Mount Sinai Hospital’s ICU Team
As a busy downtown hospital, Mount Sinai admits roughly 30,000 patients each year. For the most complex patients - those who are critically ill, seriously injured, or in need of round the clock, hands-on care - the Intensive Care Unit plays a pivotal role. And, for the past year, the ICU has also cared for patients with COVID-19.
Dr. Christie Lee was appointed Interim Lead of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in November, 2020. “We recognize that the care we provide at the ICU is not just life-saving medical care. We’re also providing spiritual, emotional, and mental care, for our patients and their families,” says Dr. Lee. This specialized care also requires the best of facilities. Sinai Health donors Shawn Kimel and Kate Schatzky know first-hand how important this is, as Shawn spent three weeks in a Toronto ICU following a serious bike accident. Shawn and his family are longtime supporters of Sinai Health, while Kate has developed a strong interest in healthcare, hospitals and patient care and advocacy in recent years. The pair have given Sinai Health a transformational gift of $21 million. The donation will help transform Sinai Health’s ICU and will also invest in groundbreaking research at its Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
In recognition of their $10 million gift towards the ICU, the space will be named the Kimel Schatzky ICU. When the doors open in 2022, the new space will provide state-of-the-art facilities that improve patient outcomes, and patient experience. It will also more than double in size, growing to 35,500 square feet from its current 14,600.
The new Kimel Schatzky ICU facilities will see patients experiencing a more seamless flow of care. Patients like Fernando, who spent 13 months at Mount Sinai Hospital: he was in the ICU twice, on life support, and his future was uncertain. He credits the ICU staff, alongside support from his family, with helping him get through. “I remember every single detail of what happened, how it happened, and the suffering involved. But I also remember my gratitude for the ICU staff, and how they helped me and my family not only survive but thrive,” says Fernando. This caring not just for patients but also their families is of paramount importance to Dr. Lee. “The families are often the ones who come back to us once the patients leave the ICU, and they tell us how the patients are doing in their recovery, which really motivates us,” says Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee says the new Kimel Schatzky ICU will have many improvements for patients, and their families. “Each room is designed to allow more family interaction. We’re providing extra seating for visitors, and pullouts for caregivers, recognizing their important role in recovery”.
Acknowledging the toll COVID-19 has taken on healthcare staff everywhere, Dr. Lee says another aspect of the new Kimel Schatzky ICU will be infrastructure and safety measures that will be helpful if we ever go through another pandemic. “We’re ensuring our ability to deliver specialized care in a very secure way,” describes Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee also notes that the new Kimel Schatzky ICU will provide more opportunity for innovation including skills labs and a dedicated simulation lab. “It’s truly a transformative gift in every sense of the word. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this, and I’m deeply grateful to Shawn Kimel and Kate Schatzky for their generous donation. Thanks to their generosity, our ICU will continue to innovate, educate future leaders, and push the boundaries of care.”