A Message from The WHCF Board

The Whistler Health Care Foundation all volunteer board remains committed and focussed on our overriding Vision and Mission of helping Whistler become a role model for mountain resort health care. To deliver against this goal it requires us to have a Local and Regional Strategy.

Locally:  We continue to focus on and support initiatives that are not currently budgeted for or will not be provided by our universal health care system. These initiatives will ensure our local health care providers have the programs and tools to continue to provide the world class health care we have come to expect in our community. Over the years we have worked closely with our Health Authorities and local providers to help them bring dramatic increases in Orthopaedic services, State of the art emergency equipment, CT scanner and life saving changes to our health care centre heliport.

Regionally: The Board works with Vancouver Coastal Heath, The Regional Hospital District and our friends at the Pemberton and Squamish health care foundations to bring services in the Sea to Sky corridor that effect the region and are essential to Whistler guests and residents. Projects like Squamish Hospital upgraded Cancer Care, New Mental Health services at the Hope Centre in Vancouver and more recently the addition of Squamish Hospice beds are a few examples of how the board views the need to have a regional strategy to complete the complex job of providing Health Care to our Mountain Resort.

Moving Forward: In a community that prides itself on outdoor recreation we believe our citizens and guests deserve the best available Orthopaedic care therefore we will continue to provide support to projects that increase the quality and access to Orthopaedic care in the corridor. In addition like many other communities in Canada we aren't immune to the realities of an aging population base and the dramatic increase of Mental Health issues. We will both look for ways to increase awareness and treatment of Mental Health issues and address some of the specific needs of an aging population.

In conclusion, we are making tremendous progress towards our vision but it would be a miss if we didn't remind the community that it takes funding to make it happen. If our residents and guests want to continue to have access to the exceptional care we have come to expect then we need to lobby and help fund the projects that deliver this elevated care.

Whistler is already a role model for giving, so please continue your support of Health Care in Whistler and the Sea to Sky Corridor. With your support and the dedication of our board we WILL become a Role Model for Mountain Health Care.

Thank you for your Past and Future support

Whistler Health Care Foundation
Board of Directors

ACL Prevention

Warm-Up's Key To Reducing Knee Injuries

Dawn Green - Special to The Question

Dr. Alexandra Brooks-Hill knows what she's talking about when she says anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injwies have be- come an epidemic among soccer players and ski racers.

She has been treating patients with these injuries through her work as an orthopaedic surgeon, and by the end of her sporting career in field hockey she had undergone five surger- ies on her left knee and two on her right knee. She is facing the possibility of knee replacement surgery in the future, which is why she is so passionate about prevention.

That, she said, has led her to spearhead an ACL injury prevention program in the Sea to Sky corridor.

A pilot project aimed at young athletes, it serves as an introduction to a set of warm- up exercises specifically designed to pre- vent ACL injuries. Brooks-Hill has teamed up with Dr. Sally Clark and physiotherapist Maggie Phillips-Scarlett, from Reach Physio, to deliver education sessions to interested groups in Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish, through the support of the Triboard Health Care Foundation.

Such sessions took place Feb. 7 in Pemberton and last Thursday (Feb. 9) in Squamish. The room in Squamish was packed with soccer players, coaches, parents and community members and the message from the health professionals was clear.

"We dont want you guys to end up in the same situation," said Brooks-Hill at the start of the presentation.

"To give you an idea of how common (ACL injuries) are, take this number - 8o,ooo in the United States," she continued.

"When you take the numbers and break it down, it's one injury for every 2oo exposures. It means that one kid on every soccer team (with an average of 20 players) after the age of 14... will have an ACL injury. That is a dramatic number and if there's anyone in here in a team where it hasn't happened, it just means there's another team where it's happened twice.' 

On a positive note, added Brooks-Hill, a lot of research has proven that if you incorporate specific stretches into your warm-up, you can actually reduce the likelihood of an ACL injury.

"What we are saying is try the 20 minute warm-up, have someone come in and coach the coaches and then you lanow exactly what you are looking for in the warm-up. Let's reduce the number of knee injuries that we have here in the corridor - that's the ultimate goal."

Brooks-Hill said if the program is followed by many teams in the region, so that it becomes commonplace, the impact it will have in reducing ACL injuries is higher than the impact of teeth-brushing on reducing cavities.

The year-long pilot project aims to present the issue to all three communities in the corridor, with Phillips-Scarlett working with a select number of teams in each area to learn how best to implement the program.

"The biggest thing is the trickle-down effect of coaching the coaches and parents, who are on the sidelines and can monitor what's happening," Phillips-scarlett said, adding that from a training standpoint the biggest thing to emphasize is the quality of movement.

"Anyone can do a warrn-up but it's more how they're doing it, specifically the neuro- muscular control. Education is the key - start off on the right foot, so to speak, and get them to buy in and from a quality standpoint, I think that makes a big difference," she said.

Brooks-Hill said the initiative would not have been possible without the assistance of the Triboard Health Care Foundation. Once the pilot project is completed in Aprll, the trio will present their recommendations to the foundation with the hope of garnering more funding to continue their work.

For more info, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Article taken from The Question, Feb.16, 2012


News & Media

News & Media

May 2012 Press Release about Orthopaedics in the STS Corridor - click here


New Equipment

Newly Purchased Equipment

The Helipad at the Whistler Health Care Centre plays a vital role in ensuring emergency transport is available for critically injured or ill patients. The Ministry of Transportation required upgrades to the existing helipad located directly adjacent to the Whistler Medical Clinic in order for it to remain operational. WHCF contributed $160,000 to make up “a shortfall” in the required $608,000 funding provided by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority in order for the work to be complete to allow the helipad to return to fully operational status.

The WHCF supported youth mental health with a donation of $25,000 to support the opening of British Columbia’s first ever dedicated Youth Concurrent Disorders Unit at Lions Gate Hospital’s HOpe Clinic. This facility addresses both mental health and substance misuse in youth – two conditions that often exist together. The HOpe Centre is recognized as the provincial leader in providing the “gold standard” of care to mental health patients. The new Youth Concurrent Disorders unit will address a critical gap in mental health and addictions treatments for youth ages 13-18.

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Bierbock Instrument purchased in 2011/12

This Bierblock instrument is used for treating wrist fractures, of which we see many!

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New Ultrasound instrument purchased in 2011/12

One benefit of acquiring this piece of equipment was being able to pass along the previous Ultrasound to Pemberton Health Centre.

Here's what one emergency doctor said about it:

"I am writing on behalf of the Emergency group physicians at the Whistler Health Care Center. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation and sincere thanks for the new, state-of-the-art Ultrasonix ultrasound unit which we received in recent months as a result of the efforts of the foundation.

Bedside ultrasound has moved from cutting edge to standard of care in emergency departments across the country. It has its greatest impact in the early diagnosis of blunt trauma in centers that require transfer for definitive care. This diagnosis can be most difficult in athletic populations, which are attributes that define the patient population at the Whistler Health Care Center. There is likely no center in the country which derives as much benefit from our ability to do bedside ultrasound than the Whistler Health Care Clinic. We owe the initial start of our ultrasound program to an earlier donation from the Whistler Health Care Foundation, and this equipment has now been passed onto the Pemberton Heath Care Center to enable them to start a bedside ultrasound program. The foundation has hence been responsible for the start of bedside ultrasound programs at both centers in the Sea to Sky corridor.

The initial indications for bedside ultrasound have recently been expanded, and many of us have broadened the indications for which we use this technology in our everyday practice. Thank you for updating our equipment with this present donation and giving us the opportunity to remain state-of-the-art."