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April 2018

Celebrate the Value of Prairie Mountain Health Volunteers

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." — Elizabeth Andrew

     Volunteer Canada states there are 13.3 million Canadian volunteers who give their time to help others across our nation, contributing close to 2 billion volunteer hours per year.
     National Volunteer week in Canada is celebrated April 15 – 21, 2018.
     Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) is supported by over 1,200 volunteers throughout the region.  On average these volunteers contribute two hours per week.  Volunteers fill many roles in a variety of placements including, but not limited to: Activities/Recreation Assistant, 1-1 Visitors, Musicians, Wayfinding, Transportation support, Lending Library, Fundraising and Palliative Care support.   Palliative Care Volunteers are an example of community-driven volunteer engagement, supporting patients/clients in 17 communities throughout the region.  Approximately 200 volunteers are offering their time in this Palliative Care volunteer role.
     PMH Board Chairperson Catheryn Pedersen says the region is indeed fortunate to have such wonderful individuals, groups and organizations that give freely of their time, effort and compassion within the region.
     “Our health region’s Vision is: Health and Wellness for All. We rely on our staff, physicians as well as numerous stakeholders and health partners, to collaboratively work towards this Vision.  This includes volunteers and volunteer organizations who contribute to our never-ending goal of promoting and improving the health of people in our region.  On behalf of our Board, management and staff, I sincerely thank all of our health care volunteers who continue to selflessly assist us throughout the year.”
     PMH launched its new informational newsletter —Health Plus —in January 2017.  Since then, many stories and examples of volunteering spirit and success have been shared for all to see and appreciate. Some of the most recent examples that were featured included the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and the upcoming Camp Bridges—the annual camp that assists youth who are grieving the death of someone significant in their lives.  Our website ( provides more details regarding these success stories.
     Take a moment to thank any of these volunteers.  The motivation for many volunteers to give of their time is fueled by wanting to give back to the ‘Community’.   These volunteers are your neighbours and your friends.  They come with a wealth of experience including; teachers, office workers, police officers, students, farmers, health-care workers and numerous other occupations. 
     Volunteers will be celebrated at different events throughout the region in the forthcoming weeks.   Our volunteers love to help assist in the delivery and support of health services.  Let them know we appreciate what they do!! 

Barb Ross
PMH Volunteer Network

Volunteers around PMH Make Generous Donations To Local Health Centres

     Dauphin - The Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) has been paging patient Manny Quinn lately. However, this particular patient is actually a state-of-the-art simulator/manikin that is now in use at the health centre thanks to a generous contribution from the Dauphin Hospital Foundation and Ladies Auxiliary.
     Dr. Scott Kish says the Apollo Pre-Hospital simulator was purchased for the Family Medicine Residency Program and will be used for hands on learning and medical training exercises. Dr. Kish says this will allow the simulation of multiple conditions and patient crisis situations that can occur over the course of time in hospital.
     "It will allow the learners (resident physicians, nurses, doctors, ambulance personnel, respiratory therapists etc.) the chance to practice life-saving skills in real time, but on a model. The value of this is that the simulator can provide real time feedback and the scenario can be changed to reflect different patient conditions," Kish stated.
     Dr. Kish added that ideally, a regular schedule will be developed for running scenarios within the health centre so that health-care providers within hospital wards can develop practice in these settings too.
     "I also hope to have our local trainers for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) receive training on the model, as they can use the model to demonstrate electrical heart rhythms and life-saving skills, such as cardioversion," Dr. Kish said.
     The approximate value of the overall purchase was over $50,000.
     Dauphin Regional Health Centre Director Curt Gullett sincerely thanked both the Foundation and Ladies Auxiliary for their commitment to the project.

Members of the Dauphin Ladies Auxiliary and Dauphin Hospital Foundation, along with Dr. Scott Kish of Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC), meet the new patient manikin purchased thanks to a generous contribution through the Foundation. From left to right are Kay Lubiniecki, Gail Hrehirchuk, Frank Shwets, Greg Thompson, Dr. Kish, Doug Deans and Malcolm Strang.

     Brandon - The Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) received another generous donation from the BRHC Auxiliary! A new Glidescope Video-laryngoscope costing just under $60,000 was purchased for use in the operating rooms. Medicine and the equipment used for procedures and surgery, are becoming more advanced, but also more expensive to buy or to replace. The glidescope is a handheld device with a camera at the end which is used to look at the vocal cords (larynx). The device connects to a video monitor that allows the user to see whatever the camera at the end is pointing at.
     When patients require surgery for certain procedures, like having their gallbladder removed, for example, they have to be paralyzed, and the anesthesiologist then takes over their breathing. It involves placing a breathing tube through their vocal cords and into their trachea. To be able to do that, the anesthesiologist needs to be able to visualize the vocal cords by using a laryngoscope.
     BRHC anesthetist Dr. Moller says, "In the majority of cases, it is fairly easy, but in a few number of cases it can be quite difficult to see the vocal cords directly. This is where the Glidescope comes in handy it is more curved than the traditional laryngoscopes used by anesthesiologists and makes it possible to see the vocal cords on the video screen, even when it is not possible to see it directly with the naked eye."
     This purchase was made possible from donations received from the Nearly New Shop and the BRHC Gift Shop. With this money, two new monitors and six new blades were purchased. Prairie Mountain Health is grateful for this generous donation. Thank you!

Pictured: Marlene Brichon, Auxiliary member; Janet Twerdoclib, Care Team Manager of the BRHC Surgical Suite; Brenda Burgess, Coordinator BRHC Gift Shop; Dr. Moller; Sharleen Gunston;

Back - Sharon Hunter; in front of her Marion George; front right Helen Dalling, Auxiliary members.

Brandon Regional Health Centre Fifth Floor Renovations Complete

     The Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) renovations on the fifth-floor of the General Centre are complete.
     The fifth floor has four singles rooms, one being a specialized bariatric room and one an isolation room. In addition, there are eight new double rooms and three rooms with three beds.
     Located on the fifth floor is a new tub assessment room featuring a therapeutic tub in addition to a tub assessment area to ensure patients are capable of managing at home before being discharged. The addition of accessible shower areas will also be of benefit to our patients.
     This floor has a conference room complete with telehealth equipment capability, new office space, equipment room, patient lounge, and staff room.
     The first phase of the project saw the completion of the Pediatric Ward now located on the second- floor. The second phase is now complete with the fifth-floor medical bed expansion. Phase three will now begin with the renovations on the east side of the fourth-floor followed by phase four, renovating the west side of the fourth-floor.
     When all phases are complete, we will see an increase in medical beds from 48 to 60 with washrooms that will now be wheelchair accessible, along with expanded and improved areas for patients, staff and family support.

Kathy Ward - Manager 400 Medicine, with therapeutic tub.

Single room on the newly renovated 5th floor at BRHC.

Dauphin Regional Health Centre Redevelopment Project Progresses into Spring

     With spring’s arrival and the weather warming construction crews continue to make progress on the $23-million Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) Redevelopment Project. Since the move to the temporary Emergency Department (ED) occurred in mid-November 2017 work has been ongoing with the third phase of the project-which involved demolition and now renovation of the new Emergency Department space.
     An updated timeline anticipates construction on the Emergency Department and new EMS (ambulance) entrance/exit to be completed approximately one year from now —by the spring of 2019. This includes finishing work in the back parking lot area nearest the hospital where a newly-designed cul de sac entrance will be completed to better accommodate patient/client drop-offs at the rear of the DRHC.     
     The temporary entrance created at the back of the hospital — off Jackson Street —remains as the main public entrance to the facility. The front entrance and vehicle ramp will be closed for the duration of the construction project.
     Accordingly, it’s important to note that there would still be one more required phase of the project after the new Emergency Department area is complete. This involves demolition and reconstruction of the existing front entrance vehicle ramp area of the DRHC. Very preliminary estimates target the front entrance work to be completed by the summer of 2019.
     Currently, contractors are doing external framing work on the ED Redevelopment space as well as interior preparation work involving requirements for mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations. Additional structural steel work will begin this spring as well.
     The redevelopment covers 13,000 square feet for both the Emergency Department and Special Care Unit. The new EMS (ambulance) drop off area adds another 2,400 square feet to the project. The increased space will allow for enhanced treatment, exam and observation rooms, a resuscitation/trauma care room, a modernized Special Care Unit for extended care of patients, a decontamination room, an enclosed ambulance garage and a new main entry to the health centre including a driveway.

DRHC Benefits From Recent Donations Towards Hospital Equipment

     The Dauphin Hospital Foundation continues to contribute towards the purchase of equipment for the Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC). A $5,600 contribution assisted with the purchase of a Medfusion syringe pump for the operating room.  
     Pictured with the new unit are, from left, DRHC Director Curt Gullett, Care Team Manager Petra Huschenbett, and Operating Room staff Simone Greening and Caitlyn Megaffin. 

Westman Physical Literacy

     "Physical Literacy", have you heard of it? It has certainly become a buzz word.
     It means "to have the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life."
     It’s a mouthful! More simply put, it means how to move. Learning to move is just as important as learning to read and write. If we can teach our children fundamental movement skills (for example: run, jump, throw, skip, hop, strike, gallop, swim, catch and many more) and how to incorporate them into everyday life, continuing to build on the movements they know and trying new ones, then as they age they will feel more confident to participate in physical activity and competently engage in society.
     Physical literacy is a lifelong journey. Try something new, pick up an activity you liked when you were a kid, invite your friends and family to engage in physical activity with you!
     Westman Physical Literacy is a committee made up of:

  • Health PromotionPMH
  • PMH Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Amy Frykoda
  • Manitoba Municipal Relations, Recreation and Regional Services
  • Westman Recreation Practitioners Association
  • Sport Manitoba
  • Assiniboine-North Parent Child Coalition and Promise Years

     We have been working together since 2015 on increasing awareness about physical literacy and helping our children learn to move!
     Check out our website and like our Facebook page (Westman Physical Literacy) for more information!
     You can also sign up for our E-Newsletter and Activity Calendars.

Accreditation Canada Update

What is Accreditation?
     Accreditation is a process Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) participates in to evaluate the quality and safety of health care. PMH care and services as viewed through the eyes of an independent third party (Accreditation Canada) provides assurance to our staff, clients and families that we are meeting national health care standards. The Accreditation Canada program is a four year cycle of assessment and quality improvement.  Health care organizations are assessed in all aspects of operations, from Board and Leadership, to care and services, to infrastructure.
     PMH was visited by 16 Accreditation Canada surveyors in June 2016. The survey team of experienced health care professionals evaluated PMH programs and services against 21 standards sets during 47 site visits. The surveyors talked with many staff, clients and families, observed processes and reviewed documents.
     PMH met 89.3% of the over 2600 criteria and achieved an Accredited With Report status. This meant that PMH had to report back on certain organizational practices relating to patient safety, by certain dates.


What has happened since June 2016?
  Teams have worked diligently since the survey to address the unmet criteria. Evidence of this work was submitted in November of 2016 and 2017. In December 2017, Accreditation Canada advised PMH that the majority of the criteria are now met, and that specific criteria would be reviewed again during the next on-site survey in 2020. The teams will continue to work towards meeting and/or sustaining compliance with standards as part of our ongoing work.
     Accreditation affects everyone within our organization including affiliate organizations. Together, we remain as committed as ever to enhance the delivery and safety of care. We sincerely thank our accreditation teams, staff, management, physicians and volunteers for their involvement and dedication to this process.

PMH Communities Participating In Rural Practical Nursing Sites With Assiniboine Community College

     Students from two Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region communities and surrounding areas are currently enhancing their skill-set thanks to the two-year Practical Nursing program offered by Assiniboine Community College (ACC). The communities of Melita and Dauphin were selected in early 2016 to be part of three rural locations that would host up to 25 students in 2017.
     The rural rotating site in Melita began in January 2017. Students there will complete their studies later this year (September 2018). Assiniboine’s Parkland Campus, which was named a permanent site for the Practical Nursing program last year, had its most recent enrollment of students begin their studies in September 2017. Students will graduate in June 2019, with the next intake commencing September 2019.
     A rural rotating site in Southport, just south of Portage la Prairie, starts this coming September. The college is currently delivering a Practical Nursing program in this same location, bringing together Indigenous students from five First Nations communities – Long Plain, Sandy Bay, Swan Lake, Roseau River, Dakota Tipi and Dakota Plains and the Manitoba Métis Federation. Those students will graduate this coming May.
     "There continues to be strong demand for our nursing program across Manitoba," said Jodee Cobb-Adair, chairperson of health programs at Assiniboine Community College. "Our most recent graduate follow-up survey shows that 100 per cent of graduates were working within 9 months of completing their college studies, making on average a little more than $54,000 a year."
     The two longstanding permanent locations for the Practical Nursing program include the college’s Victoria Avenue East campus in Brandon and the Winnipeg campus. Each of those locations have two intakes a year in September and January.
     Applications for the Victoria Avenue East (Brandon) and Parkland (Dauphin) campuses are currently open and accepted on an ongoing basis. Applications for the Winnipeg location are currently closed with a healthy waitlist. Important updates and information can be found here.
     The college’s two-year Practical Nursing Diploma teaches clinical nursing skills in a laboratory setting as well as applied skills in hospital and extended care facilities which include personal care homes, community sites and agencies and private homes.
     "It is a pleasure to work with ACC accommodating students into practicums throughout various health centres and sites within PMH region," said Larissa Kominko, PMH Recruitment Supervisor.
     "Our dedicated staff work with students providing them with an opportunity to successfully complete their practicums. Towards the completion of the Practical Nursing Program, PMH engages with the students to share future employment information. It is an exciting time when nursing classes are graduating and rewarding careers await new nurses."

Melita Rural Rotating site- The ACC rural rotating site in Melita began in January 2017. Students will complete their studies as part of the two-year Practical Nursing Program in September 2018. 25 students are enrolled in the Melita-based program this year.

Assiniboine’s Parkland Campus in Dauphin- 25 students are enrolled in the Assiniboine Community College’s two-year Practical Nursing Program. Dauphin is a permanent site for the program along with college campuses in Brandon and Winnipeg.

April is Oral Health Month - Lift the Lip with Healthy Smile Happy Child to Prevent Early Childhood Caries

     Healthy Smile Happy Child (HSHC) is a well-established partnership that takes an upstream community development approach to engage communities in Early Childhood Caries (ECC) prevention strategies and promotion of early childhood oral health.
     Early childhood tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children younger than six years old in Canada. Tooth decay can cause children pain and infection and affect their quality of life and general health. It may also lead to increased risk for dental caries in primary and permanent teeth.
     Families can help to reduce the risk of early childhood tooth decay in their own children by brushing children’s teeth two times every day, making healthy food choices and starting to take their children to the dentist before they are 12 months old.
     Another way families can take care of children’s teeth is by checking them at least once a month for signs of decay. This practice is called "Lift the Lip" and is recognized worldwide as an effective means to increase early intervention to prevent more advanced oral caries and disease. The screening practice promotes a family focus on oral health and preventative care.
     To show families how to perform the "Lift the Lip" assessment, HSHC has partnered with Healthy Start for Mom & Me, a Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program in Winnipeg, to produce a video, "Lift the Lip with Healthy Smile Happy Child: Preventing Early Childhood Caries".
     The video incorporates key oral health messages for vulnerable children 0-6 years old and their families. Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and with the collaboration and technical expertise of the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, the video was produced in English, French, Cree, Ojibwe and Inuktitut.
     All versions of the video are hosted on the HSHC webpage.  They are also found at the HSHC YouTube channel.
     It is hoped that the video will be widely used to help parents and caregivers to care for their babies’ teeth right from the start.
     Prairie Mountain Health is a partner of HSHC to raise awareness of how to prevent early childhood tooth decay. PMH Public Health and Health Promotion regularly participate in the Intersectoral Dental Health Promotion Group facilitated by HSHC to stay up to date on the latest resources and oral health promotion opportunities. PMH also supports dental health screening and/or education for preschoolers at annual wellness fairs throughout the region. For more information about preventing early childhood tooth decay, contact your local Public Health Nurse, Healthy Baby Program Facilitator, or Health Promotion staff.

National Immunization Awareness Week from April 21-28, 2018

     Recent outbreaks remind us that infectious diseases still pose a threat to our health. During National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW), Immunize Canada calls upon all Canadians to protect themselves and others by staying up to date with their immunizations. Vaccines are safe and effective, and protect individuals as well as communities by preventing the spread of disease.
     In collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization’s Regional Office of the Americas, this year’s theme is Strengthen Your Defense!
     For more information about National Immunization Awareness Week, please visit
     Immunize Canada is a national coalition with the overall aim of increasing awareness about the benefits of immunization and promoting the understanding and use of vaccines as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

Are LGBTQ People Satisfied with Healthcare Services in Rural Manitoba?

     Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people experience health inequities and are at a higher risk for chronic disease and mental health issues. These health differences stem from well documented historical stigma and oppression faced by LGBTQ people. LGBTQ have been subject to insensitive, negative or discriminatory attitudes from healthcare providers, often causing them to delay in seeking care or avoiding seeking services altogether. Many LGBTQ people feel the need to hide their sexual orientation out of fear of stigma, homophobic attitudes, and discriminatory treatment in the healthcare system. Research to date has suggested there is a need to improve the understanding of health care providers in order to provide sensitive and competent care for the LGBTQ community. Presently, there is limited information about LGBTQ experiences within healthcare settings, and even less regarding healthcare experiences.
     We are attempting to gain a better understanding of the healthcare experiences and needs of LGBTQ persons in rural Manitoba. Through our discussions, we hope to identify barriers to access, and gaps in services, as well as what promotes positive experiences, and what can prevent negative experiences. We have been interviewing LGBTQ persons in the region and they have told us that healthcare providers have a general lack of knowledge regarding LGBTQ. They describe facing unwelcoming and sometimes hostile, discriminatory attitudes. Even though some service providers are not overtly discriminatory, they have reported there is difficulty accessing service providers that are knowledgeable about LGBTQ. As well, they noted they can feel a lack of privacy and discrimination from other clients or patients at the service.
     Through this study we hope to gain knowledge of LGBTQ healthcare experiences in Manitoba. This knowledge can, in turn, be used to help develop informed educational healthcare programs, assist in policy development for improved cultural understanding in healthcare settings, and overall positively impact health and wellbeing for the LGBTQ community.
     Note: This study is funded by a Brandon University Research Committee new researcher grant and has received approval from the Brandon University Research Ethics Committee.
     BIO: Nadine Henriquez is a registered nurse and an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at Brandon University. Her areas of specialty and research focus are End-of-Life care issues, older adult health, and LGBTQ health. Dr. Nora Ahmad is associate professor in the Department of Brandon University. Her areas of specialty and research interests includes nursing management, nursing administration, and policy development.
     If you are 18 or over, self-identify as LGBTQ, and have used healthcare services in Manitoba and would like to participate in this study or would like to learn more about the study contact Nadine Henriquez at

Copyright © 2018 Prairie Mountain Health, All rights reserved.

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