Q: Tell us a little bit about your work at CMH.
A: For the past 12 years, I’ve been treating patients in the Emergency Department at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. I’ve seen children with serious allergic reactions and seniors with broken hips. I’ve dealt with heart attacks, panic attacks and strokes. I’ve even delivered a baby in the back seat of a car, right outside our triage doors.
I’m still as passionate today about taking care of you and your family as I was when I started. I thrive in the high-pressure environment of Emergency, where almost any medical problem can suddenly present itself. I think it’s made me a better doctor.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges in your role?
A: Of course, life in the Emergency Department is not without its challenges! The long hours… the thousands of life and death decisions… the heightened emotions of patients who are in pain, scared, and exhausted. Yet, on a day-to-day basis, our biggest challenge has always been space.
Cambridge Memorial’s Emergency Department was built decades ago to handle 30,000 visits a year. When I started in 2006, there were 40,000 visits. This past year, when I took over as Chief of the Emergency Department, we topped 55,000 visits.
Just the other day, we had 84 patients in Emergency, between admitted patients and those waiting to be seen. There were no chairs left in the waiting room. We physically and literally ran out of room.
Q: How will the new Emergency Department change your day to day work?
A: We desperately need the new Emergency Department, which will be three times the size, and we can’t wait to open the new wing to you and your neighbours. We will be able to see more patients and determine their needs more efficiently.
Our new Fast Track Zone will act like a walk-in clinic, where patients who have less serious health issues can be seen in a more expedient fashion. Not only will this improve the flow of patients, it will also ensure that Emergency beds are readily available for patients with more severe trauma or illness. In fact, I’ve already started a trial run in our current ER, to work out the kinks and develop the best processes for working together and providing everyone with the very best care possible.
That is something Cambridge Memorial is always striving for, and we’ve already made great strides in that direction. Last year, CMH received an award from the Ministry of Health for most improved wait times in 2016-17 for a high-volume community hospital. I’m certain we will be able to do even more in our new space.
Q: What would you like to share with our donors about how they support your work?
A: Thanks to the continued generosity of this community, your new ER will be equipped with the finest medical equipment and technologies available today. Additionally, the new ER has been designed with patient comfort and healing in mind. Individual treatment bays will improve infection control, reduce noise and increase patient privacy. There will also be plenty of natural light to create a calm, healing environment.
Q: What would you like to share with our donors about your team at CMH?
A: The new Emergency Department at Cambridge Memorial will benefit the whole community. If you or someone you love needs our help, we’ll be here. We are here to provide you with the very best in care that you have come to expect from your Emergency team 24/7, 365 days per year.
I can’t tell you how much I trust and respect this group of skilled, committed physicians and nurses. I would literally put my life in their hands without hesitation, as I would with any of the exceptional doctors and surgeons here at Cambridge Memorial.
It is a point of pride for all of us, who work at the hospital, and live in this community, that CMH patients rarely need to go elsewhere to access treatment or medical expertise, because world-class care is just down the street.
I hope you are as pleased as I am, about the new hospital we are building together.
Thank you so much,
Dr. Arthur Eugenio
Chief of Emergency Medicine