POP continues to evolve and ramp up the number of patients that come through the prehabilitation program. More and more surgeons and physicians see the need for certain risk prone patients to come and follow the POP prescription for optimizing health and getting prepared for surgery. Those patients that adhere to the program see the benefits of being ready before surgery and work well with our devoted team of kinesiologists, nutritionists and relaxation therapists. The outcomes are impressive and for most patients it is a journey worth following.
As always, we have our core group that manages the POP program (as pictured above) and our students, following either a Master or PhD. We also welcome and say goodbye to those that move on in their profession.
In September 2017, we happily welcomed back Enrico Minnella, an MD in Anesthesia from Italy, who was studying to achieve a PhD in Experimental Surgery. Dr. Minnella successfully completed his PhD this past July and was immediately granted a Clinical Fellowship for a year in the Anesthesia Department. He continues to work part time with POP as a Clinical Supervisor of the POP program.
We say goodbye to Lauren Richer, our part-time nutritionist, who is going to be married and live in Israel for a year or two. Lauren has been responsible for refining and delivering a very effective nutrition counseling program with patients. We are sorry to see her go but know that she will succeed wherever she goes. Replacing her, we welcome Teodora Cioteanu, a dietitian who works for the MUHC. Teodora will carry on Lauren’s work delivering nutrition counseling for the POP program.
Anh Thy Le Quang is now pursuing her Master in Kinesiology with François Prince, PhD at the Université de Montréal. She will be studying balance within the elderly population and how it is affected by the introduction of a multimodal prehabilitation program. She will continue to work with us on a part-time basis, supervising our new kinesiologist, Hamza Qureshi, and has taken over the position of Research Coordinator while Rashami Awasthi is on maternity leave.
Hamza Queshi joins the POP Team as a full time Kinesiologist, having graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise Science from Concordia University. Hamza has worked in various positions with the CLSC, the Cummings Centre and various gyms since graduating in 2018. He will work with Anh Thy, providing individualized exercise programs for clinical and research patients.
POP has been very lucky, thanks to Jane Edwards, to continue to receive $20,000 for the past 6 years from the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation. Much of our research work deals not only with optimizing patient’ health but helping patients deal with pain management. We are eternally grateful to Jane for supporting our work.
The number of visitors we get from around the world, who come to learn about the POP prehabilitation program, has been ever increasing. We have had visitors from Canada, the US, France, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the UK, Australia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore among others. We continue to strive to be a world recognized training center for peri-operative care and, more specifically, prehabilitation preparation before surgery.
CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
During the year, the POP Team again has attended many conferences dealing with prehabilitation. Several members of the team attended the Third World Conference on Prehabilitation (originally started by Dr. Carli) in London, England. Two members of the POP Team received honours for their abstracts, Tram Bui, kinesiologist, taking first place and Lauren Richer, dietitian, third place. Congratulations to both women for their excellent presentations. Also, Dr. Minnella is pursuing his Certification in the use of a CPET machine, after attending several CPET workshops in London, England. He is responsible for training the other members of the POP Team on the use of the CPET machine, recently purchased by POP at the beginning of 2019.
In March 2019, POP conducted its first of many one-day workshops to teach attendees ( maximum of 20 people fully subscribed) how to conduct a prehabilitation program. Physicians, surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, kinesiologist, dietitians attended the workshop. An intensive day of workshops in all the areas – exercise, nutrition, relaxation therapies, smoking cessation, patient education – was held, where measurements techniques were demonstrated for each part of the multi-modal approach. The reviews by the participants were excellent. Another such workshop will be held in the same manner on Saturday, November 16 2019. It was such a success that POP will be running this type of workshop twice a year in the Spring and Fall.
Miquel Coca, MD, an anesthesiologist from Barcelona, is doing research in Experimental Surgery studying the effects of a prehabilitation program on the Peripheral Artery Disease patients. The purpose of the research is to learn if a structured prehabilitation exercise program specifically tailored to the patient and performed before revascularization (angioplasty) could improve their functional capacity and quality of life both before and after surgery. The other purpose of the study is to learn if this program can decrease the number of patients needing revascularization procedures.
Vanessa Ferreira, who has been working with us for several years before embarking on her Master and now her PhD in Kinesiology, is studying a novel multimodal intervention for surgical prehabilitation of patients with lung cancer. Vanessa is testing the effect of a multimodal prehabilitation intervention combining a mixed-nutrient supplement with structured exercise training against standard of care, on functional pre- and postoperative outcomes in surgical patients with lung cancer. She will also be studying putative mechanisms of action of the intervention in muscle samples collected at surgery.
Guillaume Bousquet-Dion, is studying the effects of prehabilitation on Frail patients. The purpose of this research is to find the most efficient way to recuperate strength and energy after surgery. To do so, we will observe if, in elderly frail patients, a program of physical exercise, nutrition supplements and relaxation techniques has better results whether it is started before or after surgery.
Karen Tam, MD has been doing research on the effect of prehabilitation on Hernia patients, a difficult population to work with. Karen was accepted into residency program at Waterloo, ON in July of this year.
Kenny Drummond, a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from McGill University, is doing a Masters in Surgical Innovation, studying the effects of prehabilitation with esophageal patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The hypothesis is that optimizing health, by introducing an exercise and nutritional regime prior to and during chemotherapy, will help patients with the stress of chemotherapy and impending surgery or post-surgery.
Genevieve Lambert is doing a Master of Science in Telehealth, trying to set up an internet protocol for dealing with patients who live far away and can’t come in for all the exercise training, nutritional counseling face-to-face and psycho-social intervention. The program will work on a FaceTime concept where a Kinesiologist can video conference with the patient in delivering an exercise program and watch the patient perform.
Many of the above researchers have received funding with the support of POP. Miquel Coca received funding to pursue his research from Fundacion Alfonso Martin Escudero, Spain, Enrico Minnella from MITACS and ESPEN, Cedars Cancer Centre, the MGH Foundation and MGH Auxiliary. Vanessa won an award from the MGH Foundation and CIHR.
We would like to thank Immunotec who graciously supplies Immunocal, whey protein nutritional supplement used in many of our trials.
We have been working for the past two years on a Patient Care Navigation software in conjunction with a software firm in Madison, WI. We are nearing completion and ready to put into practice, having conducted a pilot study this Spring on the possible architecture of the software. It consists of a daily questionnaire sent to the patient’s phone by text messaging or by email at 6:00PM every day for the 28 days prior to surgery. From this information, a dashboard is available to the POP Team every morning to review the status of a patient. The software helps POP to maintain interactive communication with patients, determine their compliance and solve any problems that occur and deal with them right away.
POP continues to write manuscripts for publication and has been successful in publishing for the most prestigious magazines in the medical field.
FRIENDS FOR THE CURE GALA FEBRUARY 2019
The Friends For The Cure 7th Annual Gala, to benefit POP, was again held in February. The theme this year was PARIS. Another smash success with about 920 people attending. The food was great, the band terrific and the raffle and silent auction bringing in record amounts yet again. POP received $125,000 from the Gala. Friends For The Cure have to be commended on their tireless efforts to support POP by putting on a Gala every year for POP. They are the spine of our operation.
Next year Gala will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 and is moving to Laval where parking will be much easier and not face the challenges that occurred this year albeit there was a horrendous snowstorm and so streets were full of snowbanks!
TEXAS HOLD’EM FUNDRAISING EVENT 2019
This year’s Texas Hold’Em was held on April 5, 2019. Tony Panarello and his committee put on great evening. They donated $5,000 to POP which helps with our ever-expanding program of prehabilitation. It was a fun evening of poker and great food. Next year’s event will be held on April 3, 2020. Everyone is invited to attend. Tickets may be purchased from the POP team.
This testimonial was written by one of POP’S recent hernia patients. It sums up what we believe are the advantages of the prehabilitation program wherein patients are motivated to help themselves, with the support of the dedicated POP team, to optimize their health before facing the stress of surgery.
Again, I wish to thank you and your great team for helping me and motivating me during the time building up to my surgery. It assisted me immensely in so many ways. I would recommend this program to everyone who is going to undergo any surgery by their Doctors. I found my recovery time was speedy and helped me considerably. I felt strong faster than I figured it would and it helped me and made me get back on my feet again sooner than expected. I can not find the words for the gratitude I feel.
We cannot run this program without your help. To provide the best of patient care during a very stressful time prior to surgery, we need to have the right kind of professionals and equipment to take care of all patients that require our program. Please consider donating to POP and giving patients the best care possible.