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May 7th is International Harm Reduction Day!  

Harm Reduction can be defined as “policies, programs and practices that seek to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive substances. Harm reduction is pragmatic and focuses on keeping people safe and minimizing death, disease and injury associated with higher risk behavior while recognizing that the behavior may continue despite the risks.” Government of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Some everyday examples of harm reduction are needle exchange programs, wearing sunscreen, access to barrier-free, safer substance use supplies (smoking and injection supplies), safer sex supplies, wearing a seat belt, wearing a helmet while riding a bike and carrying naloxone. 

Kris Lelond, Brandon PMH Peer

This year, for National Harm Reduction Day 2024, we are highlighting our Brandon PMH peer, Kris Lelond.  Kris has been a peer volunteer with PMH for several months and the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (MHRN), Brandon chapter for 3.5 years. In both roles, Kris advocates and educates for and about harm reduction programming and services in Brandon.  He participates in the 24-hour harm reduction lock box program at 7th Street Health Access Centre. He also partners with 7th Street outreach workers to offer harm reduction outreach services and assist with peer-informed programming.  In addition to his work at 7th Street, he supports our Regional Harm Reduction Coordinator by co-facilitating harm reduction workshops and assisting with community outreach events.  Kris’s expertise has influenced our programs for the betterment of our community and the populations we serve by pushing and advocating for systemic change.   

Our chat with Kris

Can you please tell me about yourself? 

I am a well-rounded and educated person.  I have had the fortunate opportunity to experience a very diverse life, going from having lots of money to being absolutely broke and on the streets.  I have had diverse jobs and have worked in everything from construction to culinary, oil rigs, ski hill, carpentry, farm hand, harm reduction within the health field, to opening businesses in the city.  My father passed away from suicide when I was four years old.  I had to learn how to be a dad without a dad and not have that consistent role model in my life.  But I think how much my dad loved me in the time I spent with him has helped shape my morals and values regarding how to be a dad and husband.  My ultimate goal in life is to clear up my debt and build my credit so that I can eventually own my own home again.  Also, to get set up in the career that I love and, get married one last time to the right person and have a few more kids.   

What does harm reduction mean to you?  

Harm reduction means anything you do that ultimately improves your opportunity to have a safe and healthy life regardless of drug use or not.   

Why did you get into this line of work?   

Because I have lived this life for over half of my life, and I have always wanted the opportunity to give back.  What I learned through my living situation is that I can make society better and make a difference.   

What are some of the successes you have seen in the work you do for PMH or MHRN? 

In my past careers, I have worked in some of the best kitchens and restaurants; in fact, a few of them hold record awards for perfection in the products being put out.  Any project that I have been part of, I think has been somewhat successful.  I have seen people start to practice my teachings of safer utilization of substance use equipment.  I have heard feedback that the trial projects I have been a part of have also been successful, such as the lockbox project at 7th Street. The harm reduction projects I have helped with have become a staple and a resource in our community.   

What are some of the challenges you face when doing this work?   

The limitations of the work we are able to do: we could be doing more to be more progressive.  There should be full-time harm reduction jobs for us to do this kind of work to sustain ourselves and contribute to our economy.   

If there is one message you would like to get out to the people reading this article, what would it be?   

It only takes one person and person alone to incorporate change that can impact the world.  Change definitely impacts the people around us.  It can extend to other places and possibly throughout the world.   

In recognition of National Harm Reduction Day, the following events will be taking place: 

  • Brandon, May 7th, 1 pm – 2 pm, Princess Park with food and supply distribution  
  • Dauphin, May 7th from 1-3, Parkview Lodge – testing/wellness event including Soup and Bannock  
  • Swan River, May 15th, WSFN Community Hall – Syphilis & Congenital Syphilis Education, STBBI Testing, Naloxone Training.

      Visit our harm reduction webpage for more information on services available within our region.

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      Palliative Care Is For You!

      The first full week of May marks National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada (May 5-11, 2024).  The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is the national leader in pursuing quality hospice palliative care in Canada through supporting public policy initiatives, education, knowledge translation awareness and collaboration. The Prairie Mountain Health Palliative Care Team is joining the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this year’s theme, “Palliative Care Is For You!”

      advertising image. palliative care is for you. National hospice palliative care week, May 5th to 11th.

      We all deserve to know how palliative care can help when a life-limiting illness touches our lives. Like a lighthouse in a storm, the Prairie Mountain Health Palliative Care Program guides clients and their families through the uncertainties of a life-limiting illness with warmth, support and stability. The Palliative Care Program coordinates the resources needed to support physical care, emotional needs, pain and symptom management, spiritual care, cultural needs, end-of-life planning and bereavement.  A palliative care approach illuminates the path forward to help clients live their lives fully through every stage of a life-limiting illness, including death.

      Every client and family deserves the best quality of care and support we can offer. The Palliative Care team works closely with many members of the interdisciplinary team, including the client, their family, healthcare facility staff, home care, pharmacists, physicians, other allied health professionals, community organizations and specially trained palliative care volunteers.  By working together, Palliative Care helps to approach the end of life with dignity, comfort, care and support. To learn more about the program, visit

      At some point, in some way, end of life touches us all. Palliative Care helps make the transition through the stages of a life-limiting illness both manageable and meaningful for the person facing death and their family members and friends. Join us this National Hospice Palliative Care Week to raise awareness and foster communities that value the incredible support palliative care can offer. 

      Picture of Palliative Care Nurse Melissa Peters

      Melissa Peters, Palliative Care Coordinator
       [email protected]

      Brandon Coverage

      Picture of Palliative Care Nurse Charla Murray

      Charla Murray, Clinical Resource Nurse
       [email protected]

      West Coverage
      Birtle, Boissevain, Deloraine, Elkhorn, Hamiota, Hartney, Melita, Reston, Rossburn, Russell, Shoal Lake, Souris, Virden

      Picture of Palliative Care Nurse Amanda Matheson

      Amanda Matheson, Clinical Resource Nurse
       [email protected]

      East Coverage
      Baldur, Carberry, Cartwright, Erickson, Glenboro Killarney, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Rivers, Sandy Lake, Treherne, Wawanesa

      Picture of Palliative Care Nurse Jenna Zurba

      Jenna Zurba, Clinical Resource Nurse
       [email protected]

      North Coverage
      Alonsa, Benito, Camperville, Crane River, Dauphin, Duck Bay, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Mafeking, McCreary, Roblin, Ste. Rose Du Lac, Swan River, Winnipegosis, Waterhen

      Picture of volunteer and bereavement coordinator Carla Mitchell

      Carla Mitchell
       [email protected]

      Volunteer & Bereavement Coordinator
      All areas

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      Mental Health Week May 6-12, 2024

      Canadian Mental Health Association recognizes May 6 to 12th, 2024, as Mental Health Week. We all can be compassionate and know that doing so can make an enormous difference. This year’s Mental Health Week is centred on the healing power of compassion. In a world plagued by suffering, we emphasize that kindness is equally intrinsic to our humanity. Compassion goes beyond acknowledging pain; it’s about embracing our shared humanity and actively caring for ourselves and those around us. Unlike empathy, compassion is more than understanding – it’s rooted in action, a resounding call to practice kindness.

      The Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention Committee will be promoting amazing Mental Health Week activities planned by partner organizations in several ways:

      • A regional campaign to schools was created and shared broadly with the invitation to participate in Mindful Moments. These brief messages and information with option exercises or quotes can be shared in a classroom setting, general assembly, or morning announcements. Though they only take a few minutes, they can foster a greater understanding of personal mental health and compassion.  
      • Creative Reflections, a Mental Wellness Suicide Prevention project, was created to work on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and illness by creating an invitation for individuals to share their stories. We put forward an expression of interest form in 2023 and are now beginning to work with interested artisans to gather their pieces. This project was open to all: artwork, sculptures, photography, poetry, music, and short stories, all eligible to be part of the Creative Expressions Exhibit in the Fall. Stay tuned for more details to come!
        • As part of this project, we offer two in-person creation workshops during Mental Health Week. One will take place in Dauphin on May 6 and the other in Ste. Rose on May 8. Individuals will be introduced to the idea of expressing themselves via art and invited to engage in creating their self-portraits in a creative way. Engaging in art activities has been shown to reduce stress, lower anxiety levels, and improve mood.
      • The Dauphin HERO club will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year! A celebration event is planned during Mental Health Week on Wednesday, May 8, from
        11 am to 2 pm. Born out of a desire for a healthy community for people recovering from mental health struggles, the HERO club – which stands for Helping Everyone Reach Out – has demonstrated how empathy and compassion can create a healthy and safe space where people can flourish.
      • Keep an eye out for posters from The Canadian Mental Health Association. Titled “A Call to be Kind,” these posters present the challenge to connect with others through compassion and will direct you to CMHA Manitoba’s website for further resources and information. CMHA will also hold a free online presentation on “Radical Acceptance and Self-Compassion” at noon on Friday, May 10. E-mail [email protected] to receive the Zoom link for this presentation.

      Whether it’s lending a listening ear, offering a helping hand, or simply being there for someone in need, every act of kindness matters. In a world where kindness sometimes takes a backseat to busyness, it’s important to remember the impact that even small acts of kindness can have. By spreading kindness, we make a positive difference in the lives of others and also nourish our souls.

      As we celebrate Mental Health Week, honour the HERO club’s legacy, and anticipate the Creative Reflections exhibit, let’s recommit ourselves to spreading kindness wherever we go. Together, let’s create a world where compassion and creativity flourish and everyone feels valued and supported on their journey toward healing and wholeness.

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      Are you ready to quit tobacco?

      May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, a day set aside to remind the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what is being done to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.  See

      Did you know a Healthcare Provider from Prairie Mountain Health can help support your tobacco quit journey and provide redeemable funds toward Nicotine Replacement Therapy products? The Tobacco Quit Card and Counselling Program provides counselling sessions and redeemable Quit Cards in the amount of $300 for nicotine patches and aids to eligible patients across Prairie Mountain Health.  Even if you are not eligible for the Quit Card, you can still receive individual counselling sessions.

      What is offered in the Tobacco Quit Card and Counselling Program?

      • Counselling sessions with a health professional on how to stop tobacco use or vaping.  3 sessions are guaranteed (initial, 1 month & 6 months) and more can be provided if needed.
      • A Quit Card redeemable at any Manitoba pharmacy to help toward the cost nicotine replacement medication.

      Who can participate?

      • Manitobans without insurance to cover nicotine replacement products (nicotine patches, gum and other aids) or who find it difficult to afford these medications.
      • Manitobans ready to quit or reduce smoking or vaping within 30 days.

      Call 1-877-509-7852 to book you appointment today

      Other tobacco cessation programs available to Prairie Mountain Health residents:

      Quit Smoking with your Manitoba Pharmacist Program: Participating Manitoba pharmacies provide $100 and up to nine counselling sessions for Manitobans wanting to quit. Medications covered include nicotine patches, aids and oral medications. Ask your pharmacy if the program is available through them!

      Commit to Quit Program (C2Q) is a five-session program offered live online to all Manitobans. This series is for anyone who would like to reduce or stop their tobacco or nicotine use. Learn about your triggers, setting realistic goals, how to start reducing, behavioural strategies that work and find out about quit medications. See or call 1-877-979-9355.

      Packing It In is a one-class overview of the steps to quit smoking. It’s a helpful introduction if you are interested in the longer Commit to Quit Program. A recorded version is available at

      The Last Drag is a Winnipeg 2SLGBTQ+ Facebook peer support group to help you quit smoking.

      Talk Tobacco is an Indigenous Quit Smoking and Vaping resource providing free, confidential help line and online support. Now also offering text support. Visit their Facebook page or call 1-833-998-TALK (8255).

      Smokers’ Helpline is a free, confidential help line and online support. Now also offering text support to get you smoke-free for good. For more information visit their call 1-877-513-5333.

      Nurse Practitioner (NP): some NPs in PMH can provide quit smoking counselling and NRT products (patches/gum). Contact your local clinic to see if this service is available in your area.

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      PMH recognizes National Volunteer Week | April 14-20, 2024

      Written March 27, 2024

      National Volunteer Week is celebrated this year from April 14-20, 2024. Volunteers undoubtedly make a difference in the health and well-being of the residents, patients, and clients that we serve within the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region. Over the last year, our healthcare volunteers have put in a collective total of over 37,000 hours!

      “PMH sincerely values contributions made by our communities and stakeholders to our healthcare system,” says PMH Board of Directors Chair Lon Cullen. “Volunteers and volunteer organizations continue to play a significant role with our PMH team in supporting our Regional Vision of ‘Health and Wellness for All.’ We acknowledge and appreciate the heartfelt contributions that volunteers and volunteer organizations make directly or indirectly year-round!  

      The theme for National Volunteer Week 2024 is “Every Moment Matters.” It highlights the importance of every volunteer and each contribution they make at a time when we need support more than ever. Sharing time, skills, empathy, and creativity is vital to the inclusivity, strength, and well-being of our communities. 

      Volunteers support our personal care homes, hospitals, and community health programs across the region. Some examples include:

      • Volunteers serve every personal care home within PMH, providing our residents companionship, entertainment and assistance.
      • Dedicated volunteers who support the Palliative Care Program.
      • A dedicated group of Pet Therapy Dogs/handlers (PATDogs Team) who take time from their day to bring smiles to the patients and residents in hospitals and Personal Care Homes. The PATDogs program was implemented in 2022 and has grown from three Therapy dog teams to 24 teams.
      • Volunteers participate in local boards, foundations, auxiliary organizations, and other community meal and harm reduction programs.
      • Volunteers assist with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

      These are just a few highlights of volunteer participation, dedication and commitment. It would be challenging to cover all the examples of how people selflessly give up their time. 

      “We very much appreciate our volunteers who dedicate their time, knowledge, compassion and heart to helping Prairie Mountain Health,” stated PMH CEO Brian Schoonbaert. “On behalf of our board, staff and physicians, we sincerely thank you for all you do from the bottom of our hearts. If you see a volunteer, thank them for making “Every Moment Matter.”

      To apply to volunteer within PMH please visit our website Volunteer Services – Prairie Mountain Health.

      Katherine Dwight is a dedicated volunteer for Boissevain Evergreen Place.

      Katherine enjoys helping others, visiting with residents and assisting with recreation programs. 

      “To bring smiles to the residents is the biggest award” says Katherine. 

      Thankyou Katherine for your dedication to the residents and the PCH!

      Eleanor is a dedicated volunteer at Rideau Park, Fairview PCH, and Minnedosa Care Home.

      Eleanor began volunteering to help fill her need to do something musically.

      “I love seeing a smile or hearing someone singing along.” says Eleanor.

      Eleanor also enjoys singing, dancing and knitting.

      Jessica is a dedicated volunteer at Rideau Park PCH.

      Jessica began volunteering because she enjoys working with older people and was looking for somewhere to do that.

      “Interacting with the residents is definitely my favourite thing about volunteering” says Jessica.

      Jessica also enjoys cooking and baking.

      Thank you Jessica for your dedication to the Residents at Rideau Park.

      Alexe & Darlynne are dedicated volunteers at Dinsdale PCH & Fairview Home.

      Alexe sings, and Darlynne plays piano. Together they provide wonderful music programs!

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is the music & the residents – most love music. My friendship with Darlynne (pianist)…we’ve become very close.” ~Alexe~

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is seeing the pleasure of residents & doing something I love!” ~Darlynne~

      Alexe enjoys spending time with family, church and hobbies.

      Darlynne enjoys spending time with family, church & other committees, computer skills, singing & playing, helping people who need assistance.

      Thank you for sharing your love of music with residents around PMH.

      Larry is a dedicated volunteer at Fairview Home.

      Larry began volunteering when he saw a need for volunteers & his life changed, freeing up some time to give back to society.

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is the joy & appreciation I receive from clients & staff. I always leave happier than when I arrived.”

      Larry also enjoys volunteering his time with other organizations, fixing broken electrical & mechanical devices, and grandparenting.

      Thank you Larry for sharing your time with Fairview Residents.

      Dwayne & Anne are dedicated volunteers in Prairie Mountain Health.

      Anne started volunteering when her mom was a resident at Fairview.

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is working & talking with residents.”

      Dwayne volunteers as a musician at Fairview, Rideau Park, & Dinsdale PCH

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is playing music for the residents.”

      Anne & Dwayne also enjoy curling, dancing, walking, travelling, and floor shuffling.

      Thank you Dwayne & Anne for sharing your time with residents around PMH.

      Melina is a dedicated volunteer at Fairview Home.

      Melina began volunteering because she wanted to make a positive impact in her community. Volunteering offers opportunities to contribute her skills to meaningful places and connect with others.

      “I love playing piano for the people and it’s nice knowing that some of them recognize me whenever I go now. It warms my heart every time I see them enjoy the music and the fact that my music can make them happy for that hour.”

      Thank you Melina for sharing your love of music with the Residents of Fairview.

      Carolyn is a dedicated volunteer at Dinsdale PCH.

      Carolyn began volunteering when her mom was a resident at Dinsdale.

      “My favourite thing about volunteering is socializing with the residents.”

      Carolyn also enjoys jigsaw puzzles, cards and reading.

      High Country Band has been sharing their love of music and friendship to residents for multiple years.

      They perform monthly in the Personal Care homes in Sandy Lake, Erickson, Minnedosa and Neepawa.

      Lorna McMillan is a dedicated volunteer at Delwynda Court in Deloraine with the recreation programs.

      Thank you Lorna, for sharing your time with our residents.

      Jan Russell is a dedicated volunteer at Rivers PCH.

      Jan is a faithful recreation volunteer at Rivers PCH and loves her time volunteering and we love having her assistance and friendship!

      Pictured left to right is one of our residents Louise, enjoying a game of crib with Jan.

      Lenora Fassett is a dedicated volunteer at Rivers PCH.

      Lenora is a faithful recreation volunteer at Rivers PCH and loves her time volunteering and we love having her assistance and friendship!

      Pictured left to right is one of our residents Louise, enjoying her time with Lenora.

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      In the End, Every Moment Matters  

      Across Canada, National Volunteer Week (April 14-20, 2024) celebrates the individual and collective actions that volunteers participate in to create strong, interconnected and engaged communities.  The Palliative Care Volunteer Service would like to acknowledge and applaud the contributions of over 225 palliative care volunteers in many communities across Prairie Mountain Health.  

      The Palliative Care Volunteer Service is comprised of a network of 20 community service groups who are dedicated to the improvement of palliative care in their local community.  Palliative care volunteers come alongside, and complement, the existing professional services available in the home, hospital and personal care home setting.  Dedicated and trained volunteers offer an additional layer of support, letting clients and families know that their local community cares. In these moments, and the relationships between them, volunteers find greater purpose, a sense of belonging and hold a common thread of hope. “We understand and share the hope that at some time, or in some way, we will all face the end of life; and when that time comes we will have the love and support of our family and the greater community” (Holly, volunteer).

      The theme of volunteer week 2024 is “Every Moment Matters”.  For individuals and families facing end of life, every moment is profound and valuable.  Palliative care volunteers share their time, skills, empathy and creativity to shine a light in these important moments.  Volunteers can be called upon to offer client companionship, caregiver respite, practical resources, end of life vigil sitting and bereavement follow-up.  Volunteers also engage in activities that promote palliative care awareness, such as fundraisers, advocacy events, death cafes and community grief workshops.  In the moments that matter the most, volunteers are available to hold space for clients and families, with a kind smile, a listening ear, words of encouragement and a caring embrace.

      During National Volunteer Week 2024, we come together to recognize and celebrate the importance of each and every volunteer in our program.  Volunteering matters and by sharing these moments we co-create the neighborhoods, culture and society we want to live in, and die, in.  Thank you to the following community service groups:

      Birtle Palliative Care Committee

      Boissevain Palliative Care Committee

      Carberry Palliative Care Committee

       Dauphin Palliative Care Committee

      Deloraine Palliative Care Committee

      Erickson and District Palliative Care Committee

      Glenboro Palliative Care Committee

      Hamiota Palliative Care Committee

      Killarney Palliative Care Committee

      Melita Palliative Care Committee

      Minnedosa Palliative Care Committee

      Neepawa and District Palliative Care Committee

      Reston Palliative Care Committee

       Riverdale Palliative Care Committee

      Rossburn Palliative Care Committee

      Russell Palliative Care Committee

      Shoal Lake Palliative Care Committee

      Souris Palliative Care Committee

      Virden and District Palliative Care Committee

      Westman Hospice (Brandon)

      If you would like to learn more about the Palliative Care Volunteer Service please visit our website or contact Palliative Care Volunteer and Bereavement Coordinator, Carla Mitchell, 204-578-2310.  All volunteers are registered with Prairie Mountain Health and receive training to prepare for the volunteer role.  

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      National Immunization Awareness Week | April 22-30, 2024

      When Immunize Canada launched National Immunization Awareness Week in the 1990s, it echoed a very successful program that Canada saw in the 1930s. Back then, vaccines were new, and the diseases they prevent were far too common.

      Details can be found in back issues of the Canadian Journal of Public Health, the long-running journal of the Canadian Public Health Association.

      One of the earliest campaigns, launched in 1931, was Toronto’s Toxoid Week, which focused on diphtheria. Toxoid Week became a stronger initiative after the establishment of the Health League of Canada in 1935. Largely spearheaded by the now-defunct League, the campaign involved schools, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, service clubs, and physicians to get the message out.

      In 1942, it was decided that more diseases needed to be included, and the first National Immunization Week was born: a “coast-to-coast program of education directed towards the prevention of smallpox and whooping cough as well as diphtheria”

      Much has changed in Canada since the 1930s. In the mid-1970s, the Health League closed its doors. By then, immunization was common, and several important diseases were fading from memory. In the meantime, new vaccines were developed and are widely used. Smallpox – once a health threat worldwide – was eradicated. Canada was certified polio-free in 1994. Many lives have been saved by immunization, and countless illnesses and long-term health problems avoided. Vaccines truly are one of the great public health achievements of the twentieth century – and onward into the twenty-first.

      But some things don’t change. Vaccine-preventable diseases are still very much with us. We need to continue to educate Canadians about immunization and promote awareness of its benefits to health with up-to-date information. We need to involve traditional media, health care providers, and social media. And we need to keep vaccinating! Recent outbreaks of mumps and measles remind us that, if immunization rates drop, diseases will reappear. Immunization rates must remain high in order for individuals and communities to stay protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

      National Immunization Awareness Week is a great time to learn more. Visit for reliable information on immunization for all generations.

      How to get a copy of your immunization record

      You can get your immunization record by submitting a request via the Immunization Update Request Form and it will be mailed to you.

      You may also be able to get a copy by:

      1. Contacting your local public health office
      2. Check if your local medical clinic or physician’s office can provide them to you
      3. Asking at a local nursing station or health centre

      The Manitoba Immunization registry was started in 1988. Immunizations provided prior to 1988 are unlikely to be included in Manitoba Health’s official registry. Please check for paper records at home or with your local health care provider. Manitoba Health sends out a copy of your immunization record when you turn 7 and 18 years old.

      National Immunization Week: November 14 – 21. Can Public Health J 1943:34(10):477. Available at: (Accessed April 13, 2017).
      Bates G. Diphtheria-Toxoid Week in Toronto. Can Public Health J 1938;29(12):578-82. Available at: (Accessed March 14, 2017)

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      Have You ‘Bean’ Checked for Kidney Disease

      PMH wants to take additional steps to encourage community members to protect their kidneys. March is kidney awareness month, and PMH encourages everyone to learn more about protecting their ‘beans.’  The PMH Population Health and Wellness Committee has been developing a public awareness campaign to inform PMH residents about the importance of early detection and screening. You may have noticed posters around your community encouraging everyone to self-screen for kidney disease.

      Here are a few facts to share:

      • The province of Manitoba has the highest incidence and prevalence of kidney failure in Canada
      • As many as 1 in 10 adults in Manitoba are living with kidney disease, and most don’t even know it
      • Kidneys can lose 80% of their function before any symptoms are felt

      What is kidney disease, and why is early testing so important? Chronic kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and lose their ability to keep you healthy by filtering your blood. People living with kidney disease progressively lose kidney function, often not knowing they have the disease until advancing to the later stages. As kidney disease worsens, wastes can build up in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop other problems like high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health, or nerve damage.

      Kidney disease is classified into five stages; stage 1 indicates normal kidney function up to stage 5, which is kidney failure. Because symptoms don’t always show in the early stages, identifying and managing patients with early kidney disease may slow or prevent the progression to end-stage kidney disease. Often, noninvasive treatments, such as drug therapy and lifestyle changes, may be all that’s needed if caught early.  

      Anyone can get kidney disease, but some people have a higher probability because they have one or more risk factors. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common reasons for kidney disease among adults. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, having heart disease, frequent use of kidney-damaging drugs, or a family history of kidney disease. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get kidney disease, but it increases your chance and makes early screening more important. A simple blood or urine test is all that is needed to learn if your kidneys are healthy.

      Talk to your healthcare provider about kidney disease. To learn more about kidney disease and to take a self-screen test to see if you are at risk, visit Don’t underestimate the importance of early testing for kidney disease. Ask yourself, have you ‘bean’ checked? 

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      We are Dietitians!

      Highlighting Dietitian work in Prairie Mountain Health for Nutrition Month in March

      In Primary Care

      Feeling confused with what you are reading about nutrition online? Primary care dietitians are master myth-busters and trustworthy sources of nutrition information personalized to you. From chronic disease prevention to management, dietitians in primary care are here to help! Meeting with a Registered Dietitian can help you manage irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, nutrient deficiencies, malnutrition, diabetes, heart disease, disordered eating, pediatric picky eating and more. You can request an appointment by calling 1-877-509-7852 or talking to your primary care provider about a referral at your next visit.

      In the Community

      Prairie Mountain Health Community Dietitians believe that healthy does not have to be fancy. We promote healthy eating that is enjoyable, nutritious, accessible, and culturally appropriate. This could include food from local grocery stores, farmers’ markets, your backyard (or farm), or from the wild.

      Community Dietitians work with communities, organizations, and groups rather than individual clients. They promote healthy eating, focusing on nutrition and food skills education, food security initiatives, and healthy food environments. You might see Community Dietitians working in schools, health fairs, daycares, seniors’ centers, healthy baby programs, cooking classes, community centers, and more!

      What does this look like in PMH? Dietitians are part of Neepawa Eats Healthy, a group of dedicated partners representing local organizations and community members working together to improve healthy eating outcomes in the community. The partnership includes the Salvation Army, the Town of Neepawa, HyLife, Prairie Mountain Health, and community members. The committee works together on many food-related projects in the community. Currently, we are partnering with local grocery stores to promote a monthly quick, easy and healthy recipe, with classrooms competing to win a catered lunch featuring the Meal in 30 recipes. To see what else Neepawa Eats Healthy is up to, follow them on social media @neepawa.eats.healthy. A Community Dietitian is also involved with the BAG (Better Access to Groceries) program in Camperville and Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, where people order a bag of fresh produce at a reasonable cost to pick up in their community. Some Community Dietitians also facilitate community programs such as Craving Change, Strive to Thrive, and Get Better Together.  

      Contact the Community Dietitians by sending an email to [email protected]

      In Long Term Care and Acute Care

      Every healthcare facility in Prairie Mountain Health has a Registered Dietitian who attends the facility and sees the clients. Registered Dietitians work as part of the healthcare team to ensure clients receive the best care. Clients are seen for various reasons in these settings, including malnutrition, inadequate oral intake, enteral feeding (tube feeds), bowel care, diabetes management and texture-modified diets, to name a few. Registered Dietitians are part of the Menu committee for the facilities and work with the Nutrition Services team to make a menu that meets everyone’s nutritional needs.

      Dietitians are here to help ensure our clients are nourished. If you have a loved one in a personal care home or acute care setting, you can request that they see a Registered Dietitian.

      Please contact Lisa Fugleberg [email protected] for more information regarding acute and long-term care dietitian services.

      Looking for nutrition information? Check out these great sites for some great tips and recipe ideas!

      Home – Unlock Food

      Home & Family (


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      Louis Riel Day

      On Louis Riel Day and every day, Prairie Mountain Health recognizes that we provide health services on the homeland of the Red River Métis Nation and on the original lands of First Nations and Inuit Peoples. Manitoba’s health authorities respect that First Nations treaties were made on these territories, acknowledge harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in the spirit of reconciliation.

      As we pursue equitable and trusted pathways to care for all Manitobans, we thank health-care workers of Métis ancestry for your efforts and commitment as members of a team dedicated to excellent patient care. Shared Health encourages all who deliver health services on the original lands of First Nations and Inuit peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation to recognize our ongoing obligation to the delivery of culturally safe care.

      Health-care workers – and all Manitobans – are encouraged to take time to learn more about the contributions of Louis Riel and Métis peoples to our province.

      Events in Prairie Mountain Health

      Here are just a few events happening in our region for anyone to attend.

      Events around the Province

      • Friday, Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Join the Office of the Vice-President (Indigenous) to celebrate Louis Riel Day at University of Manitoba’s Marshall McLuhan Hall, 204-UMSU University Centre! This free event will include short remarks, music (a fiddle jam session!) and lunch.
      • Feb. 16 – 25, Festival du Voyageur – Western Canada’s largest winter festival for the whole family with lots of entertainment including music, dancing, jigging, French-Canadian food, meeting historical characters, sculptures and much more.
      • Monday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Experience the life of a Voyageur with a Marsh twist during Voyageur Day at Oak Hammock Marsh! Try their friendly Voyageur-themed contests, competitions and games. Participate in their “Concours des Meilleurs” and take home some great bragging rights!
      • Sunday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – The Richer Métis Local is hosting a Louis Riel Day Celebration at the Richer Young at Heart Hall located at 22 Dawson Rd. W in Richer, Manitoba that includes performers, kids activities as well as a hot meal of chili, bannock and hotdogs.
      • Monday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Journée Louis Riel / Louis Riel Day at Le Musée de Saint-Boniface in collaboration with the Manitoba Métis Federation featuring free admission, free bannock, launch of Tracy Charette Fehr’s project “Honouring our Mothers” and more.
      • Monday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Set your inner voyageur free at FortWhyte Alive! Spend Louis Riel Day playing voyageur games with FortWhyte volunteers, and enjoy some friendly competition between your family! Try your hand at tug-o-war, a voyageur relay, and other fun games.
      • Monday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Celebrate Louis Riel Day at The Forks for a day filled with family-friendly festivities, like: lively dance parties and lessons for the whole family, engaging arts and crafts, specially crafted kid menus and mocktails, and, of course, winter activities, attractions, and amenities that are unique to The Forks.
      • Monday, Feb. 19 – Freeze Frame Media Arts Centre for Young People will be presenting free movies for families at Dave Barber Cinematheque (100 Arthur Street) on Louis Riel Day.
      • More Louis Riel Day events.
      • Manitoba is once again offering free park entry for the entire month of February so Manitobans and visitors can take advantage of the many winter activities available in provincial parks.
      • Manitobans are encouraged to get outside and explore fishing opportunities throughout the province during this year’s Winter Family Fishing Weekend. From Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, anglers may fish without a licence in the province, except in national parks where a federal angling licence is still required.
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