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The Manitoba government has provided patients with more than 72,300 additional diagnostic and surgical procedures, ensuring more Manitobans are getting care faster with increased capacity in a stronger, more resilient public health system, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today. Read more

The Manitoba government is investing roughly $45.7 million to expand and renovate the Selkirk Regional Health Centre, and three construction projects are currently underway at the facility to significantly expand acute care inpatient capacity and its surgical program, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

Read more.

The Manitoba government is investing more than $15 million to reduce patient wait times by adding two new CT scanners at Selkirk Regional Health Centre and doubling CT scan capacity for Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today. Read more

Masking requirements across Manitoba’s health-care system will be lifted next week in most acute, long-term and community settings, Shared Health announced today.

The change, which applies to most visitors and patients entering health-care facilities across the province, will occur May 10 as the health system continues its gradual return to pre-pandemic practices. Individuals who are ill will still be asked to wear a mask when seeking care and should refrain from visiting or accompanying a loved one receiving care. Read more

On April 25, Dr. Habtu Demsas and Dr. Richard Roland Lindenschmidt were presented with the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority’s Physician Emeritus Award for exemplary service and expertise to their community.

Granted by physician colleagues who make up the regional Medical Advisory Committee, this award recognizes physicians who are retired or have reduced their practice in preparation for retirement and who demonstrate exemplary skills as recognized by their colleagues, community recognition and exemplification of the Interlake-Eastern RHA values: always with compassion, success in collaboration, accountability in everything we do, acting with integrity and respectful of each other.

Dr. Demsas has practised for almost 45 years. Originally from Eritrea, he is fluent in multiple languages and has a special interest in orthopedics. Nominated by physician colleagues, Dr. Demsas has served the community in Selkirk for 35 years and was instrumental in starting the cancer outreach program 30 years ago. In 2009 he was awarded the Jack Armstrong Humanitarian award by Doctors Manitoba for outstanding contributions in the service of humanity.

“I thank my colleagues at Selkirk Medical Centre, the hospital and the personal care homes for thinking of me. This is really huge for me, my family and my wife too as they have supported me throughout my work,” says Dr. Demsas. “Working in this area has been wonderful. I have been able to teach students, residents, all while serving the community and living and working rurally but close to the city centre.”

Dr. Demsas plans to retire in October.

Dr. Lindenschmidt has been practising in the community for more than 40 years. His colleagues who nominated him pointed out how dependable he is and his exemplary bedside manner and commitment to his patients.

“I feel really honoured that my colleagues thought of me. I think that was really thoughtful of them to nominate me for this award,” says Dr. Lindenschmidt. “The best part of serving Selkirk and surrounding areas has been that I’ve been able to help people and their families, and also getting to know people in the community has been definitely a benefit to living and working here.”

Dr. Lindenschmidt retired last week.

This award is the first in the Interlake-Eastern RHA and was presented to the doctors in front of 45 colleagues and their spouses at the Spring Physician Dinner on April 25 — the first dinner held since 2019.

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority has achieved SAFE Work certification, making it the first of Manitoba’s health regions to achieve this distinction.

“SAFE Work certification acknowledges Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority’s staff and leadership have successfully implemented a health and safety program that meets the standards of the Manitoba Association for Safety in Healthcare program and Manitoba’s SAFE Work Certification,” said Marion Ellis, CEO of Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA). “We’ve illustrated our commitment to continuous improvement and a safe work environment. We’re delighted to achieve this certification.”

It’s recognition that identifies Interlake-Eastern RHA as a leader in ensuring safe work environments, according to Jamie Hall, vice-president of SAFE Work Manitoba, which is a division of the Workers Compensation Board.

“SAFE Work Certified is built around the safety essentials of leadership commitment, hazard identification and risk control, and employee participation to develop or improve an occupational safety and health program,” said Hall. “Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority is now at the forefront of Manitoba’s health-care sector when it comes to an industry-based approach to preventing injury and illness.”

Interlake-Eastern RHA signed an agreement with SAFE Work Manitoba in 2020 identifying its desire to pursue certification. To demonstrate the effectiveness of a robust safety management system for staff, the RHA participated in a pilot project with SAFE Work Manitoba and the Manitoba Association for Safety in Healthcare (MASH). MASH is the industry-based service program for Manitoba’s health-care industry under SAFE Work Manitoba.

From February 13 to March 10, three auditors from SAFE Work Manitoba visited Interlake-Eastern RHA facilities. During their visits, they spoke with staff to learn about their safe work procedures and gain a better appreciation of staff’s understanding  and adoption of these work processes.

According Ron Van Denakker, executive director of MASH, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s work will benefit health-care certification across the province. 

“I am thrilled and very proud of Interlake-Eastern for their strategic leadership and overall teamwork across all levels of the organization in their safety certification,” Van Denakker said. “This is instrumental to paving the way for the rest of the provincial health-care system.”

To maintain its certification, Interlake-Eastern RHA will continue to conduct internal audits and host an external audit again in 2026.

National Immunization Awareness Week is an annual event held in the last week of April to highlight and recognize the importance of immunization. This year’s theme is “Let’s catch up with confidence” referring to catching up with loved ones after a prolonged pandemic, knowing they are safe and protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The past few years have been focused on protecting ourselves and others. COVID-19 saw us pull back from the activities and the people we love. It also saw some of us missing out on routine immunizations,” says Wendy Fontaine, immunization coordinator and public health nurse with Interlake-Eastern RHA.

Fontaine says that regularly scheduled immunization clinics were stopped in some areas or regular doctor visits were delayed and many people were unable to receive the vaccines they needed.

“From a public health perspective, when people are behind in their routine immunizations, we can see a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and polio. As we look to catch up for missed time with friends and family, and begin reconnecting with the activities we enjoy, it’s also time to get our vaccines up to date.”

This National Immunization Awareness Week, Immunize Canada encourages everyone in Canada to get up to date on the vaccines they need and  #GetImmunized with confidence.

Unsure if you or your child need to catch up on immunizations or would youlike to make an appointment? 

Visit and click on “Find Us” and “Community Health Offices” for the number of the public health office in your area.

#NIAW2023 #VaccinesWork #GetImmunized

Interlake-Eastern RHA extends thanks to volunteers

National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 16-22 and this year Interlake-Eastern RHA staff thank volunteers for providing valuable support to people receiving care and health services in the region.

IERHA’s CEO, Marion Ellis is using the week of national recognition to publicly thank volunteers for their contributions to health-care in the region.

“National Volunteer Appreciation Week is a time to acknowledge volunteers for their dedication and for the valuable contribution made to those they help and support in our health care system,” says Ellis.

Michele Polinuk, board chair acknowledged volunteer’s work occurs year-round.

“On behalf of the residents, patients, the IERHA board of directors and staff in our facilities, we thank and applaud each volunteer for their tireless service throughout the year,” says Polinuk.

If you are interested in volunteering with the region, there are several opportunities available to support residents and patients including reading, doing activities and crafts, assisting with meal times, and transportation.

To identify your interest in volunteering and to discuss available opportunities, please contact Barb Ramsay, volunteer coordinator,, 1-855-494-7369 and provide your contact information, name and skillset/experience that you feel may be valuable.

Phone services may be temporarily interrupted today as installers are onsite working on the new phone system. If you can’t get through, email or call 1-855-347-8500 to relay a message to staff onsite. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, in partnership with Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network, is hosting a rotating recruitment roadshow in communities across the region to showcase different health-care professions and job opportunities to students and the public.

Julene Sawatzky, human resources lead with Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, says the 2023 Discover Health Career Expo gets prospective employees interested in a rewarding career in health care.

 “The goal of the expos are to give the attendees a better understanding of different health professions and connect them with staff working in the field,” says Sawatzky. “Eventually, when these students and members of the public are ready to look for a position, we hope that they consider Interlake-Eastern RHA as an option close to home where they can potentially serve the community they are from.”

The career expo has staff representatives from nursing, paramedics, pharmacy, home care, long term care, diagnostic imaging, occupational therapy and physical therapy. These professionals will talk to attendees about their career choices, how they got there and the benefits to working in their field.

The events are planned between the months of April and June at venues across the region. In addition to these career expos, Interlake-Eastern RHA staff are also attending other community-hosted career events across the region.

Anyone interested in learning about a career in healthcare can attend an expo. High schools have also been invited so students can learn about different health-care professions, what studies they need to take while in high school, employment opportunities available while in school, the schools that offer education programs and the number of years of schooling until people are ready for work.

Interlake-Eastern RHA staff on site at career expos will be able to accept resumés and assist members of the public with applications.

For more information on the career fairs schedule, follow IERHA on Facebook at “Interlake-Eastern Health,” Twitter “Interlake-Eastern RHA,” visit our website at or sign up for our careers newsletter by emailing Kathryn Lapenskie, community relations coordinator, at

People experiencing difficult or challenging times as a hospital patient or resident of personal care home, or anyone living with serious medical issues can really use compassionate, relationship–based care on their healing journey. In these instances, spiritual care is often seen as an effective means to help in times of illness and vulnerability. To meet the ongoing need for spiritual care throughout the region, Interlake–Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) is offering its Spirit of Caring course this spring to people who are interested in volunteering with the program.

The nine–week program will be offered virtually so registrants will be trained from the comfort of their home. Training will be offered once a week and it covers areas such as understanding suffering and compassion, trauma and crisis, communication and spiritual development. Participants will be able to interact with the program leader, Ferdinand Funk, who is IERHA’s regional spiritual health services coordinator.

“This is a course that will build the capacity and increase self–awareness of the participants to engage in the practice of spiritual care, particularly in changing situations such as might occur in a health-care setting,” says Funk. “We welcome those interested in the spiritual aspect of life in general, and in health care particularly, and with the goal of becoming a spiritual care volunteer with the IERHA. This course prepares volunteers to accompany and support people in a health-care setting in a respectful, caring and compassionate way.”

Prior to joining IERHA, Funk had been a pastor for more than 20 years. He has served as a board member with Bethania Group for four years and for 13 years he was the organization’s director of spiritual care and chaplain.

In addition to helping patients find their peace, inner strength and courage, Funk says training participants often take many other positives away from the experience.

“They gain insight and expand their ability to care for themselves, their colleagues, and the patients and families they serve,” Funk says. “They experience a renewed sense of being part of a health-care community called to care for those in their greatest times of need. We invite all who are interested to learn to walk alongside and support these many patients and residents.”

For more information or to register, please call or email Ferdinand Funk, 204-461-3414 or Please advise if you would like to participate but don’t have the means to connect virtually. Efforts will be made to accommodate all interested participants where possible. Registration deadline is Friday, April 14 with the course to begin on Wednesday, April 19.

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Phone surveyors misrepresenting as Interlake-Eastern RHA affiliates

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) has learned that a resident in the region has received a phone call from an individual misrepresenting himself as a surveyor working on behalf of the Regional Health Authority. The caller had a Vancouver 604 area code. 

The resident said the caller asked for a personal information such as how many times he runs per week and gets exercise, etc. 

Interlake-Eastern RHA does not undertake phone surveys of the public to seek personal health information or details on health conditions and/or exercise.

Members of the public are advised that personal health information should only be discussed with trusted family members and known care providers. Divulging personal health information over the phone to unknown callers is not advised at any time. This includes providing information about health conditions, providing Manitoba Health card information and offering any details about medications being taken.

If you should receive any calls from individuals identifying they are from or working with Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, or from any other organization/company, and if that call leads to requests to divulge personal health information, please hang up immediately.

You can advise the RCMP of this fraudulent activity by calling the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visiting and clicking on the tab “Report fraud”.

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