr. Hart because it is a living testament to our shared belief that children should have the best care closest to their homes,” says Dr. Himidan. “Our partnership with Humber River Hospital has made this possible.”