Russell Health Centre Chemotherapy Unit expansion acknowledged

May 2022

A large crowd of dignitaries, local groups and representatives, health care staff and residents were on hand Tuesday, May 3 to take part in a formal recognition ceremony that highlighted the plan to proceed with expanding the Russell Health Centre Chemotherapy Unit.

Manitoba Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen, on behalf of Premier Heather Stefanson, was delighted to be in Russell to acknowledge that the long-awaited new addition to the Russell Health Centre would be proceeding to the next stages. Cullen also announced that the Province was contributing the remaining $700,000 that the project requires for construction and equipment costs.  The local Expanding Community Cancer Care Committee (ECCC) had raised $1.8 million of the 2.5 million required for the capital construction project.

“Cancer touches the lives of nearly every Manitoban, either through a diagnosis of our own or for a loved one, so it is fitting the community has come together in Russell to support people on that journey,” said Deputy Premier Cullen.

“This community-driven project means more people will be able to access the care they need, closer to home, for many years to come. Our government would like to recognize the leadership of the Expanding Community Cancer Care committee, the regional health authority and all of the people from Russell and nearby communities who have worked together to make this project a reality.”

 “We are delighted that this project, which will serve clients from 15 communities in our surrounding area, has received the green light,” said Gloria Tibbatts, president ECCC.

 “This is a testament to all the hard work and persistence by the committee, and the support and financial contributions from our area. We thank everyone for their support because we could not have arrived here without you. We are very thankful to the Province for their announcement to provide the remaining funding allowing us to arrive at this special day!”

Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) CEO Brian Schoonbaert says the region has collaborated with health partners and stakeholders to plan for the necessary building parameters, construction costs and associated timelines for this important capital project. Prairie Mountain Health will contribute annual operating costs for the expansion, including staffing and supplies.

“We are grateful for the hard work, dedication and commitment of the Expanding Community Cancer Committee and local support from the entire area,” said Brian Schoonbaert, CEO of PMH. “This much-needed new building addition, which will be about four times the size of the current unit, will better serve patients in this part of our health region and provide a better physical environment for our staff to provide care.”  It is anticipated construction will begin on the new building addition later this year.

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A much-anticipated plan for a building addition to expand the chemotherapy unit at Russell Health Centre was formally recognized at an event on May 3, 2022.  

Front L to R: Jenna Boyce, Care Team Manager Russell Health Centre, Judy Forysth Expanding Community Cancer (ECCC) Secretary, Gloria Tibbatts, ECCC Chairperson, Danielle Beischer, Community Cancer Program RN, Terry Jackson, ECCC Crop of Hope Chairperson.

Middle L to R: Rick Wowchuk, Swan River MLA, Sara Guillemard, Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness, Andrea Glasman, ECCC Treasurer, Eunice Koss ECCC Vice-Chair and Pam Demchynski, Administrative Assistant Russell HC & ECCC Fundraising Chair.

Back L to R: Brian Schoonbaert, CEO Prairie Mountain Health, Scott Fielding, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development, Greg Nesbitt, Riding Mountain MLA, Brad Michaleski, Dauphin MLA, Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen and Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, Keith Pope ECCC Crop of Hope member.

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Prairie Mountain Health CEO Brian Schoonbaert thanks the Expanding Community Cancer Care Committee for their commitment and the Province for providing additional funding so that the building addition for the expanded Cancer Unit in Russell can proceed.

Front left: Mr. Schoonbaert, CEO Prairie Mountain Health, Sarah Guillemard, Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness, Judy Forysth Expanding Community Cancer (ECCC) Secretary, Gloria Tibbatts, ECCC Chairperson and Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen (Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade).

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Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen makes the exciting announcement that the Province would be providing the additional $700 thousand dollars needed for capital construction of the expanded Cancer Unit in Russell.