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March 2018

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program Starts Beginning of March in the PMH Region

     The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is a free service to help low-income individuals with simple tax situations complete and file their income tax and benefit return. If you qualify for this program, you can drop off your information starting March 5 at the rural sites listed below. Drop off at those sites are for the months of March and April.
    In Brandon, the walk in and drop off site is located at: 7th Street Health Access Centre, 20-7th Street, Brandon.
    Walk-in service - where you can sit down and go through your information, runs from February 27 to April 30th. Times available include; Monday, Tuesday, Friday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday and Saturday 11:00am to 2:00pm.
     Drop-offs at 7th Street are able to be made from 11:00am to 7:00pm and start March 12 and runs until September 30th.

You can get your income tax done  FREE through this program if you fall under one of the categories below:

  • Single with income under $30,000
  • Married Couple with income under $40,000 plus $2,500 for each dependent
  • 1 Adult & 1 child with income under $35,000 plus $2,500 for each additional dependent

Fact: income and health are directly related.

     Better income can lead to better health, education and well-being. Completing an income tax return can improve income by providing access to federal, provincial and local benefits and programs.
      There are many locations throughout Prairie Mountain Health offering this service. If there is not one in your community, we encourage you to go to one of the other sites.    
          This CVITP is approved by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and coordinated by Prairie Mountain Health. The volunteers who will help you file your income tax and benefit return are Canada Revenue Agency trained.

     If you have any questions regarding the Community Income Tax Volunteer Program or would be interested in volunteering and having the program come to your community contact Brett Turner at or 204-578-4812 or 7th Street Health Access Centre at 204-578-4800.

Other organizations offering the Community Volunteer Income Tax program are:

Brandon Seniors for Seniors Co-op
Call 204-571-2050 for an appointment.

ACC Student Association
Room 413 | 1430 Victoria Ave East
Brandon, MB | 204 725-8710
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30 am to 1:30 pm March 12 to April 16, 2018

Dauphin – North West Metis Council
Call 204- 638-9086
Service available year round

Dauphin – Dauphin Friendship Centre
Call 204- 638- 5707
Service available year round

Swan River – Elbert Chartrand Friendship Centre
Contact Emma-Leigh Rusk: 204- 734-9301

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) Rural Drop Off Locations Beginning March 5, 2018

Birtle Medical Clinic
843 Gertrude Street
Birtle, MB
204-842-3235 or 204-842-5350
Weekdays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Tri-Lake Health Centre Community Health Services
86 Ellis Drive
Killarney, MB
Weekdays 8:30-12:00
and 1:00 - 4:30

Rossburn Health Centre
Administration Office
116 Parkview Drive
Rossburn, MB
Phone: 204-859-2413
Weekdays 9:00–12:00
and 1:00 – 4:00

Boissevain Health Centre
305 Mill Road South
Boissevain, MB
Weekdays 8:00am - 4:00pm

Melita Library
149 Main Street
Melita, MB
Tues to Fri 10:00 - 12:00 
and 1:00 – 5:00

Russell Community Health Services
426 Alexandria Ave,
Russell, MB
Weekdays 8:00 am -4:30 pm

Carberry Drop In Center
132 Main Street
Carberry, MB
Phone 204-834-6613
Weekdays 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:30
Call for an appointment

Adult Learning Centre
131 Main Street S.
Minnedosa, MB
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri.
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Wed from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Military Family Resource Centre
Bldg T-114 Royal Ave
Shilo, MB
Phone: 204-765-3000 ext. 3352
Weekdays 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Prairie Skills Centre
220 South Railway Avenue
Deloraine, MB
Weekdays 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Closed for lunch

HAND Office/Service for Seniors
430 Brown Avenue
Neepawa, MB
Weekdays 8:30am to 10:30am(Seniors or Persons with Disabilities only)

Souris Valley Recreation Office
32 3rd Avenue W
Souris, MB
Weekdays 9:00am–12:00pm
and 1:00pm–4:00pm
or by appointment

Elkhorn Leisure Centre
10 Richhill Avenue
Elkhorn, MB
Weekdays 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Neepawa Public Library
280 Davidson Street
Neepawa, MB
Mon, Tues, Wed, Friday:
9:30 to 5:30
Thurs 11:00 to 7:00

Ste. Rose Primary Health Care Centre
603-1st Ave. East
Ste. Rose, MB
Phone 204-447-4080
Weekdays 8:15am-4:30pm

Hartney Town Office
209 Airdie Street
Hartney, MB
Weekdays 9:00am to 4:00pm

Riverdale Municipality
670 2nd Avenue
Rivers, MB
Weekdays 8:30am - 4:30pm

Border Regional Library
312 7th Avenue, South
Virden, MB
Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat
10 am to 5:30
Thurs 10 am to 8 pm


Roblin Hospital
15 Hospital Street
Roblin, MB
Weekdays 8:35-12:00
and 1:00 – 4:30


Incident Command System Implemented During Swan River Water Supply Issue
     The severity of the recent Town of Swan River water supply system issue at the end of January had Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) on high alert.  As potable water is a necessity in the provision of health care services, the Swan River incident proved that having emergency planning and processes in place allowed— in this case —for minimal disruption to services within our hospital, personal care homes, community health and primary care centre.
The PMH Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program (DEPP) received the critical call from Town of Swan River emergency officials around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, January 27th. They declared a state of local emergency due to a lack of incoming water supply to the town water treatment plant.  All community areas were being asked to immediately comply with dedicated water conservation measures.  Timeframes on finding the cause of the issue and fixing the problem were not readily apparent.
     For PMH, this meant automatic activation of its Incident Command System (ICS). Through its ICS, a complete review was undertaken on the impact this would have on all of our health programs and services.  The first of many regional teleconferences was held early Sunday morning and our managers and staff came prepared to offer solutions to prioritized challenges. Some of those included potential disruption to key services like the Emergency Room, Operating Room and Dialysis schedules. 
     DEPP presented an overview of its priorities and challenges to Town Emergency Operation Centre officials and, in turn, were continually updated regarding the status of the water supply situation.  These briefings were extremely important to keep everyone informed about situation status.
     One of the first areas ICS dealt with was water supply and with assistance from our Materials Management and Maintenance Departments, PMH ensured delivery of bottled water, bulk water jugs, nutrition supplies, hand sanitizers, hygiene products, juice and other deemed essentials to the Swan Valley Health Centre and PCH.  Alternate planning continued for laundry, meals, patient care needs, water reduction strategies, community health client/staff needs (which included home care) and systems operations at facilities.
     As the scenario unfolded, ICS was able to ensure that we did not have to suspend Emergency Department services.  Only a few dialysis patients were transported to a nearby PMH site for treatment early on in the week.
     Once the Town was able to get two if its three water pumps working to supply its reservoir later in the week, our ICS stood down.
     As you can see, ICS takes into account the many aspects of an emergency situation beyond what could affect the hospital.  
     We take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the PMH staff that assisted in managing this incident.  We also thank the dedicated staff at the Town of Swan River for keeping us informed in the planning process during the week-long situation.  Working together, we remain committed to individuals, families and communities within the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

PMH Disaster and Emergency Preparedness-The Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program (DEPP) kicked in to high gear during the recent Town of Swan River water supply issue. From left are DEPP representatives Brent Lubiniecki and Steve Geletchuk who were the first two deployed to Swan River to assist PMH staff and connect with Town of Swan River Emergency Operation officials.

Province Approves Safety And Security Projects: PMH Region Has 14 Named

     The Manitoba government has approved more than 120 projects across the province with funding totalling nearly $30 million to ensure health-care facilities are properly maintained, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen recently announced.
     Prairie Mountain Health was listed to receive funding for 14 projects. The safety and security projects (over $150,000) that were identified for PMH region include:

  • EMS Station- New EMS (ambulance) quarters;Mafeking
  • Brandon Child and Adolescent Treatment Centre – shingle replacement and fan vent upgrades;
  • Brandon - Rideau Park Personal Care Home – shingle replacement
  • Minnedosa Health Centre – boiler replacement;
  • Rossburn Personal Care Home – phase two of the domestic water system replacement;
  • Souris Health Centre – roof replacement;
  • Virden- Sherwood Home – shingle replacement;

Safety and Security projects (less than $150,000) that were approved for this year include:

  • Health Centre and Personal Care Home- boiler replacement;Birtle
  • Glenboro Health Centre – fire alarm system replacement
  • Killarney Health Centre – fire alarm panel replacement
  • Rivers Health Centre – flooring replacement
  • Shoal Lake EMS Station – vehicle exhaust capture installation
  • Shoal Lake Health Centre – replace headend controller
  • Wawanesa Health Centre and Personal Care Home – replace headend controllers

     Safety and security projects do not require a community contribution. Project requests are submitted each year by the regional health authorities, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services Manitoba, and the Addictions Foundation.
     Other projects that will begin later this year include the installation of sprinkler systems, upgrades to fire safety equipment and roof replacements at sites across Manitoba.

The Cost Of Caring

     The workforce is full of people who are in a ‘helping’ field. The main focus of their job is how can they improve the lives of another person or animal. As these individuals embark on their careers with hope and fulfilment, they do not always recognize that there can be a negative consequence for the type of work they do. Their own mental health and well-being can be at risk while they are helping others.
     Careers such as nursing, policing, fire dept., funeral home, day care, corrections, and social service workers, are among a few examples of helping professions that require opening your heart and mind to those you help and care for. This very act of empathy is what makes one vulnerable to compassion fatigue (Mathieu 2013). Not everyone will experience compassion fatigue, however as a person in a helping profession, it is important to be aware of the symptoms associated in order to avoid negative outcomes.
     Compassion fatigue can be characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism at work, a loss of enjoyment for your career, difficulties concentrating, feelings of anxiety, guilt, helplessness, depletion, troubles sleeping, appetite changes, withdrawn from others, irritablity, a loss of meaning and hope.
     Many helpers do not realize the impact of these negative outcomes until they face a health crisis or a traumatic event themselves. However there are several protective factors that someone in a helping profession can do to reduce the impact of these natural consequences. Such as taking time to replenish their energies, and committing to having a life outside of work. Although most individuals are aware of this, many still do not take the time to care for themselves. It is important to do a check in with yourself after your day, be present with your feelings and find healthy ways of coping.
     The Brandon and Area Suicide Prevention Implementation Network is hosting a one-day workshop on Understanding & Managing Compassion Fatigue. This workshop will offer an in-depth understanding and support in building practical strategies to deal with the day-to-day stressors when working with others in distress. They welcome Jane Bradley from St. Catherine’s, Ontario who is a certified specialist in the field of Compassion Fatigue. She will be presenting at The Clarion Hotel on April 11th 2018. Early bird registration is until March 14th. In addition to this workshop there will be a half day presentation for Managers/ Supervisors/ Directors on April 12th 2018. Please go to the SPIN website: for the registration form.

Matheiu, F. (2007) Running on Empty: Compassion Fatigue in Health Professionals.

13th Annual Camp Bridges set for Circle Square Ranch

     Prairie Mountain Health and Southern Health-Santé Sud are organizing the thirteenth annual Camp Bridges weekend, a weekend camp for bereaved children and teens. Camp Bridges will be held at the Circle Square Ranch near Austin, MB on May 25, 26 and 27, 2018. The goal of Camp Bridges is to support children and teens with their grief and bereavement. This is achieved through activities designed to help share grief and honour memories in a caring community environment.
     The Camp will provide a safe, supportive and fun environment where grieving children and teens learn that they are not alone in their grief and are free to share their thoughts and feelings with peers who are going through a similar experience. This camp is intended to complement existing bereavement services for children and teens by providing a weekend of "caring and sharing".
     Donations are being accepted to cover the cost of camp rental, meals and activities, so that campers may attend at no cost. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Camp Bridges or seeking more information about the camp may contact their regional Palliative Care representative.
     Camp Bridges cannot occur without its wonderful volunteers. Please consider joining the Camp Bridges 2018 team by volunteering with these youth. It will make a difference in their lives— as well as your own. Please consider filling out the volunteer application on the PMH website  or contact Melissa Peters at 204-578-2340 for more information. The application deadline for volunteers is April 3, 2018.
     Camp Bridges 2017 was held last year at Camp Wannakumbac and hosted 38 children and teens between the ages of 7 and 15. Camper Applications can be obtained from your regional Palliative Care representative and are requested by May 1, 2018.

For more information please contact:
Southern Health-Santé Sud
Heide Wiebe
Phone:  204-388-2038

Prairie Mountain Health
Melissa Peters
Phone: 204-578-2340


Unlock the Potential of Food

     March is National Nutrition Month, a time to put a special focus on food and its connection to health and wellbeing.  This year for nutrition month, dietitians encourage all of us to unlock the potential of food in five ways.

1.  Potential to fuel.  Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day.  Here are a few tips from local Registered Dietitians: 
  • “Pack fruits and vegetables for a portable and easy snack on the go” (Karen Larocque, Brandon Health Promotion). 
  • “Have healthy snacks with a balance of protein and carbohydrate to fuel your activities” (Melanie Hart, Brandon Regional Health Centre). 
  • “In cold months, frozen fruit is a staple in my home. When frozen berries are on sale, stock up, and enjoy adding them to muffins, smoothies, yogurt, or simply defrost them and have a bowl of berries alongside one meal a day to meet your nutritional needs” (Erin Stoesz, Dauphin CHS). 
  • “Don’t give anything up - when we are too strict with our eating habits we risk overeating the ‘forbidden foods.’ The key is to eat the less nutritious foods in smaller quantities” (Michelle Reichert, Brandon Regional Health Centre). 
2.  Potential to discover.  Foster healthy eating habits in children and youth by teaching them to shop and cook.  “Cook with kids!  The kitchen is the ideal classroom” (Chantal Morais, Hamiota Health Centre). 

3.  Potential to prevent.  Understand how food can help prevent and manage chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Local dietitians emphasize the importance of variety and fibre: 
  • “Tend your inner “garden” (the good bacteria in your gut) by including lots of variety each week (30 or more different types of food)” (Virginia Cail and Karen Kennedy, Brandon Regional Health Centre). 
  • “Add cooked pulses (dried peas, beans and lentils) to your ground meat. Pulses have many benefits, including blood sugar management, reducing cholesterol and adding fibre to your diet. Lentils only take 20 minutes to cook with no pre-soaking required. I like to add cooked lentils to ground meat when I'm preparing taco meat, spaghetti sauce, lasagna or any casserole that contains ground meat. And as an added bonus - it cuts the cost of the ground meat!” (Sandra Smith, Souris Health Centre) 
4.  Potential to heal.  Learn how food can promote health and healing by meeting with a Registered Dietitian.  For information about the roles of dietitians in Prairie Mountain Health and how to make an appointment or refer a client, visit our website.

5.  Potential to bring us together.  Enjoy the benefits of bringing families and friends together with food.  “Let mealtimes nourish not only your bodies but also your relationships and culture” (Holly Reimer, Dauphin CHS). 
Kidneys and Women’s Health

     The theme for World Kidney Day this year is “Kidneys and Women’s Health:  Include, value, empower.”  This theme is fitting because World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day 2018 are both being celebrated on March 8, 2018.
     Kidney failure is a significant health problem for women.  Kidney failure is the eighth leading cause of death for women worldwide, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops in roughly 14% of women.  Twelve percent of men develop CKD; it is more common in women.  Even though more women than men develop kidney failure, there are more men on dialysis than women, worldwide.  Also, women are more likely to donate a kidney to a loved one and are less likely to receive one. 
     The most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure.  CKD may also be caused by conditions that occur more often in women:  lupus and kidney infectionsLupus is an autoimmune disease; in autoimmune diseases, the person’s immune system makes a mistake and attacks the person’s organs.  Symptoms of Lupus may include a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks, joint pain and swelling, and fever.  Over time, lupus may cause kidney failure.  25-year-old actress Selena Gomez received a donated kidney last year.  Ms. Gomez’s kidneys had failed because of her lupus.  A kidney infection may happen when bacteria move from the bladder into the kidneys.  A kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys.  Symptoms of a kidney infection may include fever, pain in the flank or back and the need to pee much more often than usual.  To treat a kidney infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. 
     A Yoga Fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation will take place on Saturday, March 3 in Brandon. To register for this event and to learn more about kidneys and the importance of keeping them healthy  call or email Lisa Edwardson, Westman Regional Coordinator, 204-717-0432 or
Also, check out #kidneycoach,  #kidneyplay, and #kidneyhealth to see what Manitobans are doing to keep their kidneys healthy.  For more information visit:

  1. Piccoli, G.B. et al. (2018). Women and kidney disease: reflections on World Kidney Day 2018: Kidney Health and Women’s Health: a case for optimizing outcomes for present and future generations. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 33(2). 189-193.
  2. Cha, A.E. (2017, Sept 14).  Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant: Young minority women disproportionately affected by lupus.  The Washington Post.

DRHC Palliative Care Redevelopment Project Receives Donation

The redevelopment project for the Palliative Care Unit at Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) received a boost thanks to a recent donation from Cargill Dauphin. The local elevator group donated $2,500 to the project via the Dauphin Hospital Foundation. With the donation, contributions by organizations to the first phase of the initiative climbed to over $11,000 within the last year. The first phase involves repairs to the four palliative care rooms, family room and the addition of new furnishings.

Pictured from left are: Ron Bomak, Operation Personnel Dauphin Cargill, Jean Ann Fisher, DRHC Care Team Manager and Rebecca Kutcher, DRHC Clinical Resource Nurse.

New Nurse Practitioner Begins Providing Service In Ste. Rose
i, my name is Cathy Scofield-Singh, MN RN NP and I recently started practicing as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) at the Ste. Rose Primary Health Care Centre (Ste. Rose PHCC). Previously, the NP at Ste. Rose PHCC was Shaunna Watt-Dorscheid. Shaunna has recently taken on another NP position within Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region (Erickson Health Centre).
     I have lived in Ste. Rose-du-Lac since 2001 when I moved from Texas. Living in Ste. Rose provides me with a quality of life that one cannot get in the city. I especially enjoy the peacefulness and the friendliness of Ste. Rose. I have two grown children (26 & 28) of whom I am immensely proud of, and they live in Winnipeg.
     I’ve been a NP since 2013, working as a primary care NP and have over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) with a diverse nursing career. My first job in the health care field was as a Nurses Aid, in long term care. I then completed a Diploma of Nursing at St Lawrence College in Brockville, Ont. I worked in a variety of positions such as Float Pool, travel Nursing, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and open heart surgery. After completing the BScN degree at University of Ottawa, I had the opportunity to work in Texas as a Clinical Pathway coordinator and Infection Control Nurse. 
      Prior to becoming a NP, I had the opportunity to work in northern remote communities as a Primary Care Nurse for over ten years. I graduated from the University of Manitoba Masters of Nursing NP program in October 2013.
     Since graduating as a NP, I worked with Southern Health as one of the first NPs on their Mobile Clinic, serving Plumas and Langruth. I moved to PMH in the fall of 2016, and worked in a variety of locations including the PMH Mobile Clinic at O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi, as well as separate sites at Swan Valley Primary Care Centre and Winnipegosis Health Centre. I now have the opportunity to be based out of my home community of Ste. Rose where for the first time in years, I will be able to walk to work! 
     The NP practice at the Ste. Rose PHCC is focused on providing primary health care services to clients of all ages. I provide services for clients with a variety of health issues, whether it is a simple sore throat to supporting clients with complex health issues such as a diabetic with high blood pressure or a client dealing with mental health issues. I believe in health promotion, health prevention, education, providing a holistic approach to health care and encouraging my clients to take ownership of their health. I collaborate with other health care professionals to ensure that the needs of the clients are met.
     The Ste. Rose Primary Health Care Centre is located at 603 1st Avenue East. To inquire about making an appointment for Nurse Practitioner services call (204) 447-4080.

Brandon Medical Residency Program Continues Its Growth In Physician Training

     The Brandon Satellite Campus of the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba is continuing to make strides in the types of physician training provided in Brandon. The purpose of the Satellite Campus is to develop and train physicians locally with the intent of providing physicians for Brandon and the rural area. Research has shown that if you train medical personnel closer to where there is a need they are more likely to stay and fill that need. Since its inception in 2013, five different programs have been started in Brandon to support this effort.
     Family medicine was the first program introduced to Brandon and its start in 2012 predates the establishment of the Brandon Satellite Campus.  The family medicine training program is done after completion of medical school and is a form of apprenticeship that is required before starting independent practice. Since 2012, fifteen residents have completed the program with 12 of the 15 practicing in rural Manitoba of which seven are practicing in Brandon and one each in Souris and Neepawa. Three residents are completing the program this year and two of the three will be staying in Brandon to practice.
     A five-year Royal College Anesthesia training program was started in 2015 in Brandon. This is a shared program between Winnipeg and Brandon with about 40% of the program being done in Brandon. Currently there is one resident in the program in his second year of training. He is expected to complete the program in 2021. Another anesthesia residency slot is available for a 2018 start. Confirmation of a resident for this spot will not be available until later in the spring. The plan is to consider taking a resident each year into the program.
     A five-year Royal College Psychiatry training program was started in 2017 in Brandon. This too is a shared program between Winnipeg and Brandon with approximately 65% of the program to be completed in Brandon. Currently there is one resident in the program in his first year of training. He is expected to complete the program in 2022. Another psychiatry residency training slot is available for a 2018 start. Confirmation of a resident for this spot will not be available until later in the spring. The plan is to consider taking a resident each year into the program.
     A one-year Emergency Medicine training program was started in 2015. This program is done after completing the two-year family medicine program. Four residents have completed the program with one staying in Brandon. Two more are completing this year and one will be providing emergency medicine services in Brandon following completion of the program.
     In 2017, the Brandon Satellite Campus also expanded to provide the third year of medical school in Brandon. Students enrolled in Winnipeg at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba are given the opportunity to do their third year in Brandon. The first student to access this program started in October 2017. The program offers some advantages to students compared to the traditional program in giving them the opportunities to work with experienced physicians directly and exposing them to a lot of different types of medical experiences without a lot of competition from other students. It is hoped that this program will attract four students each year and provide them with an in depth experience to our city and what it offers.


Charles Penner MD FRCPC
Associate Dean, Brandon Satellite Campus
Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba

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