International Women’s Day

By Shahana Gaur

Dr. Sinziana Avramescu is a respected and admired Anesthesiologist at Humber River Hospital (HRH). But just as appreciated and recognized as her work in anesthesiology is her dependable initiative, innate leadership, and talent for unifying people.

All of our staff, physicians and volunteers stepped up at the outset of the pandemic to meet the uncertainty and unknown that lay ahead with courage and determination, and Dr. Avramescu was no exception. She was quick to initiate the creation of an Anesthesia COVID-19 Task Force with her colleagues at HRH that focused on creating evidence-based guidelines for the Anesthesia Practice at the hospital. Her leadership in the pandemic extended to organizing simulation sessions that trained staff on protocols for using personal protective equipment in a pandemic. Even when elective surgeries were cancelled, Dr. Avramescu continued to perform on-call functions and volunteered to run the Protected Code Blue team who served as first responders to all medical emergencies in the hospital during the pandemic.

It was this demonstrated ability to identify what our patients, physicians, staff, and hospital needed that led Dr. Avramescu to creating a program called “Physicians as ICU Care Providers (PICP)”. As HRH faced ICU capacity issues during the height of the third wave of the pandemic, Dr. Avramescu created this program in response to increasing patient needs and burdens on ICU nurses. The program was designed to equip and support physicians to assume the responsibilities of ICU nurses on a volunteer basis. Dr. Avramescu worked alongside physicians, nurses, and HRH’s administrative team to organize the program and lead its training. In a short amount of time, Dr. Avramescu had worked with a team to develop and implement a training program for physicians, separate access to the electronic medical record system, and an online system for signing up for ICU shifts.

With nearly 50 physicians participating in the program, and other medical staff volunteering as well, HRH was able to expand ICU capacity, help alleviate added burden on ICU nurses, and continue providing patient and family-centred care. Dr. Avramescu’s involvement and leadership with this program was recognized with a 2022 CPSO Council Award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

The common thread in all of Dr. Avramescu’s work throughout the pandemic is how she consistently brought people together through it all. Be it creating a task force, establishing stronger relationships with physicians and ICU nurses, or leading sessions for staff and physicians to attend, Dr. Avramescu’s work united many people at HRH in the pursuit of mutual goals, desired outcomes, and ultimately, providing the best possible patient- and family-centred care.

Her leadership, problem-solving, innovating thinking, and true care for her patients and colleagues shone brightly throughout this challenging and difficult time. Dr. Avramescu exemplifies the compassion, professionalism, and respect that we value highly at Humber, and is the embodiment of a trusted doctor. We recognize Dr. Avramescu on this International Women’s Day for the many roles she takes on, from Anesthesiologist, educator, scholar, researcher, leader, mentor, to health advocate – all of which she conducts with excellence.