Interview: Dr. André LaRoche, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Dr. André LaRoche and I am the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Medical Director of the Maternal Child Program at Humber River Hospital.
How would you explain your job to a friend?
We are advocates for women’s health throughout their lives for both obstetrical and gynaecological issues. As Chief of the Program, my role is to make sure the quality of care our patients receive at Humber is amazing.
What makes you proud of our Obstetrics and Gynaecology Program?
Humber River Hospital has become one of the safest places in the province to have a baby. We have a great group. Everybody gets along and everyone cares about providing excellent care. We are also lucky to have had the support of Administration in helping us get where we are.
What is the most exciting way that technology is being used at Humber?
We are now using the da Vinci Surgical Robot for complex gynaecological cases that we wouldn’t be able to do as well with traditional forms of minimally-invasive surgery. This has included patients with medical complications who require surgery for endometriosis, fibroids, and hysterectomy. We know that robotic surgery improves patient outcomes and I am excited for this program to expand.
We are also doing really interesting work with the Perinatal Tile in the Command Centre. This tile is helping us anticipate and avoid adverse outcomes for mothers and babies. We have a large Labour & Delivery Unit, so the tile allows us to have one centralized place where we can monitor things like blood work, vital signs, and the babies’ heartrates, and make sure interventions are occurring when they need to occur, before they become emergencies.
How has COVID-19 impacted the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Program?
We are really proud of being a family-centered Hospital but COVID has made that harder. Within the restrictions, we have done our best to keep things as family-oriented as we can. Thanks to our single-patient rooms and the way our ventilation works, when someone is delivering at Humber we have been able to continue allowing the mother’s partner or support person to be there the whole time.
What do you love about your job?
I like creating positive change, ensuring that we are providing excellent care for patients, and being part of a place that people want to come to have their baby or their surgery.
What inspires you?
When I took over as Chief, one of my underlying missions was to create a community centre that provides a university centre level of care. I am inspired that we can bring equal access to great care to our community through things like our Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, the Totally Kids Clinic, our Breastfeeding Clinic, Pre-Natal Classes, our Obstetrical care, and by expanding the quality and level of surgical care through technologies like the da Vinci Surgical Robot.