Office of Global Surgery

The Office of Global Surgery (OGS) fosters global partnerships with the aim of assisting in the development of healthcare based systems, improved surgical access and surgical care, and academic initiatives.

OGS has joined the Academic Model for Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) in supporting medical curriculum development, improving burn and trauma data collection, and improving acute care services in Kenya.

Though initially created to address the challenges around the HIV pandemic within Kenya, AMPATH grew to address the pressing needs of primary healthcare, chronic disease, and specialty care. Mother and baby programs, chronic disease centres, oncology clinics, and diabetes outreach are just some of the ways AMPATH has influenced the surrounding community over the past several decades.

Other consortium members include such institutions as Indiana University School of Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Columbia University, Harvard University, Duke University Medical Center/Hubert-Yeargean Center for Global Health, and, the only other Canadian institution, the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

The OGS has started a retrospective chart review with Dr. Mark Hampton out of Victoria Hospital, Wynburg, South Africa. The study will qualitatively evaluate laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed in this centre. It will lay the groundwork for further training and development in minimally-invasive procedures.
The OGS also partners in research lead by M.Sc. in Surgery graduate candidate Jessica Hogan and an NGO, Innovative Canadians for Change. This pilot focuses on improving trauma data collection, surveillance, and service delivery in Western Kenya.
In 2017, the utility of a geographic information system-enabled trauma registry was trialed in this region, helping to understand trauma care in East Africa. It will also provide insight into possible solutions to improve access to quality injury care. A preliminary research poster was presented at the Trauma Association of Canada conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2016.

Training and Education
In partnership with the Canadian Network for International Surgery, OGS coordinated and hosted the Essential Surgical Skills Instructors course at the University of Alberta Ray Rajotte Surgical Medical Research Institute. Surgeons traveled from around the country to participate in highly interactive scenarios that provided them with skills on how to educate fellow surgeons working in limited-resource settings. Cost-effective and familiar items were transformed into low-technology teaching models for life-saving surgical skills. Standardized protocols, life support and anesthesia, obstetrics and genitourinary emergencies, orthopedics, and traumatology were some of the key topics covered through lecture, discussion, and simulation.

International Electives and Fellowships
The Acute Care and Emergency Surgery Fellow at the University of Alberta participated in a four-week elective at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. He participated in direct patient care and was responsible for resident teaching during his elective. Following the success of this elective, the Office of Global Surgery and the Division of General Surgery began developing a 12-month global fellowship in acute care and emergency surgery that will be based out of both the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton and the OGS's institutional partners around the world.

What's Next? The Strategic Plan

Develop educational programming both locally and through international partnerships, including an inaugural global surgery fellowship program

Support a surgical resident through the Clinician Investigator Program with focus on a global surgical topic

Support trauma registry implementation in Western Kenya and share lessons learned from pilot study

Facilitate medical student internships through project work via AMPATH's structure

Host the Bethune Round table at the University of Alberta in 2019

Engage fellow local, national, and international surgical partners through increased online connection, conferences, and key events

Broaden our understanding of surgical disease through supporting such projects as trauma registry implementation in low-resource settings

Explore new avenues for partnership-building, such as hosting workshops, facilitating teaching visits, and creating surgical curricula for various settings

Further diversify our interdisciplinary approach to surgery by collaborating with all surgical divisions, nursing, pharmacy and allied health disciplines

Explore partnerships with such groups as the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa

Create innovative income generation strategies to support global surgery work