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Leading-edge urology centre opens in Calgary

CALGARY – The $25 million Southern Alberta Institute of Urology, which officially opened in Calgary at the end of September, positions Alberta as a world-class leader in the research and delivery of urological care.

The new institute consolidates Calgary’s 14 urologists and the Prostate Cancer Centre on the Rockyview General Hospital site, where inpatient urology is centred. More than 700 patients a month are expected to use the new facility. The institute was officially opened by W. Brett Wilson and members of Daryl (Doc) Seaman’s family. Both were instrumental in the development of the centre.

“This facility is an outstanding example of community leaders working tirelessly to enhance healthcare,” said Ann McCaig, Board Chair, Calgary Health Trust. “Thanks to the commitment of Doc Seaman and Brett Wilson, as well as other donors, thousands of patients will benefit from the services offered here.”

The Institute is funded by a $10-million cornerstone donation to the Calgary Health Trust from Daryl (Doc) Seaman and W. Brett Wilson. Both men suffered from prostate cancer and contributed $5 million each to bring this Institute to Southern Alberta.

Doc Seaman, who died in January 2009 after a long battle with prostate cancer, would have been thrilled by the culmination of his efforts, said his brother Don. “Doc’s interest in finding a better treatment for prostate cancer came from our own family history,” said Seaman, whose father and brother Byron have also struggled with the disease.

“Thanks to these generous donations, Alberta Health Services can provide improved access to quality healthcare,” said Ken Hughes, Chair, Alberta Health Services Board. “This is a wonderful example of the impact that a powerful partnership between visionary individuals, the Calgary Health Trust, the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services can have in the community.”

Don R. Seaman, Doc’s surviving brother said, “The Seaman Family is pleased that Doc’s dream has finally become a reality. Since 1999, he worked tirelessly in favour of integrating the urology medical and support staff to improve access and decrease wait times for the number one disease affecting men. His vision could not have been achieved without the generous support of the philanthropic, business and medical communities.”

“Although Doc Seaman and I came from different generations, we shared the same vision for this facility – a centre of excellence with coordinated care for “below the belt” issues – care that wasn’t available when we both battled prostate cancer. As survivors, prevention and early detection of urological issues has been a primary focus of our philanthropy and is a major mandate of the SAIU. I’m still in awe that Doc Seaman allowed my name to stand beside his on this project, and I’m honoured that it does,” said W. Brett Wilson.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Urology is a centre of excellence in urology care, providing services for a number of conditions, including prostate, bladder and kidney cancer, kidney stones, urinary tract problems and sexual dysfunction. The Institute will serve as a clinical hub for patient care, and will also become a focal point for researchers.

The co-location of these resources provides patients with comprehensive urological care in one location. The centre is the first of its kind in Canada, and will ensure Alberta Health Services is able to maximize all urological resources to provide patients with the best possible care.

The Calgary Health Trust connects donor passions with healthcare needs. It touches lives in the community by raising funds for enhanced technology, programs and services at the Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, Women’s Health, Carewest continuing care centres and other community health programs and facilities.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health support and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Posted October 7, 2010