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Province Partners With Misipawistik Cree Nation, Town of Grand Rapids to Build New Health Centre

News Release – Manitoba
April 7, 2011

Misipawistik Cree Nation — Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced here today the government is planning to build a new, 7,000-square-foot health centre to serve the residents of Grand Rapids and Misipawistik Cree Nation.

“This new health centre will improve both the quality of care and quality of life for residents here,” said Oswald. “We have been working closely with our First Nations partners and with the Town of Grand Rapids to develop a plan for a modern facility tailored to the residents of this community. A health-care centre is most effective when it reflects the needs of the community it serves and this project will do that because it is being planned in consultation with the communities.”A projected cost of over $8 million includes development, construction, medical equipment, furniture and other materials. Out-patient care at the new centre will be provided in three examination rooms and two minor trauma/treatment bays. Designated renal-health space will support local home-dialysis patients and promote self-care and health awareness.

Manitoba Health officials have been working closely with Misipawistik Cree NationChief Ovide Mercredi, Grand Rapids Mayor John Morrisseau and other leaders to determine the needs of the community and how they can best be met, said Oswald.

“The new health centre will bring more health services closer to home for our community,” said Mercredi. “The partnership between Misipawistik First Nation, the Town of Grand Rapids and the provincial government has been essential to moving this important project forward.”

Special consideration is being given to community use of the facility. After-hours use of a multi‑purpose room and community kitchen will provide opportunities for activities such as community meetings, cultural events and healthy living programs. Equipped with Telehealth capability, the space could also be used for educational or network-style activities.

“This is a big step for Grand Rapids, both in terms of health care and chronic disease prevention,” said Morrisseau. “The Town of Grand Rapids is pleased to partner in development of the new health centre, which will bring more services to our area.”

“This new health-care centre demonstrates our commitment to high-quality care throughout Manitoba while also recognizing Aboriginal culture. This project clearly shows the value of working together to address important community issues,” said Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk. “We congratulate our partners and look forward to the opening of this exciting new health facility.”

The new centre is expected to improve the recruitment and retention of staff, reduce any waiting time for assessment and treatment, and encourage residents to seek care and treatment for their illnesses in a timely fashion, said Oswald.

The new health centre builds on recent health investments in the Grand Rapids community including the opening of a new ambulance station in 2008.

The new health centre will replace an aging nursing station. Following planning and design work, construction is expected to begin in 2012 and be completed by 2013.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of Misipawistik First Nation, Town of Grand Rapids and Government of Manitoba.