​​​​UHN on the Go is our monthly feature highlighting news and events at UHN.

Cardiac Catheterization Lab Education & Social Night

Logo for Cath Lab Education Event
The Cardiac Catheterization Lab held an Education & Social Night last month with the theme of “Past, Present, and Progress”.


More than 60 staff members from the Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospitals Cath Lab teams attended the event to learn, catch up with colleagues, and meet new staff. It was also an opportunity for those who have accessed professional funding to share their knowledge.  

The event was organized by the Cath Lab Unit Council and hosted by Asha Patel, registered nurse and Chair of Unit Council.   

Keeping with the theme of “Past, Present, and Progress,” Asha covered what cardiology was like in the "past" pulling from her 40 years of experience at UHN.  

Presenters included Dr. Jenny Rossington, Dr. Abhishek Bhaskaran, Dr. Heiko Schneider, Yvonne Kwan (TG) and Amanda Gin (TW), and Monica Chao, Medical Radiology Technician and recent addition to the Cath Lab team. They covered topics such as, angioplasty now and the future, electrophysiology studies, and anticoagulants used for cardiology patients.


Krembil event shines spotlight on need for greater understanding of neurofibromatosis

Photo for inaugural Neurofibromatosis Day at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre
Dr. Jaishri Blakeley, centre, Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center, was guest speaker at UHN’s inaugural Neurofibromatosis Day last week. Dr. Blakeley is shown flanked by event organizers Dr. Vera Bril, (L) head of the division of Neurology and Medical Director of the Ellen Prosserman Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at UHN and Dr. Galerah Zadeh, Medical Director of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre. (Photo: UHN)

​UHN hosted its inaugural Neurofibromatosis Day at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre last week.  

Clinicians, researchers and academics dedicated to the management of the genetic disorder attended the event intended to bring awareness and better understanding of the value in multidisciplinary management of the condition.  

Neurofibromatosis is an under-recognized disorder that is estimated to affect approximately one in 3,000 Canadians. It results in the development of tumours in the brain and spine, and in the nervous system, and may cause complications such as disfigurement, deformities, blindness, hearing loss and an increased risk of cancer.  

UHN’s first Neurofibromatosis Day was co-hosted by the co-directors of the Elisabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Clinic; Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, Neurosurgeon, Scientist and Krembil Medical Director, and Dr. Vera Bril, Head of the Division of Neurology. This is the only such clinic in Canada dedicated to the disorder.  

“This multidisciplinary clinic at UHN functions in an integrated manner,” Dr. Zadeh says. “It has been successful in promoting care delivery, collaboration, introducing new research and raising awareness about neurofibromatosis in the community and building international partnerships.” 

Krembil’s Neurofibromatosis program consists of a team of integrated key stakeholder groups: neurologists and neurosurgeons together with medical genetics and affiliate physicians and patient advocates.  

The unique program displays a seamless integration of research and leveraging collaborations within the institution MacFeeters-Hamilton Neuro-oncology program. Together they take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, awareness and research.   

“To celebrate the success and growth of our Neurofibromatosis program, we organized the Neurofibromatosis Day, bringing together all the leaders in the field, locally and globally, and share in a collaborative way what we know about this disorder, how to identify gaps and improve clinical care,” Dr. Zadeh says.  

The keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Jaishri Blakeley, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center. Dr. Blakeley is one of the leading clinicians and researchers in the world specializing in Neurofibromatosis.  

During her presentation, Dr. Blakeley noted that neurofibromatosis is among the most common single-gene inherited diseases – a group that also includes cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and muscular dystrophia – but remains unknown to many of those outside of the medical and research science community.  

Dr. Blakely’s research efforts at John Hopkins focus on developing therapies, fostering collaboration with others in the field, promoting open and timely sharing of results and streamlining the research process.  

It’s an approach that the Krembil team has already embraced, notes Dr. Zadeh, who believes the Elizabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Clinic has been successful in raising the level of support in the community, educating staff and helping facilitate collaboration amongst team members.  

“One of the goals of the group now is outreach to primary care physicians,” she says. “There is a need to educate those family doctors so they can help manage the care of these patients on their own. Hopefully events like this can help point us in that direction.” 

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