Press Releases

Monday, November 28, 2016

New HSC heliport to improve patient care

Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg first hospital in Manitoba to offer roof-top heliport

Manitoba's first hospital-based roof-top heliport became officially operational at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg today, improving access to care for critically ill and injured patients being airlifted to HSC.

On hand to mark the official opening were  Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living; Helen Clark, Chief Operating Officer of Emergency Response and Patient Transport with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; Dr. Perry Gray, HSC's Chief Operating Officer; and Betty Lou Rock, Vice President of Operations, Manitoba, for STARS.

"With this site open, it will be easier and faster for Manitobans to get the emergency care they need," said Goertzen. "This partnership between the WRHA, HSC and STARS is a great example of health partners working together to make a real difference for patients, and further strengthens our health-care system."

The heliport sits on the roof of the new, 91,000-square-foot Diagnostic Centre of Excellence (DCE), located between pediatric inpatient units of HSC Children's Hospital and the Ann Thomas Building, which houses critical care services including intensive care units, operating theatres and emergency departments. The DCE will house the province's first dedicated pediatric MRI and a new CT scanner, three new adult angiography suites and a shared adult/pediatric cardiac catheterization lab when it opens later in the new year. It will also consolidate pediatric X-ray, fluoroscopy and ultrasound services.

"HSC is Manitoba's provincial resource for many adult and pediatric emergencies such as trauma, stroke, burns and neurosurgical care," said Dr. Gray. "The ability to land right at HSC, with direct access to our specialists, will improve survival and quality of life for patients."

 "Opening the heliport today is a game-changer in terms of our ability to provide timely access to life-saving care," said Clark. "Previously, helicopter air ambulances landed at the airport and transferred patients by ground ambulance. Removing that extra step will make a huge difference when minutes count."

Test flights were performed last week, so that STARS air medical crews and pilots could familiarize themselves with the new location.  Patient transport can begin immediately.

"Manitobans living and working in rural or remote areas in need of life-saving care will benefit from expedited helicopter air ambulance transport times into and out of the roof-top heliport," said Rock. "STARS is pleased to be a partner in the process."

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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.
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