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News & Updates

Up-to-date information on news and events in Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority.

To stay up to date on Interlake-Eastern RHA news, click here to subscribe to our community In Good Health newsletter.

Take caution during tick season May 30, 2024

Reduce your risk of tick bites and disease exposure by:

  • applying an appropriate tick repellent on exposed skin and clothing, following label directions;
  • wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts;
  • tucking in clothing to create a barrier;
  • staying to the centre of walking trails;
  • inspecting yourself, children and pets after spending time outdoors;
  • removing ticks as soon as possible from people and pets, using tweezers; and
  • keeping grass and shrubs around homes cut short to create drier environments that are less suitable for tick survival.

Read more: Province of Manitoba | News Releases | Manitobans Urged to be Vigilant During Tick Season (gov.mb.ca)

24-hour crisis line going temporarily out of service tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. May 28, 2024

The 24-hour crisis line (204-482-5419 and  1-866-427-8628) will be out of service (for a short period up to 30 minutes) at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 while MTS moves the 24 hour crisis line phones to their new location. Users will hear a dial tone, busy signal, or “phone not in service.” This is a result of the move of mental health services from 446 Main St. location to the second floor of the Selkirk Community Health Office at 237 Manitoba Ave, in Selkirk. If you need to access a crisis line during this time, please contact Klinic’s 24-hour crisis line at 1-888-322-3019. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Pride Week 2024 May 24, 2024

June is here, and it’s time to celebrate love, acceptance, and the beautiful diversity of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. The acronym 2SLGBTQQIA+ represents those who are two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and all other sexual orientations and genders.

These terms and acronyms may be used differently by individuals in various ways depending on how they identify and the context. People will also have different understandings of their identity and it is up to individuals to decide what their identity means to them. If you are unsure of how someone identifies, asking which pronouns they use is respectful and good practice.

Pride Month is not just a time for parades and parties—it’s a powerful reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and recognition.

Want to learn how you can support diversity and inclusivity?

Check out these resources from Shared Health:

Becoming an Ally – HM (sharedhealthmb.ca)

Pronouns, 2SLGBTQQIA+ & Health Care Leading Practice Guide

Genderdiversity poster (8.5 × 11 in) (sharedhealthmb.ca)

Pronoun Poster (sharedhealthmb.ca)

Becoming an ally (sharedhealthmb.ca)

Paramedic Services Week 2024 May 17, 2024

May 19-25 is Paramedic Services Week. IERHA acknowledges the paramedics and their team members who are providing life-saving care during medical emergencies every day in our region. Thank you for your service!

On May 15, the Manitoba government proclaimed May 19-25 Paramedic Services Week

Read more about this week on sharedhealthmb.ca

Rural Interest Group medical students tour Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority May 16, 2024

On Friday, May 3, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) welcomed 23 medical students from the University of Manitoba with a meal at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. 

Interlake-Eastern RHA based physicians, Dr. Ian Alexander (family physician and IERHA’s Regional Family Medicine Specialty Lead), Dr. Stewart Nadurak (IERHA family medicine resident) and Dr. Jade Young (family physician), spoke with students about their respective practices and answered questions with the intent of sparking interest in family practice in Interlake-Eastern RHA.

The students were part of Rural Interest Group (RIG) – a gathering of first and second year medical students who have a specific interest in learning more about rural medicine and rural lifestyles. RIG is supported by the university and two to three times a year, students travel to IERHA to meet rural physicians and experience rural Manitoba. RIG trips are among Interlake-Eastern’s recruitment initiatives as these encounters promote rural practice options among upcoming doctors.

Following dinner, students checked into the hotel in Selkirk and prepared for an early start on Saturday morning at Selkirk Regional Health Centre. Students were split into groups to rotate through four clinical interactive stations. Dr. Phoebe Thiessen (family physician and the IERHA’s Regional Medical Obstetrics Lead) walked students through the obstetrical and gynecology station; Dr. Nadurak showed students the ultrasound station; Dr. Alexander the intubation/airway station; and Dr. Rita Costa (IERHA family medicine resident), the suturing station. Following the rotations, students joined the physicians for an engaging question and answer period. The day wrapped up with a tour of Selkirk Regional Health Centre hosted by Dr. Ian Alexander.

Students expressed appreciation for the opportunity to interact with experienced physicians and for the learning opportunities. A few indicated they would have liked to have had more time exploring Selkirk. According to Pamela Robertson, IERHA’s physician recruiter, the feedback is heartening for physicians who invest in making RIG a worthwhile venture for students.

“Our sincere thanks to Dr. Costa, Dr. Nadurak and Dr. Alexander and his team for spending time with the students,” says Robertson. “Dr. Young travelled from Eriksdale to have dinner with this group and Dr. Phoebe Thiessen provided support throughout the day. We look forward to next year’s RIG trip!”

Community members who want to get involved in rural physician recruitment and who have suggestions on destinations or events for students or residents, please contact Pamela Robertson, physician recruitment at [email protected]

23 rural interst group medical students posed at Selkirk Regional Health Centre
23 University of Manitoba medical students attended Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.

Student works on a dummy’s airways at Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the University of Manitoba medical students 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.

Student practices suturing on a pig foot at Selkirk Regional Health Centre for the University of Manitoba medical students 2024 Rural Interest Group trip.
Allied Health Professionals Week 2024 May 13, 2024

Allied health teams support care in every corner of Manitoba and touch the lives of nearly every Manitoba family. The unique skills and diverse roles of allied health professionals cover the full range of preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and technical services, supporting Manitobans at every stage of their care journey.

Audiologist in Beausejour serves Interlake-Eastern communities

Read the full article on sharedhealthmb.ca

National Nursing Week 2024 May 7, 2024

It’s National Nursing Week, which aims to recognize the contributions of nurses to individuals, communities and the future of health care.

This year, National Nursing Week runs from May 6 to 12 with the theme “Changing Lives. Shaping Tomorrow.”

Tayler Nickart

Newly graduated nurse Tayler Nickart looks forward to embarking on a career that will help change lives positively and shape the future.

Tayler graduated in February after completing her bachelor of nursing degree at Red River College Polytechnic. Soon after, she obtained her registered nurse license.

“I have always really been drawn to the medical field and the constant lifelong learning and diverse variety of jobs and paths the career provides. I loved the idea of being able to care for people in times of need to help them achieve good health outcomes and make a difference in their lives,” she said.  

“I also was a very clumsy kid who played many sports that made several visits to the hospital for various fractures, stitches and sprains. I have always admired and appreciated the compassionate and exceptional care of nurses I had that made me want to do the same work.”

Tayler got a jump start on her career journey as a nursing student in the Home for the Summer program at Selkirk Regional Health Centre (SRHC). This program offers summer employment opportunities for post-secondary students pursuing studies in nursing, pharmacy and allied health fields.

“I was very fortunate to be able to travel to several different long-term care facilities throughout the region and experience health-care settings in rural areas,” she said.

“This position provided exceptional knowledge on many aspects of nursing — more than just direct patient care, such as infection control, charting, developing therapeutic relationships with patients, assessing and analyzing patient safety and satisfaction of their care — along with shadowing nursing practice early on in my studies.”

While she was studying, Tayler also held an undergraduate nursing employee position for about a year and a half on the surgical unit at SRHC. Undergraduate nurse employees work under the supervision of registered nurses or registered psychiatric nurses care to gain experience and log working hours.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to put my education to practise and strengthen my nursing skills and judgment prior to graduation,” she said. “Clinical practice in nursing school is often limited with short rotations so you may not get to attempt all nursing skills.”

As an undergraduate nursing employee, Tayler had the chance to hone her skills within an interdisciplinary health-care team, all while being supported by an experienced nurse.

“This employment gave me so much experience with a vast variety of patients — and being able to work alongside the health-care team was extremely rewarding,” she said. “The staff on the SRHC surgery unit were beyond welcoming and supportive, and I am so lucky to have that opportunity prior to becoming a registered nurse.”

In April, Tayler began employment as a registered nurse at SRHC’s emergency department.

“I have really enjoyed the first month of my employment and getting to know the emergency team. I am most looking forward to take on the challenges of becoming an emergency RN and learning from the incredible nurses and staff that work at the SRHC facility. I feel grateful to be able to have grown so much in my nursing practice throughout my time working in IERHA and to now be able to begin my career,” she said.

“I have grown up and lived in the surrounding Selkirk area my entire life and am very much looking forward to being able to give back to the community that helped me to get to where I am today.”

And for others who might be considering a career in nursing, Tayler offers some words of encouragement.

“It is incredibly rewarding to work with people in times of need and support them in any way you can, as well as care for their families and communities,” she said. “Nursing is a career that will teach you so many things and you learn something new each day.”

Smiling nurse in black scrubs with stethoscope around neck
Tayler Nickart, nurse at Selkirk Regional Health Centre

Peguis nurses bring care into community

As health director for Peguis First Nation, Doris Bear manages over 80 staff including 14 nurses. There is one thing that binds them all and that influences their care for their clients.

“The important piece of the team is the communication. Nurses all collaborate and work well together. We are working towards improvement and having a heathy community,” Doris said. “Community members look forward to their visits. Our reserve is so widespread. . .they know the issues with each of the clients that they serve.”

One of the nurses on Doris’ team is Charmaine Raynor, home and community care coordinator in Peguis. Prior to becoming an LPN, she worked as a health care aide alongside nurses in Peguis and Fisher Personal Care Home. The work of her nursing colleagues got her interested in the profession but it was her mother’s cancer diagnosis 20 years ago and the care Charmaine provided to her that propelled her to nursing school in her late 30s.

“I had my aha moment. I give this all to my mother where I am today. She gives me my strength and my push,” Charmaine said.

That push into nursing has put Charmaine on a pathway to leadership and advocacy. She oversees four other LPNs and four health care aides as they deliver services for elders, help people manage chronic disease diagnoses and support palliative care. She has recently completed the management development certificate at Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) and is the southern co-chair representative at the Southern Tribal Council Independent Home and Community Care Committee. In this role, she works with representatives from the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and Indigenous Services Canada. It’s an opportunity for her to network, collaborate and advocate.

“Living in a community that has a lot of crisis still to this day, I know firsthand and at a grassroots level what our needs are,” Charmaine said. “The whole goal is taking care of people and the community as a whole-their whole wellbeing in whatever way we can as a group. It’s a rewarding feeling at the end of the day. You know you helped somebody. That’s a very fulfilling feeling and very purposeful.”

Another member of Doris’ nursing team is Denise Bear, nurse in charge in Peguis.

She graduated fromRRC Polytech’s inner city nursing program designed to support students with families as her daughter was young at the time.

“I’ve always felt like I have a caring compassion side. It hurts when I see people hurting. I’ve always been interested in science and learning-how the body works and gaining theory. I found it interesting and challenging,” Denise said.

She returned to Peguis to work at Percy E. Moore hospital for six years and moved into community health when Peguis had an opening. In her role, she works with a team of five LPNs, three community health representatives and one nursing assistant.  Denise is also a part of Manitoba Indigenous Nurses Inc. a professional association of nurses who work to address the nursing issues impacting their communities. They work together to address issues like the impact of nursing/human resources shortages, wage parity and workforce development training initiatives.

She has witnessed advancements in the profession.

“Ten years ago, LPNs were very limited in what they could do. With nursing shortages and with COVID,  we’ve been granted extra duties to perform and training to fulfill more functions,” Denise said. She points to the successful integration of testing into the work of LPNs.

“We’re taking on more programming provided in nursing stations under direction of doctors. In our community, if someone comes into the health centre we’ll treat, test and do contact testing. If results are positive, we have all that information already. It’s really hard to get people in to see the doctor. We weren’t able to catch people and treat them right away. Now we’re capturing more to be treated and they are treated more quickly. That seems to work out better.”

She is in the process of completing the First Nations Community Management Diploma program at Yellowquill University College that is further developing her management skills. The training and her experience have made her grateful for the team that she works with.

“Congratulations to all nurses! I wouldn’t be able to do this job if I didn’t have such a good team to depend on. I know that I can ask them to do something for the community or for our program and they will get it done. I work alongside them, I don’t expect them to do anything I can’t do,” Denise said.

As the population of Peguis grows, Denise is seeing an increase in workload for health care staff. Peguis too is looking to encourage more people to pursue careers in health care and she readily advises people to consider nursing.

“There are lots of career options – hospital, community health, travel there is never a shortage. It’s such a need everywhere. If they have a nice soft heart and they are caring for people, nursing is a good fit for that.”

dark haired female in glasses
Doris Bear, Health Director for Peguis First Nation
Dark hair and earrings smiling female nurse
Charmaine Raynor, nurse in Peguis First Nation
photo of Denise bear smiling in Glasses, earrings and light blue shirt.
Denise Bear, nurse in Peguis First Nation

Amanda Mann

Read about Percy E. Moore nurse Amanda Mann on Shared Health’s website.

IERHA Launches Poster contest for Truth and Reconciliaton Day later this year May 3, 2024

September 30 marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

To acknowledge this day, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority is seeking poster submissions designed by a youth resident of the region.

This contest is now closed.

  • Designs must be original and sized for 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper
  • Designs may be redrawn digitally for print.
  • This contest is open to employees of Interlake-Eastern RHA and their immediate family members/relatives as well as eligible residents of

Interlake-Eastern RHA.

All submissions will become property of Interlake-Eastern RHA.

Winner will receive $100.

More than one award may be granted if multiple winners are selected.  

Two Physicians Awarded in Interlake-Eastern RHA April 24, 2024

Interlake-Eastern RHA recognized two physicians with physician emeritus awards last night at the region’s annual spring physician dinner at the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.

Physician colleagues and community members had the chance to nominate award recipients, Dr. Eric Stearns and Dr. Greg Pinniger, in recognition of exemplary service and expertise to community.

Dr. Charles Penner, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s regional lead of medical services and chief medical officer, congratulated this year’s recipients for their achievements.

“It brings me great pleasure to recognize my physician colleagues, Dr. Eric Stearns and Dr. Greg Pinniger, for their contributions to health care in the Interlake-Eastern region,” Dr. Penner said. 

“We are privileged to have such dedicated professionals serving our communities.”

Dr. Stearns said receiving the Physician Emeritus Award is the top honour.  He graduated from medical school at the University of Manitoba in 1978 and finished his residency in obstetrics and gynecology five years later. He began practising at the Manitoba Clinic, while also working for the Northern Medical Unit and travelling to northern communities including Churchill, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, Coral Harbour, Baker Lake and Repulse Bay.

Over time, he shifted his focus to offer care in Hodgson and Fisher River. At the same time, he spent more than 25 years in Selkirk performing surgery and providing clinical care. He also ran a private practice in Selkirk for two years. Today, Dr. Stearns continues to do surgical assisting in Selkirk.

He also serves as a physician advisor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) and is a past-president for CPSM. In addition, he chaired the perinatal maternal health standards committee at the CPSM for many years and worked as a consultant on the Manitoba Physician Achievement Review program. He continues to work with CPSM’s quality improvement program.

Adding to his varied experience, Dr. Stearns was a department head at Seven Oaks General Hospital and served on multiple committees through Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, as well as holding the position of assistant professor in University of Manitoba’s department of obstetrics and gynecology.

With a global reach, Dr. Stearns taught the ALARM International Program in Guyana, Ethiopia and Tanzania. This program aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality around the world. In Guyana, Dr. Stearns also reviewed the national obstetrical program for the government.

As he prepares to wrap up a career that spans more than four decades, Dr. Stearns expects that 2024 will be his final year of practice. Looking back, there’s much that he’s enjoyed over the decades.

“You can’t beat delivering babies, and I also love to teach,” he said. “And to go out with this award is awesome. It’s the highlight of my career. It really tops it off. This is amazing to me.” 

Dr. Greg Pinniger also enjoys the variety he has experienced through his career in rural general practice.

Since 1992, Dr. Pinniger has served as a physician in Manitoba with four years in Killarney and 26 years at Stonewall Medical Clinic, along with work in the surgical intensive care unit at Health Sciences Centre. Outside of Manitoba, he did locums in Prince Edward Island and Alberta.

As a general practitioner, Dr. Pinniger said he enjoys “knowing a little bit about a lot of things.” He also appreciates that the duration of his career has allowed him continuity of care with his patients. By working alongside other dedicated and enthusiastic doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administrators, Dr. Pinniger feels gratitude for individuals who comprise the care teams that health-care requires.

At the same time, Dr. Pinniger has enjoyed serving on Interlake-Eastern RHA’s medical advisory committee over the years. Looking ahead, he hopes other new physicians might pursue a similar path in rural general practice.

“I hope that rural and family medicine can one day recapture the attention of new medical graduates and entice them into a rewarding, challenging career — one where they can grow professionally and personally and one where they can feel truly needed by those that they serve,” said Dr. Pinniger, adding that coming to Stonewall was the highlight of his career.

As for being chosen as a recipient of the Physician Emeritus Award, Dr. Pinniger said it’s an honour — and a surprise.

“I’m just one of many people in the health-care system who try to do their best,” he said. “I appreciate the recognition given to me by my colleagues. It is touching and humbling.”

Introducing the new Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Location in Selkirk April 23, 2024

Interlake-Eastern Health Services is located at 100 Easton Drive

The Selkirk Home Care, Cancer Navigation Services, Palliative Care and Speech Language offices previously located at the Selkirk Community Health Office at 237 Manitoba Ave. have moved to the Interlake-Eastern Health Services building at 100 Easton Drive. The move to Interlake-Eastern Health Services increases the clinic space to serve clients.

Please note, clients receiving care at this location will be by appointment only. No walk-ins accepted.

The phone and fax numbers for these program areas remain the same.

Palliative Care Nurse: 204-785-7536

Selkirk Cancer Navigation Services: 204-785-7400

Selkirk Home Care Offices: 204-785-7537

Speech Language Services: 204-785-7730

Questions? Please contact our Corporate Office Reception at 1-855-347-8500 or email [email protected]

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