5th Annual Patient Engagement Night

Executive Summary

On October 23, 2018, the Stone Centre held its fifth annual patient education night at the Paetzold Health Education Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.  Approximately 100 people attended the event, which featured educational talks, research engagement, and general diet counselling. The audience was composed of past and current patients engaged in care at the Stone Centre, family members, friends, and community guests. Victor Wong and Reza Ardekani, Research Assistant and Associate at the Stone Centre, planned the event and recruited an interdisciplinary healthcare team consisting of dietitians, researchers, and urologists.

This evening event was the fifth of its kind to be hosted by the Stone Centre. The educational talks focused on kidney treatments such as ESWL, PCNL and URS, ongoing and future research with respect to kidney stones, as well as an open question and answer period to conclude the night. Participants were then given an opportunity to mingle with each other and with healthcare providers to ask any further questions. Research posters and various kidney stone information and diet packages were also showcased to enhance the experience for participants. The event was well received and generated interest for future events.


The Stone Centre consists of two streams, the Acute Stone Centre and the Research Centre. The Acute Stone Centre at Vancouver General Hospital offers three kidney stone treatment procedures, which are Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy, Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy, and Ureteroscopy. The Research Centre is composed of translational and clinical research, with a mission to improve the treatment of patients with kidney stones and furthering the understanding of the basic mechanisms of a kidney stone to prevent stone formation in the future. Part of the goals of the Stone Centre and the Urology Department is to support and strengthen the pillars of UBC’s vision, people, learning, community service, research, and internalization. Hosting a community education and engagement event is in line with the Stone Centre’s mission and goals. This event was created to enhance patient understanding of kidney stones and provide patients with the tools to take agency over their own health.

Target Audience

The audience for this event recruited from the Stone Centre either has or has had a kidney stone. Some audience members have never had kidney stones but are caregivers or supporters of those who have had them. Other audience members were community members or staff of Vancouver Coastal Health. The target audiences pertain to anyone who was willing to learn about kidney stone treatment and research, particularly those who have had kidney stone disease and are aiming to improve their health, prevent reoccurring stones, and participate in clinical research.

Talks and Discussions

Dr. Ben Chew and Dr.Paterson started the night by discussing the three main treatments for kidney stone disease, ESWL, URS and PCNL. The presentations featured easily accessible videos and aimed to educate patients on the different options available when they have stones.

Following these talks, Dr. Dirk Lange, the Stone Centre Science Research Director then gave a talk on the cutting edge research at the Stone Centre. Dr. Lange described the Stone Centre’s method of translational research where medical doctors and science researchers work side by side to study stone disease from different angles. This unique bench-top to beside research allows for a faster improvement in patient treatment. Dr. Lange described the current research projects from the clinical side of the stone centre including antibiotics and survey studies. Following Dr. Lange’s presentation, Dr. Chew answered the remaining questions that were sent in by patients.

Dieticians Lynn Tomita and Judith Andrews concluded the event on a high note by discussing practical dietary tips to combat stone formation. They went over the known causes of stone formation and what foods they related to, as well as foods that reduce the chance of stone formation entirely.

Meet and Greet 

After the presentations and talks were concluded, all the guests and speakers from the event mingled outside the auditorium where snacks and light refreshments were provided. There was a booth for clinical research for the Stone Centre, one booth for the UBC and VGH Hospital Foundation, and a booth for the dieticians so that they could answer any questions that guests may have had regarding prevention. However, no studies were actively advertised at the research table in order to prevent enrolling patients who are not seriously committed to completing studies.