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Emergency Department

During Veteran’s Week we pause to remember

We pause to remember the sacrifices and efforts of those who have supported and protected our families, friends, neighbours and our nation.

Indigenous Veteran’s Day

November 8th is National Indigenous Veterans Day. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis of Canada have a long and proud tradition of military service to our country. Learn more.

Remembrance Day

On November 11th, it is important to take time to remember, honour and thank all veterans – At home, around the world and across generations. Read more.

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International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss | Nov 18

Image by Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss (November 18th) is a day where people impacted by suicide loss, no matter where they live, can come together as communities to find and offer comfort and to remember their loved ones as they share stories of loss, healing, and hope.

For Brandon and the surrounding area, the Brandon Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN) has observed this day by collecting cards and having them on display.  The cards hold messages commemorating a loved one who has died by suicide, and/or a message of hope to those that have been impacted by suicide loss.

This year, SPIN has attached a fillable card for members of our community to complete.

Once you have filled out your card and sent it back to [email protected], your message will be transferred onto a physical card and will join the display of cards that have been collected in the past.

The physical cards will be on display in the Health Studies Building at Brandon University the week of November 13th

Also watch our social media platforms for a video where the facilitators of the Brandon and Area Suicide Bereavement Support Group will share the completed board and read a few of the messages from the community.

You can find additional resources and virtual events on the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) website.

Follow Brandon SPIN on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

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Manitoba Substance Use and Addictions Awareness Week

In conjunction with National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), Manitoba Substance Use and Addictions Awareness Week (MSUAAW) focuses on promoting awareness around the effects of alcohol and other drugs, check out some of the events happening. This year, MSUAAW runs from November 19th to 25th, and the theme is Inspiration, Innovation, and Inclusion. The theme highlights the drive to create new research, best practices and emerging trends and issues, treatment and prevention initiatives and other innovations that affect the health and safety of people. The MSUAAW committees consist of members in multiple areas throughout the province that focus on providing resource information, community events, lunch and learns, and campaigns promoting the week. This opens opportunities for conversation, questions, information, and community involvement. Within the Prairie Mountain Health region, the MSUAAW Committee is in the process of planning events specific to the region, so please stay tuned for more information. The Committee is always looking for additions to the team, so if interested, you can contact your local members for more information.

As a part of the MSUAAW Committee, the Addictions Services (formerly Addictions Foundation of Manitoba) Team offers their knowledge and expertise in the addictions field. The Addictions Services Team includes Community Addictions Workers, Rehabilitation Counsellors, Youth Workers, Residential Care Workers, Cooks, Building Service Workers, Prevention and Education Consultants, Nurses, Admin Assistants, Supervisors and Director.

Some of the services the Addictions Services Team offer include Community-based Counselling, Family Programs, School Based Services, Youth Services, Education and Training, Non-Residential Treatment Programs, RE/ACT Program, In House Treatment Programs, MOST Clinic, RAAM Clinics, Impaired Driver’s Program, and Aricular Acupuncture. Addictions Services has 8 Community Office locations within Prairie Mountain Health and 2 In-House Treatment Centres.

How to Access our Services:

Individuals wanting to attend community based or in-house treatment programs must first meet with a Community Addictions Worker to do the intake and assessment process. Information is gathered to determine level of involvement with alcohol, substance use and/or gambling and information is provided for services available and/or recommended.

Currently in the Brandon-Parkwood Community Office, intake services are available by phone appointments only during the following times: Monday and Wednesday 9am to 4pm and Friday 9am to noon. In person intake appointments are available upon request.  The drop-in in person intake group will be offered soon.  In all other locations (including, Dauphin, Swan River, Virden, Rossburn, Minnedosa, and Boissevain) intake services are assigned to next available counsellor and are scheduled appointments.

Should the client decide they are interested in accessing one of the in-house treatment programs the community addictions worker will make the referral to the program.

578 Cook Street | Box 58
Boissevain MB R0K 0E0
Phone: 204-534-2100
Fax: 204-534-2101
510 Frederick Street
Brandon MB R7A 6Z4
Phone: 204-729-3838
Fax: 204-729-3844
404-1st Ave NE
Dauphin, MB R7N 1A9
Phone: 204-622-2021
Fax: 204-638-6077
Box 1079
Minnedosa MB R0J 1E0
Phone: 204-867-6102
Fax: 204-867-5140
10 Main Street | Box 399
Rossburn MB R0J1V0
Phone: 204-859-4000
Fax: 204-859-4001
Ste. Rose du Lac
Ste. Rose Health Centre
603-1st Ave E
Ste. Rose du Lac, MB R0L 1S0
Phone: 204-622-2266
Swan River
126-6th Ave N | Box 141
Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0
Phone: 204-734-2030
Fax: 204-734-9509
283 Nelson Street W | Box 2500
Virden MB R0M 2C0
Phone: 204-748-4720
Fax: 204-748-4721

In-House Treatment

Willard Monson House
540 Central Ave | Box 490
Ste. Rose du Lac MB R0L 1S0
Phone: 204-447-4040
Fax: 204-447-4050
510 Frederick Street
Brandon MB R7A 6Z4
Phone: 204-729-3838
Fax: 204-729-3844
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Transgender Awareness Week | Nov 13-19, 2023

Transgender week was established in 2017 to recognize the issues faced by individual’s whom are transgender and the allies that support them.  This week is a time for people to come together and to support the transgender communities by encouraging education, protection from discrimination or hate, and ensuring we are honouring their choices. The week is followed by Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience (TDoRR) which falls annually on November 20th.  Which is a day of remembrance to individual’s who have lost their lives to transphobic violence.

Individual’s whom express being transgender identity that their gender does not match with the sex they were assigned as birth. There are many terms that may be used by individual’s including male, female, non-binary, gender non-conforming, he/him, she/her, or they/them.  Transgender identify may be accompanied with a desire to transition to the gender that one identifies with.

ITgetsbetterCanada suggests ways of developing TransAllyShip within communities, work spaces, and personal lives through these ways:

  • Do your own research – learning about terminology, experiences, and issues that are impacting the transgender communities
  • Listening to transgender voices – find out what their experiences have been and remembering one narrative does not fit all.
  • Normalizing the sharing of pronouns – this helps to create environment that are inclusive and welcoming.  Places to include your pronouns can be in verbal introductions, name tags, and email signatures.
  • Challenging negative comments or jokes that are transphobic – spreading awareness about the negative impacts on comments and jokes helps to reduce barriers and stigma for individuals.
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November is Falls Prevention Month

November is also one month until Christmas! Do you have difficulty knowing what to buy loved ones for Christmas? Do you have people on your Christmas list who have everything already!? This holiday season, give your loved ones gifts that help promote safety and prevent injury. 

In an article for The Citizen, Marguerite Thomas lists great gift ideas from the Fall Prevention Community.

For those travelers in your family, consider;

  • Emergency kit for the car
  • Car blankets and extra warm clothing such as mitts and toques
  • Cellular phone or calling card
  • Taxi vouchers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages for holiday celebrations when away
  • Subscription for a travel protection plan
  • Extra night lights/flashlights for when staying at hotels or bedrooms away from home

Gift ideas which help prevent unintentional falls:

  • Cordless telephones
  • Personal protection alarm
  • Walking/trekking poles
  • Grip bars for bathtub and toilet
  • Small clothes baskets or carriers which avoid awkwardness and overbalance
  • Non-alcoholic beverages for holiday celebrations at home
  • Specialty safety items from your pharmacy or therapy retailer (ex. Reacher for reaching high places or items on the floor)
  • Assistive devices ranging from canes to wheelchairs
  • Flip down ice picks for canes
  • Gift of snow removal service
  • Boots with a good grip on the soles. Or ice grippers to use with the boots you already have
  • Gift certificates for sturdy walking shoes and snowshoes
  • Warm outer clothing
  • Housecoats short enough to prevent tripping
  • Firm slippers with a non-slip sole
  • No slip socks
  • Bag of salt/sand mixture, kitty litter or special de-icer friendly to shrubs and sidewalk
  • Nightlights in home bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Smartwatch that has fall detection
  • Smart lighting for the home that can turn off/on with your smartphone app

Items that protect everyone in the home include:

  • Smoke detectors or batteries for the smoke detector
  • Safety items for the stove, fireplace or BBQ, including oven mitts
  • Safe and sturdy step stools or ladders
  • Renovation of unsafe stairs or any other hazards in the home
  • Repair of any wobbly furniture
  • Bath mats or adhesives to avoid slipping in the tub
  • Floor mats with non-slip backing/suction for inside or outside the tub to absorb moisture and prevent falling
  • Bright light bulbs
  • Replacement of any electrical appliances that need a new cord or plug
  • Welcome mats and large indoor mats or trays to absorb moisture from wet boots
  • Motion sensor lights for outside

Did you know Prairie Mountain Health has various resources and information on fall prevention, including videos, Fall Risk Checklists, How to Prepare for a Hospital Stay and exercises to help reduce your risk of falling? Visit our website for resources.

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Canadian Patient Safety Week | October 23-27, 2023

Every year Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) participates in the national campaign Canadian Patient Safety Week.

Join PMH October 23 – 27 to explore a new approach to safer care and how we can all make an even bigger difference every day.

You are part of the Health Care Team. Support your health care needs and know your wishes are supported when you cannot speak up.

Get an Emergency Response Information Kit (E.R.I.K) available from Support Services to Seniors. Support Services to Seniors is a community-based program for seniors, and individuals living with disabilities that supports health and well-being providing support and assistance to maintain your independence in the community.

Add the following items to your E.R.I.K.

Advance Care Planning – Advance care planning is a way to help you think about, talk about and share your thoughts and wishes about future health care. It gives you a “voice” in decision making, helps you determine who would communicate for you if you are unable to communicate for yourself and should include conversations with your health-care team.

My Patient Passport – A communication tool for patients and family members to keep track of health information and share with health care providers. Prairie Mountain Health strives to create tools and resources to help patients and families engage with their health care provider.

Safe to Ask Medication Card – Patients and families are vital partners in providing accurate and detailed information about the medications they take and how they are taking them. The purpose of the card is to:

  1. Promote safe use of medications,
  2. Encourage people to ask questions about their medications, and
  3. Help healthcare providers and emergency responders know patients’ current medications.

Patient Advocate Agreement – When you receive health services, you may enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to support you and/or act on your behalf. This person is your patient/resident/client advocate and can be present during your interactions with a healthcare provider.

In partnership with Shared Health and Healthcare Excellence Canada

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A day in the life of a Respiratory Therapist

A day in the life of… Taylor. Taylor has an important, life-saving job, but their profession is one that most people would not be able to describe. They are a registered respiratory therapist (RRT). Here is a snapshot of how Taylor spends their day.

Their shift starts in the hospital report room at 7:30 AM – coffee in hand, they are prepared for the 12-hour shift ahead of them. With their ever-present stethoscope around their neck and a pen in their pocket, Taylor learns from their co-worker, who is finishing the night shift, about the patient requirements for the day – six ventilated patients in ICU need assessments; two patients with tracheostomy tubes need care; three patients on the ward are on heated high flow oxygen devices; a breathing test has been ordered for a patient; and arterial blood gas needs to be drawn before a patient is sent home on oxygen.

At 7:45 AM, just as the report is finished, a “Code Blue” is called in the emergency department. Taylor rushes to the ED. They proceed to intubate and ventilate the patient to keep her airway open. They help the team administer life-saving respirations during the resuscitation. After 40 minutes of constant efforts to resuscitate the patient, the team is unsuccessful. Her grieving family arrives and as Taylor holds back tears they say “thank you for trying to save her”.

It’s now 8:35 AM. Taylor heads off to begin assessments of their patients and attend interdisciplinary rounds with the team in ICU. As they are about to enter the ICU, their pager goes off. They are needed in the NICU for a premature infant. The baby is born at just 32 weeks but is moaning and grunting and showing signs of increased work of breathing. Taylor starts the baby on nasal CPAP to open up his tiny lungs. Although the baby is small, he is in good health and his lungs begin working well. Mom, Dad and Grandparents cry with joy at this tiny miracle.

Throughout the rest of Taylor’s shift, they educate a patient with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) about his inhaled medications and discusses smoking cessation options. They take an arterial blood gas and set up a woman for oxygen at home to improve her shortness of breath with activities of daily living. Taylor assesses and manages patients in the intensive care unit on mechanical ventilators. Taylor discusses a plan for the tracheostomy patients with the physician to downsize or decannulate as part of the weaning process. They educate patients and other health care professionals about oxygen delivery devices.

You may wonder what type of health care professional gets to work in a variety of settings like Taylor. Taylor is a registered respiratory therapist. Not every respiratory therapist has a shift like Taylor’s. Among others, some work in the operating room as anesthesia assistants, others perform pulmonary function testing, research, work in home care or educate students. Respiratory therapists are important members of teams that provide care in hospitals, in clinics, in the community and in patients’ homes. The cycle of life and death is one of the profound and amazing things that a respiratory therapist gets to impact in the course of a day’s work. Whether it is in acute care, health prevention and promotion or diagnostic testing, the message is the same – respiratory therapists are dedicated to better breathing.

How does someone become a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory therapists graduate from three- or four-year programs (or equivalent) that include theory, lab and clinical components. In most jurisdictions, passing a credentialling exam and/or a license to practice is required following graduation.  Learn more about the Respiratory Therapy (BRT) program offered at the University of Manitoba.

Data from the federal government and the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists indicate a strong need for RTs in the next few years!  RTs can move from one province and work in another, but a provincial license to practice is required in most provinces.

For more information, contact the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists:
[email protected]

October 22-28, 2023 is Respiratory Therapist Week

See some of the Respiratory Therapists from around Prairie Mountain Health.

Hi, my name is Tina Szewczyk and my colleague is Erin Forsyth. We are the Registered Respiratory Therapists at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre. I have been an RRT for 27 years, and worked with PMH at the DRHC in acute care for 18 years. I was born and raised in McCreary. Erin Forsyth is standing with the ventilator. Erin has been an RRT since 2002. Previously working in the OR at Seven Oaks in Winnipeg, she relocated with her children and spouse, who also works at DRHC. She began here at DRHC in the Respiratory Clinic in Nov 2020, and has recently begun a permanent position at the DRHC in acute care. We are thrilled to have her join our Team at DRHC. Working to support the Respiratory Health of our friends, family and the north PMH  communities at large brings great satisfaction to us both.

Happy RT Week from the Respiratory Therapists at Brandon Rregional Health Centre!

Pictured L-R: Teresa Chapin, Kelley Fingas, Jennifer Sambrook, Alyssa Elliott and Kortney Blosha
Missing from Photo: Stephanie Nicholls, Teagan Kinsley, Rachel Veitch, Makenzie Riess, Lana Minuk, and Leah Sumner

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National Breastfeeding Week 2023

In Canada we celebrate National Breastfeeding Week from October 1-8.**  National Breastfeeding Week is a time to celebrate the role breastfeeding plays in providing children with the healthiest start in life.

Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and minerals for optimal growth of the infant.  Breast milk also contains antibodies and other immune factors to help protect against infections and disease.  Breastfeeding benefits mothers short- and long-term health and will strengthen the special relationship between mother and baby.

This year’s theme is “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents”.   This theme shines a light on how parents should not have to choose between breastfeeding their children and their work.  Making breastfeeding at work, work makes societies work!  Here in Canada families are blessed with paid maternity leave.  This is not the case in many countries. 

Breastfeeding support is possible regardless of workplace, sector or contract type.  Effective maternity policies improve children’s and women’s health and protect breastfeeding.  Despite this, currently more than half a billion working women lack access to vital maternity policies; many more find themselves unsupported when they return to work.  All women everywhere no matter their work should have at least 18 weeks, preferably more than 6 months, paid maternity leave; paid time off for breastfeeding or expressing milk upon returning to work; and flexible return to work options. (World Health Organization)

Ways to make a difference for working parents:

  1. Encourage parents to learn about national maternity leave benefits.
  2. Advocate in your workplace for flexible back to work schedules for breastfeeding parents.
  3. Advocate in your workplace to provide a place to breastfeed or express breastmilk while at work.
  4. Lobby local governments to improve maternity benefits/access to breastfeeding support.
  5. Encourage and support families on maternity leave.

Brandon Manitoba has many resources to help families during their breastfeeding journey.  These include the following:

  1. La Leche League Canada This is an international organization that is dedicated to helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals.
  2. Local Public Health Nurse.  Find your local area nurse at Public Health – Prairie Mountain Health
  3. Western  Medical Clinic Family Physicians can assist with breastfeeding concerns.
  4. The Wellness Clinic Family Physician can assist with breastfeeding concerns.
  5.  The Baby Bump for prenatal classes.
  6. Lactation Consultant at Brandon Regional Health Centre – 204-578-4268.

Find additional resources at

**Canada celebrates World Breastfeeding Week in October.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 1-7th 2023

Each Year the first week of October is Canada’s National Campaign to enhance the awareness of mental Illness. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health set out the theme this year as Awareness, Access and Parity for Mental Health and Substance use Care in Canada. It is important to take time this week to educate yourself on mental illness. With greater understanding we strive to reduce stigma related to mental illness and substance use, along with breaking down barriers to seeking support around these issues. We want to encourage individuals with lived experiences or for those who have been affected to share their stories to break down barriers so people don’t feel alone in their struggles and to identify gaps in the need for services.

A mental illness is characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation or behavior. It is usually associated with distress or impairment in important areas of functioning. It should be stated that because you have a mental illness does not mean you have poor mental health, and vice versa, you may not have a mental illness but you can still have poor mental health. It is important for each one of us to look after our mental health as we would care for our physical health.

At any one time many factors such as stress, family, community, or environmental factors can combine to protect or undermines one’s mental health. The World Who Organization states that although many people are resilient to life’s adversities, there are circumstances that could put individuals at higher risk such as poverty, violence, disability and inequality. Protective factors and risk factors can include individual psychological and biological factors such as emotional skills and coping and as well as genetics.  Many of the risk and protective factors are influence through changes in brain structure or function.


  • Each year 1 out of 5 Canadians experience a mental Health illness each year. – Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • More than 1 in 2 of struggling Canadians are not getting the mental health help they need. – Mental Health Research Canada
  • Untreated mental illness costs the Canadian economy around $50 billion every year. – Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Over 20% of Canadians in any given year will experience mental health concerns, only a third of those people will seek help or treatment. – Statistics Canada
  • In Canada, an average of 20 deaths per day are because of opioid overdose. – Statistics Canada

Please take time to educate yourself on mental health/illness. It is important we are all working together to raise awareness, fight stigma and provide support to those in need.

Should you or a loved one need support please do not hesitate to reach out for help. You can contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line at 1-877-435-7170, a crisis line available 24 hours per day. A trained crisis worker will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need. Locally you can contact Westman Crisis Services at 204-725-4411 or 1-888-379-7699 in Brandon Area, or 1-866-332-3030 for PMH-North- In an emergency call 911 or contact a local hospital or health office.

COMING SOON:   On Nov. 30 2023 the 988-suicide crisis line will be available to all Canadians in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services by trained crisis responders by phone or text.

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Malnutrition Week October 2-6, 2023

Stronger together. The 1 in 3 older adults in the community at nutrition risk  and the 2 in 3 people in long term care with malnutrition are counting on their health care teams to work together to address malnutrition. This year, Malnutrition Week from October 2-6th is focused on making team based care even better for those at risk of and those living with malnutrition. Take a look at the ideas below to see how to help prevent and treat malnutrition.

Patients and residents

  • Tell your healthcare team if you have lost weight without trying or are eating less than usual or don’t feel like eating.

Health care aides

  • Help with meal set up and assist the person to eat as needed.
  • Measure patient/resident weights and talk with the team if you notice poor food intake or weight loss.


  • Avoid cleaning rooms on the unit when meals are being served.
  • Help patients and families keep beside tables clear for meals and uneaten food properly stored.

Food Services

  • Serve nutrient dense, appealing food that considers culture, likes and dislikes.
  • Ensure food is available during the day and after food service hours too.

Allied Health

  • Identify patients at nutrition risk such as those living with food insecurity or unable to do their own shopping or cooking.
  • Suggest least restrictive diets that are still safe for the patient or resident.
  • Use medications to help when intake is poor (to reduce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, etc.)
  • Develop plans that support best seating, position, support and tools at meal times.


  • Screen patients and residents for nutrition risk and work as a team to create a plan.
  • Encourage family and friends to bring in food and stay for meal time visit if patient/resident is not eating well.
  • Decrease mealtime interruptions.


  • Diagnose, document and treat malnutrition. Don’t forget nutrition as part of discharge plans.
  • Order diets with few restrictions and Medpass (high energy drink to take with medications) when appropriate.
  • Say No to NPO (nothing by mouth)

Family, friends and volunteers

  • Talk to the care team if you have concerns about your family member/friend’s weight loss or decreased food intake.
  • Assist your family member/friend with setting up at meals and help them to eat as much as possible from what is served.
  • Provide company during meals

For more ideas in how we can be Stronger Together against malnutrition, check out: Involving Everyone in Nutrition Care or


Public Health Agency of Canada PHAC. (2010). The chief public health officer’s report on the state of public health in Canada 2010 – Growing older: adding life to years. 

Keller H, Vucea V, Slaughter SE, Jager-Wittenaar H, Lengyel C, Ottery FD, Carrier N. Prevalence of Malnutrition or Risk in Residents in Long Term Care: Comparison of Four Tools. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 Oct-Dec;38(4):329-344. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2019.1640165. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31335280.
Ramage-Morin et al. Health Reports 2013
Schuetz et al. Lancet 2019;
Howatson et al. J Prim Health Care 2015

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