This article originally appeared on The Pathology Report on February 8, 2016. Reposted with permission.
For two weeks breast pathologist Dr. Luis Gai is visiting the University Health Network (UHN) to collaborate with the Laboratory Medicine Program’s (LMP) breast pathology team and share practices and experiences.
Dr. Gai is part of the laboratory medicine team at Newfoundland’s Eastern Health, an LMP collaborative hospital, and his visit will provide both organizations an opportunity to learn from each other and strengthen ties in laboratory medicine.
“There’s a real focus on interaction,” said Dr. Gai. “Being able to work alongside the pathologists here and compare our processes will be something that strengthens how we communicate in future consultations.”
Having worked at Eastern Health for the past seven years, Dr Gai has witnessed and taken part in how the UHN/Eastern Health relationship has evolved. First established in 2010, and re-initiated one year ago, Dr. Gai says he’s been “extremely happy” with the guidance made available.
The relationship involves LMP medical and administrative leadership offering input in the departmental structure and strategy of laboratory medicine at Eastern Health, and enables both groups to work together on advancing lab medicine on a national level.
“We’ve utilized key experts in flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and renal pathology to help facilitate and enhance the operations at Eastern Health – but we’re all benefitting from the relationship,” says Dr. Runjan Chetty, acting medical director, LMP and acting clinical director, Eastern Health. “We’re sharing knowledge, establishing clinical governance, and building professional and collegiate links to better laboratory science as a whole.”
Dr. Gai lived and worked in Toronto for six years before moving to St. John’s, NL, and was pleasantly surprised with the transition, saying, “It’s beautiful,” “It’s peaceful,” and “there’s no traffic.” He then added how friendly and welcoming the people are and how there’s plenty to do outdoors.
“We’ve enjoyed our visits immensely,” says Dr. Chetty of the monthly trips him and LMP executive director, Brad Davis, make to St. John’s. “We were immediately accepted among the ranks, and though our visits are mostly business, the experience has been extremely pleasant.”
Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland/Labrador and serves a population of over 307, 000. It is a teaching hospital similar to UHN and its laboratory medicine department also serves hospitals in the surrounding area.
“We’re very pleased the agreement has been extended,” says Dr. Gai. “We’ve made strong progress, and look forward to collaborating more on future initiatives.” ■