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A milestone anniversary for the QEII’s cardiovascular intensive care unit

Cardiovascular intensive care unit team

Photo: Left to right back row: Louis-Paul Chiasson, Chelsea Pettipas, Dr. Michael Vician, Dr. Andrew Caddell, Dr. Claudio DiQuinzio, Elizabeth LeBlanc, Sarah Bourgeois. Left to right front row: Aisling Sullivan, Jennifer McLaughlin, Fernando Gatyan Cortes

We recently celebrated 50 years of care for our cardiac surgery patients. Recognizing the need and benefit of specialized care for our cardiac surgery patients, the cardiovascular intensive care unit was opened by Dr. C. Edwin Kinley in 1974, in collaboration with Madeleine McNeil, a registered nurse, after years of planning. Dr. David A. Murphy, a gifted and innovative cardiac surgeon, joined the team approximately one year later. 

At that time, Dr. John Sullivan was a cardiac surgery resident. He recalls it was a seven-bed unit located on the 11th floor of the Victoria Building at the QEII’s VG site. Ms. Madeline MacNeil was the Head Nurse at the time who assisted with managing the CVICU.

In 1995-96, cardiac surgery services moved to the QEII’s Halifax Infirmary site, where our current cardiovascular intensive care unit (unit 5.1) is located on the 5th floor and has expanded to a 13-bed unit.

Our current director, Dr. Michael Vician, joined our team in 2012. During his leadership over the past 12 years, Dr. Vician has carried forward the collaborative-care approach of Dr. Kinley’s vision. Our current care model includes physicians specializing in critical care, anesthesia, surgery and more recently cardiology. Dr. Vician has sought to modify and improve our delivery of care in the CVICU. Over the past year, he advocated to secure a Critical Care Cardiovascular ICU Fellowship position for our unit, and we were pleased to welcome Dr. Yousef Abozinadah to our Cardiovascular ICU team in September 2023.

Special thanks to our Cardiovascular ICU attendings, nurses and nurse practitioners, clinical assistants, support staff and trainees who provide excellent care to our most critical patients as they recover from open-heart surgery.

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