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Saskatchewan welcomes new hospitals, community health centres in 2019 by Pat RedigeR

This year marked a significant change in health care in Saskatchewan with new hospitals and community health centre openings, active recruitment for health care professionals and strategic investments in mental health and addictions services. “This year saw the opening of key health capital investments that will improve care for many in the province,” said Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter. “Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford celebrated its grand opening in March and, recently, the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital officially opened to provide exceptional care to Saskatchewan children and families.” Reiter added that two community health centres also opened this year. The Gardens in south central Regina and Market Mall in Saskatoon will provide enhanced team-based community services support to residents with multiple conditions who would typically use emergency departments. Working with health care professionals in a clinical setting will support better health outcomes for those receiving care. With the opening of the Saskatche wan Hospital North Battleford and the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, Reiter said that both projects will have significant impacts on patients, their families and the healthcare teams delivering care. “The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is much more than a building,” said Reiter. “The hospital has assisted in recruiting a number of pediatric specialists that can only improve the care available to Saskatchewan children.” The new children’s hospital will staff 72 physicians in 20 pediatric medical and pediatric surgical specialties. To date, almost 60 are already at work in Saskatoon, while the work on recruiting to fill the remaining positions continues with positive results. Si n ce it s op ening in March, the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford is working to serve patients across the province who need longer term psychiatric rehabilitation. The hospital includes 188 psychiatric rehabilitation beds and a separate secure wing with 96 beds for offenders living with mental health issues. “It provides a safe, dignified care setting for some

Providing compassionate, appropriate care takes a team of more than 43,000 professionals all around the province in hospital and care home settings, in clinics and physician offices, in community centres and pharmacies. - Jim ReiteR, Saskatchewan minister of health

of our most vulnerable residents and staff, replacing a facility which was more than 100 years old,” said Reiter. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is striving to make the province an attractive place to work while prioritizing training of Saskatchewan residents who are more likely to make their careers here. The number of licensed physicians in Saskatchewan has seen a 49 per cent increase since 2007, which means close to 900 more doctors in the province. The province is also training more doctors in the province by adding 40 seats to the College of Medicine and doubling the number of medical residency positions to 120. The province has also added 3,800 nurses during the same period. In 2011, Saskatchewan added 280 new training seats for registered nurses (RNs) and four years later doubled the number of training seats for nurse practitioners (NPs) to 40. Since 2008, 56 new seats for registered psychiatric nurses (RPN) have been added, including 16 seats in North Battleford starting this fall. Reiter added that the province is also making efforts to address the concerns of rural and remote locations. “ This government has introduced clini-

Saskatchewan Minister of Health Jim Reiter. S u ppl i e d

cal placement bursaries and grant funding for hardto-recruit positions, and programs like the University of Saskatchewan’s undergraduate nursing ‘learn where you live’ program in La Ronge, Ile-a-la-Crosse, Prince Albert, Yorkton, Regina and Saskatoon see hundreds of nurses gaining experience in centres around the province and in the north. Through this program we are encouraging students to consider careers closer to home or in smaller centres.” Mental health and addictions continue to be a priority and the latest provincial budget contained the largest investment in this area in history at approximately $333 million. Some services that have been implemented this year include 10 additional inpatient treatment beds at Pine Lodge in Indian Head, six additional treatment beds in Calder Centre, strengthened detox supports in La Ronge, up to 12 new full-time staff to more effectively serve children and youth with mental health issues, and 18 new mental health walk-in counselling clinics through Family Services Saskatchewan. The province is also funding an internet-based cognitive behavior therapy program that improves access to this important service across the province. “Every person interacts with the health care system,” said Reiter. “Providing compassionate, appropriate care takes a team of more than 43,000 professionals all around the province in hospital and care home settings, in clinics and physician offices, in community centres and pharmacies. It is a team-based approach that serves all Saskatchewan residents now and into the future, and we remain committed to offering the best supports for both patients and staff moving forward.”

The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon welcomed its first patients on September 29. p oSt media /liam R ichaR dS

This is one of five twin rooms located in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. p oSt media /liam R ichaR dS

The Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford opened in March 2019, serving patients across the province who need longer term psychiatric rehabilitation. p oSt media /mat t Smit h


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Dr. Marcus Wellbear, mascot of the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, welcomes Logan Johnson to the grand opening tour of the new facilities in Saskatoon.

p hot o: p oSt media /liam R ichaR dS

New hospital offers world-class health care for Saskatchewan children by HilaRy Klas sen

On September 29, the first patients were welcomed into the pristine interior of the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH). Situated on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, the much-anticipated facility has claimed prime real estate and a prime position in Canada’s healthcare landscape. Four days before opening, the children’s hospital stood silent and waiting to fulfill its healing mission. All bed linens were tucked in and a few final touches were being applied. Beyond the facility itself, the fulfillment of that mission lies in the hands of a multitude of professionals. The 176-bed hospital will serve the province with 72 specialized pediatric physicians plus additional generalized pediatricians for a total of about 122 pediatric physicians working in over 20 areas of specialization. The facility is the result of a deeply consultative process and a vision that has

The healing environment at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is spectacular. The lighting is very soft and it’s designed to be a safe, soft holistic healing environment. - coRey milleR, Sha Vice -p resident of provincial programs

been nurtured for well over a decade. “It’s a spectacular building,” said Scott Livingstone, CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

Supported by Garth Brooks and the Teammates for Kids Foundation, the Child Life Zone at Saskatchewan’s new children’s hospital is a state-of-the-art therapeutic play area that includes an ambulance simulator, art area, video games and a kitchen. hilaRy KlaS Sen

“There’s nothing like having a purpose-built facility where you have patients and families and moms that were

Registered nurses On the Frontlines of

H E A LT H C A R E SUN promotes safe patient care by ensuring its members are always supported in their workplaces, so they can be a voice for their patients when they cannot speak for themselves. LEARN MORE WATCH:


at the table from day one helping with the little details that make it much more patient-friendly.”

Community consultation reached into provincial school systems to uncover nature-themed details like

what animal images appear on the walls and the colour and shapes of rooms. “The fact that it’s that customized to the people of Saskatchewan is incredible,” Livingstone said. An indoor playground, a theatre, a unique Child Life Zone and a classroom will help kids feel at home. Enhancing patient experience was at the core of design philosophy. Each of the 65 rooms in the Maternal Care Centre is private, equipped with a pull-out couch and offers expansive river views. Moms stay in the same room for the total experience, from antepartum to postpartum care. One of the biggest changes in models of care is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) says Corey Miller, vice-president of Provincial Programs for the SHA. Miller has served as project sponsor for the past couple of years and chaired the steering committee. The former NICU in the Royal University Hospital (RUH) housed a dozen bassinets in each of S e e C H I L D R E N o n B7


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C H I L D R E N F r o m B6

three pods, in an area about the size of a tennis court. A nurse could touch four bassinets without moving her feet, Miller says. “In the new model, each of those bassinets is in an individual room. Each one of those rooms has a family space with a pull-out couch.” Some double rooms are set up for twins or even triplets. Separate rooms for each bassinet allow for individual family experiences. In the former setup, one family might be in the NICU for just two or three days for brief oversight of their baby, while another family may be in the end stages of losing their baby. “One family is celebrating life and another family is grieving life and they’re 12 feet apart,” says Miller. Now, families can have their own experience. Enhancements to patient experience continue throughout the building. “There is space for families to stay in every individual room,” says Miller. There are sleep spaces, designated family spaces, nourishment rooms, a generous quiet area, and a teen lounge that is to be completed in November. A new “Child Life Zone” is the first of its kind in C a n a d a . In t h i s 2 , 8 0 0 square foot play area provided through the Garth Brooks and Teammates for Kids Foundation, there’s a kitchen, a music room, video-gaming, a play ambulance and a ‘pretend’ MRI. “There are 13 of these across North America and we’re lucky enough to have one of them,” Miller says. Here, young patients are free to play, laugh, learn and relax. Certain treatments that previously took place outside the province will now be available in Saskatchewan. Beginning next spring, renal dialysis for children will be available. Historically, families tended to move out-of-province to maintain thrice-weekly dialysis. Now they won’t have to. Sleep

Designed as a patient and family-centre facility, the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon brings many new technologies and considerable patient enhancements discerned through in-depth community consultation to health care in Saskatchewan. p hot o: p oSt media /liam R ichaR dS

A theatre located on the hospital’s main floor will provide a welcoming place for patients and their families to watch movies and relax. ph oto: h i l aRy Kl aS S e n

Young patients at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital can keep up with their studies in the bright and inviting school room. p hot o: p oSt media /liam R ichaR dS

In the Pediatric Occupational Therapy room, children can work towards their therapeutic goals alongside their family. ph oto: poS tm e d i a / l i am Ri ch aRd S

labs for children will also be available inside the province for the first time. A new feature borrowed from a tour through Seattle Children’s Hospital is integrated induction rooms. These rooms help reduce anxiety for kids going into surgery. The family can remain with the child while

anesthesia is administered before surgery, in a room just outside the OR, Miller says. Then a door slides open and the child goes off to surgery. It’s a calmer approach both for the patient and the parents. New technology in the form of an EOS imaging machine does spinal imag-

J i m pat t i S o n c h i l d R e n ’ S h o S p i t a l 1 2 y e a R S in the maKing TIMELINE: • 2007: Province & Health Region announce Royal University Hospital (RUH) as chosen site • 2009: $200M funding provided by province • 2010-2012: RUH Site Validation, Schematic Design • 2011-2014: Early Works RUH site preparation, 3P Lean events, Detailed Design

• 2014: Province invests additional $20M with 24 beds added; Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) groundbreaking; integrated operational planning commences • 2015: Main Building Tender and Award • 2014-2017: Construction, operational readiness, IT/eHealth projects, operating budget • 2017-2018: Transition planning • Fall 2019: JPCH opens

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ing on patients with scoliosis or cerebral palsy. It spins around and produces a 3-D

spinal image in about one second. “This is a tool that our orthopedic surgeons have been asking about for years,” says Miller. Trauma patients entering Adult Emergency, now located in the JPCH, often need imaging work done. Previously a CT scan meant hallway and elevator rides on a stretcher. “Today, our medical imaging equipment is literally right across the hall from the trauma team in ER,” says Livingstone. Other enhancements include a child-minding space near the main entrance where children can be cared for while parents take a sibling to an appointment. This

feature is provided by the JPCH Foundation. While acknowledging that JPCH is certainly the nicest facility the SHA has in Saskatchewan, Livingstone is quick to acknowledge that the care provided by RUH for 65 years “has always been great.” And while you can call a facility ‘world class’, Miller says it’s really vision and operational strategies that make a facility world class. It will require continual improvement, ongoing research and development and bringing in the right people. “That’s going to be an ongoing challenge for the decades ahead of us.”

Hats off to the health-care teams who work tirelessly together to supportthehealthandwell-being of our Saskatchewan community.

from the physicians of Saskatchewan

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regina Leader-POsT


HealtHCare providers week Walk-in clinics improve access to mental health services

by eliZabetH iReland

In August of this year, the Saskatchewan government announced that walk-in mental health counselling services are expanding to numerous communities across the province, delivered for free by Family Service Saskatchewan (FSSask) member agencies. Walk-in counselling services were piloted by FSSask in communities including Melfort, Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton before the program unrolled more widely. The Saskatchewan government has made a $1.2 million investment in this mental health initiative. In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), single session therapy services are now expanding to a total of 23 communities. Trish St. Onge is the executive director of CFS Saskatoon. Founded more than 75 years ago, CFS Saskatoon delivers community support by providing timely programs and services to individuals, couples and families. St. Onge is also president of FSSask, which is a memberdriven organization that includes family service agencies across the province. FSSask collectively serves more than 30,000 Saskatchewan residents each year. In terms of who is using the walk-in mental health counselling services, St. Onge describes individuals “with a variety of presenting problems.” She says the majority of clients seen so far are experiencing depression, anxiety or high levels of stress. Clients are typically seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in counselling services are provided by psychologists and social workers who cannot prescribe medication. St. Onge explains that the service is important because “there are a lot of distressed people and this makes mental health care access very available. This is a well-

Counselling services are free, immediate and solution-based. Walk-in clients do not need to have a health card (or any government-issued identification) in order to be seen.

Kirk Englot, chief operating officer of Family Service Regina, says that over 500 individuals accessed walk-in counselling services in the first three months of the program. S u p p l i e d ph oto

There are a lot of distressed people and this makes mental health care access very available. This is a wellknown model of intervention and the program’s uptake in Saskatchewan has been very positive in the first quarter. - t R i S h S t. o n g e , e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r, cFS Saskatoon

known model of intervention and the program’s uptake in Saskatchewan has been very positive in the first quarter.” Counselling services are

Walk-in mental health counselling services are now being provided in 23 communities across Saskatchewan, as part of the Saskatchewan government’s new mental health initiative. Counselling services are free, immediate and solution-based. S up p lied p hot o

free, immediate and solutionbased. Walk-in clients do not need to have a health card (or any government-issued identification) in order to be seen. Presenting identification is viewed as a potential barrier to service for some individuals. Most importantly, clients don’t have to wait weeks for a first appointment and can receive help immediately in a community close to where they live. Some examples of walkin clinic locations include libraries, churches, food banks and community health centres. Project lead Kirk Englot is the chief operating officer of Family Service Regina. With a master’s degree in social work, Englot began with the organization as a counsellor in 2006. Around since the 1930s, Family Service Regina supports individuals and families who are currently in distress or at-risk. Administration and support of the province-wide mental health walk-

in clinic program is based out of Family Service Regina. Englot describes FSSask’s partnership with the SHA as “positive and collaborative.” According to Englot, the program served over 500 people during its first quarter. “We hit the ground running. We’ve observed that clients are predominantly coming with a significant level of distress. This further reinforces that this type of accessible and immediate counselling services is necessary,” says Englot. Although three months is not long enough to fully establish a trend, St. Onge and Englot have both observed a higher number of men accessing the walk-in clinics than traditional mental health services. They also observed a diverse span of life stages among clients. Englot points out that the individuals the walk-in clinics are serving tend to be lower income (or unemployed) and without a workplace benefits system to rely on. For this

reason, the program is “filling in a gap.” What happens when a client presents mental health needs beyond the services of a walk-in clinic? “In that case, we explore entry points into the provincial health care system or reinforce existing access that the individual might already have, such as a psychiatrist,” explains Englot. Mental health walk-in clinic locations can be found through 211 Saskatchewan. Available by telephone, text or web chat, 211 Saskatchewan is a confidential, 24/7 service that connects individuals to social and government services in the province. The following communities offer walk-in mental health services: Battleford, Estevan, Humboldt, Indian Head, Kamsack, Kelvington, Melfort, Nipawin, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Southey, Swift Current, Tisdale, Weyburn, Wynyard and Yorkton. For more information, contact one of these organizations: 211 Saskatchewan: CFS Saskatoon: cfssaskatoon. Family Service Regina:

Accessing health records is now easier imaging reports and clinical visit history, including hospital admissions. Residents will also be able to add their own personal information to track and generate reports; set medication and appointment reminders; and upload information from health devices such as wearable activity trackers. “Congratulations to Saskatchewan for taking this big step to give residents online access to their personal health information,” Canada Health Infoway president and CEO Michael Green said. “Patients and the health system will see significant benefits from things like fewer unAfter registering for a “MySaskHealthRecord” account at, Saskatchewan residents can easily and quickly access their personal health information.

katchewan, TELUS Health and collaboration with our health system partners. “Everyone involved in this project shares a common goal – improving patient care. We’re proud of the role we played in creating an innovative and beneficial program that truly puts patients first.” MySaskHealthRecord is open to

Saskatchewan residents who are 18 years of age and older. To register, residents will need a valid Saskatchewan health card, plus a Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) driver’s licence or SGI photo ID card. Residents who register will have quick and easy access to their personal health information, including laboratory test results, medical


Respected, Responsible, Competent Oral Health Professionals Ph: 306-252-2769 Fax: 306-252-2089 Email:

Intensive Recovery, Discovery & Healing for those with disordered eating. Program costs are covered with a valid Saskatchewan Health Card. (306) 935-2240 Email:

Helping Build Brighter Futures

Saskatchewan residents can now look at their laboratory test results and other health records online anywhere, anytime. On October 8, Rural and Remote Health Minister Warren Kaeding launched MySaskHealthRecord – a secure website that gives eligible Saskatchewan residents quick and easy access to their personal health information. “This is a game changer, giving patients the information they need to play an active role in their health care,” Kaeding said. “Some provinces that offer similar programs have delays built in so that people have to wait to see their own personal health information, and some provinces only provide limited lab results or require people to have a family physician in order to sign up. “ S a s k at c h e w a n i s l e a d i n g the nation with the rollout of MySaskHealthRecord. Our program gives people access to their lab results, plus other important health information, as soon as it’s available.” Jim Hornell, CEO of eHealth Saskatchewan, said, “Today’s announcement is the result of years of work and testing by eHealth Sas-

necessary phone calls and less time taken off work for routine medical appointments. More importantly, greater access to information empowers patients to be more active participants in their care, and that can result in better health outcomes.” All personal health information in MySaskHealthRecord is safe and private. Residents who sign up will only be able to access their accounts through a highly secure, personalized login. To register for a MySaskHealthRecord account, go to

Practical Nursing Program Since 1999, DTI has trained over 320 Métis Practical Nurses, and today is Saskatchewan’s second-largest Practical Nursing training provider. 1.877.488.6888


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Saskatchewan dental hygienist elected national association president The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) is pleased to announce the installation of its new president, Leanne Huvenaars, at its recent national conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Huvenaars is from Tisdale, Saskatchewan and joins president-elect Tiffany Ludwicki (Newfoundland and Labrador), past president Tracy Bowser (Prince Edward Island), and directors Rae McFarlane (British Columbia), Alexandra Sheppard (Alberta), Kathy Yerex (Manitoba), Beth Ryerse (Ontario), Francine Trudeau (Quebec), Wendy Stewart (Nova Scotia),

Leanne Huvenaars, a dental hygienist in private practice in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, has been elected national president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. S u p p l i e d ph oto

Anne Marie Caissie (New Brunswick), Lana Clow (Prince Edward Island), and Natasha Burian (North) on CDHA’s board of directors for 2019-2020. Huvenaars received a certificate in dental assisting in 1995 and obtained her diploma in dental hygiene in 2004. She worked in private practice for many years and now co-owns a n i n d e p e n d e n t p ra c t i c e i n Tisdale, which has allowed her to build relationships with two First Nations communities, the public, pharmacists, doctors, a nurse practitioner, Saskatchewan Polytech, and the University of Saskatchewan College of Den-

tistry. “Collaboration among health professionals and government is necessary to help our clients achieve the goal of optimal overall health,” says Huvenaars. As president of CDHA, Huvenaars looks for ward to connecting with dental hygienists across Canada and developing a stronger understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the profession. She says, “This linkage with the membership is key to recognizing our successes and identifying innovative ways of moving the profession forward for the benefit of all Canadians.”

CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 29,549 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 20,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit

Tips to avoid medication errors The American Academy of Family Physicians says that, each week, four out of five adults in the United States will use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and/or various supplements. Approximately one-third of adults take five or more medications at the same time. The potential for adverse drug events is elevated when people are taking multiple medications at one time. For example, mixing pills has the potential to cause serious injury or even death. Doctors, patients and pharmacies must work together to ensure that medication is taken safely. One of the best ways to prevent errors with medications is for patients to take an active role in their health care management. • Know your dose. Children are at an especially high risk for medication errors because they require different doses than adults, offers the Mayo Clinic. Adults of different weights

Share a current list of your medications with all the physicians who are treating you to avoid harmful interactions. Using the same pharmacy for all prescriptions is also helpful.phot o: met Ro

who share medications can run into trouble as well. It is key to follow the dosing instructions, as even a minor error in regard to dosage can potentially cause a big problem.

• Follow up with your doctor. Certain medications can cause side effects that only can be noticed by lab testing, such as an impact to the liver. Doctors also may be under an obliga-

tion to follow up with patients taking psychological drugs to ensure the efficacy of treatment. Make sure you keep all follow-up appointments. • Maintain a current list of meds.

It is up to patients to share information with prescribing doctors regarding any and all products being taken to avoid harmful interactions. Using the same pharmacy for all prescriptions also is helpful. • Be honest about height and weight. Medication labeling and package inserts typically use metric units to correlate dose to a person’s physical attributes. Individuals should know their information in metric measurements and be honest with themselves about what they weigh. • Use medications correctly. It is important not to chew non-chewable pills or cut pills unless the pharmacist or doctor has said it is safe to do so. Accurate dosing also requires using the right spoon or syringe, not silverware. Store certain types of medications, such as eye drops and ear drops, separately so they’re not mistaken for one another. (Metro)


Be fair to those who care. End understaffing.

SEIU-West invites you to celebrate every person on the health care team. All members of the team bring value and skill to keeping our public health care system running. SUP P LIED

As we celebrate Health Care Providers Week, let’s take the opportunity to pause and think about the incredible amount of work that health care providers do every day across a myriad of classifications for their patients, clients and residents. This dedicated and caring team of professionals includes technologists with specialized skills to frontline nursing staff who provide direct hands-on care and technical expertise; administrative professionals who manage scheduling, billing, and the ‘behind the scenes’ ebb and flow of work; our environmental services workers who provide a clean, safe and healthy place for our patients, clients, and residents to recover; our food and dietary services staff who ensure proper nutrition; our medical device reprocessing staff who ensure equipment

and tools are sterilized; our facility and trades people who manage the infrastructure needs and challenges of our new and aging buildings; and our security officers who keep a watchful eye to ensure everyone in and around the buildings are safe. They all play a vital role in the provision of health care services. SEIU-West invites you to celebrate every person on the health care team. All members of the team bring value and skill to keeping our public health care system running. This is truly the crown jewel of our provincial public service system as it reaches into so many aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, our system has been understaffed for far too long. This chronic understaffing has led to people not choosing health care as a ca-

reer because of the stagnant wages, which leaves those left in the system to do more with less people – putting them at risk both physically and emotionally. We are encouraged by the commitment to build new facilities. However, we need people to provide the services that are being offered from these new buildings. You deserve quality public health care services. We are calling on you, members of the public, to help protect your public health care system and the people who provide the services by telling the government to put care first – end understaffing. Send your letter of support today; visit Please join SEIU-West in celebrating health care providers and the incredible skill and dedication they bring to work every day.


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Health Care Providers Week 2019_LP  

Health Care Providers Week 2019_LP