Interview: Dr. Sally Kenawy, Paediatrician
Tell me about yourself!
Hi, I’m Dr. Sally Kenawy and I’m a general paediatrician. I’ve been here at Humber since August 2015.
How would you explain your job to a friend?
As a general paediatrician, I take care of children in many different ways. I’m there from prenatal consultations for mothers with known complications, during labour and delivery, to providing newborn care. I also consult in the emergency department and take care of the paediatric ward and NICU just to name a few things. Wearing so many different hats keeps me on my toes!
What makes you proud of the Paediatrics Program at Humber?
I am most proud of the NICU. It’s my favourite because it’s where I can build a stronger connection with the baby and the parents. In other parts of my job, I see kids for an hour or maybe a couple of days, but the babies in the NICU can be there for weeks at a time as they grow stronger. It’s very rewarding for me to see the progress the babies make and to build relationships with the families.
Humber is on a mission to upgrade our NICU from a Level 2B to a Level 2C. Why is this upgrade important to the community?
Once we transition to a Level 2C, it will expand our ability to take care of much younger and sicker babies. At this level, we will have ventilators to allow us to care for babies as young as 30 weeks. Right now our care is for babies 32 weeks and older.
When we can take care of younger babies, it also means we can take care of more families in our community and improve access to healthcare. The babies will be closer to home and closer to their parents. Right now, any families with babies under 32 weeks would have to travel much further to see their baby while they are in the NICU. I think it’s very important that everyone has access to quality healthcare, no matter where they live in the city.
How is technology being used in Paediatrics at Humber?
We have the ability to use video laryngoscopy which allows us to see the trachea and the airways during intubation. As you can imagine, newborns have very tiny tracheas, which makes intubation more difficult. Having the video component makes it much easier and safer while we are doing the procedure.
How has COVID-19 impacted the Program?
A big impact were the restrictions COVID put on the number of visitors allowed at a time with a patient. In paediatrics, all of our patients are young. Imagine being able to have only one person visit you? You could really see the toll this took on patients and their families. Now the visitor policy is more relaxed and patients can have two support people with them at a time.
Another way COVID has impacted the program is the types of illnesses we see. Mental health concerns have really skyrocketed in children and youth during the past 18 months.
What do you love about your job?
I love the kids. We all have days when we wake up and don’t want to go to work. But when I have those days and I get to work and see my patients, they bring me so much joy. They’re fun and it’s fun to help them. You immediately see them feel better which is very rewarding.
What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year?
I was on Family Feud Canada. The episode just aired and it was so much fun!
What inspires you?
Seeing families go home happy after an experience at Humber. Being able to attend the delivery and take care of the baby after it’s born or being in the NICU for an extended amount of time, I see so much gratitude from the families. This inspires me every day.