Category Archives: News Release

Changes to Physician Services in Leader

Two physicians closing practices in community as region recruits replacement coverage

The Cypress Health Region has been advised that Dr. Monga-N’Dimo Palangi and Dr. Mohd Hoque will be closing their practices in Leader at the end of August. Recruitment efforts are underway and contingency plans are being developed that include the use of locum (visiting) physician coverage.

Dr. Satbir Jhand and Nurse Practitioner Mikki Millar will continue to serve as primary care providers in the community. The Region’s priority is to maintain safe, quality health care services for residents of Leader and surrounding areas.

One replacement physician has been successfully recruited pending completion of the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program. With successful completion it is anticipated that the candidate would be available to begin practicing in January 2018.

In the interim the Region is working with other rural physicians and locums to continue to provide residents with access to acute and emergency services. Many of the dates between September 1, 2017 and January 2018 have been secured with locum physician services. Minimal disruptions to services are anticipated. The Region remains committed to returning to a full complement of three physicians in Leader and is optimistic that recruitment efforts will be successful. Long-term care services will not be affected.

Residents seeking a physician or nurse practitioner appointment may continue to do so by contacting the Leader Primary Health Care Site at 306-628-4584. If experiencing or witnessing a medical emergency please dial 9-1-1 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff will be dispatched to assist. For non-medical emergencies the provincial HealthLine may be utilized. Staffed 24/7 by registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, HealthLine is a free service and can be contacted by calling 8-1-1.

The Cypress and Heartland Health Regions are working together to determine what coverage can be provided to continue to offer physician and nurse practitioner services at the Eatonia Clinic.

Additional updates will be provided to residents as they become available. The Region appreciates the patience and understanding of residents during this time.

Precautions Urged as Summer Temperatures Rise

Simple steps to ensure safe summer activity for everyone

With temperatures continuing to rise and forecasted to peak over the weekend, the Cypress Health Region is reminding the public to exercise precautions during times of excessive heat and sun exposure this summer.

The southwest corner of the province is forecasted to have an extended heat wave with temperatures in the mid to high 30’s. When the sun is shining and temperate gauges rise, protective measures should be taken to stay protected from the heat.

“Excessive heat exposure can be dangerous to health.  It is important to remember the ‘WATSS’ you need regarding excessive heat, namely Water and other appropriate fluids, Attire – light clothing, caps and hats; Time spent out in the heat should be graded; and finally, Sunscreen and Sunglasses to protect the skin and eyes,” commented Dr. Torr, Consulting Medical Health Officer for Cypress Health Region.

Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause dangerous conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (also called sunstroke). These symptoms include high body temperature, confusion, lack of sweat, fainting, and unconsciousness.

The heat makes you sweat, which in turn cools you down. Sweating also means that you’re constantly losing fluid. It is recommended that during hot weather you drink plenty of water even when not thirsty. You may not always feel thirsty, so try using the colour of your urine to guide if you’re hydrated enough — the clearer the better.

Other precautions to ensure you’re safe throughout the summer months include:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat made from breathable fabric.
  • Limit your time in the sun. Keep out of the sun and heat between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong.
  • Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.
  • Drink liquids (especially water). Dehydration is dangerous and thirst is not always a good indicator of how often you should drink liquids.  Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks in extreme heat.
  • Use the UV Index forecast. Check online for the UV index forecast in your area. When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.  Broad-spectrum sunscreens screen out most of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside, re-apply after the first 20 minutes of being outside, then re-apply again every two hours thereafter.  Use a generous amount, especially if swimming or in a body of water.

For more information on how sun safety visit

Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility Update

Expansion project sees construction move forward throughout summer months

Construction continues to progress on a $12 million expansion project that will result in the complete integration of health services in Leader.  The project site is a busy area of activity with noticeable construction elements being completed each day.

Wright Construction, awarded with the construction tender in November 2016, has been on site for several months completing initial work on the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility.  This includes finishing the pouring of cement pilings and foundation and placement of all structural steel.  Work has now shifted to wood framing the exterior walls and mechanical components being installed on the second floor mezzanine level.

“We are seeing a lot of progress and it’s been enjoyable to watch the outside shape of the facility come together,” commented Brenda Schwan, Capital Lead and Vice President of Continuing Care for Cypress Health. “In three short months the site has gone from an empty foundation to the framing being completed.  We look forward to construction moving ahead throughout the summer months.”

Following the completion of exterior wall framing on the main floor and mezzanine level, crews will begin to construct the roof of the facility.

A construction camera has been placed on the southeast corner of the property, capturing and updating birds-eye images of the site on a 15 minute cycle.  The high resolution images and more information on the Leader capital project can be viewed at any time on the Cypress Health Region website at

The facility’s design has included input from staff, physicians, patients, and family representatives.  Construction is anticipated to be complete in spring 2018, with the facility opening shortly thereafter.  When finished, the facility will be the sole location of all of the community’s health services including acute care, long term care via the existing Western Senior Citizens Home, emergency medical services, community health services, and primary health care.

Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility progress as of July 6, 2017

Women’s and Children’s Unit Celebrates moreOB™ Program

Team receives recognition award as it transitions into third year of program

The Women’s and Children’s Health Services Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital is celebrating the successes it has achieved through their involvement with the moreOB™ program. On June 28 the team accepted an Award of Recognition for their participation in the initiative.

Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently (moreOB™) is a continuous patient safety improvement program led by a multidisciplinary team comprised of nursing staff, physicians, specialists, midwives, and other staff at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current. The program uses a collaborative approach that’s intended to decrease adverse events and clinical errors by ensuring that all team members are involved in safety efforts and improvement initiatives.

After their first year of implementing the moreOB™ program the team received the moreOB™ Recognition Award for Outstanding Performance in the Application of Knowledge, Commitment, and Teamwork. The team has incorporated many improvements through the moreOB™ initiative in the first two years including skin to skin care between parents and their newborn, management of women in labour, and effective and efficient communication between the multidisciplinary team.

Year three will focus on building upon these improvements by maintaining and utilizing the formal communication and teamwork techniques previously established. It will focus on empowering patients and families to have a voice in promoting safe care practices, will utilize formal analytic techniques to identify and mitigate potential causes of harm, will further expand upon the monthly practice drills that are utilized for maintaining and developing advanced clinical skills, and will help prepare and practice for potential emergency scenarios.

Carol Wells, Nursing Unit Coordinator on the Women’s and Children’s Health Services Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital stated “I am very proud of the team and how they have been working together to achieve the best care and results for our patients. Since the initial start of the program, I have observed a lot of growth and a change in communication and multidisciplinary team work. The underlying message in moreOB™ is for us to develop a culture on the unit where patient safety is everyone’s first priority. Reflecting on the last two years and all we have accomplished, we are certainly doing a great job!”

The Cypress Health Region extends its appreciation to moreOB™ team members and their dedication to enhancing the quality programming offered within the Women’s and Children’s unit.


Rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Increasing

Teenagers and young adults are at highest risk

The incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Saskatchewan and the Cypress Health Region have been increasing over a number of years, prompting awareness campaigns and harm reduction strategies.

STIs are spread through the exchange of body fluids, most especially blood and genital fluids, or by direct contact with an infected body part. Individuals infected with STIs may at times not have symptoms and may have an infection for a long time before being diagnosed. While most STIs can be treated, some can only be controlled. If left untreated, STIs can lead to a number of long-term health problems/complications.

Dr. David Torr, Consulting Medical Health Officer for the Cypress Health Region explains that it’s important for the public to be aware of STI activity in the Cypress Health Region.

“Our data monitoring tools indicate that chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the Cypress Health Region. Teenagers and young adults in our region account for the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. These rates are an emerging health issue in our region, especially those in younger age categories.”

Chlamydia rates in Saskatchewan are among the highest in Canada. Over 70% of chlamydia cases in the Cypress Health Region are diagnosed in teenagers and young adults. Although these rates are highest in teenagers and young adults, anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting an STI.

The main risk factors for STIs in the Cypress Health Region include unprotected sex, having multiple and unknown sex partners, alcohol/drug use, having a new partner within the past three months, and having a previous STI.  Internet partnering and not using protective measures such as condoms are other risk factors.

Proper testing and treatment are essential. The high rates of STIs suggest that many individuals are potentially at risk of exposure, may not be aware of the risks and may not be using proper protection, further underscoring the need for prevention, education, and harm reduction efforts.

The health region is focused on a series of harm reduction strategies to decrease risk to the public. This includes prompt case management and follow up on reportable communicable diseases, including STIs. The region’s public health professionals also offer prevention strategies and community education on topics such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), other STIs, healthy relationships, and safe sex practices.

For more information about STIs or public health programs and services please visit the Region’s website:

Dr. Fanie de Nysschen Announces Retirement in Cabri – Recruitment Process Initiated

Dr. Fanie de Nysschen has provided the Cypress Health Region with written notice of his intent to retire on July 31, 2017.  Dr. de Nysschen is the sole physician in Cabri and the Region has initiated the recruitment process to find and secure replacement physician services for the community.

His retirement will result in changes to physician services beginning on August 1, 2017.  These changes will include physician coverage at the Prairie Health Care Centre, the Cabri Medical Clinic, and the Cabri Pharmacy.

“Dr. de Nysschen has been the sole physician in the community of Cabri for some time now and has provided many years of great service to residents, to which we owe him a collective thank you,” commented Dr. Ivo Radevski, Vice President of Acute Care and Senior Medical Officer for Cypress Health.  “We are working hard to find replacement physician coverage for the community and are optimistic that this can be secured as soon as possible.”

Recruitment efforts to find a replacement physician began as soon as the Region received verbal notice from Dr. de Nysschen of his retirement plans.  Various advertising mediums and other recruitment methods are being utilized by the Region to find his replacement.

The Region is also working on contingency plans should a physician not be recruited or able to start by July 31, 2017.  Options could include temporary physician coverage for the community, making arrangements with other physicians within the Cypress Health Region to provide temporary coverage, or others.

The Cabri Medical Clinic is owned and operated by the Town of Cabri and is rented by the physician.  The Clinic is an important element of the recruitment process.  The Cabri Pharmacy is owned and operated solely by Dr. de Nysschen and is not affiliated with the Cypress Health Region.  Its future status will be determined by the successfully recruited physician and the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals.

Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility

Community vote leads to new name for capital project in Leader

The Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility is the name of the new integrated facility being constructed in Leader. The Cypress Regional Health Authority (CRHA) passed a motion at its May 31 meeting to officially accept the community’s recommendation for the new name.

An opportunity to collect community feedback to help decide the name was recently led by the Leader Trust Advisory Committee. Community members were encouraged to complete an online survey or submit a paper vote and indicate their preference from a list of two possible names – the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility or the SaskRiver Integrated Healthcare Facility. The results indicated overwhelming support for the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility option.

“This facility will serve a large geographical area in Leader and surrounding communities and there was no better way to decide the permanent name for the completed facility than by asking those who will use it each and every day,” commented Tim Geiger, Chair of the Leader Trust Advisory Committee. “We received many votes through the online and paper options and it was very obvious that the community wanted to include Leader and District in the name of the facility. We thank the Cypress Regional Health Authority Board for accepting the recommended name and we look forward to the completion of the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility.”

The $12 million capital project is being constructed adjacent to the existing Western Senior Citizens Home and includes the attachment of acute care, community health services, primary health care, and ambulance services. When complete, the two facilities will be connected to form an integrated facility that will house all of the community’s health services.

A construction camera has been installed on-site and is documenting progress. A new photo is captured every 15 minutes and viewers can scroll back in time to look at previously captured images. The construction camera is available any time of day on the Cypress Health Region website at


Cypress Board Approves 2017/18 Operating Budget

2017/18 Budget includes $144.1 million in operations, $17.8 million in capital

The Cypress Regional Health Authority (CRHA) has approved the Region’s 2017/18 operating and capital budgets. The approvals were made during the Authority’s regular monthly board meeting on May 31.

The 2017/18 operating budget totals $144.1 million and continues the Region’s focus on delivering safe, high quality health services through the broad range of health programs and services available.

“Our health region is committed to using our resources wisely and to ensure that our residents have access to appropriate health services,” commented Larry Allsen, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Cypress Health. “This has been a challenging budget in a challenging fiscal time throughout the province, however our ultimate goal is always to give our patients, residents, and clients the best possible healthcare experience.”

A total of 81% of the Region’s budget, or $116.6 million, will be directed towards staff compensation.

Provincial funding accounts for the majority of the Region’s annual budget which received a 0% increase to base funding compared to the 2016/17 fiscal year. The accountability document issued by the Ministry of Health required the Health Region to find $9.239 million in efficiencies for the 2017/18 fiscal year. The initiatives used to reach the target included operating efficiencies, using capital reserves, savings realized through program changes announced in the March 22 provincial budget, and drawing from the Region’s unrestricted surplus.

“We have worked very hard throughout this year’s budget process to meet our $9.239 reduction target while trying to maintain program and service levels. We owe a lot of thanks to our staff that has done everything they can to find efficiencies which has resulted in surpluses for the past several years. It is because of this strong fiscal management that we are able to pull from our reserves in a challenging budget year like this year,” added Allsen.

The utilization of the Region’s unrestricted surplus will leave less than $300,000 available for emergent capital needs. The reserve will be depleted in what will be the final budget for the Cypress Health Region before transitioning to the new Saskatchewan Health Authority.

In addition to the $144.1 million operating budget, the Board also approved a $17.808 million capital budget. The capital budget is primarily made up of new facility construction projects, including Leader and The Meadows in Swift Current, which account for $14.512 million. The remaining capital budget will be used for equipment in the amount of $2.392 million, minor renovations totaling $756,000, and mortgage payments of $148,000.

The Board approved 2017/18 operating and capital budgets will be submitted to the Ministry of Health.


Planned Renovations Moving Forward in Leader

Small house model to enhance home-like environment at Western Senior Citizens Home

The Cypress Health Region is moving forward with improvements and renovations at the Western Senior Citizens Home.  The improvements include painting, flooring, lighting, handrails, ceiling lifts in the rooms, and the installation of three kitchenettes.  The renovations, which are expected to start May 30th, 2017, are in conjunction with the broader integrated facility construction project that is currently underway.

The kitchenettes will provide for an enhanced home-like environment, adding to the many positive aspects of resident care currently in place at the facility.  Transitioning from institutional models of long-term care to a home-like, resident-centred model has been an ongoing effort across the Cypress Health Region.  This transition has proven to be very beneficial, resulting in improved resident outcomes and increased resident satisfaction.

“Creating a home-like environment is very important.  The home-like model we are working towards in Leader will be unique to their community and will work around the existing facility’s structure, but our ultimate goal remains the same as our other long-term care facilities.  That is to improve the quality of life that residents enjoy and to enhance the overall care that they receive,” commented Brenda Schwan, Vice President Continuing Care and Capital Project Lead for the Cypress Health Region.  “Creating quieter living spaces, implementing more meaningful activities, and allowing residents to make their own choices are all benefits of the small house model.  We look forward to seeing improvements in the quality of life that our residents live as a result of incorporating this model into the Western Senior Citizens Home.”

Health Region representatives joined municipal councils, residents and families from the Western Senior Citizens Home, and the local Ladies Auxiliary on May 8 to discuss the renovations and related enhancements to the facility.  The Region appreciated the input and feedback received from engaged stakeholders.  Concerns and potential challenges were noted.

The Region reviewed the feedback provided at the meeting and progress made by the architect and contractor.  All of this was considered together with input gained through collaborative planning and preliminary work on the integrated facility project, and the decision was made to continue with the proposed enhancements.

“We truly appreciate and acknowledge the feedback that we received.  We continue to be committed to this project and its many benefits.  We are excited to continue working with our staff, residents, and families in implementing this new model which will include the use of the three new kitchenettes within the facility,” added Schwan.

Conceptual drawings of the kitchenette have recently been completed by aodbt Architecture + Interior Design and are pictured below.

The Region understands and appreciates that residents are interested in having more information on the improvement plans.  Strategies are being reviewed on how best to create opportunities for staff, residents, and families to receive additional information and to become more familiar with the home-like model of care.  More details will be shared on these opportunities for feedback in the very near future.

For more information on the Leader integrated facility project and the renovations/enhancements to the existing Western Senior Citizens Home, please visit



Leader Photo Project

Amateur and professional photographers called upon to become part of new facility

The new integrated health facility project in Leader is engaging in a photography project to ensure the facility represents the feel and unique elements of the community.  Three feature walls have been incorporated into the architectural plan and will be comprised of photographs captured by amateur and professional photographers.

The Cypress Health Region has partnered with the project’s architect, aodbt architecture + interior design, to design three feature photography walls.  The designated spaces for the feature walls will read as a mosaic of imagery representing the community and surrounding areas.  The walls will be representative of the local landscape. The Leader Photo Project gives residents an exciting opportunity to have their works of photography become part of the overall design and feel of the interior space.

 Dallas Huard, Principal Architect and Nicole Tiessen, Principal Interior Designer for aodbt architecture + interior design remarked, “As the architects and interior designers for the new Leader integrated health facility we are excited to engage the community with this project. This initiative will enable the surrounding community to be a part of the design of several feature walls and give them an opportunity to leave their mark on this important building. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to local residents and to collaborate with the Cypress Health Region on this exciting element. We look forward to weaving the story and the rich culture of the local area into the architecture of the building.”

Photo submissions of familiar sights and landmarks are being sought.  All photographs entered will be considered by an appointed committee and those selected will be on display for generations as part of the facility’s permanent architecture.

Photographs may be submitted by anyone interested in participating.  Several basic design parameters have been established to ensure fairness, quality, and consistency.  Photographs submitted may include landscapes, wildlife/animals, or architectural subjects only – no photographs of people will be considered.  Individuals may submit one or more photographs for consideration.  Participants do not need to live in Leader or immediate surrounding areas to submit a photograph. Final placements and scale of photographs will be at the discretion of the committee. Recognition will be provided to those whose images are selected, however final decisions on how the chosen photographs will be referenced and credited will be at the discretion of the committee.

Help tell the story of Leader and surrounding areas and leave an enduring legacy by submitting photographs for the Leader Photo Project. Photo submissions must be submitted electronically by June 15, 2017.

For more information on the Leader Photo Project, including how to submit your photographs, please visit