New centre for cardiac surgery unveiled

$40.3 million facility offers state-of-the-art patient care

Arlene Wilgosh at opening of Cardiac Centre
Arlene Wilgosh, President & CEO of the Winnipeg Health Region, points to the new patient monitoring system located in one of the patient rooms at the new $40.3 million Cardiac Centre of Excellence at St. Boniface Hospital.
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About the Cardiac Sciences Program

Special Report:
Heart of the Matter

Time is Muscle

Staying Alive

Surgical Precision

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Monday, April 4, 2011

The new centre for cardiac surgery within the Winnipeg Health Region was officially unveiled today, a move that will dramatically enhance the delivery of heart health care in Manitoba.

Located at the St. Boniface Hospital’s I.H. Asper Institute, the $40.3 million Cardiac Centre of Excellence features state-of-the-art equipment, large inpatient rooms with plenty of sunlight, family rooms and numerous other comforts – all designed to support patient recovery.  

“Patients, families and staff will benefit enormously from this new facility,” Premier Greg Selinger told a crowd of more than 200 people attending the opening this morning.

“This new leading-edge, modern Cardiac Centre of Excellence will support our cardiac specialists in providing first-class quality care to Manitobans when they need it, while also providing more space for patient and family privacy, state-of-the-art medical equipment and appropriate space for staff.”

Arlene Wilgosh, President & CEO of the Winnipeg Health Region, said the Cardiac Sciences staff will now have a work environment that matches the high calibre of their skills. “We are very fortunate to have the talented cardiac care team that we do at St. Boniface Hospital,” said Wilgosh. “They now have ample resources and physical space to provide excellent cardiac care to their patients.”

Patients’ families and friends will also benefit from the new space, which features family rooms, complete with ample natural light and comforting colours. “Waiting for news of a loved one who is undergoing critical cardiac surgery is an extremely emotional and difficult experience,” said Wilgosh. “We hope the new family rooms will help friends and relatives cope with the stress and give them hope during a trying time.”

The 46,900 sq. ft. space, which meets Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver Standards, includes:

  • An expanded 33-bed cardiac inpatient unit;
  • A dedicated 15-bed cardiac intensive care unit that includes an isolation/protection bed;
  • More private rooms for patients;
  • Increased private family spaces;
  • Outpatient clinic for pre-surgery visits and post surgery follow-up.

Dr. Alan Menkis, Medical Director of the Region’s Cardiac Sciences Program said the opening of the facility is just the latest of a series of improvements.

“Since 2004 we have doubled the number of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists in Manitoba through the development of the Cardiac Sciences Program and we continue to grow,” said Menkis. “We are hiring more nurses; we have two new cardiologists starting this summer and a third catheterization lab here at St. Boniface Hospital to be operating by fall. We are also working towards replacing the catheterization lab at Health Sciences Centre.”

The new Cardiac Centre of Excellence adds more capacity to meet the need for cardiac care in Manitoba, and will help to ensure Manitobans receive cardiac surgery within the medically recommended benchmark. A recent analysis by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that 99 per cent of patients in Manitoba receive surgery within established benchmarks.

Dr. Michel Tétreault, President & CEO of St. Boniface Hospital, said the new facilities cement St. Boniface Hospital’s position as a centre for cardiac excellence in Manitoba.

“People from across the Manitoba, northwest Ontario, and from northern communities come to St. Boniface Hospital knowing they will receive the best possible care,” said Tétreault. “The quality of their experience will be improved by the brand new facility.”

The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation also played an important role in establishing the new centre. In 2004, the foundation raised $25 million through its HeartCare Campaign for the construction of the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute. Today, the foundation continues to raise funds to support the Cardiac Sciences Program.

“The Asper Institute was constructed using the generous donations of thousands of community supporters. Today’s announcement is possible thanks to the foundation these men and women built in 2004,” said Charles (Chuck) LaFlèche, President & CEO, and St-Boniface Hospital Foundation.

“Continued support from the community allows the Foundation to purchase state of-the-art medical equipment for the Cardiac Sciences Program, which aids them in performing their life saving work.”

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