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Province Announces Opening of Berens River Renal Health Centre

News Release – Manitoba
April 16, 2012

Facility to Provide Quality Care, Services for Berens River First Nation Residents Closer to Home: Oswald

Residents of Berens River First Nation will now have convenient, quality renal care in their community with the official opening of the new Berens River Renal Health Centre, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today, adding the new facility features a treatment unit as well as educational space essential for the prevention and early detection of renal disease.“This new renal centre will offer life-saving treatment in the community, allowing patients to get the help they need in the comfort of familiar surroundings while having their family and friends close by,” Oswald said. “This treatment centre will reduce the need to travel to other communities for this service, helping save patients valuable time and reduce financial burdens.”

The centre, located on the winter-road and fly-in community about 360 kilometres north of Winnipeg, includes a four-station hemodialysis treatment unit as well as the educational space. The new building is approximately 5,000 square feet and is attached to the Chief Jacob Berens Mino-Ayaawin Health Centre.

“The staff and equipment in this new renal health centre will provide a greater level of services closer to home for Berens River residents,” said Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson at the opening today. “The health education component is an essential element in preventing the progression of the disease to renal failure requiring dialysis.”

The approximately $5-million project is a collaborative effort of the province, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Manitoba Renal Program, North Eastman Health Association (NEHA) and Berens River First Nation. The Berens River Renal Health Centre will be operated by NEHA. NEHA has successfully recruited the nursing staff to operate the centre, which is expected to start treating patients before the end of April.

“This centre is a great addition to the health services provided to the people of Berens River,” said Judy Coleman, vice-president, programs and services, North Eastman Health Association. “It is an example of what can be achieved through partnership to better address the health-care needs of Manitobans.”

“We work with the regional health authorities across the province to provide the best care possible for people undergoing dialysis,” said Betty Lou Burke, program director, Manitoba Renal Program WRHA. “Providing treatment centres closer to home helps reduce the impacts of the disease on patients and families.”

“The great news is that this renal health centre will help ensure our people can receive dialysis in their home community and can remain close to their families,” said Berens River First Nation Chief George Kemp. “It is a welcome addition to our health centre.”

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