Feb. 24, 2020

Director's Message

Moving towards a better model for better care

Despite the growing challenges we face in health care, the future has never been brighter for the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. 

As the new director of the Libin Institute, it is a unique privilege to lead a world-class team of scientists, clinicians and educators. Libin Institute members provide a rich depth of expertise across a wide range of disciplines.  

We are cardiologists, surgeons, bioengineers, molecular scientists, clinical outcomes researchers and advanced imaging specialists working in teams with “big data” analysts and much more. As a team, the Libin Institute is uniquely positioned to achieve its goal of optimal cardiovascular health for all.

Our plan for the future includes a more integrated approach to the Institute’s three areas of focus: research, education and clinical care. We will leverage our platforms and people by promoting collaboration, and, in so doing, we will catalyze innovation toward better patient care and value.

We are already thinking outside the box in many areas. For example, Calgary is now home to one of the first nurse-practitioner led cardiac care units in Canada. (See story page 44). 

This model is enhancing the patient experience, which is a priority for us as we always put patients first. Our clinical leaders embrace innovation as a way of improving care for our community, and readily adopt new methods such as advanced pacing procedures during cardiac device implementation. 

The Libin Institute’s goal of promoting collaboration of our people with our platforms will result in further success.  We aim to encourage our data experts, for example, to work with researchers and clinicians to drive new solutions to our health-care challenges. 

For instance, Dr. James White, MD, PhD, developed an international database, MINICOR, with a focus on collecting population-level clinical outcomes data and linking it to advanced imaging data that will be used to more precisely predict an individual’s cardiovascular risks. 

This information will ultimately be used to help prevent cardiovascular incidents and to enhance the treatment plans of individual patients. (See story page 12). 

Using population-level data to predict risk for and treat individuals is a critical part of precision medicine. The Libin Institute has made precision cardiovascular medicine a priority. We are making progress in the area of precision care for autonomic dysfunction and arrhythmias. Research projects like REFINE-ICD and AMIQA (see stories page 16 and 18) are exciting and promise better outcomes for patients. 

The Libin Institute is entering its 16th year, and I am deeply appreciative of the previous leadership team, led by Dr. Todd Anderson, which stewarded the growth of the Institute for nearly a decade. I am excited about our talented and passionate members who will continue to lead the Institute over the next decade. (Read about them on page 2).  

Our past success and bold vision for the future are not possible without the generous support of the Southern Alberta community. We are grateful for the many partnerships we have established to date. Generous community leaders like Mr. Ken Stephenson, the naming founder of the Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre (See story page 46), enable us to innovate and provide world-class care. Thank you Ken!

With the ongoing support of our communities, the Libin Institute will continue to model excellence and deliver optimal care to the people of Alberta. We will promote the best practices for our patients while working hard on the 'next' practices that will drive meaningful change. The best is yet to come.