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April 4, 2011

Premier officially opens new cardiac sciences building in I.H. Asper Institute

$40.3 Million state-of-the-art facility to start receiving patients later this month

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and Health Minister Theresa Oswald today officially opened the new cardiac sciences surgical services at St. Boniface Hospital's I.H. Asper Institute.

"Patients, families and staff will benefit enormously from this new facility," said Premier Selinger. "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 newly renovated 41,000 square foot 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; and
  • Outpatient clinic for pre-surgery visits and post surgery follow-up.

Dr. Alan Menkis, Medical Director of the regional Cardiac Sciences Program said the opening of the facility is just the latest of a series of improvements implemented since the Koshal Report.

"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 Dr. 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% 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 the Province of 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 Dr. Tétreault. "The quality of their experience will be improved by the brand new facility."

In 2004, St-Boniface Hospital Foundation raised an additional $25 million for the construction of the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute through its HeartCare Campaign. 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 stateof- the-art medical equipment for the Cardiac Sciences Program, which aids them in performing their life saving work."

Public tours of the new facility will take place immediately after the completion of the media event.

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