MUHC takes key role in Pan-Canadian Crohn's and Colitis patient care and research Network

Network elevates standard of care for Canadians living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Canadians living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will have access to better care thanks to the first Pan-Canadian network of leading Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patient care and research centres. The network, called PACE, which stands for Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence, was launched today at the Montreal General Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in tandem with four other sites across Canada.

“Through this innovative PACE initiative we will be able to measure success in delivering care to our IBD patients and influence change” says Dr. Alain Bitton, director of the Division of Gastroenterology at the MUHC and McGill University. Dr. Bitton is also a member of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program of the Research Institute of the MUHC.  

PACE provides a platform to share and strengthen knowledge in order to improve patient outcomes. The MUHC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre plays a key role in achieving this goal by measuring improvements in patient outcomes delivered through the PACE network and defining care standards. 

“This level of collaboration will be monumental for IBD care. We are combining data from across the country which allows us to evaluate the success of each PACE centre in order to advocate for improved healthcare delivery,” adds Dr. Bitton. 

Patients across Canada do not have equal access to specialized care when they need it. Recognizing the current gaps in care, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada chose to invest in five centres to support patient care including Mount Sinai Hospital (lead institution), McMaster University, University of Calgary, University of Alberta along with the MUHC.

“PACE unites disparate centres to combine areas of expertise. It is a bold step forward to close gaps in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis care,” says Mina Mawani, President and Chief Executive Officer, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “Working together, we will reduce chronic steroid use, expand access to inflammatory bowel disease specialists, empower patients and improve long-term outcomes.” 

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, along with its partners AbbVie Corporation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Canada, are investing an initial $2.5 million over four years. Over time, PACE plans to add more centres to the network and share its findings across IBD healthcare providers to ensure knowledge will benefit all Crohn’s and colitis patients.  

About McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) IBD Centre  

The MUHC Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre is located at the Montreal General Hospital. Dr. Ernest Seidman is the chair of the IBD Program at McGill University while Dr. Alain Bitton serves as the chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University. Their team also includes Dr. Waqqas Affif, Dr. Talat Bessissow and Dr. Gary Wild. Other members are Dr. Jeff Chao (IBD Fellow), two clinical and two research nurses, research coordinators, a dietician and administrative support staff. They also work closely with the colorectal surgeons on staff at the MUHC. At the present time, the clinic sees up to 150 patients a week. 

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn’s and colitis research in the world, investing over $94 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn’s and colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness. Our Crohn’s & Colitis – Make it stop. For life. Campaign will raise $100 million by 2020 to advance our promise.