CKHA marks long-awaited milestone (GALLERY)

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance's official renewal of Urology services with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. April 7, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the CKHA)

A service gap identified in Chatham-Kent years ago has resulted in the renewal of urology services at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) as well as a new operating room theatre.

A small-scale ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week to mark the CKHA’s official renewal of urology services and to unveil a newly renovated state-of-the-art operating room theatre at the Chatham hospital.

Efforts to bring urology service back to the CKHA were part of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. Over the years, the initiative has received great support from donors, fundraisers organized by the CKHA Foundation, and several doctors who dedicated time to make sure the renewal was a success.

“It’s gratifying to know we are now delivering this service for our patients and their families while reducing the need to travel outside of Chatham-Kent for urological services,” said CKHA President and CEO Lori Marshall.

The operating room theatre will be able to accommodate urological cases as well as other surgical procedures, which will help greatly as several elective procedures were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, non-urgent and elective surgeries are again being ramped down because of a surge in COVID-19 cases across the province.

Construction started last summer, according to a media release from the CKHA. The Chatham hospital’s Operating Room 1 was given upgrades to modernize the room with an integrated ceiling system. The room’s adjacent storage space was turned into a place where staff can easily control imaging, sound, and lighting. Operating Room 7 was also converted from a storage space to a multi-purpose procedure room.

“This is a momentous day for CKHA and our community; our state-of-the-art Operating Room coupled with the expertise and skill of our Urologist, Dr. Hamidreza Abdi, will ensure we can meet the needs of our patients for years to come,” said Chief of Staff Dr. Pervez Faruqi. “We are also thankful for the support we received from the Urologists at Bluewater Health who have provided high-quality care to our patients over the years and look forward to continuing our partnership with them.”

Dr. Abdi joined the CKHA last year.

“I am honoured to be a part of this historical Urology service renewal at CKHA and proud to serve the residents of Chatham-Kent,” Abdi said in a statement.

Abdi’s office can be reached at (519) 352-6401 extension 5770. Patients who require a referral for urology services should speak to their primary care provider.