Tag Archives: Shaunavon

Respiratory Illnesses Circulating in Several Communities

There is a noted increase in respiratory activity in the Cypress Health Region, including influenza.  The general public is being reminded to take precautions and implement safeguards to protect themselves and those around them.

The Herbert and District Integrated Healthcare Facility and Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre have both been placed under outbreak status due to the presence of respiratory illnesses.  Optimal infection control precautions are in place at both facilities as the Region awaits lab results to determine further measures that may be necessary.  Visitation restrictions have been put in place during these outbreaks to minimize illness being brought into or carried out of the facility. The outbreaks in Herbert and Shaunavon affect long-term care services only; acute and emergency services remain available at both facilities.

“We are seeing notable respiratory activity in our communities, from influenza and other viruses, and are implementing measures to minimize spread of these illnesses in our facilities.  We ask that the public take similar steps in their homes and businesses including frequent and thorough hand hygiene, coughing into your sleeve or tissue, regular cleaning of surfaces that are commonly handled and easily contaminated, and staying home when ill unless seeking medical attention,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for Cypress Health.  “Some respiratory illnesses can be quite severe, especially in those who are most vulnerable.  While these illnesses may be seen as minor in the eyes of some, they can actually be quite harmful and even deadly to other members of the community.”

Respiratory viruses are contagious.  They are easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact through nasal and throat secretions.  Symptoms include fever and chills, cough, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Immunization is an important step to protect yourself and those around you.

“This year’s flu vaccine is well matched to the circulating strains of influenza.  The number of individuals who have received their vaccine is less than it has been in past years.  This puts the broader public at greater risk and we once again urge those who have not yet received their influenza immunization to do so as soon as they can,” Dr. Torr added.

Individuals can receive a flu vaccine by calling Public Health at 1-866-786-2510 or by attending a drop-in clinic in Swift Current. Drop-in dates and details are posted at on the events page.

In addition to immunization other measures to protect yourself include proper hand hygiene with warm water and soap, staying home when ill unless seeking medical attention, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or the crook of your elbow, and frequently cleaning commonly touched surfaces.  Parents with young children should wash their hands thoroughly before and after changing a diaper.  Hand sanitizers should not be used as a complete replacement for proper hand hygiene.

Shaunavon Primary Health Care Clinic

Clinic appointment access, no shows discouraged, proper emergency room use promoted

The Primary Health Care clinic at the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre is a fundamental access point for residents of Shaunavon and surrounding areas requiring non-emergent medical care. The Cypress Health Region is promoting access to the clinic through the scheduling of an appointment while also reminding the public of the importance of cancelling appointments that are no longer needed.

The scheduling of patients within the clinic provides a known time for a patient to see a healthcare provider, reduces overall wait times, and allows the provider team to maintain a steady flow of patients throughout the day. Calling the clinic to schedule an appointment is preferred over presenting as a walk-in, as explained by Greg Grant, Director of Primary Health Care for the Cypress Health Region.

“We want to emphasize that the primary health care clinic located within the Shaunavon Hospital is not to be used primarily as a walk-in clinic. We would like to remind the public to call the clinic in advance and schedule an appointment with a physician or nurse practitioner. The access to healthcare providers in Shaunavon is very strong, even for same-day appointments, meaning patients calling the clinic to schedule an appointment can expect prompt access,” noted Grant.

Provider access, while readily available, is restricted from reaching full capacity due to individuals who do not attend their scheduled appointments. There are an average of over 28 no-shows per month at the Shaunavon clinic, resulting in opportunity loss for those wishing to see a physician or nurse practitioner as promptly as possible. Cancellation of appointments that are no longer required assists in providing faster access of health services for the entire community.

Primary Health Care clinic hours in Shaunavon are Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The clinic is closed on statutory holidays. Appointments can be made by calling 306-297-1940. Current healthcare providers that deliver excellence in health services at the clinic include: Dr. Louwrens, Dr. Akpoigbe, Dr. Barretto, and nurse practitioners Sherry Hornung and Chester McCuaig.

If faced with a medical emergency you are asked to dial 9-1-1. Emergency services are available at the Shaunavon Hospital 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Examples of medical emergencies include heart attack, stroke, loss of consciousness, and convulsions.

Influenza Immunizations Remain Available via Drop-In Clinics

The Cypress Health Region has concluded the mass influenza immunization clinic schedule for the 2015 fall campaign. The health region’s Public Health Nursing team provided over 40 clinics in more than 20 communities throughout the region.

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

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: 8:30am to 11:30am.
  • Dates: December 18; January 8 and 22; February 5 and 19; March 4 and 18

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

  • December 8 – 9:00am to 12:00 noon; 1:00pm to 4:00pm
  • December 17 – 1:00pm to 4:00 pm

Shaunavon – Public Health Nursing Office, Shaunavon Hospital & Care Centre

  • December 10 – 9:00am to 12:00 noon; 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Each of the above-noted clinics is drop-in style with no appointment necessary. Both injectable vaccine and FluMist, a nasal spray option for children aged 2-17, will be available for free. Individuals are reminded to bring their Saskatchewan Health Services card to the drop-in clinics.

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 their protection. The second dose will be required one month after the first dose is received.

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.

Influenza vaccine is also available at many physician clinics and pharmacies throughout the Cypress Health Region

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.

Local Nurse Practitioner Hired for Eastend and Shaunavon

The Cypress Health Region’s Primary Health Care (PHC) program is pleased to welcome Chet McCuaig into its Nurse Practitioner team. McCuaig will be working as a full time Nurse Practitioner sharing time in the communities of Shaunavon and Eastend.

“We are very excited to welcome Chet back into our Cypress Health team. Chet is a well-known face in and around the southwest as well as to our existing PHC team. He comes with an impressive reputation behind his work and we’re looking forward to our patients benefitting from his arrival,” commented Peggi Holmes, Manager of Primary Health Care services for the Cypress Health Region.

McCuaig graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2007 and worked for the Cypress Health Region in various roles from January 2008 to December 2012. He completed his Nurse Practitioner (NP) training in 2012 following a preceptorship in Maple Creek where he worked under the guidance of fellow NP Dawn Kalinowski. He was then hired as a NP in Nipawin where he has worked since 2012.

“It’s very exciting to be back in the Cypress Health Region and to be able to provide a much needed service to the communities of Eastend and Shaunavon. The Wolf Willow Health Centre in Eastend has a reputation for providing excellent care to its residents and community members and I intend to uphold that reputation wholeheartedly. I’m really looking forward to working with Dr. Wasko and all of the staff and clients in these communities. It’s truly great to be home,” said McCuaig.

He is expected to begin his employment with the region in mid to late September though exact dates are still being determined.

Nurse Practitioners (NP) are registered nurses with enhanced knowledge and skills gained through additional education and clinical practice. As a member of the PHC team, the NP can complete physical exams, diagnose and treat minor and uncomplicated health issues and chronic health conditions, conduct routine physicals, prescribe some medications, order some laboratory tests and x-rays, make referrals to other health providers, assist patients in developing a personal plan to improve one’s health, and is involved with education and health programming in the community.

To schedule a medical appointment with a nurse practitioner or physician at any of the region’s primary health care clinics please call ahead to secure a date and time. In the great majority of cases, an appointment can usually be secured on the same or next clinic day with one of the clinic’s health providers. Patients are reminded to schedule appointments for non-urgent medical needs as doing so alleviates unnecessary emergency room wait times for those facing true medical emergencies.

Shaunavon Welcomes New Physician

The Primary Health Care Medical Clinic in Shaunavon is welcoming another full time permanent physician to its team of health care providers. The Cypress Health Region has recruited Dr. Tharwat Bishay to join the primary health care clinic to provide quality family medicine services to the residents of the community and surrounding areas.

Dr. Bishay received his Medical Degree from the Assiut University in Egypt in 1982. He practiced Family Medicine in Egypt until 2008 when he and his family relocated to Canada. He continued his practice in Cairo until he was accepted into the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program in Saskatoon which he has successfully completed. He then worked for the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) as a rural locum providing services across the province.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Bishay join our region’s physician complement and look forward to getting him established in Shaunavon,” said Grant Browne, Cypress Health Region’s Medical Affairs Coordinator. “The primary health care team is pleased to have Dr. Bishay arrive in the community and he will be a great fit for the team and the community.”

Dr. Bishay will be joining Dr. P. Louwrens, Dr. R. Rahmani, Dr. I. Barretto, and Nurse Practitioner Sherry Hornung in the Shaunavon Primary Health Care Clinic, which is located in the Shaunavon Hospital & Care Centre.

Browne acknowledged the efforts of the Primary Health Care team as they have helped to cover the patients and on-call responsibilities while recruitment efforts were underway. “We are grateful to the physicians and NP for accepting additional on-call requirements that ensured a consistent service was available to clinic patients and those requiring emergency outpatient services within the Hospital,” added Browne.

He started his medical career in Shaunavon on January 12. Appointments with Dr. Bishay and the other team members can be made by calling 306.297.1940.

Shaunavon Health Fair, September 29

For the second straight year the Cypress Health Region will be hosting an Adult/Senior Health Fair in Shaunavon. The event acts as a one-stop-shop and is an opportunity for the community to get the latest health care information in one location.

The event will include healthcare professionals alongside display booths on a wide range of topics including: blood pressure checks, blood glucose monitoring, COPD/asthma, nutrition, handwashing, physiotherapy, oral health, nurse practitioners, and many others. Vendors will also be in attendance displaying some of the industries newest technologies.

This year’s health fair will take place on September 29 from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre in Shaunavon. It is free to attend and everyone is encouraged to stop by at any time during the day. Refreshments and snacks will be available.

The planning committee is seeking sponsorships of the event from local businesses. Sponsorship can include financial donations to help cover expenses or door prizes.

For more information on the health fair or to indicate your organization’s interest in sponsoring the event please contact Jody Rice at 306-297-1991.