Several major changes have recently occurred within the Division of Gastroenterology, which have boosted our ability to deliver timely and efficient patient care. With Dr. Ahmed joining the Division, and with the additional full-time nurse, part-time social worker, psychology and nutrition positions we are very excited about the potential for augmented care we can now deliver. As well, the GI clinic, offices and day treatment unit moved to a new home on the main floor of the Children's site of the IWK Health Centre in July 2004. These new and expanded facilities are state of the art and patient friendly.
Prior to these changes the Division was already seeing a large number of patients in consultation from all Atlantic Provinces. This includes a wide spectrum of children with gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatic and nutritional disorders. During the period July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005 a total of over 2000 patients were seen in the Gastroenterology out-patient clinics, with a third of these being new consultations.
There has been a significant increase in the number of procedures performed. Between July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005 over 225 esophago-gastro-duodenoscopies and 103 colonoscopies were performed. Other procedures performed included intraesophageal pH monitoring and percutaneous and ultrasound-guided liver biopsies. In the new master plan for the Health Centre, we hope to have a dedicated endoscopy suite where procedures can be performed more efficiently and in a more patient-friendly manner.
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease continue to form the largest segment of the patient population with chronic gastrointestinal illness that we serve. We currently follow over 250 patients with this diagnosis. Our transition clinic, which is attended by the adult IBD team at the QE II Health Centre, continues to function well. The families have found this to be very helpful.
The Division has been participating in teleconference with other health facilities in the Maritimes. Travelling clinics to Sydney, Nova Scotia have been carried out twice a year for the past several years.
In terms of clinical practice, Dr. Chambers specializes in working with children with recurrent abdominal pain and a variety of other chronic medical conditions and their families. Dr. Chambers provides part-time clinical services and consultation to the Pediatric Health Psychology Service at the IWK Health Centre, where she runs an annual group-based cognitive-behavioral treatment program for children with recurrent abdominal pain and their families.