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February 2018

Cold or Flu?

     The flu can seem similar to a common cold, but the symptoms of the flu are usually more severe. Sudden high fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and a dry cough are more common with the flu than with a common cold. Other common symptoms include headache, chills, loss of appetite and sore throat. Nausea and upset stomach may also occur, especially in young children.
     Most people will recover from the flu within a week or ten days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications. The flu can lead to more serious problems like pneumonia and bacterial infections, sometimes resulting in hospitalization.
     A common myth is that the influenza vaccines protect against the viruses or b
acteria that cause colds or stomach illnesses. Fact is influenza vaccines do not protect against the viruses or bacteria that cause colds or stomach illnesses, often called the stomach flu. Influenza vaccines only protect against the viruses that cause influenza.
     The stomach flu or gastro (gastroetneritis) includes a lot of diarrrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and cramping and occasional fever; but, no cough, no sore throat or runny nose.

Below is a chart showing the differences between a cold and flu (influenza)

Symptom Cold Flu (influenza)
Fever Rare Usual, high fever (39°C/102°F to 40°C/104°F); sudden onset, lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Usual, can be severe
General aches and pains Sometimes, mild Usual, often severe
Tired and weak Sometimes, mild Usual, may last 2-3 weeks or more
Extreme fatigue Unusual Usual, early onset
Runny, stuffy nose Common Common
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Common
Chest discomfort, coughing Sometimes, mild to moderate Usual, can be severe
Complications Can lead to sinus congestion or earache Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure;
Can worsen a current chronic respiratory condition;
Can be life-threatening

See a health care provider right away if you develop the following symptoms

  • Shortness of breath, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish or grey skin colour
  • Bloody or coloured mucus/spit
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • High fever lasting more than three days
  • Low blood pressure

Additional symptoms to watch for in children

  • Not drinking enough fluids or eating
  • Not waking up or interacting
  • Irritability; not wanting to play or be held

Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month
     Congratulations to Prairie Mountain Health for receiving a certificate of Merit from "Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month". The Employee Wellness Team submitted our region by filling out the online submission form describing what they have done to promote wellness within PMH. Some of these items include the different monthly themes and activities organized by the Wellness Ambassadors and the Respectful Workplace initiative. You can visit the Healthy Workplace Month website, then scroll down, and click on Prairie Mountain Health to see our submission.

Brandon Regional Health Centre Redevelopment Project Update

     The Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) renovations on the fifth-floor of the General Centre continue to progress. The fifth-floor project is expected to be complete at the end of March.
     On the east side of the floor, all rooms are painted and fixtures are in place. The head walls above patient beds have been mounted in the rooms. Preparations have now begun to be ready for flooring installation.
     The center area of the fifth-floor is drywalled. This area will be a combination of a nurses/physician station in addition to the main reception desk and offices.
     On the west side of the fifth-floor, all drywall is complete. Rooms are being painted and head walls are being installed. 500 west will feature an isolation room along with a new tub assessment room for therapy services. This room will have a therapeutic tub in addition to a tub assessment area to ensure patients are capable of managing at home before being discharged.
     The first phase of the project saw the completion of the Pediatric Ward now located on the second- floor. The second phase is the current renovations taking place on the fifth- floor. Once complete, phase 3 will begin with the renovations on the east side of the fourth-floor followed by phase 4, renovating the west side of the fourth-floor. When all phases are complete it will see the creation of 12 new medical in-patient rooms with washrooms that will now be wheelchair accessible, along with expanded and improved areas for patients, staff and family support.

Double room on 500 ready for flooring

Hallway on 500 with all drywall in place

        Brief Status Update – Dauphin MRI

     On December 21, 2017, the Minister of Health Seniors and Active Living, Kelvin Goertzen and Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski announced the approval to proceed with the MRI project. Diagnostic Services Manitoba, in collaboration with Prairie Mountain Health, are working towards developing an implementation plan, including estimated timelines. More details will be shared as the plan is finalized.

New Physician Starts in Winnipegosis

     The community of Winnipegosis and surrounding area officially welcomed a new physician on January 8, 2018. Dr. Alison Carleton has started her medical practice and is accepting all new patients at the Winnipegosis Medical Clinic.
     Patients can call the Winnipegosis Medical Clinic for appointment booking at 204-656-4492.

Welcome to the region Dr. Carleton

Erickson and Area Welcomes New Nurse Practitioner

     A new Nurse Practitioner (NP) has joined the Erickson Primary Care Clinic. Shaunna Watt-Dorscheid RN (NP) started her role at the clinic in early January 2018. Watt-Dorscheid will be providing primary care services at the clinic as well as serving clients who attend the Mobile Clinic at Keeseekoowenin First Nation (scheduled for Thursdays).
     Previously, Shaunna was the NP at Ste. Rose Primary Health Care Centre which opened within Prairie Mountain Health region in early 2017. Shaunna is married with three adult children and loves living in a rural area, adding that her family has numerous animals. She brings an extensive health care background to the Erickson area.
     "I started my nursing career as a psychiatric nurse in 1989 (worked at Brandon Mental Health Centre), then took the Registered Nurse diploma program at Brandon General Hospital in 1994. I worked as a Community Mental Health worker in Dauphin (moved to Parkland in 1995) for a couple of years then took my Bachelor of Nursing in 2003, and worked as a Public Health Nurse (1999-2016) until taking the NP program (graduated June 2016 from Athabasca University- Masters of Nursing-Nurse Practitioner). I have worked for Parkland/Prairie Mountain Health for 22 years (and six years previously in Brandon)," Watt-Dorscheid said.

What type of services are available from a Nurse Practitioner?

     A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education at a master’s level. NPs are registered with the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM). NPs are primary care providers who provide a comprehensive, engaging, responsive, respectful service. They work independently and can provide many services including:

  • Completing assessments and physical exams, including pap tests and pre-natal exams;
  • Diagnosing and managing common acute issues and chronic conditions;
  • Prescribing medications, treatments and therapies;
  • Ordering diagnostic tests like blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs;
  • Performing minor procedures like suturing, biopsies, wart and mole removal; and
  • Referring to other health providers including specialists.

     As of early January 2018, Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) employs 19 NPs. NPs are currently based in Baldur, Birtle, Boissevain, Carberry, Erickson, Glenboro, Grandview, Melita, Minnedosa, Roblin, Rossburn, Ste. Rose du Lac, Swan River, Wawanesa and the 7th Street Health Access Centre in Brandon.
     Watt-Dorscheid says NPs can typically spend a little more time with clients and assist in linking them to other supports when necessary.
     "As a Public Health Nurse I felt that often the continuity of care was lost as I was very limited in my scope of practice. I often felt that clients were rushed in and out of providers’ offices and there was a lack of rural providers so I wanted to expand my scope of practice so I could provide a full scope of practice for clients."

Do I make an appointment to see the new NP?

     For the Erickson Primary Care Clinic, clients can phone 204-636-6809 from Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) to make an appointment with Shaunna on the days she is available.

Mobile Clinic information

     NPs work in collaboration and consultation with physicians and other health-care providers and can be found working in a variety of settings, including providing service on the Mobile Clinic (primary care bus). 
     "Working on the mobile clinic in First Nations communities is a key service. Taking health care service to clients that have limited transportation, access to health care, finances and supports is important. Being able to provide care with a nursing focus and the expanded scope of practice enables NPs to provide holistic care," she added.
     The Mobile Clinic presently visits five locations within PMH region including Birdtail Sioux First Nation, Ebb and Flow First Nation, Keeseekoowenin First Nation, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation and Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation. More information about the Mobile Clinic can be found on the PMH website .

Shaunna Watt-Dorscheid RN (NP)

MTCC Staff Certified as International Academy of Emergency Dispatch Instructor

     The Medical Transportation Coordination Centre (MTCC) joined Prairie Mountain Health on April 1, 2017. Located at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, MTCC is responsible for the call processing and dispatch of ground and air Emergency Medical Services resources across the province, outside of the city of Winnipeg.
     In 2016, the MTCC received recognition as a 213th internationally recognized medical dispatch Accredited Centre of Excellence (ACE) through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. ACE recognition is a three year award, which recognizes MTCC as a high performing dispatch centre through its commitment to protocol compliance and quality care in the dispatch environment. As an ACE, MTCC was granted the opportunity to establish an in house protocol instructor to instruct and certify users on the Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols.
     Nicole Kotak has worked at the MTCC since 2013, after she left her full time field primary care paramedic position to join MTCC as a Medical Dispatcher. In January 2015 she stepped into the position of MTCC’s Training Manager. Currently, Nicole works full time at MTCC and as a casual field paramedic for PMH. Since October 2016 Nicole began working towards attaining her Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructor designation. In December 2017 she completed her training and has met the competencies as a protocol instructor and has been awarded the designation of an Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructor.

PMH congratulates Nicole Kotak on receiving her IAED Instructor designation

PMH Readies For Health Care Career Event In Dauphin

     Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) is getting set to host a Health Care Career Event in Dauphin on Thursday, February 15, 2018. The PMH coordinated event will take place at the Dauphin Recreation Complex in the Lion’s Den beginning at 1:00 p.m.
     PMH Supervisor of Recruitment Larissa Kominko says those wishing to learn more about career opportunities available in health care are urged to attend. Individuals will have the chance to learn about what different departments in health care have to offer in regards to employment opportunities. Departments will describe more about what careers exist, and what you can find yourself doing if you were to work in that specific department. Individuals will learn about how to apply for work, what health care benefits are available, what it means to work shift work and other topics.
     It is important for the public to know what jobs are available and this event provides a learning opportunity for people to know how they should apply for work, and what is required as far as education / experience to work in different departments. There is a vast number of jobs within the different departments and this can be difficult to understand, but with this career event, we can better explain all that health care has to offer. This event is one way for PMH to share our diverse work world.

Plant-Based Drinks or Milk?
      This past November, a media release from the Canadian Pediatric Society and Dietitians of Canada cautioned parents about feeding plant-based “beverages” or drinks to young children. These include almond, rice, coconut, hemp, potato, oat and other drinks. They simply do not have the right nutrients to support growing children. Despite this, they seem to have increased in popularity (thank you social media!).
     As Prairie Mountain Health Dietitians working in community nutrition, we are often asked about our opinion on these drinks. The following are some guidelines and rationale for choosing milk for young children.
 Milk: What to Offer and When
      Milk is the most important food in the first year of a child’s life. It remains a very important food over the next few years of life, as well. Milk provides protein for growth and repair of body cells, and fat for energy and brain growth. There are many other important nutrients in milk like calcium and Vitamin D.
Recommendations (0-2 years):
  • Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life.
  • Continue breastfeeding up to two years and beyond, adding complementary foods at six months.
  • Choose iron-fortified infant formula if not breastfeeding.
  • Wait until 9-12 months before offering whole cow’s milk.
  • If your child is not tolerating milk, speak to your doctor, nurse practitioner, public health nurse or a registered dietitian.
  • Soy, rice or other plant-based drinks are not recommended in the first two years. 

Did You Know….that 1 cup of almond milk only contains about four almonds?

       Offer whole or homogenized (3.25 %) milk to children until age two. After age two, lower fat milk (skim, 1%, 2%) can be given. Fortified soy or fortified goat’s milk are the only milk alternatives that have similar nutrition to cow’s milk. (Note: Always choose cow and goat milk that has been pasteurized).
Recommendations (2-8 years):
Children in this age group require 13-19 grams of protein daily.
  • Choose cow, goat, or soy milk. two cups of cow’s milk contains 16 grams of protein. (two cups of goat’s milk contains 17 grams of protein, while two cups of fortified soy drink contains 13 grams of protein).
  • Limit almond, coconut, rice and other plant-based drinks as they contain very little protein. They are also too low in fat to support brain growth. Drinking too much of these can fill up a child and cause them to eat less food. 
If you want to feed your infant/child plant-based drinks, speak with a registered dietitian to ensure nutrient needs are met.

Submitted by: Karen Larocque, Chantal Morais and Holly Reimer, Registered Dietitians working in Health Promotion and Community Development, Prairie Mountain Health.
Canadian Paediatric Society
Dietitians of Canada
For more information on healthy eating for young children:

 PMH Hosts Medical Student Weekend Workshop  
    The University of Manitoba medical student Rural Interest Group (RIG) visited two Prairie Mountain Health communities for its annual weekend workshop on January 26/27, 2018.
     Prairie Mountain Health (PMH), in conjunction with Manitoba’s Office of Rural and Northern Health (ORNH) and the Max Rady College of Medicine, Faculty of Sciences, played host to 48 first and second-year medical students for the initiative —aimed at promoting the benefits of practicing medicine in rural communities.
     PMH Director, Michelle McKay, says RIG students were split into groups in Brandon and Neepawa. McKay says the region finds value in engaging medical students early in their training.
     "The Rural Interest Group trip to Brandon and Neepawa this year provided an excellent chance for first and second-year medical students to see what opportunities —both work and lifestyle-related— await within our region. Students are often extremely surprised by Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) facilities and the wide scope of practice of rural physicians in tight-knit communities like Neepawa," McKay stated.
     Clinical workstations were located at BRHC and at the Country Meadows Personal Care Home in Neepawa where students put their skills to the test, doing everything from sutures to putting casts on their colleagues.
     Co-president of the student RIG, Carly McLellan, says RIG trips provide a fun and low-stress introduction to rural medicine for medical students whose primary experience with medicine is in an urban setting.
     "We really enjoy the trips and appreciate the time doctors and regional health authority staff take to share their region with us. It’s nice to have the experience early on in our training because it can lead students to choose rural medicine rotations later during clerkship and even residency," McLellan added.
     Brandon remains a host site for the event. In past years, rural communities that have co-hosted also included Virden, Souris, Killarney and Swan River.
     Manitoba’s Office of Rural and Northern Health (ORNH) partners with PMH to host the event. Project Coordinator for the Manitoba Health Care Provider Network, Wayne Heide, says students really look forward to the weekend event.
     "Student RIG trips are an excellent opportunity for host sites to connect with future physicians and demonstrate the exciting career opportunities that exist in rural communities," stated Wayne Heide, ORNH Administrative Director.
     Both the ORNH and Prairie Mountain Health sincerely appreciate the support of PMH physicians, staff and volunteers who help make the workshop a success.

Copyright © 2018 Prairie Mountain Health, All rights reserved.

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