Press Releases

Monday, June 13, 2011

Province of Manitoba announces $2 million for cardiac CT scanner at St. Boniface Hospital

St. Boniface Hospital Foundation announces an additional $2 million in donor funds

Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald today announced $2 million in provincial funding for the purchase and installation of a cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scanner at St. Boniface Hospital. St. Boniface Hospital Foundation announced an additional $2 million in donor funds for the completion of the $4 million project which will reduce wait times and improve cardiac care in the Province of Manitoba.

"This partnership with the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation to invest in a new cardiac CT scanner will bring even better and faster care for Manitobans," said Oswald. "The new scanner will offer more precision and support more compassionate care for cardiac patients, and that is the best reason to invest."

WRHA Chief Operating Officer Réal Cloutier noted that St. Boniface Hospital, which is home to the Winnipeg Health Region’s Cardiac Sciences Program, has become the centre of cardiac excellence in Manitoba. “This dedicated cardiac CT scanner has a long list of clinical and research applications that will further improve cardiac services,” he said.

Dr. Alan Menkis, Medical Director of the WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program said the new scanner will be the first in Manitoba with the ability to take detailed digitized images of blockages in coronary arteries.

“This new technology will allow cardiologists to accommodate the increasing demand for emergency CT scans. It will allow some patients to have a less invasive procedure who would otherwise need heart catheterization,” said Dr. Menkis. “Fifteen invasive catheter angiograms are performed at St. Boniface Hospital each day. Those procedures require at least three hours to perform. A cardiac CT can be done in less than one hour.”

St. Boniface Hospital Foundation began fundraising for the cardiac CT scanner in 2008. A number of donors, community leaders and organizations supported the initiative, including Russ and Edna Edwards, Westman Group of Companies, who made an incredible $1 million donation to the project.

“The Corporate policy of The Westman Group of Companies is to give back to the communities where we do business, and have our factories. It has always been my philosophy that you get back more than you give, in good will with your neighbours, and your employees,” said Mr. Edwards. “We mainly dedicate our contributions to medical research, as we feel, by coming up with new techniques, this will result in newer and better cures for many ailments and diseases. New cures for MS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart and stroke are very important to us all, and we must as a community, support research.”

“I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who supported this campaign. In particular, I would like to recognize the incredibly generous Edwards’ family, whose $1 million donation truly made completion of this project possible,” said Albert El Tassi, St- Boniface Hospital Foundation Cardiac CT Scanner Campaign Chair.

“Today’s announcement would not be possible had it not been for Mr. El Tassi’s tireless campaigning generous commitment of both his time and personal donation to this project as well as the support of our donors. It is important I also recognize Premier Greg Selinger for his commitment to matching our fundraising efforts, as well as his commitment to support the ongoing operation of this equipment,” said Charles (Chuck) LaFlèche, CMA, FCMA, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. “The dedicated cardiac CT scanner will have a significant impact on patient care and research in Manitoba.”

In addition to the important role the new cardiac CT scanner will play in patient care, it will also play a critical role in medical research. Winnipeg Health Region’s Cardiac Sciences Program includes a multidisciplinary cardiac imaging research team. This group has conducted extensive research in the fields of echocardiography and cardiac MRI. The new CT scanner will expand research opportunities in this area, improving the future diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heart disease.

“On behalf of St. Boniface Hospital, I would like to once again thank the donors, the Province of Manitoba and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority for this much needed support,” said Dr. Michel Tétreault, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital. “This new technology will allow us to continue to lead the way in improved patient care and cardiac services.”

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