November 4, 2008

State-of-the-Art Cancer Centre Opens at Victoria General Hospital

State-of-the-Art Cancer Centre Opens at Victoria General Hospital

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Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross today officially opened the redeveloped oncology department at the Victoria General Hospital, an expanded, leading-edge facility that will strengthen care for Manitoba families affected by cancer.

"The Buhler Cancer Centre will enhance the delivery of cancer care and provide patients and their families a more comfortable and supportive environment as they go through a very difficult time," Irvin-Ross said.

The $10.5 million centre more than quadruples the size of the previous department, which was located in the hospital's basement and built in 1975.

The new 13,000-square-foot addition, located at the front of the hospital, will address privacy issues and add space for both patients and staff. Patients and staff will experience improved flow and more privacy, less congestion and noise disruption.

"The department has long outgrown its old space," said Jan Currie, WRHA vice-president and chief nursing officer. "This new facility also has some unique new features, including dedicated space and supports for the ‘Look Good, Feel Better' Program, and two isolation rooms for patients with compromised immune systems."

Features of the new centre include:

  • More chemotherapy treatment spaces (an increase from 12 to 16);

  • More exam rooms (an increase from three to six);

  • A resource centre for patients, families and staff;

  • A nourishment room for patients;

  • A minor procedure room; and

  • Space for three full-time oncologists and related nursing and allied health staff.

"The addition of the Buhler Cancer Centre is just one of the ways that the Victoria General Hospital is adapting to meet the changing health care needs of our community," Francis LaBossière, VGH president and COO, said. "We already have an exceptional patient care team and access to all the resources of CancerCare Manitoba. Now, we can offer our patients a more comforting and supportive environment."

Fundraising for the Victoria General Hospital Foundation's $2.6-million share of the project is near completion.

"We are so grateful for the thousands of individuals, businesses, and community groups who support the Vic and have rallied around this project," said Reno Molinari, Chair of the Victoria General Hospital Foundation. "And in particular, we must recognize the contribution of John and Bonnie Buhler. Our new facility, which will be instrumental in enhancing the quality of care for thousands of Manitobans, will proudly carry the Buhler name."

The Victoria General Hospital Foundation is also proceeding with plans for a healing garden that will wrap around the addition.

Apart from enhancing care for patients and families, the new Buhler Cancer Centre is also an environmentally-responsible facility, designed with the goal of earning silver accreditation through the Canada Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED®). Accreditation is based on the sustainability of the building site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Most of the credits toward accreditation will be achieved through stringent indoor air quality levels, reduced water consumption, and the use of "green" building products and energy star rated equipment. Hospital recycling and carpooling programs may also be implemented as part of the LEED accreditation.

The opening of the Buhler Cancer Centre marks the completion of the first phase of the Victoria General Hospital's redevelopment, which includes new offices at the front of the hospital for the Victoria General Hospital Foundation and the construction of a new Emergency Centre, which is expected to begin by the end of the year.

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