The HNHB LHIN, through the LHIN’s Non-Malignant Thoracic Steering Committee, is developing a Regional Thoracic Program. The goal is to improve the care and delivery of service for patients requiring thoracic care throughout the LHIN. The Steering Committee includes representation from all LHIN hospitals and the HNHB Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).
Thoracic surgery provides specialized clinical care for patients with a wide range of serious diseases of the thorax (the chest). General thoracic surgery deals specifically with the lungs and esophagus (the swallowing pipe between the mouth and the stomach).
In addition to thoracic surgeons, thoracic surgery can involve respirologists, oncologists (cancer specialists), family medicine, the emergency department, and palliative care services.
All thoracic surgeries in the LHIN are done at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, which became the LHIN’s designated thoracic centre in 2011.
Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program (LDAP)
The HNHB LHIN has one of the highest proportions of lung cancer cases in Ontario.The Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program (LDAP) was developed to improve timely diagnosis of lung abnormalities and reduce wait times for patients with suspected lung cancer. The LDAP allows family physicians and other specialists to refer patients to a nurse navigator, who coordinates any further investigation and ensures consultation with thoracic specialists more efficiently. These consultations all take place in the facility closest to the patient’s home and are handled in a timely manner to reduce worry and improve the overall patient experience.
Esophageal Diagnostic Assessment Program (EDAP)
The success of the LDAP program has resulted in the development of a similar assessment program related to the esophagus. The Esophageal Diagnostic Assessment Program (EDAP) is designed to shorten wait times for patients with suspected esophageal and gastric (stomach) cancer. Similar to the LDAP program, the primary point of contact is a nurse navigator who supports patients through their care journey from referral, diagnostic testing and treatment. Family physicians and specialists are able to refer patients to the EDAP program located at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton.