On Wednesday, May 29, Dr. Robert Siemens, head of Urology at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), was the keynote speaker at the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation’s (UHKF) spring Circle of Care luncheon.
“I’m a pretty unapologetic cheerleader for the innovation that’s been going on at KHSC and Queen’s, especially with respect to the surgical program,” said Dr. Siemens, who admitted to feeling a little nervous with “three of my former bosses in the room.” Dr. Andrew W. Bruce, Dr. Alvaro Morales, and Dr. James W. Wilson—all former heads of Urology—were among the filled-to-capacity dining room at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess at CFB Kingston.
The focus of Dr. Siemens’ talk was the newly launched A. Britton Smith QC Robotics Program. He reinforced the interdependency of people and technology when it comes to ensuring the success of the surgical program. On the one hand are the many “dedicated, talented doctors, nurses and support staff that are brought here to be able to deliver these programs.” On the other, are the “devices, the innovative technology, that are central to the procedures…and why we can recruit and retain talented surgeons, nurses, and support staff.”
Dr. Siemens offered highlights of some of the dramatic changes in prostate cancer treatment over the past decade, and how access to minimally-invasive surgeries (MIS) are bringing KHSC in alignment with the “standard of care” across North America and in Europe.
“What I used to say,” said Dr. Siemens, pointing to a slide of a robotic surgical system, “Is this is the future of prostate cancer surgery. I’m proud to say that this is no longer the future: this is now. With Brit Smith, the Foundation and hospital leadership advocating for this we now have one of these at the Kington General Hospital site. This is the biggest thing that has happened to me in my career.”
Dr. Siemens’ good-humored and informative presentation was greeted with a hearty round of applause by donors and their guests. He introduced David Bailey, one of the first patients to undergo robot assisted surgery at KHSC, who shared his relatively “pain-free” surgery and recovery experience. “If the surgery had been done in the summertime,” said David, “I would have been riding my motorcycle within two weeks.” He also thanked the “visionary donors who have made investing in the technologies of the future a priority.”
The Circle of Care luncheon is sponsored by Bell and brings a group of invited donors together three times a year to learn more about healthcare at KHSC and Providence Care. For more information on becoming a member of UHKF’s Circle of Care or to make a donation in support of much-needed equipment or to any other hospital program or service visit uhkf.ca.