“Midwifery care has been shown to result in excellent maternal and newborn outcomes while reducing the use of costly interventions, but the factors that affect demand for and access to midwives in BC are unknown,” said Professor Saraswathi Vedam, project co-lead, UBC professor and registered midwife. “We’re very pleased the grant from Vancouver Foundation will enable us to work with women to develop sustainable solutions to maternity care access issues.”
Registered midwives are highly-educated and regulated professionals who provide quality prenatal, birth and post natal care, which is covered by the Province's Medical Services Plan. Midwives currently manage approximately 10% of births per year in BC and demand for midwifery services is increasing.
The research team includes maternity patients from across the province, representatives from the Midwives Association of BC, the UBC Division of Midwifery, Women in2 Healing, and the Immigrant Services Society of BC, and will welcome the participation of other interested community organizations on this exciting project.
Background and project goals
In 2012 the BC government allocated funds to expand admissions to UBC Midwifery and to build sustainable rural midwifery services. These policy changes were driven by maternity care provider shortages, and supported by the documented efficacy, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness of midwifery care.
However, the use of midwives is not equally distributed across the BC population. It appears that patient experience, public awareness, and regional availability are all factors that may affect demand and access to midwifery care.
The objectives for this project emerged from two community consultations. Women told us that they especially appreciate the emphasis on shared decision making in the midwifery model of care. Other midwifery clients felt stigmatized when their choices were perceived to be in conflict with the community standard of care. As a result interest in midwifery care may be modulated by family, community, and professional attitudes.
Community midwives described populations that are currently underserved by midwives, and suspected that multiple barriers to access exist for vulnerable women. Hence, our multi-stakeholder team (childbearing women, community service leaders and researchers) proposes that the overarching goal of our study is to identify factors that affect women’s access to the full spectrum of maternity care options.
Findings will inform a knowledge translation plan aimed at improving access to high quality maternity services, particularly among underserved and vulnerable women.
Vancouver Foundation helps build more vibrant and resilient communities in BC. They do this by harnessing the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money from caring citizens to make meaningful and lasting impacts. With more than 1,500 funds, and assets of over $930 million, they are Canada’s largest community foundation. They’ve been investing in communities since 1943. Since that time, in partnership with it's donors, Vancouver Foundation has distributed more than $1 billion to innovative projects and programs throughout the province. To find out more visit: www.vancouverfoundation.ca
BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre (BC Women’s) focuses its research, teaching and care on women's health and the health of their families. This focus has enabled BC Women’s to create specialized and one-of-a-kind programs designed to meet the health needs of women and their families. BC Women's Foundation raises funds to support the hospital’s role as a national leader in women’s health. For more information, please visit www.bcwomensfoundation.org
The WHRI, based at BC Women’s Hospital, aims to create new knowledge and evidence-based solutions that inform and transform the health and health care of all women. The WHRI has a local and provincial mandate to support women’s health research at BC Women’s and throughout the province of BC. For more information about the support that we provide, please visit http://www.whri.org/research-support/research-support-overview.aspx
The MABC educates the public about midwifery care while supporting the growing number of midwives across the province. Registered midwives are experts in normal birth, with extensive education that focuses on pregnancy, birth and the postpartum for both mom and baby. Midwives are a safe and recognized choice for maternity care in BC, across Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.bcmidwives.com
Established in 2002, the Division of Midwifery within the UBC Faculty of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Midwifery degree. As the only academic center for midwifery research, education and practice in British Columbia, faculty have a mandate to evaluate the impact of midwifery practice in the province, appropriate health human resource allocation, as well as midwifery contributions to global maternity health care. The research program and team are funded by various institutes and UBC Midwifery faculty collaborate with academic and community-based researchers, policy makers, administrators and other key stakeholders including women and families across Canada and international jurisdictions. For more information about the Midwifery Program or our research activities, visit: www.midwifery.ubc.ca
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC)
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) is the oldest immigrant serving agency in BC. With a mandate to help immigrants build a future in Canada, ISSofBC pioneered what is now commonly referred to as “settlement services” in BC. This is done through the provision of a wide range of programs and services that assist new immigrants and refugees through their adaptation, settlement and integration phase. For more information about the work that we do, please visit http://www.issbc.org
Women in2 Healing (Wi2H)
Women in2 Healing (Wi2H) is a not-for-profit group of formerly incarcerated women, volunteers and academics who seek to improve the physical, emotional, social and physical healing of women inside and outside of prison by engaging in participatory research processes. Wi2H is a participatory action research network of Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI), of BC Women’s Hospital. To see more about what we do, visit: http://www.womenin2healing.org
For more information:
Karen Gelb, Research Manager
University of British Columbia Division of Midwifery
Aimee Nygaard, Development + Research Coordinator
BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre Foundation
(604) 875-2424 ext 6410
BC Women’s Peer Support Groups evolved out of a clearly defined need to offer women living with HIV/AIDS their own safe space to connect and share knowledge. While there are a variety of support groups for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, there are no longer any other peer support groups that are offered solely for women. Having a woman-only space to discuss difficult and triggering topics is critically important for many women living with HIV, especially those who have had experiences of trauma and abuse.
Through MAC AIDS Fund support for the Peer Support Groups, BC Women’s is able to actively engage women who are most at risk of falling through the cracks in the health system. HIV+ women living in BC are fortunate to have access to free ART medication, and through the Peer Support Groups, we can ensure that all women get the support they need to stay on track with their medication. They are a space where women can obtain medical information as well as knowledge about helpful community resources from social housing to education to food supports.
The Peer Support Groups help to reinforce for women living with HIV/AIDS that their lives matter and their well-being is important. The friendships that develop within the safety of the group meetings are often the only relationships with other HIV+ individuals that many women have, and they provide an incredibly valuable source of support.
Thank you MAC AIDS Fund for your vital support of the only Peer Support Groups to exclusively serve women living with HIV/AIDS in BC!
We are very excited to announce BC Women’s Hospital’s new Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic patient orientation video is now available online. This valuable resource was produced in partnership with Pacific Blue Cross thanks to a $17,730 gift.
Many patients at BC Women’s Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic are first-time moms who may be unaware of how living with a chronic disease will affect them during and after their pregnancy. The Clinic team works to provide these women with all of the information they need to achieve optimal health outcomes for themselves and their unborn babies.
The Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at BC Women’s provides specialized and personalized multi-disciplinary patient care for women with type 1, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and women who are at risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy. A broad range of specialists see these patients both before and after pregnancy including endocrinologists, nurse educators, dietitians, physiotherapists, and a social worker.
Women will learn about the video before coming into the Clinic so that they can review the services and care they will be receiving from the comfort of their own home. The video provides a comprehensive summary of what to expect at the Clinic, and is available in English and also in three of the most common languages spoken by ESL patients: Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.
We see immense value in a partnership between BC Women’s and Pacific Blue Cross, two leaders in health, who by working together improve the wellness of communities all across the province.
For more information and to see the orientation video, visit the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic webpage here.
For more information and to see the orientation video, visit:
It is through dedication like the Auxiliary that the most urgent needs of BC Women’s Hospital can be supported. In 2018, the Auxiliary donation will go toward four essential projects that allow BC Women’s to provide cutting edge medical care. A portion of their gift will help train our future health leaders through the purchase of a Premature Anne simulation mannequin. This innovative technology, which includes a congenital anomalie kit and twin pack, will improve the quality of care for premature and sick newborns across BC and the Yukon. The donation to the Simulation Program at BC Women’s Hospital this year will allow neonatologists like Dr. Deepak Manhas to impart their knowledge and skills to the next generation of specialists.
“I am so thrilled with this support! This mannequin is the perfect device for teaching residents how to effectively deal with neonates experiencing rare and difficult resuscitation conditions. It really is a life saver. Thank you so much!"
In addition, the Auxiliary has allowed BC Women’s to purchase a new Bladder Scanner – this is good news for new moms! By proactively diagnosing incontinence issues with a Bladder Scanner before mom and baby go home doctors can refer women quickly to appropriate treatment, such as physiotherapy when needed. Early diagnosis can save a woman from months of discomfort, embarrassment and pain and improves her health outcomes.
Finally, this funding will also support unique BC Women’s programs like the Prenatal Emergency Support Fund and WHRI Endowment Fund. Through the WHRI Endowment Fund, world-class women’s health research is facilitated in an ongoing manner. Through the Prenatal Emergency Fund, financially stressed pregnant women get the financial support they need to attend their medical appointments. For women from smaller communities, this support for accommodation and meals can be a god send, and helps to ensure the best outcomes for women and their newborns.
Thank you, Auxiliary for once again making a generous donation that will help to improve the health and well-being of women and newborns!
Thanks to Hylcan, newborn care specialists will be able to quickly and effectively treat jaundice – a condition caused by bilirubin, a yellowish substance that forms as red blood cells break down. Normally removed by the liver, premature babies often have underdeveloped livers not mature enough to remove bilirubin on their own. If left untreated, jaundice can lead to hearing loss, vision problems, dental problems, brain damage and cerebral palsy.
You too can help the 80% of premature babies that experience jaundice, please donate today!
Breast milk has been linked to amazing health benefits for all babies. Newborns who receive breast milk spend less time in the hospital and have less chance of being readmitted to the hospital in their first year of life. They are also less likely to develop health conditions like diabetes and asthma when they are older. For a variety of reasons, many babies have difficulty breast feeding on their own, especially after hospitalization. For moms who need to go back to work but want to continue to provide breastmilk, for partners who want to help feed, or for women with a low milk supply, a pump is an absolute must.
While essential, these pumps are expensive and many lower income families cannot afford them. Over the past year Variety’s ongoing support has given babies the nourishment they need to grow into healthy children. Thanks to this vital support, families no longer have to wait up to two weeks to receive a breast pump. Pumps are on hand to immediately provide families with the equipment they need.
You too can help provide better long-term health outcomes for women and newborns across BC. Please give today!
The loss of a child seems unimaginable until it happens. How can a parent possibly navigate the grief of losing a baby?
Grieving is a journey of many steps, and many different paths. For some parents, an important part of this process is finding a way to honour their baby’s memory and ensure it lives on.
For one BC Women’s donor, this is the inspiration behind his unique method of giving back. Matthew (alias name to respect anonymity) and his family feel fortunate to have three healthy children who were born at BC Women’s Hospital. Each of their children has their own tile among the many that cover the walls of the Hospital, and their stories are just a few of the many represented along the hallways. While his kids love visiting their tiles, the family is always moved by the tiles dedicated in memory of a lost little one. Seeing these tiles gave them an idea for a way to make a difference.
Each year, Matthew donates to BC Women’s Hospital Foundation so that some of these families who do not have the means can be gifted with a tile in memory of their baby. The tiles live on the Hospital’s walls.
“We find that donating tiles each year for less fortunate families who have suffered an unimaginable loss is a way for us to help the memory of that child live on, while also providing an avenue for us to continue to support the hospital.” - Matthew
In the four years since Matthew began giving back in this way, this generous gesture has grown beyond his annual gift. Two donors, inspired by this family’s generosity, have paid it forward with their own donations for tiles to be gifted to families dealing with loss.
The memory of these children lives on, in the minds of their family and friends – and now in each patient, nurse, or visitor who stops along BC Women’s hallways to look at their tiles. They are remembered, and they are loved.
RBC Foundation’s support for BC Women’s Hospital spans over 20 years. Since then, they have been leaders in their commitment to improving women’s health and towards giving the sickest, smallest patients the best chance for optimal development. The latest instalment towards a $400,000 gift contributed to purchasing another much-needed piece of equipment—the BrainZ Monitor. This specially designed neonatal monitor will help to support better long-term health outcomes for newborns across BC.
RBC has helped BC Women’s to achieve our goal of equipping the state-of-the-art newly opened Neonatal ICU with enough monitors so that not one single premature infant needing brain monitoring goes without this vital technology.
Research shows that without the information provided by the BrainZ Monitor, doctors and nurses only identify 9% of seizures which occur in premature babies. With the right equipment and technology, these risks can be eliminated and families can feel reassured.
One patient, Michelle, thinks back to July 2013 when her daughter Savanna was born at Royal Columbian Hospital…
The delivery was difficult one. Savannah was immediately admitted to Royal Columbian’s NICU as she had meconium aspiration (a complication where the newborn inhales stool-stained amniotic fluid) and shoulder dystocia (a complication during labour when the shoulders cannot pass below) but she required further specialized care. BC Women’s Dr. Kevin Ansah came directly to Royal Columbian Hospital with the infant transport team, induced Savanna into a coma and brought her to BC Women’s NICU.
Once at BC Women’s, little Savanna needed the BrainZ Monitor to watch for any seizure activity. The next six weeks were very difficult as Savanna required multiple blood transfusions, suffered organ failure and a brain bleed due to oxygen deprivation during birth. Once she left the Hospital, Savanna required ongoing care from the infant development team due to her low muscle tone.
Although she had a challenging start to her life, the specialized care Savanna received at BC Women’s ensured that she would continue to grow up strong. Now Savanna is a happy and healthy four-year-old, and her difficult start in life has had no impact on her today.
Michelle shares, “Nobody thinks their baby will end up very sick but if you do have to go through this experience, you are at the very best place you could possibly be. Without this hospital, we would not have our daughter with us today”.
Thanks to RBC Foundation’s support, this family and many others don’t have to worry about what life would be like if this critical lifesaving technology was not available to them. BC Women’s Hospital Foundation and the Neonatal ICU staff are deeply grateful for their contribution to making a difference in the well-being of families across BC.
To that end, ZLC has committed itself to helping to make our community a healthier place by donating proceeds from the ZLC Foundation Golf Tournament for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to BC Women’s Newborn ICU, to ensure our babies have access to the life-saving equipment and technology they so desperately need.
This year the ZLC Foundation Charity Golf Tournament raised a remarkable $75,000 to help our newborns.
Pictured is Mark Zlotnik and our CEO Laurie Clarke celebrating this generous gift.
Having lived with ME since the age of six, Jacqueline knows firsthand the impact this illness has and how devastating it can be. Her event raised an impressive $10,000 for this important program at BC Women's Hospital.
The goal of the Complex Chronic Diseases Program is to provide patient and symptom-centered care with the support of a multidisciplinary team of health care providers.
You can reach the clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the patients cared for at the BC Women's Complex Chronic Diseases Program.
A generous donation of $5,000 will help respond to the hospital’s most urgent needs, including new equipment and technology, hospital programming, and research.
Our grandson, Matteo, was born at 33 weeks. Although he was premature, he was quite a big baby, yet he struggled to breathe. It was a mystery. No one knew why Matteo had such a difficult time breathing on his own. BC Women’s Newborn ICU doctors put him on a SiPAP respiratory machine at night to help him breathe. After spending four months in the Newborn ICU he finally began to thrive. The care he received was amazing. While Matteo was at BC Women’s Newborn ICU I noticed they didn’t have enough reclining breastfeeding chairs. Everyone in our circle knew Matteo’s story, so I decided to ask for their help to raise money for a special chair. My family and friends are not wealthy, but within a week I had almost $4,000, which we gave to BC Women’s to buy a chair and some breastfeeding pillows. I’m just so grateful. You know, having children is awesome, but having grandchildren is amazing!
Written by Ann Collette. Photography by Brian Howell
This local family has provided visionary support for our hospital for the past 25 years. When we asked the Diamonds for help with the Newborn Intensive Care Unit Campaign, they did not hesitate.
The Diamonds’ inaugural $3 million donation set the pace for others. As leadership donors, they are helping BC Women’s achieve its vision to be a global leader in the provision of world-class care for critically ill newborns.
The funds raised through the Newborn NICU Campaign have enabled BC Women’s to transform the unit into four neighbourhoods – each is designed to meet the special needs of babies and their families, and each has its own dedicated care team.
The Diamond Family NICU Neighbourhood is designed and equipped for the high-risk, critically ill babies from across the province that need the most advanced neonatal care. Thanks to the Diamond family, this neighbourhood will offer the latest in respiratory support and other life-sustaining equipment in an environment that supports the whole family.
Since 1989, the Diamond family has provided generous funding support for many programs and special initiatives at BC Women’s. Our patients and families have benefited from their caring and meaningful support. Their significant investment in our hospital has also inspired others to give. BC Women’s is fortunate to count the Diamonds as long-time friends.
Dedicated to the health of each of their communities, these committed pharmacists raised funds for the fifth year to help women and families cared for at BC Women's Hospital.
“The success of the Campaign can be attributed to the support and commitment of our loyal customers and staff,” said Zahir Jiwa, Associate-owner, Shoppers Drug Mart.
This year they raised a remarkable $46,589! Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart for you long-standing support of our patients and for being a leader in our community!
Here are the Shoppers Drug Mart stores that participated in this year's fundraiser!
Nemanja Filipovic (Granville / Robson Prescriptions)
Cindy Ho - Yaletown
Robert Ho - Dunbar
Zahir Jiwa - Kingsgate Mall
Amandeep Khun-Khun - Granville + 13th / University Blvd
Anoop Khurana - Hastings + Slocan
Dan Kooner - The Hub / Fred’s Pharmacy / East Vancouver Medical
Nathen Kuriyama - Broadway + Carnarvon
Art Lam - Thunderbird Village
Serena Lam - Kerrisdale
Davrin Lee-Sun - 4th + Vine
Robson Liu - Fraser Street
Rashin Mandegarian -The Ritz
Philip Mang - Broadway + Burrard
Alykhan Naushad Prebtani - Marine Dr. West Vancouver
James Ng - Broadway
Hitesh Patel -Fraser Street
Gennette Ret - Liberty Building – Seymour St
Sahar Ziaei -El Dorado
Variety has made another generous gift in support to the Newborn ICU. This visionary gift will enable us to purchase 16 Giraffe Omnibed incubators - the leading-edge in incubator technology for the smallest, most critically-ill babies in BC. Thank you to Variety for their long-standing support and partnership for the last 20 years.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the babies cared for in the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
Faced with aging equipment, BC Women’s needed funds to invest in the next generation of neonatal technologies. Our clinical specialists must have the technology they need to remain at the forefront of care for the 1,400 critically ill newborns and families that we serve every year. Variety’s $1 million gift, one of the first donations to the campaign, enabled BC Women’s to purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Thanks to Variety, BC Women’s has new incubators and other life support equipment much-needed by our babies and much appreciated by their families. By providing the most up-to-date technology to support and nurture our newborns, Variety is “inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future” for BC’s sickest babies and their families.
Variety has a long and rich history of helping families, communities and organizations throughout the province of BC.
Guided by three priorities - Cares , Freedom and Future - Variety provides grants to individuals and organizations for life-saving, life-changing and life-enriching equipment supplies and programs. For the past two decades, BC Women’s has been fortunate to receive support from Variety for moms, babies and families in our care.