Renovated OR for urolgoy services at CKHA. Photo credit: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

In the midst of the pandemic, it’s been a week of celebration at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

A special ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Chatham hospital on Wednesday to mark the official opening of the newly restored urology department.

The services were discontinued at the local hospitals several years ago, with most patients being sent to Bluewater Health in Sarnia for treatment.

CEO Lori Marshall says that includes a renovated and expanded operating room.

“We had some hurdles we had to get through when workers weren’t actually able to come into the hospital to do that work,” Marshall says. “It’s terrific not only for urology, it certainly helps make that commitment back to the community, but this OR is a multi-purpose OR and can be used for other purposes.”

Marshall says the new OR will help relieve some of the backlog of elective surgeries caused by the pandemic.

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Haddad, former Chief of Surgery, General Surgeon at CKHA, a dedicated team of staff and physicians contributed a significant amount of time, work and planning to ensure Urology service renewal at CKHA was a success.

Construction on the project began last summer and saw the complete renovation of Operating Room 1 and adjacent storage space. The OR was updated to deliver a modern operating space including an integrated ceiling system with an enhanced air diffuser and lighting flexibility.

Another OR has been created by converted storage space into a multi-purpose procedure room with updated med-gas services, lighting, lead lining and image viewing.

In July 2020, CKHA welcomed Dr. Hamidreza Abdi, Urologist, to the organization.

“I have felt extremely welcomed by the staff and physicians at CKHA since my first site visit and I knew immediately the organization and community would be an excellent choice for myself and my family,” said Dr. Abdi. “I am honoured to be a part of this historical Urology service renewal at CKHA and proud to serve the residents of Chatham-Kent.”

Ambulatory urology clinics are now being held at both sites of the Health Alliance in Chatham and Wallaceburg.