Category Archives: News Release

Influenza Immunizations Remain Available

Drop-in clinics now being offered throughout southwest

The Cypress Health Region has concluded its mass influenza immunization clinic schedule for the 2017 fall campaign.  The Region’s public health nursing team has provided nearly 40 clinics in 20 communities.

With the larger scale mass clinics now completed, the public health nursing team has moved to the next phase of the influenza immunization campaign.  A series of additional clinics have been made available to provide individuals and families with further opportunities to receive the flu vaccine.

Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for Cypress Health, emphasizes that the public should get their immunization to help prevent the spread of influenza. “Attendance has been good and close to a quarter of the region’s population has been immunized by public health so far.  Those who have not yet had their immunization are encouraged to come and get it before the peak of the season.”

Additional drop-in style flu clinics have been scheduled and will be offered in the following communities/locations:

Swift Current – E.I. Wood Building, 4th Floor (350 Cheadle Street West)

  • Clinic times/dates: December 1, 8, 15, 22; January 5, 19; February 2, 16; March 2, 16, 30 – 8:30am to 11:30am

Maple Creek – Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility (102 – 5th Avenue West)

  • Clinic times/dates: December 14, 21 – 10:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Leader – Leader Community Services (519 Main Street)

  • Clinic times/dates: November 28 – 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm:

Shaunavon – Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre (660 – 4th St East.)

  • Clinic times/dates: December 21 – 9:00am to 4:00pm

Each of the above-noted clinics is drop-in style with no appointment necessary.  Individuals are reminded to bring their Saskatchewan Health Card when receiving an influenza immunization.

Parents with children who are under 9 years of age and receiving the influenza immunization for the first time this year should be advised that their child will require a second dose of vaccine to enhance the protection.  The second dose will be required one month after the first dose is received.

Influenza vaccine is also available at many physician clinics and designated pharmacies (ages 9 and over only) throughout the Cypress Health Region.

Immunization is the single most effective measure one can take to protect themselves, their family members, and those around them.  The influenza immunization is beneficial for the entire population over the age of six months to receive.

For more details call public health nursing at 306-778-5280 or 1-866-786-2510 to make alternate arrangements.  Questions regarding the influenza vaccine can be directed to your nearest public health nursing office, your family physician, your community pharmacy, or by calling the provincial HealthLine at 8-1-1.

Take Home Naloxone Program Launched

Free kits available to those at risk of opioid overdose

As part of Saskatchewan’s expanding Take-Home Naloxone (THN) program, THN kits will be available in Swift Current starting November 28, 2017. The program is being launched by the Cypress Health Region in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

The THN kits will be available free of charge to individuals at risk of an opioid overdose. Along with the kit, education and training is provided on overdose prevention, recognition and response, including how to administer naloxone. Training will also be available to those who may witness an overdose, such as family members or friends.

Penni Caron, Director of Mental Health and Addictions for Cypress Health, said the aim is to save lives through education and access to the kits themselves.

“If you or someone you know is using opioids such as heroin, morphine and fentanyl, it’s important to be aware that resources like the Take Home Naloxone kit is available,” she noted.

Naloxone is an antidote to opioids such as fentanyl, morphine, heroin, methadone or oxycodone. When administered properly, naloxone can restore breathing to an individual experiencing an overdose. Naloxone is already in use in Saskatchewan emergency departments and by paramedics in emergency situations to treat an opioid overdose.

Anyone witnessing or experiencing an overdose should immediately dial 9-1-1.

Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, oxycodone or morphine. It is a prescribed painkiller that is often added to illegal drugs without people knowing. Overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl have been rising across Canada.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is providing $50,000 this year to fund THN programs across the province.  THN programs are available in the Saskatoon, Regina Qu’Appelle, Prairie North, Sunrise, Prince Albert Parkland, Five Hills, Sun Country, Heartland, Keewatin Yatthe and Cypress health regions.

Individuals interested in obtaining a kit or training, should contact the Cypress Health Region’s Mental Health and Addictions Centralized Intake Team at 1-877-329-0005.



2017-2018 InFLUenza Season

Residents encouraged to get immunized before the end of public clinics

As infuenza season continues, Cypress Health Region residents are encouraged to receive their free influenza immunization. The Region’s seasonal influenza immunization campaign began on October 23 and will run until November 25th.

Immunizations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and those around you from influenza. Influenza immunization is currently available, free of charge, to all Saskatchewan residents six months of age and older.

“Influenza is more serious than the common cold and can cause significant illness, even death, especially in more vulnerable populations. We strongly urge members of the public to get immunized and help minimize illness and complications in our communities,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for the Health Region.

Influenza activity in Saskatchewan is increasing. The percentage of laboratory tests positive for influenza remains higher for this time of year compared to previous seasons. The majority of influenza detections are for influenza A (H3N2). The vaccine available this year offers protection against the influenza A (H3N2) and three other strains of the influenza virus.

As of November 9, 2017 there have been approximately 5,800 immunizations provided through the Cypress Health Region’s mass immunization clinics. Additional doses have been administered by pharmacies and physician offices and are not included in this figure.
For more information about influenza and the ongoing influenza immunization program including clinic dates, times and locations please visit

First Renovated Wing Completed in Leader as Capital Construction Project Continues

The capital expansion project in Leader, including various renovations and enhancements to the interior of the existing long-term care side of the facility, continues to reach new construction milestones and remains on schedule to open its doors as the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility in summer 2018.

The first of three wings to undergo renovations at the Western Senior Citizens Home was completed on October 27 with residents re-occupying the wing on October 30.  The completed work included safety improvements with the installation of ceiling lifts, a new handheld nurse call system, and improved hand rails.  New LED lighting, paint, curtains, and flooring were also installed. The small-house model of care is being introduced, promoting resident choice and addressing known challenges with traditional long-term care delivery models such as loneliness and boredom.

Edna Dieterle and Art Trautwein, residents at the Western Senior Citizens Home, expressed their satisfaction.

“We are pleased with the new renovations. The rooms seem to be bigger and we like the new dining area that is smaller with fewer people. It allows for good conversation and a feeling of closeness,” they shared.

“The ten residents to move back into our first completed wing were very happy to see their new space and were excited with their new kitchen and dining areas,” commented Brenda Schwan, Vice President Continuing Care and Capital Project Lead.  “Residents have found the new look to be fresh and the atmosphere very welcoming.”

Renovation work has now shifted to the west wing and nursing station area. Each wing takes approximately 10-12 weeks for renovations to be completed.

Meanwhile the $12 million capital construction attached to the Western Senior Citizens Home continues to progress. Recent activity has included the installation of roof cap sheeting to create a water tight surface, ongoing ductwork, electrical, and plumbing services including mechanical systems, and the final enclosures of the building including exterior door installations.  The majority of internal wall studding has been completed and gypsum boarding (drywall) is scheduled to begin next week.  External cladding is also being installed.

When the expansion project and renovation work is completed the facility will be renamed, as decided by community members, the Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility.  It will be the sole location of all of the community’s health services bringing together acute care, emergency medical services, community health services, primary health care, and long-term care.  The facility’s design incorporates input from staff, physicians, patients, and family representatives.

A construction camera remains in place to document progress and captures a new birds-eye image of the site every 15 minutes.

Western Senior Citizens Home after renovations completed
Western Senior Citizens Home before renovations completed
The new dining and kitchen area promotes a small-house model of care delivery
Interior photo of the capital construction project, showing completed steel stud work

Food Safety During a Power Outage

It’s important to think about food safety during a power outage.

A power outage can spoil food and make it unsafe to eat.  If you experienced a short term power outage, the following tips may help you in deciding what is safe to eat and what you shouldn’t keep.

Did you know that a full upright freezer can keep its contents frozen for about 2 days, while a half freezer can keep food frozen for about a day if the doors are left closed? Without electrical power, refrigerators can keep food cool for four hours provided that the fridge is kept closed as much as possible.

When deciding if you should keep food from your freezer or fridge:

  • Use a probe thermometer to check internal food temperatures. If possible add bags of ice to the freezer to help keep the temperature cool for a longer period of time and replenish the ice as needed.
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4°C (40°F) for more than two hours.
  • Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be re-frozen if they still have ice crystals.
  • Discard food items in the refrigerators that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  • Consider using cooler or ice chests with a supply of ice for food storage.
  • Just remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

If you have any question or concerns please contact your area Public Health Inspector at (306) 778-5280.

For more information on food safety during a power outage see this Fact Sheet.

It’s InFLUenza Season – Plan to Get Immunized

Influenza Immunization Clinics to Begin October 23

Immunizations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and those around you from influenza.  The Cypress Health Region will begin its seasonal influenza immunization campaign with the first clinic of the season on October 23 in Swift Current.

Vaccine will be available to all Saskatchewan residents at no cost.  Any person can attend any of the available public clinics to receive their immunization.  Starting October 23 and running until late November, 38 clinics will be offered in 20 communities throughout the southwest.  Several of these clinics offer evening and weekend opportunities.

Everyone is encouraged to receive their seasonal influenza vaccination.

“Influenza is more serious than the common cold and can cause significant illness, even death, especially in more vulnerable populations. A number of people get seriously ill every flu season and sadly deaths occur due to influenza. We strongly urge members of the public to get immunized and help minimize illness and complications in our communities,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for the Health Region.

In addition to the public health immunization campaign, the public may also choose to receive their immunization from participating physician/nurse practitioner offices and pharmacies.  Please speak with your physician, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist to inquire about their offering of influenza immunizations.

“The vaccine is safe, effective, protective, and very rarely causes any complications. I strongly encourage everyone to get their annual influenza immunization and to encourage family, friends, seniors, and other members of the community to do the same – it is free and available to all.  You can get your shot through public health, pharmacies, and some physician offices, whichever is more convenient to you”, added Torr.

High risk groups for influenza include health care workers, adults and children with chronic or underlying health conditions, child care providers, residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities, seniors, healthy pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years but older than 6 months of age.

For more information regarding the dates and locations of the 2017 seasonal influenza immunization clinics in your community please refer to the flu clinic calendar that is being sent to household mailboxes throughout the region.  Additional influenza and immunization information will be available on the health region’s website and social media networks.  You may also speak to your family physician or call the provincial HealthLine at 8-1-1.

Choosing Wisely – Annual Exams

Physicians and healthcare providers in the Cypress Health Region have been participating in a national campaign focused on engaging in conversations with patients about unnecessary tests and treatments.  The Choosing Wisely initiative calls on clinicians and patients to make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.

The Choosing Wisely campaign is built upon a growing list of tests, treatments, and procedures for which there is strong evidence of overuse, waste, or even possible harm to patients. Dr. Michele Jagga discusses annual exams and  the importance of choosing wisely.

Watch as Dr. Jagga explains why more is not always better when it comes to medical tests and treatments such as annual exams.

For more information on Choosing Wisely, please go to

Cypress Health Honours Staff at Years of Service Gala

It was a special evening at the Sky Centre in Swift Current on Wednesday, October 4th as the Cypress Health Region hosted its last Employee Service Recognition Gala.  The Gala marks an opportunity for the Region to formally thank staff who have reached milestones for continuous service during the 2017 calendar year.

The program and banquet celebrated and recognized staff members who reached 5-year service plateaus ranging from a minimum of 15 years up to those who have achieved 45 years of continuous service.  A total of 60 staff members were able to join together for the evening’s celebrations including: 33 staff for the 15 year milestone, 36 staff for the 20 year milestone, 13 staff for the 25 year milestone, 19 staff for the 30 year milestone, 2 staff for the 35 year milestone, 1 staff for the 40 year milestone, and 1 staff for the 45 year milestone. These employees represented the communities of Cabri, Climax, Consul, Eastend, Gull Lake, Herbert, Hodgeville, Leader, Mankota, Maple Creek, Ponteix, Shaunavon, and Swift Current.

Members of the Cypress Health Region’s Senior Leadership Team participated in the program and awards presentations.  A message of congratulations from Jim Reiter, Minister of Health was presented to the participants. The evening’s entertainment was provided by Swift Current Improvisational Theatre and Justine Sletten.

In 2017 the Cypress Health Region is recognizing a total of 243 staff members who have reached service plateaus of 5-40 years totaling 3,235 years of health care experience.

More than Just Inspections

Proclamation of Environmental Public Health Week in Swift Current

On the surface, you may not see the link between your favourite restaurant, the local swimming pool, or the new house being built on your street. If you look a little deeper however, you’ll see that these, in one way or another, all fall under the duties of Environmental Public Health (EPH) in the Cypress Health Region. Every day our region’s environmental public health professionals, more commonly referred to as public health inspectors, impact the food we eat, the water we drink, and the places where we gather, live, and learn.

On Monday September 25th, 2017 the City of Swift Current proclaimed Environmental Public Health Week. This week recognizes the important work completed by Environmental Public Health Professionals across Canada in order to help keep our communities safe.

“Our team of public health inspectors play a critical role in helping to protect the public in southwest Saskatchewan from environmental health hazards that affect our daily lives and wellbeing. This can include food safety, air quality, water safety, pest control, tobacco control, recreational facilities, and many others” says Brad Giesbrecht, Senior Public Health Inspector. “A key part of our jobs is to work proactively to protect the health of individuals while troubleshooting any potential issues before they become health concerns.”

While restaurant inspections are often the first thing that public health inspectors are associated with, a diverse range of activities fall under their daily duties including education, investigations, and enforcements. In 2016, 1,414 public health inspections were done in the Cypress Health Region. These inspections included restaurants, pools, sewage systems, childcare facilities, and others. In addition to the inspections, 599 participants attended educational opportunities hosted by public health inspection such safe food handling courses and programs for swimming pool operators.

In recognition of the important role Environmental Public Health Professionals have in protecting the health of the public and our communities, we are celebrating Environmental Public Health Week within the Cypress Health Region. For more information on the work of public health please visit

Cypress Medical and Surgical Specialists Clinic Opens September 25

Swift Current’s newest medical clinic, the Cypress Medical and Surgical Specialists Clinic, is scheduled to begin their new operations on Monday, September 25, 2017.

Dr. A. Ghori, Dr. A. Mulla, Dr. V. Gali, Dr. N. Malleck, and Dr. S. Fakhir will be relocating from Central Medical Clinic to the Cypress Medical and Surgical Specialists Clinic as of September 25.

The new Clinic’s permanent address will be 201 – 1921 Saskatchewan Drive.
Phone number: 306-773-7711.  Fax number: 306-773-7717.

The Clinic is privately owned and is not directly affiliated with Cypress Health.

The Central Medical Clinic will continue to operate and is not closed.  The physicians continuing to practice at Central Medical Clinic include Dr. A. Akinfiresoye, Dr. R. Serwadda, Dr. T. Khonje, and Dr. S. Garcia.