Dr. Joseph Ojah
“It’s really important to make a connection with patients, even if half your face is covered.”
As a Thoracic Surgeon (esophagus, chest, lungs), Dr. Joseph Ojah brings a much-valued skillset to The Moncton Hospital. Throughout his career, he has recognized how critical communication is between healthcare workers and patients, something that has been made that much more challenging since the COVID pandemic began.
“Some of the surgeries I do are high risk and, depending on the alert status of the province at the time, family members couldn’t come into the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) to see them, so that’s been difficult.”
Dr. Ojah and the team around him have been swift to adapt.
“It’s really important to try and make a connection with someone, even if half your face is covered. I see everyone in all parts of the hospital, from our nurses to our porters, trying to make patients more comfortable by talking to them longer or telling a story. I’ve been taking extra time to engage more and look at them directly. I can see our patients clearly appreciate that, so I hope to maintain that same degree of explanation when we no longer have to wear masks.”
Dr. Ojah has been extremely appreciative of the Friends of The Moncton Hospital Foundation’s fundraising efforts, noting how it is making a huge difference for patient care in the region.
“They were able to purchase a very expensive piece of equipment that is already helping a lot of people. Our new EBUS (Endobronchial Ultrasound) is transformative. It is the new standard for lung cancer investigation and assessment around the world. It offers a minimally invasive way to get biopsies of tissue from the center of your chest, which previously required a general anesthetic and a lot more risk. Now we can obtain those biopsies in a day procedure with minimal risk and minimal sedation. It also permits early detection of cancers and therefore can drastically influence their treatment course.”
He recognizes how the community working together has made a big difference.
“People here really want to get through this safely and for the betterment of everyone else, not just their family. The natural close-knit nature of Maritimers has held us in good stead. New Brunswickers have really done a good job.”
With a five-year old daughter and a five-month old son, Dr. Ojah understands the impact the pandemic has had, changing family routines at home. The upside? It has brought the two youngsters closer. What does he look forward to most in the future?
He says with a laugh, “Probably the same as everyone else – being able to travel and see family and friends with ease.” – Dr. Joseph Ojah
Right now, you can ensure everyone in our community receives the best care possible by giving to the Friends of The Moncton Hospital Foundation.
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