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RSON supports pediatric anesthesiologist visit

Posted January 30, 2023

by Dr. Alex Farrugia, Queen Victoria Hospital, Revelstoke


A visit from a pediatric anesthesiologist to a rural hospital site has paved the way for enhanced learning opportunities.   


Thanks to funding from the Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Network (RSON), the OR and the anesthesia department at Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) in Revelstoke had the opportunity to host Dr. Zoe Brown, staff anesthesiologist at BC Children’s Hospital and site residency coordinator. 


The purpose of the visit was for the site to learn from Dr. Brown’s expertise as a pediatric anesthesiologist in a clinical coaching role and for Dr. Brown to see the rural OR and explore how she can best prepare residents for practice in rural sites. This was Dr. Brown’s first such visit to a rural site.  


Over the two days, the team were able to do four pediatric dental cases with two of the local dentists, Dr. Philomena Gale and Dr. Steven Schadinger. The local anesthetists, Dr. Cam Molder, Dr. Kirk McCarroll, Dr. Kurt Deschner and Dr. Alex Farrugia were able to give anesthetics for the procedures with great coaching before, during and after the cases.   


“Our goal was to review our current practice, adjust it as needed to better patient care, and develop new techniques to optimize pediatric anesthetics,” said Jennifer Brunelle, Revelstoke’s RSON coordinator.  


The team has opened a communication pathway to ask questions and obtain feedback from Dr. Brown when the need arises going forward. 


“We are very thankful to the dentists for rearranging their schedules and bringing their patients to the OR, given last minute schedule adjustments,” said Brunelle.  


RSON senior project coordinator, Tom Skinner, said: “Thanks to Gina Klevorick, the QVH OR coordinator, and Jennifer Brunelle, the RSON coordinator, for their support in making this visit a success.”  


RSON, a project administered by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC, supports sustainable local/regional surgery programs closer to home in geographic areas served by Enhanced Surgical Skills Family Physicians or a solo general surgeon by enhancing existing care networks shared with referral centres.  


Through this work, these rural surgical and obstetric networks support enhanced critical care, emergency and trauma services, while also supporting closer-to-home maternity care, including vaginal birth and Caesarian section.  



About Dr. Alex Farrugia

Dr. Alex Farrugia is the head of anesthesia for Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. She led the coordination of the event in collaboration with the local Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Network (RSON) team.


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