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News & Updates

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

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Arborg and Districts Health Centre Hospital August 9, 2022

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s medical officer of health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in hospital of Arborg and Districts Health Centre on August 6, 2022. General visitation is suspended and outbreak protocols are in place in this unit. The Arborg primary care clinic, public health office and personal care home are not currently experiencing outbreaks and outbreak protocols are not in place there at this time.

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at East Gate Lodge Personal Care Home in Beausejour August 3, 2022

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s medical officer of health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the Crocus Unit at East Gate Lodge Personal Care Home in Beausejour on August 2, 2022. General visitation is suspended and outbreak protocols are in place in this unit. Shamrock and Rose Units are not currently experiencing outbreaks and outbreak protocols are not in place in these units at this time.

Internship Opportunities Available at IERHA July 29, 2022

Are you a high school student thinking about a career in health care?

If so, perhaps you’ll want to consider volunteering with Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority to earn a half-credit (55 hours) or full credit (110 hours) towards the Community Service Student Initiated Project Credit.

Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority partners with students and schools to offer hands-on experience and exposure to a variety of health-care programs such as nursing, rehabilitation services, and long-term and palliative care. Other options include nutrition and food services, maintenance, and lab and imaging.

“The internship program gives the students insight about each health career by job shadowing the different health-care professionals,” said Lori Buors, Indigenous human resources development assistant.

“This way, the student can decide if the career they want to go into is right for them.”

Ella Spence recently wrapped up an internship at Selkirk hospital. While she was job-shadowing there, she determined that she would like to become a surgeon as her career goal.

For Ella, who recently graduated and lives in West St. Paul, it was interesting to see different areas of Selkirk hospital including surgery, the emergency room and the family birthing unit.

“All of the staff were very helpful in showing me what they were doing and why they were doing it. I got to see many different procedures, including child birth. Many of these procedures many people never see, and I am grateful I got to use it as a learning experience,” said Ella, who plans to attend the University of Manitoba this fall to study science. 

“Watching doctors, nurses and health-care aides work gave me an even bigger respect for the jobs they do and how important they are in our society. I also got to help with basic patient needs, by making them more comfortable and getting them what they need when they are unable to.”

She expressed gratitude for her experience through the internship program, which is open to all high school students in the Interlake-Eastern region.

“This experience truly gave me a better understanding of the health-care field and gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in health care,” she said.
“Thank you to all of the staff who helped me learn and allowed me to watch them as they work.”

To learn more, contact Lori Buors at lbuors@ierha.ca.

The Beausejour Hospital team, pictured left to right: Allison Poiron, health-care aide; Megan Lewis, licensed practical nurse; Amber Reichert, clinical team manager; Kassidy, internship student; Erin Hertz, clinical resource nurse; Karim Posadas, ward clerk; Quinton Baerbig, occupational therapist; and Daniel Sokoloski, physiotherapist.
Krista Kozyra, clinical team manager for SRHC medicine; Shannon Watson, clinical team manager for SRHC emergency department; Audra Nesbitt-Hume, clinical team manager for regional renal health; Ella, internship student; and Tammy Harder, internship co-ordinator for West Kildonan Collegiate
COVID-19 outbreak concludes at Selkirk’s Betel Personal Care Home July 18, 2022

July 16, 2022 – The regional medical officer of health has concluded the COVID-19 outbreak at Selkirk’s Betel Personal Care Home. The site will conclude outbreak protocols and resume general COVID-19 protocols in place at all personal care homes in the region.

Pine Falls Health Complex Emergency Department to Re-open July 15, 2022

July 14, 2022 – In a gradual return to full service delivery, the emergency department at Pine Falls Health Complex will reopen to the public on Monday, July 18 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

“This is a rural, high volume emergency department that serves a large and diverse range of communities. We thank community partners, paramedics, physicians and health-care teams for working together during these unprecedented times. The need for this level of care has been reinforced by community leadership. We also thank community partners who are supporting health care navigation during this period and encouraging individuals to seek appropriate health-care when needed,” said Interlake-Eastern RHA CEO Marion Ellis.  

The initial phase of reopening the emergency department is made possible by the successful recruitment of a nursing manager to the site. In addition, Shared Health is providing additional staffing support with paramedics taking shifts in the emergency department.

“A functioning emergency department at the Pine Falls Health Complex is in the best interests of patient care,” said Dr. Rob Grierson, chief medical officer of Shared Health’s emergency response services (ERS).

“Paramedics are trained to provide a wide array of care and are increasingly joining hospital care teams at locations within Manitoba as well as in other parts of North America.”

Recruitment is ongoing in Pine Falls Health Complex, as is work to establish additional nursing agency contracts to support sustainable and reliable access to care.

“We will continue to provide updates on our progress as part of our commitment to restoring 24/7 emergency department services in Powerview-Pine Falls,” said Ellis.

Emergency Department Schedules are available here.

Ongoing evolution in delivery of care at Teulon Medical Clinic June 30, 2022

Teulon’s medical clinic continues to expand and evolve its delivery of health-care services to the area’s residents through successful efforts to welcome students and new practitioners to the family practice environment.

In his role as medical director of the clinic, Dr. Mike Loudon outlines some of the transformations over the decades, including positive recent developments to better serve the health-care needs of the community.

“Originally, if we go back 20 years, Teulon Medical Clinic had four physicians. We ran an emergency room, hospital and clinic,” he said.

“With changes in health care, physicians have moved away, which made supply of physicians to the clinic particularly difficult.”

In 2017, the community ended up with only one provider and needed to rethink how to deliver reliable and sustainable care from that point forward.

Work was already underway for a more collaborative approach, thanks to a health-care sustainability committee that began meeting monthly in 2015, offering input from municipal leaders, the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Teulon Health Care Foundation.

“We’ve had to build a stronger structure with different providers and different employment models to be able to look after the patients on a day-to-day basis,” Loudon said.

Today, the clinic offers services from allied health professionals as well as nurse practitioners Aravind Pampackal and Adrian Sawatzky and physician assistant Ashley Wicklund.

“They are all trained here and recruited in a similar way. No individual provider is more important than any other. They all form a significant foundation for Teulon Medical Clinic,” Loudon said.

“The big reason that Teulon is successful is because of the whole team environment. Going forward with the Clinical and Preventative Services Plan, these teams are going to be a cornerstone to what makes health care work.”

In addition to Loudon, the clinic offers the expertise of Dr. Victoria Kornelsen as well as Dr. Costa Danakas, who initially came to the community as a first-year medical student during the University of Manitoba’s Rural Week seven years ago.

“He was really interested in Teulon and how we did business here. He stayed in touch and subsequently joined us in July 2021 as a physician in the clinic,” Loudon said.

“We needed that growth, and there are more physicians who have come through the training program who will potentially join us in the future. I think any training that brings students to a community creates a better chance of attracting that student back to the community.”

As Danakas approaches his one-year anniversary at Teulon Medical Clinic, he reflects on the path that led him there.

“Rural Week was a good experience with a good team. It was my first clinical exposure, and Dr. Loudon was great to work with. We got along well, so we kept in touch,” Danakas said.

“Two years later, it was time for me to do my formal family medicine rotation and I came back for six weeks.”

Now Danakas works at the Teulon Medical Clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays, and he also treats patients in Teulon’s hospital. In addition, he works in Selkirk every Tuesday and often picks up additional shifts.

“In Teulon, one of the biggest benefits we have is the team of providers. And for medical students, these early experiences can help to motivate or direct their career. I think there’s value in that early rural exposure because it can create familiarity with what the job entails,” Danakas said.

“If they’re exposed to it early on and they have a good experience or good patient interaction, then I think it goes a long way in shaping their career choices.”

Coming full circle, Danakas recently worked with two first-year medical students, Stephen Dueck and Bhavan Dhaliwal, who were in Teulon for Rural Week from May 30 to June 3.

“I’m hoping that it was helpful for them,” Danakas said. “I would encourage them to consider coming back to Teulon or another rural community.”

For Dueck, Rural Week opened up the possibility to working in a community like Teulon.

“Rural lifestyle is, of course, very good in terms of the intimacy of community and access to nature,” he said.

“But we have also found incredible clinicians and support staff in our time here — their ability to work as a team, to think holistically about patient care, to work with various teams in the interests of their patient and practise evidence-based medicine was so inspiring to watch and be part of.”

During their time at the clinic, Dueck said they heard many positive comments from patients about the excellent care offered there.

“Our sense is that Teulon Medical Centre has earned a reputation for trustworthiness through many years of skilled, diligent practice within the community,” Dueck said.

Overall, the experience left a lasting positive impression on the students.

“The best part of our experience has undoubtedly been how warmly we have been received,” Dueck said.

“From the very first moment, community members and the staff of Teulon Medical Clinic, led by Dr. Loudon, have taken a deep interest in us as people and in our medical education.”

And from Loudon’s perspective, that’s what it’s all about — creating connections in the community and beyond.

“I’ve always enjoyed the engagement that we have with student colleagues,” he said.

“From my point of view, the fundamentals in our success stem from relationship with community, with the medical practice and with the region. It’s a matter of consolidating what we’ve got and continuing to evolve.”

From left to right: First-year medical student Bhavan Dhaliwal, nurse practitioner Adrian Sawatzky, nurse practitioner Aravind Pampackal, physician assistant Ashley Wicklund, first-year medical student Stephen Dueck, office assistant Sabrina Windross, office manager Lisa Taylor, registered nurse Shaleen Loudon and Dr. Mike Loudon.
Small gestures can go a long way to making a difference in the lives of others June 29, 2022

At Goodwin Lodge in Teulon, acting recreation co-ordinator Crystal Bergeron stands out for her hard work and dedication.

“I have the best job here. I get to plan activities and bring happiness into the lives of my residents — whether that be helping them care for a plant or going outside and feeding the birds or coming in early to cook them a bacon and eggs breakfast,” said Crystal, who started working as a recreation facilitator before taking her current term position in October 2020.

“I have 20 resident bosses I work for and they all know that. I am their voice, their assistant and, to some, I am their best friend.”

Throughout the pandemic, Crystal has found creative ways to keep residents and families engaged, such as a pumpkin-carving evening in the fall.

“Brown’s Corner Patch in Gunton donated all the pumpkins, so myself and a member from my team volunteered our time to watch daughters laughing and reminiscing with their mother. Another resident watched his son do all the work while he snacked on the treats, all while being safe and following protocols,” she said.

“We also were lucky to have iPads that we can offer FaceTime for families and friends. And for the families that don’t have FaceTime, we write letters or send pictures out by mail.”

Clinical resource nurse Angela Harding said Crystal takes residents’ best interests to heart at all times.

“Nothing is too much trouble for Crystal. Each and every one of our residents is at the forefront of Crystal’s mind. Lots of new activities have been taking place since Crystal started last year. She really is having a positive impact on our residents, and I know families appreciate her as well,” Angela said.

“I want Crystal to know that each and every one of the staff at Goodwin appreciate you and thank you for engaging and stimulating our residents in a positive way.”

Likewise, Crystal expressed appreciation for everyone she interacts with each day at Goodwin Lodge.

“I love the day-to-day interaction with my residents, families and staff. I love that my residents still want to live life to the fullest. I can be nutty and silly yet professional, like bringing in snow so we can have a good old snowball fight in the dining room or watching an 84-year-old talk into a fan like I did as a child,” Crystal said.

“I will truly be sad to leave in August when my position is up. Everyone who works at Goodwin Lodge is out-of-this-world amazing and I thank them all for their guidance and support during my time here.”

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Betel Personal Care Home in Selkirk June 27, 2022

The medical officer of health has declared an COVID-19 outbreak at Betel Personal Care Home in Selkirk. General visitation is suspended and outbreak protocols are in place.

New resources for Manitobans experiencing Long COVID or post COVID-19 conditions June 16, 2022

Manitobans experiencing lingering symptoms consistent with post-COVID-19 conditions or Long COVID are being provided with a one-stop access to information, self-help tools and resources that will assist them in overcoming their illness and resuming their normal activities.

“Many Manitobans are feeling the effects of COVID long after they have had the disease, and this can have a negative impact in their lives beyond just feeling sick,” said Dr. Eberhard Renner, Shared Health’s provincial medical specialty lead for medicine. “Making it easier for these individuals to connect with the supports they need to address their symptoms will allow them to better manage their illness and, hopefully, recover more quickly.”

New webpages were launched Wednesday that provide patients with helpful information, advice and resources to address their symptoms. The pages – located on the Shared Health website – provide Manitobans with access to self-management tools that can help people with Long COVID manage and overcome their symptoms.

A working group that included a range of experts across several health disciplines looked at similar initiatives in other provinces to help guide the creation of the new self-management tool. The goal of their work is to make it easier for patients of all ages – or their family or caregivers – to get the help they need for post-COVID-19 health concerns, regardless of where they live in the province.

“We have included resources to help manage the most common symptoms including fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath, brain fog and mental health conditions, as well as resources created specifically for children and teens,” said Dr. Cornelia van Ineveld, a geriatrician and co-lead of the provincial Long COVID working group. “There are also links to virtual courses on topics like mindfulness, nutrition and physical activity.”

In Manitoba, patients with post-COVID-19 conditions or Long COVID are typically managed by a primary care provider – normally their family doctor or a nurse practitioner – who will refer their patients to specialists when symptoms are more serious.

The vast array of symptoms and the similarly numerous types of specialists required to treat them, combined with the fact there are people with post-COVID-19 conditions in all areas of the province, makes the new online resource the best way to ensure a suitable approach to recovery is available to all Manitobans.

“We are thrilled we can offer this one-stop shop for Manitobans dealing with COVID-related symptoms that seemingly won’t go away,” said Carrie Fruehm, director of collaborative practice with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and co-lead of the provincial Long COVID working group. “Visitors to the site will be able to access information and tools to better understand the lingering symptoms they are experiencing and how to best manage them, with an emphasis on brain health, mental health and self-care.”

Anyone who has concerns about their recovery or has persistent or stronger symptoms should talk to their health-care provider about other resources and specialized services in the community that are available by referral. Those experiencing severe symptoms – including difficulty breathing, intense chest pain, difficulty staying awake, confusion or fainting – should call 911 immediately.

Long COVID and post-COVID-19 conditions webpages

IERHA relevant resource

COVID-19 outbreak concludes at Lundar Personal Care Home June 16, 2022

The COVID-19 outbreak declared on May 30 is now over. The site has resumed regular operations.

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