2022 Impact Report

Looking forward:
Women's Health

Caring more about women’s health care

For too long women’s health issues have neither been understood nor funded effectively.

Dr. Erin Brennand is part of the team leading research and understanding in women’s health that will make Calgary a national leader.

From research into diseases that are more prominent in women, to empowering health care workers, to a lack of training in the unique ways some illnesses present in women, there are many barriers to achieving the breakthroughs in care women need.

Our Vision

Making the future of women’s health a priority in Southern Alberta

Working with stakeholders representing a variety of women’s health experiences and across the entire health care journey, we’re developing a vision for more equitable and effective women’s health care. This vision is built upon key themes:

Putting a focus on women’s health research

By creating a focus solely on women’s health, diseases that disproportionally impact women, and the high cost of chronic conditions among women, we can finally achieve breakthroughs in research and innovation that can quickly translate into better outcomes for women.

Increase access to care for all women at all stages of life

Too many women face barriers in receiving the care they need – so, we’ll work to understand the challenges some of our most vulnerable populations have to identify, understand and dismantle the challenges that get in the way of providing equitable and effective care.

Advance gynecological ambulatory care and minimally invasive procedures

Invest in understanding, developing and implementing new ways of treatment for women’s health issues that will provide enhanced outcomes with less disruption to women’s already busy lives.

Create a knowledge network for women

The first step towards equitable care is equal access to understanding for both patients and providers alike. Our goal is to ensure critical information on key issues impacting women is more readily available and based on medical science by creating a virtual knowledge network to better support and collaborate with patients and primary care providers.

Our vision will empower our future – but advancements in care and outcomes can’t wait.

Over the last year, your generosity enabled us to invest in a handful of key initiatives that are already providing breakthroughs in women’s health.

We’re developing a vision for more equitable and effective women’s health care.

Reducing postpartum hemorrhage risk

Postpartum hemorrhage is an obstetric emergency that is often identified too late – making it the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide. While the majority of deaths occur within four hours after delivery, underestimations of blood loss in delivery and the bias created by most women being able to compensate for blood loss consistently result in tragic outcomes. This project aims to empower frontline staff with the understanding they need to reach a timely diagnosis and the resources to provide appropriate management for patients.

22%

Advancing pelvic floor care

Cystoscopy is an important imaging diagnostic tool for women experiencing pelvic floor and bladder function issues – but one that is only available at the Women’s Health Centre at Foothills Medical Centre.

However, without the advancement of new technology, diagnoses’ can be unreliable, resulting in frustration for patients and a delay to diagnoses and breakthroughs. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to invest in procuring new state-of-the-art tools to help advance cystoscopy diagnostics and better inform a patient’s unique treatment for incontinence and dysfunction – ultimately improving the quality of life for countless women in Calgary.

Increasing access for vulnerable women

For mothers-to-be, ultrasounds are one of the single most important tools to provide the information they need to make decisions with their doctors. But, for mothers and their partners from the Indigenous community of Eden Valley outside Calgary, access to these procedures requires travel into the city – a barrier that often results in these appointments going unattended. Thanks to donor support, we were able to fund an ultrasound machine to support an outreach program that is removing these barriers to care by bringing critical care to the community.

70%

Bringing women’s health information directly to women

Being informed is one of the most effective ways to take control of your health. That’s why we launched a YouTube outreach program that covered everything from the expected to the uncomfortable: the Women’s Health Series.