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June 2018
Tick-borne Disease In Manitoba: Stay Safe!            
     As Canadians spend more time outside during the warmer months, it is important to recognize that taking precautions to protect your health when outdoors involves more than just remembering the sunblock.  One such precaution involves education and prevention around tick-borne diseases.
     Tick-borne diseases are the results of an infection by disease-causing agents such as viruses, parasites and bacteria that can be contracted through the bites of an infected tick. There are three reportable tick-borne diseases found in Manitoba: Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. 
 In Manitoba, there are several species of ticks, but only one species (the black-legged tick or deer tick) is responsible for spreading tick-borne disease to humans.  The more common wood tick is not a transmitter of tick-borne diseases.  The wood tick is larger than the black-legged tick, and has white markings on their backs.
     Blacklegged ticks are parasitic animals, and cannot jump or fly. They seek hosts by climbing on vegetation (grasses or shrubs), and waiting for a host to rub against them. When this occurs, they climb onto the host’s body and eventually attempt to attach and feed.  Blacklegged ticks often do not start to feed for the first 24 hours after attaching themselves to a host; therefore, transmission of the disease causing agents typically requires an attachment period of at least 24 hours. This is why performing a *tick check right away is so important.
     Not all black legged ticks are infected with disease causing agents, but it is important to prevent a tick-bite to reduce the chance of getting a tick-borne disease.  Ways to prevent tick bites are to wear an appropriate repellant, wear long light coloured clothes and tuck your pants into your socks,  and do a thorough tick check soon after coming inside from outdoors (before the tick has had time to start feeding).
     There are a variety of symptoms from tick-borne diseases; some of the general symptoms are fever, body aches and rashes (also, it is possible to be infected with more than one tick-borne disease, which can cause more severe and prolonged symptoms).  Tick borne diseases can be successfully treated, and treatment is most successful in the early stage of infection; therefore, if you believe you may have a tick-borne disease, please see your health-care provider promptly.
     The range (or area) of blacklegged ticks continues to expand, including into Western Manitoba.  In PMH, new areas are north of Brandon, along the upper Assiniboine and even near Swan River.  Please see the map that shows the distribution of blacklegged tick risk areas in the province. 
     Further information on tick-borne disease, how to safely remove a tick and how to participate in the *Manitoba Tick Checker can currently be found via the PMH website.
It is critical for our health to be active and to be outdoors; therefore, please do go outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but remember… check for ticks (on you, your children and your pets) when you come back inside!
     About the author: Dr. Amy Frykoda is one of the Medical Officer(s) of Health for Prairie Mountain Health.   As a consultant to the public health programs, the Medical Officer of Health provides guidance to regional health authority programs and services for disease and injury prevention, health protection and health promotion, health needs assessment and emergency preparedness.


DRHC Palliative Care Redevelopment Project

     Thanks to generous public contributions so far, the Palliative Care Redevelopment Project at Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) has been making some headway. The project, which is being undertaken in two phases, will see renovations and upgrades completed within the four Palliative Care Unit rooms and family room. This includes overall wall repairs, purchasing of new furniture and securing new TVs, which is all part of the initial phase.
     The second phase of the project, which has not yet commenced, would see a request go forward to Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, via Prairie Mountain Health, to consider the approval to purchase new palliative care beds.
     DRHC Care Team Manager Jean Ann Fisher says creating a comfortable, home-like and dignified environment for end of life care patients —and their families— is the key objective with the project.
     "We’ve been able to get started with the first phase due to generosity from individuals, groups and organizations both in the Dauphin/Parkland area and from outside it as well," Fisher said.
     "The Dauphin Hospital Foundation has been very supportive committing $15,000 to the initiative this past year. We’ve also had a few community organizations that have donated directly to the redevelopment (via the Foundation) and we can’t thank them enough. Working with the Foundation and our community partners, we hope to continue the good work that has started on this project."
     Some of the larger community donations for the project over the past year came from the Dauphin Ukrainian Orthodox Young Men’s Society ($5,000), the Dauphin Community Foundation ($5,000), Dauphin Knights of Columbus ($3,000), Cargill ($2,500) and Reit-Syd Equipment ($500).
     "The Dauphin Hospital Foundation, and the Dauphin Ladies Health Care Auxiliary, remain committed to this very important renovation project. Together, we sincerely thank all those who have donated to the Foundation for this initiative to date, and we very much appreciate those in the health care field who have volunteered their time to enhance end of life care within our health centre," stated Doug Deans, Chairperson, Dauphin Hospital Foundation.
     Those still wishing to contribute towards the project can get in touch with the Dauphin Hospital Foundation, through the DRHC Business Office, at 204-638-3010 Ext. 1826.

Donation From Riverview Curling Club

     The 5th annual "Sweeping Cancer from our House" event was held November 17 – 19, 2017, at the Riverview Curling Club. 24 teams enjoyed a great day of curling and fun with event proceeds of $5,459 donated to the BRHC Foundation, for the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre’s (WMCC) Patient Support Fund. This fund is available for cancer patients who experience financial challenges while undergoing treatment.
     This donation brings the total amount donated to the Patient Support Fund to an incredible $33,949 from this annual event. Thank you to the RCC and to everyone who participated for their outstanding "sweeping" support!

Brockie Donovan Brandon & Westman's Caregiver Award

     Western Manitoba Cancer Center (WMCC) staff would like to congratulate Tammy Burgess, Health Care Aide (HCA) as the recipient of the Brockie Donovan Brandon & Westman's Caregiver Award which helps honor and recognize the caregivers in our community.  The award is presented to a hospice professional, nurse, physician, clergy, social worker, healthcare administrative professional, volunteer, family member or any caregiving individual.
     Semi-annually Brockie Donovan honors a caregiver based upon a review of nominations received from peers, friends, patients and their families, and others who feel a particular person excels in his or her role as a caregiver.    

     The following is an excerpt from her nomination letter submitted by Jordana Jones, RN:

     'Tammy has worked as an HCA at Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) for the past 37 years with the last six years as an HCA at WMCC providing care and compassion to the patients, family, friends, and staff members who enter though its doors each day. 
     Tammy has a strong work ethic which can only be outshined by her incredible heart and never-ending compassion.  She is loved deeply by both her patients and her coworkers who all agree that she is an integral, if not crucial member of the health care team.  She provides patients, going through devastating diagnoses and treatments, with care and comfort and treats each patient with the dignity and respect they deserve.  For us, Tammy is a vital member of our team.  She goes above and beyond each and every day by providing exceptional patient care and unparalleled support for her coworkers. 
     Tammy impacts the lives of others on a daily basis.  She brings laughter and joy to the workplace and her genuinely positive attitude helps to create an environment of hope and optimism.  She spends quality time with every patient and gets to know them on a personal level.   Her presence is greatly missed when she is away and patients look forward to her visits when they come for treatment.  For these reasons, along with countless others, we believe that Tammy should be selected for the Brockie Donovan Brandon and Westman Caregiver Award.


Grandview Health Centre Receives New Cardiac Monitor Defibrillator

     The Grandview Health Centre will benefit from a recent purchase of equipment thanks to the Grandview Legion-Ladies Auxiliary-Branch 14. The Ladies Auxiliary raised funds to contribute towards buying a new Cardiac Monitor Defibrillator for the Emergency Room at Grandview Hospital. The purchase price of the new unit was approximately $14,000.
Grandview Health Centre Care Team Manager Richard Kunicki says Prairie Mountain Health sincerely appreciates the ongoing dedication and commitment the Legion Ladies provide to health care in the community.
“This new device will improve the capacity and reliability of emergency room treatment in Grandview and augment our existing machines.   It also increases our ability to monitor CO2 levels within the facility’s Emergency Department,” Kunicki stated.
     The Auxiliary which has over 60 active members has been consistently raising funds for health care in Grandview using a combination of fundraising strategies including collecting community, business and family donations. They also hosted a very successful ‘Bud, Spud and Steak Night’ feeding over 200 people, helped cater Kinsmen lunches, the Grandview Mud Bog and other community-based events.

Pictured with the new Cardiac Monitor Defibrillator:  Members of the Grandview Legion Ladies Auxiliary along with RN Roxanne Kallusky (far left) and Grandview Care Team Manager Richard Kunicki.
Healthy Baby Program

     Are you pregnant or a new parent? You and your partner or support person are invited to join us at a Healthy Baby program in a community near you! In Prairie Mountain Health, the Healthy Baby program occurs once or twice a month, depending on where you live.
At each drop-in session you will have the opportunity to:
  • ask questions about your pregnancy
  • learn about your baby’s growth and development
  • get to know other moms and new parents
  • learn about nutrition and health for you and your family
  • get breastfeeding support
  • get parenting tips
  • connect with health care professionals
  • do activities with your baby
  • enjoy healthy snacks
  • receive a free cookbook and/or bib (one time only)
  • receive milk coupons (during your pregnancy and until your baby is 6 months old)
  • receive bus tickets/childminding (where available)  
To find a Healthy Baby program near you, check out the schedule, or contact the Healthy Baby Coordinator at 204-578-2545 or email:

Dauphin CHS Building Celebrates 10-Year Milestone

     Current and former staff gathered at the Dauphin Community Health Services (DCHS) Building May 4, 2018 to informally recognize the 10-year mark of the health programs and services site. The 10-year milestone was held during the same month (May) that grand opening celebrations were held for the DCHS Building ten years ago (2008).
Those who stopped by reviewed plenty of pictures and shared good-hearted stories of both the old sites and the existing one. If you knew what "Unit C" referred to, you were considered a veteran of the complex history that accompanied all of the former locations.
The former public health building (commonly referred to as the ‘old yellow building’) was deemed unsuitable due to health issues in 1999/2000. The former Parkland Regional Health Authority moved most of community health to the second floor of the Post Office building shortly thereafter. Although the region had some office space within the Provincial Government Building, the former Dauphin Plaza on Main (Unit C) was used for a short time as well. The old Plaza is currently next to Nutters (across from the Co-op Grocery store).
     Currently, the Dauphin Community Health Services Building — attached to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre—provides service space primarily for Public and Mental Health, Home Care, Primary Health Care, Hearing & Speech Language programs and infection control. The site also houses the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit, which is affiliated with the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, as well as Cancer Care navigation services in partnership with CancerCare Manitoba.

Old Yellow Public Health Building 2001

Current DCHS Building 2018

PMH and AFM Address Provincial Mental Health/Addictions Report

     Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) work together to deliver mental health and addictions services that are appropriate for local communities, responsive to what clients tell us is needed (such as residential treatment), and are evidence-based.
     Both organizations recently received the province’s Mental Health and Addictions Report (Virgo report) and look forward to reviewing the recommendations contained within it, in more detail.
     In Brandon earlier this year, PMH co-hosted meetings with representatives from community organizations and stakeholders to engage partners in discussing gaps in service and to assist in developing short and long-term plans to address increased prevalence of crystal meth use in Brandon and PMH region.
     AFM also hosted a crystal meth educational and networking forum at the end of April with a purpose of additionally equipping service providers and public with more information. This includes better understanding of the issues, additional tools to better work with those experiencing harm from their substance use and to build on previously-established clinical pathways and resources within the community.
     Both organizations are jointly working with partners to establish one of five provincial rapid-access to addiction medicine (RAAM) front–line clinics in Brandon. This plan was announced by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) in early May 2018. These clinics aim to treat individuals seeking help for substance-related addictions, including patients struggling with opiate, methamphetamine and alcohol addiction.
     With health partners from across the province, PMH is addressing access and availability to a continuum of services – a focus that is reinforced by many of the ‘Virgo report’ recommendations. The region will continue to work with MHSAL to develop a continuum of responses to alcohol and drugs including opioids and crystal meth. These efforts include effective harm reduction methods in addition to a continued focus on prevention, stabilization and treatment.
     Some community groups, organizations and individuals have been advocating for the establishment of safe consumption sites. Safe consumption is based on various considerations, including the weight of data and evidence supporting that type of model and program.
     Presently, PMH is moving on developing a rapid access clinic, a model which will provide quick access to those who require medical support and treatment. In addition, other efforts— such as extended addiction service hours and locations, flexible or drop-in appointments, and increased number of treatment beds for women — are increasing accessibility to an enhanced continuum of services in the region.

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

     June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.
     Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
     In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
(Government of Canada website)
Land Acknowledgement

     Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) spans an area from the 53rd parallel in the north to the United States border in the south and reaches from the Saskatchewan border across to the lakes and central Manitoba. This land is also defined as the traditional territories of the Cree, Dakota, Ojibway, Oji-Cree and homelands of the Metis. Acknowledging traditional territories and treaties confirms recognition and respect for the Indigenous populations – past and present.
     There are 14 First Nation communities situated in the geographical area of Prairie Mountain Health. The First Nation communities of Ebb & Flow, Keeseekoowenin, O-Chi-Chak-O-Sipi and Skownan are signatory to Treaty # 2 that was signed in 1871. Gambler First Nation, Pine Creek, Rolling River, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Tootinaowaziibeeng, Waywayseecappo and Wuskwi Siphik are signatory to Treaty # 4 that was signed in 1874. The Dakota First Nation communities of Birdtail, Sioux Valley and Canupawakpa were not a part of the Numbered Treaties, however, they are recognized as having occupation of territories within Manitoba and have secured alliances and arrangements with the Crown.

PMH Retirement Banquet
     On May 29, 2018 Prairie Mountain Health hosted a banquet to honor our 2017 retirees! Representatives from the Board and the Executive Management Team thanked each retiree for their service and wished them health and happiness as they enter into a new phase of life. Combined, the retirees have given over 4400 years of service to Prairie Mountain Health. As Frank Watt (gentleman pictured wearing blue shirt in top left photo)  received his recognition award from the Board, he received a standing ovation from everyone in the room in honor of his 52 years of service! Congratulations to all 2017 retirees.

‘Rural Week’ Medical Students Visit PMH Communities

     First-year medical students from the University of Manitoba’s (U of M) Max Rady College of Medicine (Rady Faculty of Health Sciences) spread out across the health region during "Rural Week" (May 28-June 1). Rural Week 2018, coordinated by the Manitoba HealthCare Providers Network (MHCPN), the University and rural regional health authorities, provided opportunity for 33 medical students to gain some valuable work experience. They also got a taste of rural life —participating in a few events and activities along the way.
     Students were assigned to 12 communities within the health region, which included Brandon, Dauphin, Hamiota, Killarney, Neepawa, Rivers, Russell, Souris, Ste. Rose, Swan River, Treherne and Virden.
     PMH Director of Medical Services, Michelle McKay, says the event was a ‘win-win’ all the way around.
     "Students participated in a variety of rural physician practices, spent time at wards and units at rural health centres, and in most cases, tagged along with a ‘doc’ to see how their week unfolds," McKay said. "We really appreciate the opportunity to highlight communities, medical facilities and sites within the health region in the hopes that some of these up and coming physicians eventually select to live and work in rural Manitoba."
     McKay adds that Prairie Mountain Health very much appreciated the efforts of all of the physician preceptors, health-care professionals and community volunteers that helped ensure Rural Week met its goals and objectives.
     MHCPN Project Coordinator Wayne Heide says part of the organization’s goal is to provide medical students with exposure to the diversity that exists across rural settings.
     "Rural Manitoba offers tremendous opportunity for a rewarding career and a great lifestyle, but it is only through direct experiences like Rural Week that students become aware of the possibilities," Heide stated. "For students from an ‘urban-origin’ this may have been their first real experience with rural life. For those from rural areas, it was a chance to reinforce the positive aspects of rural life and to connect them to medical professionals that have chosen to practice rurally."
     Rural Week first started in Manitoba in 2003.

Susan Gray and Surbhi Suhagia of Bayside PCH Receive Long Term Care Association of Manitoba 2018 Award for Excellence

     Susan and Surbhi are both rehabilitation aids at Bayside personal care home in Killarney. At Bayside, the entire team believes physical wellness and autonomy are major contributors to health and safety and therefore essential to quality of life for their Residents.
     Using that philosophy, Susan and Surbhi developed walking programs, balance training, and range of motion (ROM) (both passive and active ROM) activities three times a week for residents to treat problems such as:

  • Age related contractures and Pain related to arthritic stiffness
  • Fractures
  • And to build confidence for residents who are fearful after having a fall

     But Susan and Surbhi did far more than just develop programs and activities. These ladies added a heavy dose of FUN to the fundamentals of all these activities! They do not just organize group exercise programs, they organize fun, resident centered 1 to 1 therapies. They strive to motivate residents and improve their sense of self confidence.
     Surbhi and Susan work hand in hand with the Physio Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Charge Nurse to prioritize needs and establish resident centered goals for improved mobility, strength, safety and autonomy.
     Bayside has achieved significant success in helping residents with fractures, and stroke and age related contractures to return to an improved state of function. This would not be possible without the dedication and compassion that is woven into these care and therapy programs delivered by these two ladies.
     Surbhi and Susan are dedicated team mates who work diligently and with great passion to improve the resident’s physical and mental status and safety. They offer positive encouragement and set attainable resident centered goals. They make the recovery process fun by showing the residents that they genuinely care about their conditions. You will often see the residents and our Rehab Aides laughing in the hallways during their exercises. Susan and Surbhi are kind, knowledgeable and integral members of our Resident support team and our facility and residents are much stronger for their daily contributions.

Pictured: Jan Legros (Executive Director, Long Term Care Association of Manitoba), Surbhi Suhagia, Susan Gray, Richard Cloutier from CJOB who was the co-host

Brandon Named As Existing Location To Receive Support For Addictions Treatment Clinics
      The Manitoba government will establish five rapid-access, front-line clinics across the province to treat individuals seeking help for substance-related addictions, including patients struggling with opiate, methamphetamine and alcohol addiction. 
     Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister made the announcement —which commits more that $1.2 million to improve timely access to additions treatment—on May 8, 2018 in Winnipeg.
“These clinics bring together addiction treatment with health services, enabling patients to move smoothly between addictions medicine specialists, primary care providers and community supports. This will allow those in need to access help sooner, closer to home and with necessary ongoing support,” said Goertzen.
     Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics are modelled after a successful program in Ontario. They will provide assessment, counselling, the prescription of appropriate medication, and connect patients to community treatment programs and primary care physicians. The RAAM clinical team will provide ongoing support to primary care providers including mentoring, re-assessment and referral of patients.
     Funding will support this new model in existing clinics in Winnipeg (two), Brandon, the Interlake and northern Manitoba. Work to identify specific locations is ongoing with engagement of clinical leadership from the regional health authorities, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and other key stakeholders, said Goertzen.
     The clinic model is intended to treat any and all substance-related addictions and has been successful in relieving pressure on emergency departments in other jurisdictions by serving as a specialized source of support and treatment for patients who may relapse. 
     “These clinics will work closely with hospitals, emergency departments, crisis services, and primary care centres to get patients linked quickly into the addictions system for assessment, services and treatment,” said Dr. Ginette Poulin, medical director of the Additions Foundation of Manitoba. “The clinics will reduce long waits and line-ups that often result in patients transitioning in and out of the health system. We look forward to these clinics having positive effects for Manitobans seeking help with addiction issues such as crystal meth and opioids.”
     The clinics were highlighted as a successful model during extensive public and stakeholder consultations through the development of the provincial Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, commissioned in 2017. They will build upon other mental health and addictions services offered in Manitoba, including the Provincial Naloxone Distribution Program, which will receive an ongoing annual commitment of $100,000, Goertzen added.
     Complete details on the announcement are available on the Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living website.


Token Of Appreciation

     A special token of appreciation was presented on May 8, 2018 to Sandra Murray, Care Team Manager, and Autumn Jackson, Clinical Resource Nurse, on behalf of the Filipino community and those working within the Russell Health Centre and Personal Care Home. 
     These ladies made up this beautiful framed piece to show their appreciation of the opportunity to work within the facilities in Russell. It is made from articles from the Philippines, which include pearls and woven fabric.

Pictured: Autumn Jackson, CRN, Sabrina Preston, HCA, Maribeth Mangila, HCA, Sandra Murray, CTM.

Congratulations Sheree Warburton

     Please join us in congratulating Sheree Warburton on being the recipient of the 2018 Awards of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing - Clinical Practice from the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Foundation Inc. (RPNF). Sheree has been an integral part of the child and adolescent mental health team for many years, providing her warm compassionate care to thousands of children and adolescents. This is a well deserved award for her many years of service. Congratulations, Sheree!

Pictured: Sheree Warburton along with her husband Kim Warburton


     Mindfulness can be very useful in managing stress and for promoting physical and emotional health. Mindfulness strategies can help us to cope with anxiety, sadness, chronic pain or other distressing experiences. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who first developed a program of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979, has defined mindfulness as simply "paying attention to one’s own experience, on purpose, non-judgmentally, and in the present moment". This is remarkably difficult to do as people notice when they try to focus their attention in this way. There are always distractions in the mind that come up including judgments, planning thoughts, goal-setting, worrying, daydreaming and generally just wishing that things were different than the way it is right now.
     When practicing mindfulness a person is choosing to let go of trying to accomplish any specific goal and choosing instead to cultivate a nonjudgmental stance, just noticing their own experiences with bare attention, whether it is body sensations, thoughts or emotions, whatever is present in their current experience.
     Our breath is always with us and always available to serve as an anchor to the present moment. One practice is to just sit still in a comfortable body position and focus attention on the breath as it comes and goes, without trying to change it or make it differe
nt. Whenever the mind gets distracted (which happens easily and often), just notice that without giving yourself a hard time about it, and then gently return to focusing on the breath. Each time you notice the mind has wandered is another opportunity to re-focus attention in the present moment.
     It is surprisingly difficult to just sit still and do nothing while observing one’s own experience in a nonjudgmental way, but it gets easier with practice. As we switch off the automatic pilot, and bring our awareness fully into the present moment again and again, we increase our control over our attention.
     By choosing to practice mindfulness, we increase our capacity to engage in "being" mode. You may find it hard to find time to sit and meditate or practice breath awareness, but there are other ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life even in the course of regular activities. Anything we do in life can be done mindfully if the mind is focused on that one thing. So when walking, you could "just walk", putting your attention right into the soles of your feet, directly experiencing each foot as it rises and falls. Similarly, when doing the dishes you might focus on the sensation of the warm water, the scent of the dish soap or sight of the bubbles. We can all cultivate our ability to stay in "being" mode even while we are engaged in actually doing something. We can learn to switch off our brain’s automatic pilot by just bringing our awareness to the present moment whenever the mind wanders off.
     To practice this shift into "being" mode, you might try this 7-minute guided meditation practice called "Two Ways of Knowing" from The Mindful Way Workbook by John Teasdale. 
     Many mindfulness meditation courses, CD’s and MP3 downloads are available online. Search for "Mindfulness Meditation" to find a practice that will work well for you, or check out the following:

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