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Interlake-Eastern RHA Hosts Annual General Meeting in Stonewall

Stonewall’s Quarry Park Heritage Arts Centre saw close to 100 people for Interlake-Eastern RHA’s annual general meeting that took place on Monday, October 3.

The meeting opened with guest presenters, Dr. Michael Routledge, former chief provincial public health officer and Dr. Karen Robinson, regional medical officer of health. Dr. Routledge addressed public health topics from the 2015 Health Status of Manitobans report called Healthy Environments Healthy People.  Dr. Robinson spoke to the important role public health plays in rabies prevention and vaccination in the region.

Chair of the Interlake-Eastern RHA Board of Directors, Oral Johnston, took the opportunity to highlight the RHA’s work with community groups, local health involvement groups and give thanks to the RHA’s volunteers, elected representatives and staff. He also recognized the RHA’s outgoing and current board members as all RHAs are anticipating the appointment of new directors in the near future.

“It has been my privilege to have sat on this board within the company of our directors,” Johnston said of the RHA’s 14 board members.

Interlake-Eastern’s CEO, Ron Van Denakker, focused on the RHA’s efforts to stabilize access to emergency care including stabilization of emergency departments and emergency medical services; improving access to hospital and personal care home beds in the region; building primary health care to provide people with better access to non-emergency care; and recruiting physicians.

“We have seven internationally trained physicians coming to our region next August,” says Ron Van Denakker, “We’ve had success recruiting physicians over the past year and we know we need to continue to proactively work with our communities to settle physicians into communities with the right supports available to them and their families so they are more likely to stay.”

He credited the vice president of physician services, Dr. Myron Thiessen, for the development of collegiality amongst RHA physicians. This progress was demonstrated when 19 RHA physicians participated in a recent recruitment event for 97 first and second year family medical residents.

Van Denakker spoke about the recruitment opportunities that the new regional health centre in Selkirk offers. The health centre is on budget and on track to open in Summer 2017.

“We have significant recruitment underway to staff the new health centre,” Van Denakker said. He also reiterated the RHA’s need to pursue a clinical teaching unit and residency program that have proven to be effective in attracting new physicians to practice.

Three RHA staff members were awarded with the chair’s award for excellence in customer service: Angela Moshenko-Hansen, a financial analyst based in Selkirk; Kristol McDonald, a home care resource coordinator based in Gimli and Maureen Tully, the services to seniors coordinator for the west side of the region who is based in Teulon. They were all nominated by colleagues who identified them as going above and beyond to reflect the RHA’s values in their daily interactions with staff and clients.

The recipient of the CEO’s award for community leadership was Giigewigamig First Nation Regional Health Authority for its unwavering support and commitment to the traditional healing centre in Pine Falls. Van Denakker identified that planning for the traditional healing centre started 10 years ago and that First Nations partners named it Giigewigamig which means place of healing in Anishinaabe. The authority is composed of representatives from the First Nations communities of Black River, Bloodvein, Hollow Water and Sagkeeng. The authority selected Elder Burma Bushie from Hollow Water First nation to accept the award.

“I’d like to acknowledge Davey Courchene and his brother Gerald for their vision and perseverance in hanging on to that vision,” Bushie said.

Van Denakker closed the evening by encouraging people to contact him if they are seriously interested in learning more about the RHA’s activities or if they would like to increase community engagement with the RHA.

“I like to say CEO stands for chief engagement officer, that’s my job,” Van Denakker said.

Interlake-Eastern’s 2015-16 annual report is now posted online at under “About us” and “Publications and Reports” and available in hard copy at the RHA’s corporate office, 233A Main Street in Selkirk.

Recipients of  Chair’s Award for Excellence in Customer Service: Recipients are shown with Interlake-Eastern RHA’s board chair, Oral Johnston.

Angela Moshenko-Hanson (Selkirk)

Kristol McDonald (Gimli)

Maureen Tully (Teulon)

Receiving this year’s CEO’s Award for Community Service was Elder Burma Bushie of Hollow Water on behalf of the First Nations communities comprising Giigewigamig Regional Health Authority.

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