Hospital-based research delivers high quality and efficient patient care

On January 10, 2020, the Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, joined London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), Lawson Health Research Institute and the Ontario Hospital Association for a research tour at LHSC’s University Hospital. 

This tour was organized to afford the Minister the ability to see first-hand how research-intensive hospitals like those in London are helping to deliver high quality and efficient patient care to people across the province and beyond.

At University Hospital, Drs. Matthew Teeter and Brent Lanting are leading clinical research in hip and knee replacement that is reducing the time patients are in hospital following surgery. They are utilizing wearable technology to better assess how patients are doing, flag issues and predict outcomes, while partnering with industry to develop the next generation of implants. 

Dr. Brent Lanting showing samples of implants
 Dr. Brent Lanting shows samples from the Implant Retrieval Lab, led by Dr. Matthew Teeter, which images and studies thousands of failed hip, knee and shoulder implants. 

Dr. Teeter leads one of Canada’s only Implant Retrieval Labs, which stores thousands of failed hip, knee and shoulder implants retrieved from patients. Surgeons and scientists from all over the world send implant specimens to London to be imaged and studied. 

As the research institute of LHSC and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Lawson’s researchers and their teams are helping people live their life to the fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability. Research is done within hospital walls and can be directly implemented into patient care. 

This includes ground breaking work in minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgeries let by Dr. Michael Chu and the cardiac surgery team. They have helped patients like Maria Bruno who shared her experience as a patient, and the impact on her own life and that of her family. 

Maria Bruno, patient of Dr. Michael Chu
 Maria Bruno, patient of Dr. Michael Chu, sharing her experience as a patient and the impact of life-saving, minimally invasive cardiac surgery that was performed in London thanks to the innovative cardiac surgery team.                                         

“Today, my heart is in perfect condition,” shares Maria. “The ability to perform this procedure is unique in Canada. I’m forever grateful to this hospital and Dr. Chu for being able to repair it. I’m a huge advocate for continued research because there are many, many patients who could benefit.” 

As an active clinician researcher, Dr. Chu also investigates augmented reality image guidance in minimally invasive valve surgery, experimental transcatheter technology and complex aortic reconstruction. In 2019, Dr. Chu along with colleagues from University Health Network published a high-impact finding that women are more likely to experience poorer outcomes following aortic surgery

Dr. Mandar Jog is a world leader in his field, revolutionizing treatment for people with movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Last year, his work on spinal cord stimulation was covered by BBC World News

Patients Real Beaulieu and Guy Alden who have been involved with the team’s clinical trials told the Minister about the dramatic improvements in their quality of life 

Dr. Mandar Jog and his research patients
 Members of the research team for the London Movement Disorders Centre, led by Dr. Mandar Jog, gather wth research patients and those attending the tour.

“With the tremor, I was at the point where I couldn’t write, I couldn’t get a key in the key hole. I couldn’t function normally in life and it was embarrassing for me,” remembers Real. “After the treatment with Dr. Jog, it was a huge turnaround for me and how I could live my life.” 

Hospital-based research is critical to supporting health care in Ontario. “Health research is a necessity in order to provide the best care for patients and ensure the health system is sustainable. Researchers, clinicians, staff and trainees working at hospital sites across the city are driving important discoveries that continually improve patient care,” says Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director and Integrated VP, Research for LHSC and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.