Research focused on improving quality of life

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Research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton strives to engage patients, clinicians, employees and academics in re-inventing the way in which we deliver healthcare. Our vision is to deliver an integrated, high quality care experience to those we are privileged to serve. Pursuing knowledge is a key driver in our ability to deliver on this vision – but equally important is our ability to share and translate that knowledge to others so that we are advancing health and well-being beyond the walls of our hospital – and beyond the borders of our city and province.

Research at St. Joseph’s begins and ends with the patient in mind. Due to a long-standing partnership with McMaster University, dedicated clinicians have launched research studies that have aimed to directly improve the care patients receive on a daily basis.  Home to more than 4,000 staff, 700 physicians and 600 volunteers, our institution houses multiple campuses, departments and centres of care to treat a range of patient needs.

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Since the new Margaret and Charles Juravinski Centre for Integrated Healthcare opened its doors to patients in 2014, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has shared with the world how its new integrated model of medical and mental health care will positively transform the way patients with mental illness and addiction are diagnosed and treated. The facility also provides dedicated research areas where mental health researchers can explore ways to improve treatments and therapies for those diagnosed with mental illness.

Respiratory medicine and thoracic surgery build upon a rich legacy of exploration into treatment and prevention of lung and chest-related ailments. The Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, founded in 1978, has played an instrumental role in changing the practice of respiratory health care on a global level by developing the AeroChamber® inhaler as well as the first Canadian guidelines for the treatment of asthma.

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Nephrology research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton developed as a result of clinical and basic science researchers coming together to engage in cutting-edge kidney and urinary research. The Hamilton Centre for Kidney Research located at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton receives over$2.3 million annually in peer-reviewed funding from sponsors such as the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

In the emergency department, physicians have developed a new, efficient assessment process which drastically cuts emergency room wait times. By including a triage physician located inside the waiting room, patients receive an immediate initial assessment which includes giving out medication and scheduling medical examinations.  Re-inventing the emergency department process has led to decreased mortality rates as well as improved patient satisfaction.

This year, our respirology researchers have successfully tested an antibody that can improve the quality of life for individuals with asthma by relieving inflammation in the lungs. It concluded that blocking a specific protein in the lungs with an antibody both alleviates baseline inflammation and provides resistance to allergens for those with mild allergic asthma.  These findings can lead to a potentially new antibody-based treatment for allergic asthma, especially useful for those individuals that have issues with inhalers or steroid-based medications.

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Our basic science nephrology researchers are studying the mechanisms involved in kidney failures caused by diabetes and hypertension – the two most common causes of kidney failure in North America. Clinically, St. Joseph’s is the top recruiting centre in the world for PEVIXAS – the world’s largest study of autoimmune renal disease.  The PEVIXAS study strives to answer questions that will help clinicians to provide the best possible care for those with patients with kidney disease caused by ANCA (anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies).

From developing treatments for hoarding disorder, to uncovering biomarkers for bipolar disorder, mental health research at St. Joseph’s serves a wide-range of patient needs. Currently, mental health researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are conducting a study that hopes to measure the effectiveness of the evidence-based design principles used in constructing the new West 5th facility.  Patients as well as their families, learners and volunteers are participating in the study to help researchers understand how design principles can be used in improving care, safety and staff satisfaction.

Research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is inclusive and collaborative; continuously striving to improve the quality of life for patients. Our researchers act as an academic community that strives to use scientific inquiry and exploration in order to change the way that healthcare is practiced around the world.