Second orthopedic postion to be maintained for Whistler and Sea to Sky corridor 

Search is on to replace retiring surgeon Dr. Pat McConkey

click to enlarge BY BONNY MAKAREWICZ

The Sea to Sky corridor will continue to have two orthopedic surgeons following a very public push by local politicians, doctors and other stakeholders in the past few months to maintain the status quo.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority had considered having just one orthopedic surgeon service the region after the retirement of Dr. Pat McConkey this week.

In announcing the continuation of a second position Wendy Hansson, Chief Operating Officer, VCH-Coastal said: "The overall result will be more seamless, timely and quality orthopedic care that will fit the unique needs of Sea to Sky residents and visitors."

The search for McConkey's replacement is underway.

As well, additional surgical time will be added at Squamish General Hospital, increasing the number of patients who will be served. Surgeons will also be expanding the range of surgeries they can perform beyond what is currently available to include minor orthopedic trauma, such as fractures of the collarbone, kneecap, ankle and forearm.

The corridor will also be getting enhanced specialist care at the Whistler Cast Clinic, which will now be staffed by orthopedic surgeons from both Squamish General and Lions Gate hospitals. This means that many Sea to Sky patients will no longer have to travel to North Vancouver to receive consultation or follow up care for their injuries from an orthopedic specialist.

VCH will also create a Division of Orthopedic Surgery to bring together surgeons from Squamish and Lions Gate hospitals in an association that will result in more seamless care for patients.

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