Press Releases

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

HSC announces upcoming heliport

The Minister of Health joined the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and STARS air ambulance today at a public forum to introduce Winnipeg's first downtown heliport, located at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC). The heliport, scheduled to host its first helicopter landing this spring, will be the latest in a series of capital projects to be completed at HSC, Manitoba's largest trauma centre, and will allow patients with life-threatening health concerns to access the hospital more quickly than they are currently able to.

"Patients being transported by helicopter need to have the fastest possible access to life-saving care," said Sharon Blady, Manitoba's Minister of Health. "This new heliport will make a real difference for patients from across the province who need access to specialized critical care."

HSC will be the first health facility in Manitoba to have a heliport. The 60-by-60-foot rooftop landing pad, located atop the new Diagnostic Centre of Excellence building, will meet an H1 Heliport Standard and accommodate twin-engine helicopters. The heliport will provide direct elevator access to both adult and children's emergency rooms and operating theatres.

"The opening of this heliport will allow patients to access care more quickly at a time when it is most critical," said Helen Clark, Chief Operating Officer of emergency response and patient transportation with the WRHA. "Taking 25 to 30 minutes off of a patient's transport time can significantly improve health outcomes for those patients in life-threatening situations."

"STARS flew 541 emergency responses in Manitoba last year," said Betty-Lou Rock, vice president of Manitoba operations for Shock and Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS). "The new urban heliport will reduce transport times for critical patients by eliminating ground ambulance transfers from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport."

Helicopters will land atop the new Diagnostic Centre of Excellence; a seven-story building under construction and connected to the new HSC Women's Hospital, to HSC Children's Hospital and all critical care services. When it opens later this year, the building will consolidate a variety of sophisticated diagnostic equipment into one location on the HSC campus.

"We're very excited about all of the work being done on our campus which will support the people and communities we proudly serve," said Dana Erickson, Chief Operating Officer of HSC Winnipeg. "The heliport will help us to provide the best possible hospital experience for patients and families." 

The Diagnostic Centre of Excellence will be one of the first buildings to be connected to HSC's new, site-based electrical grid. Recent work with Manitoba Hydro has re-wired the entire HSC campus to be powered by six main distribution points. The new grid (located on the campus itself) contains four levels of safeguards to prevent electrical outages during any civic power outages or natural disasters.

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The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

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