Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an unpreventable, complex, chronic, relapsing and often debilitating lifelong disease that does not yet have a cure.
The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both are caused when the intestine’s immune system responds aggressively or inappropriately to intestinal matter and attacks healthy tissue inside the digestive system.
Seeing the necessity and urgency for improved delivery and management of care, a group of IBD specialists has formed a non-profit society and reached out to other stakeholders to help to improve the lives of the 25,000 British Columbian adults, youth and children struggling with IBD, by delivering province-wide efficient and effective modern care through the proposed IBD Centre of BC.
Approximately 25,000 British Columbians have IBD.
IBD is as common as Type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, and more than twice as common as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
1,500-plus new cases are diagnosed annually in BC.
25% to 50% of IBD patients relapse annually.
The peak age of IBD diagnosis is around 25, just as young adults are establishing their independence and building lives as contributing members of society.
Children (ages 1 to 16) account for 20% to 25% of the IBD population, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as early as their first year of life.
For every person diagnosed with IBD there are a host of significant others who are also affected — by the emotional toll the disease takes on a family, the economic consequences of lost work time, drug therapy not fully covered by MSP, worry and more.
IBD is a $300-million provincial economic burden, costing about $12,000/patient due to hospitalization, work/school absenteeism and treatment.
The IBD Centre of BC will provide a complete spectrum of benefits for patients, families and the public health-care agenda.
- Significantly decreased wait times to see a specialist
- Faster, more efficient diagnosis
- Improved access to specialist care
- Improved quality of care
- Reduced hospital and ER visits
- State-of-the-art diagnostic tools
- Telehealth for patients living outside the Lower Mainland
- Multidisciplinary and complementary integrated care teams
- Advanced treatments, therapeutic regimes and modalities
- Education promoting patient understanding of IBD and its long-term management
- Continuing educational outreach to health-care professionals working with IBD patients across the province
- Research from “bedside to bench and bench to bedside”
- Central biobank for clinical samples
- Repository for patient information
- Improved quality of life for patients, including fewer work/school absences and less urgent-care needs
- Reduced direct and indirect costs of IBD to patients and society
I can reach kids who are broken because I know hurt. Sharing our pain opens the conversation.Read Jim's Story
The soccer and running is a bit of a f-you to the disease.Read Nik's Story
I have always taken the approach that if you work hard enough you can overcome anything. I had to accept that ulcerative colitis isn’t going to be like that. This is forever.Read Emily's Story
It’s like your body is turning itself inside out and all you can do is wait until it passes. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. It’s like torture.Read Oliver's Story
In my ideal world everyone would talk with each other and they would all know what I’ve been doing for my Crohn’s for the past three months.Read Sam's Story
Bernard Bressler, PhD (Secretary)
Professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences and Associate Member of the Department of Orthopedics at UBC; former Vice President Research at UBC; former Vice President Research at Vancouver Coastal Health
Brian Bressler, MD, MS, FRCPC
Practicing gastroenterologist; world-recognized expert in IBD; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at The University of British Columbia’s Department of Medicine
Kulwant Chauhan, CA (Chair)
Chartered accountant; Vice President of Abacus Private Equity and the Hillcore Group, responsible for analysis for broad initiatives such as new business models, acquisition models and new debt and equity financing
Jon Festinger, Q.C. (Vice Chair)
Lawyer, strategic advisor and educator with a focus on digital media, creative freedoms, entertainment and sports; past Chair of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia
MBBCh, FRCPC, FCP, AGAF
Pediatric gastroenterologist; Clinical Professor and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Pediatric IBD program at BC Children’s Hospital
Tony Kalla, B. Comm
Mortgage broker; Principal of Westbridge Mortgage Services Ltd.; expert in commercial real estate acquisition, management and repositioning
Yvette Leung, MD, FRCPC
Practicing gastroenterologist in IBD; physician lead for the Vancouver Pregnancy and IBD Clinic; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at The University of Calgary Department of Medicine
Non-profit fundraising volunteer, formerly with BC Children’s Hospital and the MS Society
Matthew Robinson (Treasurer)
Senior Accountant at MNP with a focus on public company audits and NPO reviews
MD, MHSc, FRCPC, CCFP
Gastroenterologist with an advanced Fellowship in IBD; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, The University of British Columbia; member of Pacific Gastroenterology Associates at St. Paul’s Hospital with a clinical practice focus in IBD
Norma Sebestyen, BComm, MBA
Merck executive with extensive experience in sales, marketing, strategic planning, corporate affairs, health education, government relations, operations, and policy and patient access; board member, Providence Research Insitute and Canadian Glycomics Network
Executive Assistant to the Board