May 31, 2005

Construction of New Bergen Cardiac Care Centre Begins at St. Boniface General Hospital

Health Minister Tim Sale and representatives from the St. Boniface General Hospital and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority today announced the start of construction of two new floors at St. Boniface General Hospital that will house the state-of-the-art Bergen Cardiac Care Centre.

"During the last five years, the Manitoba government has worked to improve access to health services for all Manitobans," said Tim Sale, Minister of Health. "This project is an important part of Manitoba's Cardiac Services Enhancement Plan which was developed in 2000. It is key to the consolidation of cardiac care services at St. Boniface General Hospital."

Dr. Sharon Macdonald, WRHA Vice President of Community Care, said the multi-million dollar project will mean better patient care. "Consolidating most of the cardiology that is done at St. Boniface - both diagnostic and interventional procedures – in one area of the hospital will result in better coordinated patient care. This builds on the improvements we've already made regionally to the Cardiac Sciences Program and will provide an even stronger foundation as we move ahead and implement more of the recommendations of the Koshal Report."

"The Bergen Cardiac Care Centre will occupy 42,300 square feet of space on two floors," says Dr. Michel Tétreault, President and CEO of St. Boniface General Hospital. "This project will allow for the relocation of most of the cardiology services in one central location in St. Boniface General Hospital and, within the Centre, the latest treatments and equipment will be used to improve and potentially save the lives of people suffering from heart disease."

The Bergen Cardiac Care Centre is a 20.5 million dollar project that will include state-of- the-art cardiac catheterization labs, arrhythmia device implant procedure rooms, electrophysiology and ablation procedure rooms, suites for echocardiography, EKG, pacemaker and defibrillator clinics, and general and specialized cardiology clinics.

Plans for this Centre have been in development since June 2000 when Manitoba Health announced a regional cardiac services plan which saw St. Boniface General Hospital take a leading role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Following on the heels of this announcement, the St. Boniface Hospital & Research Foundation launched a $25 million HeartCare campaign that was successfully completed in 2004. The HeartCare campaign contributed $6 million to the development of the Bergen Cardiac Care Centre.

Martin Bergen and family, for whom the Centre has been named, were in attendance to mark the start of this exciting project. The real estate developer and his family donated $2 million to the project through the St. Boniface Hospital & Research Foundation’s HeartCare Campaign.

"Heart disease affects us all and we felt St. Boniface was the best place for us to make an impact in battling the disease," said Miriam Bergen, daughter of Martin Bergen. "My father and late mother always advocated community involvement and we feel this new Centre will do great things for the health of Manitobans."

"The Bergen Cardiac Care Centre will help the Province, the WRHA and St. Boniface realize its vision for complete cardiovascular care through patient care, education, research, prevention and rehabilitation programs," said Dr. Alan Menkis, Medical Director, WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program.

"We are grateful to the province and the WRHA for their faith in St. Boniface’s ability to lead this important program," says Dr. Tétreault. "We are also most grateful to the people of Manitoba who so generously demonstrated their support for this dream that will help us care and treat people with heart disease."

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