Press Releases

Monday, May 1, 2017

Heliport at HSC Winnipeg to welcome Ornge Air Ambulance

Starting today, the helipad at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC) will be able to accept incoming air ambulance transfers from Ornge Air Ambulance services from Ontario. Ornge coordinates all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system.

"Welcoming patients through Ornge air ambulance service will further improve health outcomes for patients coming to us from Northwestern Ontario," said Helen Clark, chief operating officer of emergency response and patient transport for the WRHA. "We are excited to be able to offer direct access to our largest acute care site to patients who may otherwise have to land at the Winnipeg international airport."

Having worked with STARS, Manitoba's local air ambulance service, since the beginning of 2017, staff at HSC Winnipeg are well versed in working with air ambulance providers and feel well positioned to receive flights from a second helicopter service.

"We are pleased to begin our partnership with Ornge at HSC Winnipeg," said Craig Doerksen, helipad manager at HSC Winnipeg. "Our experience with STARS over this past year has been collaborative and successful and we are excited to be able to improve patient outcomes for our patients coming in from northwest Ontario through our relationship with Ornge."

"The opening of the HSC helipad to Ornge helicopters will have a significant, positive impact on patients from Ontario, which may include visitors from Manitoba, who are transported into Winnipeg," said Anthony Sharp, base manager for Ornge in Kenora. "Landing directly at HSC will significantly reduce the length of a patients' journey from Northwestern Ontario to Winnipeg. This reduction in transport could significantly impact health outcomes for a critically ill patient and their family."

The helipad atop HSC Winnipeg recently completed the 100th landing with STARS and is well positioned to take on the additional carrier.

"We are very happy to be sharing access to this life-saving heliport," said Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) Winnipeg Base Director Grant Therrien. "STARS and Ornge will work in partnership to safely coordinate the rapid transport of patients to the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg."

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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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