Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory – Village of Climax

The Water Security Agency has issued Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA) notices to all residents and users of the public water supply in the Village of Climax. The Village of Climax advisory is in effective at 8:00am on Wednesday, October 18 and is due to a water main replacement causing a  depressurized system.

The PDWA in the Village of Climax will remain in effect until the safety of the  water systems can be ensured at all times. This will include power being restored, stable chlorine/turbidity levels, and bacteriological sample tests that show negative results for bacterial growth in the final treated potable water being supplied.

Updates on PDWA’s:

  • Frontier was rescinded on Oct. 25, 2017 at 3:30pm.
  • Sceptre was rescinded on Oct. 26, 2017 at 3:00pm.
  • Areas in Leader have been rescinded on Oct. 26, 2017 at 3:00pm.
  • Richmound was rescinded on Oct. 26, 2017 at 3:30pm.

Communities under a PDWA should:

  • boil all water, used for drinking purposes, for at least one minute, at a rolling boil, prior to use
  • boil water to be used for other activities where it may be ingested including brushing teeth, soaking false teeth, washing fruits/vegetables, food/drink which will not be subsequently heated, and ice cubes
  • not use the water for washing dishes unless the water has been boiled or the dishes sanitized in another fashion. Washed dishes and utensils can be soaked in a bleach water solution (2 tbsp bleach per gallon of water) for at least two minutes after being washed to kill any bacteria
  • not drink from any public drinking fountains supplied with water from the public water supply
  • ensure that younger children and infants are sponge bathed
  • use an alternative water source known to be safe if they do not wish to boil the water and
  • consult with your physician if you have cuts or rashes that are severe before using the water

Under most circumstances, there is no need to boil water used for other household purposes. Adults, adolescents, and older children may shower, bathe, or wash using tap water but should avoid swallowing the water. Laundry may be washed in tap water, either by hand or by machine.

For more information please contact the Water Security Agency at 306-778-8685.

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  https://choosingwiselycanada.org/

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.

Outbreak Rescinded – Wolf Willow Health Centre – Eastend

Update: September 29 at 11:50am

Please be advised that the outbreak at the Wolf Willow Health Centre in Eastend has been rescinded and visitation at the facility may now resume.

We would like to thank the general public for adhering to the visitation restrictions during the outbreak.  Thanks is also extended to staff and public health/inspection control teams for their diligence in working to rescind the outbreak as quickly as possible.

While visitation has now resumed, enteric and other illnesses continue to circulate in our communities.  Frequent and proper handwashing are very important to eliminate the spreading of illnesses.  In particular we ask anyone visiting a health facility to please wash your hands thoroughly prior to leaving your home and wash your hands again upon entering the facility.  If you are feeling ill, please stay home until you are feeling well.


Update: September 27 at 9:30am

The outbreak continues.  There are currently three residents with signs and symptoms of the illness.  The specific illness type remains unknown.  Visitation restrictions continue to be in place. See original post below for complete details.


Original post: September 25 at 4:30pm

Under the guidance of Medical Health Officer Dr. David Torr, an outbreak has been declared at the Wolf Willow Health Centre in Eastend due to the presence of enteric illness signs and symptoms amongst the facilities residents.

Gastroenteritis (enteric illness) means inflammation of the stomach and both small and large intestines. Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses that result in vomiting or diarrhea. It is often called the “stomach flu”, although the influenza viruses do not cause gastroenteritis.

Many different viruses can cause gastroenteritis, including rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses and enteroviruses.

Read more about Viral Gastroenteritis.

Due to this declaration, please consider the following:

  • Until further notice, visitation to the facility will be restricted.  The only exceptions to these restrictions will be in the event of an ‘end of life’ situation, where the nurse in charge at the facility can be contacted to discuss the options that are available for family members to visit their loved one.
  • This outbreak has been declared due to the presence of an unconfirmed enteric illness.  Samples will be collected and sent to the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory in Regina for analysis and confirmation of the illness type.
  • Presently, there are four long term care residents within the facility who have been identified as meeting the signs and symptoms of this illness.
  • Enhanced cleaning and infection control protocols have been implemented within the facility in an attempt to remove the illness.

Public Health and Infection Control Team members are actively involved and are providing guidance into the ongoing steps being taken to eradicate the illness.  The health region is strongly emphasizing that everyone do what they can to prevent the spread of illness/sickness to others.  Frequent and proper handwashing, staying home when ill, and enhanced cleaning of hard surfaces within your homes/businesses should always be the normal practice.

Read more about outbreaks and why they are declared.

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 https://cypresshealth.ca/programs-services/public-health/.

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.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine Offered to Boys Beginning This Fall

Government of Saskatchewan News Release September 8, 2017

Grade 6 boys in Saskatchewan can now receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for free as part of the province’s school immunization program. This is an expansion of the existing HPV vaccination program for Grade 6 girls.

“Our province has one of the most comprehensive vaccination programs in Canada, said Health Minister Jim Reiter. “We are pleased to provide $750,000 annually for this additional investment in the health and well-being of our children.”

Approximately 7,500 Grade 6 male students will be eligible to receive the free HPV vaccine, in addition to the province’s 7,500 Grade 6 female students.

HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted virus in Canada and is linked to a number of cancers, including mouth, throat and cervical cancers. HPV vaccines are most effective when given to young people, generally around the age of 12.

As children head back to school, health officials are encouraging parents to ensure all of their children’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Free childhood immunizations are available for all infants and school-age children in Saskatchewan.

“Immunization is the most effective way to protect your children against infectious diseases that can be very serious or even deadly,” said Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. “I urge parents to ensure children are fully vaccinated to maximize the benefits of immunization.”

Publicly-funded routine vaccinations are easily available in Saskatchewan at public health clinics (for pre-school children) and through school-based programs (for school age students).

Infants and preschool-age children may receive the following free routine vaccinations.

Diphtheria

  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Haemophilus influenza type b
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Rotavirus

School-age children may receive the following free routine vaccinations.

  • Grade 6 students – bacterial meningitis, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), varicella (chickenpox)
  • Grade 8 students – tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) booster

Saskatchewan residents six months and older may also receive a free influenza immunization. Public health flu clinics begin in late October.

The province invests more than $15 million each year to protect residents from vaccine preventable diseases.

For more information, call your public health office, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/immunize or call HealthLine 811.

 

Leader and District Integrated Healthcare Facility Update

Advancements continue on construction project in Leader

The capital expansion project in Leader is reaching new milestones within the construction process and continues to be on track to open in summer 2018.

Construction activity in initial areas is as much as 80% complete, including framing and roof trusses in the acute care wing. Other notable progress is 30% completion of roof sheeting and the beginning of window installation. Work is ongoing in the areas of drywall and cement board, mechanical and electrical, Styrofoam insulation in exterior walls, Blueskin composite membrane around window and door openings, and walls and trusses for the ambulance bay. Delivery of wall and roof cladding is scheduled for the near future.

“When one looks back over the past four months, construction has taken us from an empty shell with only cement pilings visible to the near completed exterior shell and mezzanine that we see today,” noted Brenda Schwan, Capital Lead and Vice President of Continuing Care for the Cypress Health Region. “The exterior shape of the facility is now distinctly visible and we are all excited to see the project move through the various construction phases towards eventual completion.”

A construction camera remains in place to document progress and captures a new birds-eye image of the site every 15 minutes. The high resolution images may be viewed at any time on the Cypress Health Region website at www.cypresshealth.ca.

Renovation work is continuing on the interior of the existing Western Senior Citizens Home. The renovations include safety improvements such as the installation of ceiling lifts, a new handheld nurse call system, and improved hand rails. A new electronic charting system is being installed that will further improve resident safety and staff communication. Aesthetic improvements will add new LED lighting, paint, curtains, and flooring. It is anticipated that the first of three wings to be renovated will be completed and ready for occupancy as early as the end of October.

The renovations will transform the existing long term care facility into three 10-bed homes. The new model, known as the small house model, focuses care on resident choice and aims to reduce known challenges with more traditional models of care such as loneliness and boredom.
In anticipation of the small house model being introduced, variable breakfasts have been implemented for residents who are temporarily occupying a wing at the Leader Hospital during renovations. Variable breakfasts allow residents to begin their day when they wish to. Continuing Care Aide staff are preparing and serving breakfast to residents when they choose to wake up. The care team is also actively working on preparations for a new electronic health record system that will be introduced in the facility when the first 10-bed home is complete.

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. The facility will be the sole location of all of the community’s health services. The integration of services will bring together acute care, emergency medical services, community health services, primary health care, and long term care via the existing Western Senior Citizens Home. The facility’s design incorporates input from staff, physicians, patients, and family representatives.


Progress from April to August 2017

April 2017
May 2017

 

 

 

 

 

June 2017
July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017