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Battlefords Dialysis Expansion Brings Care Closer to Home; Chemotherapy Unit Expands into Former Dialysis Space

January 24, 2017

Battlefords Union Hospital (BUH) can now provide dialysis treatments for 50 per cent more patients, following the recent expansion of the hemodialysis suite. An opening celebration was held today for the expanded Dialysis Unit and the hospital's relocated Chemotherapy Unit.

Patients and their families, staff, Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) officials, and representatives of the Chronic Kidney Disease Program of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) joined Battlefords MLA Herb Cox for the official opening.

BUH Dialysis Opening Jan 24 2017

Cutting the Ribbon to declare the new Renal Dialysis and Chemotherapy Units officially open were (from left)
PNHR CEO David Fan; Dr. Rod Stryker, Chronic Kidney Disease Program, Saskatoon (behind Mr. Fan);
Herb Cox, MLA The Battlefords; Clara Quirk, patient representative; Pat McWatters, Nurse Manager BUH
Dialysis and Chemotherapy Units; Dr. Joanne Kappel, Chronic Kidney Disease Program, Saskatoon; Bonnie
O'Grady, Board Chairperson, Prairie North Regional Health Authority; and Scott Livingstone, CEO
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

“We're glad that more area residents can receive this life-sustaining service as close to home as possible,” Cox said on behalf of Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit. “Patients needing chemotherapy now receive treatment in a space that provides more privacy and comfort. These programs put patients first by helping them receive the best care possible, as close to their home community as possible.”

As a result of $600,000 in one-time funding provided by the Ministry of Heath for the addition of three more dialysis stations and relocation of the dialysis program to a new, completely renovated space in BUH, 50 per cent more dialysis patients are being served. Increased annual funding of $430,000 is also being provided to cover the corresponding increase in operating costs.

“Our patients, staff, management, and Board are grateful to the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Chronic Kidney Disease Program for acknowledging the need for expanded renal dialysis service at Battlefords Union Hospital,” Prairie North Regional Health Authority (PNRHA) Board Chairperson Bonnie O'Grady said. “We are proud to be able to improve both the service and the care environment for patients and staff of our dialysis and chemotherapy programs.”

The Chronic Kidney Disease Program is administered by St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon. The BUH suite is a satellite location. The program provides medical direction and support for patients with chronic kidney disease in central and northern Saskatchewan.

Prairie North Health Region added the three new dialysis stations in October 2016, bringing its total to nine stations. The dialysis suite's capacity increased from 24 patients to 36 patients who receive care up to three times a week in North Battleford, rather than travelling to Saskatoon. The unit is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

The dialysis suite moved to the Third Floor Alcove of the hospital, allowing its previous space to be renovated for the Chemotherapy Unit, which moved in December to its new space on Third Floor East.

“The bigger dialysis unit makes getting treatment much easier for patients,” North Battleford resident Clara Quirk said. “I was able to start treatment here even before the expansion, and for me it means much less travelling. Going back and forth to Saskatoon three times a week used to play me out. I have access to the care I need in a single location now. The new unit is bright and cheerful with lots of natural light. It's well designed and the staff is great!”

Cheque Presentation - Cancer Agency to DF Jan 24 2017
SCA CEO Scott Livingstone (left) presented a cheque for
$60,000 to PNHR CEO David Fan to support improve-
ments to the BUH Chemotherapy Unit.

The new chemotherapy space at BUH has natural light and more room for staff, patients and family or friends accompanying patients. The result is a more comfortable treatment area for patients. The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency today provided $60,000 toward the cost of renovations.

Chemotherapy services are provided through cancer centres in Saskatoon and Regina, as well as BUH and 15 other hospitals through the Cancer Agency's Community Oncology Program of Saskatchewan (COPS). More than 200 cancer patients received service in North Battleford in 2015-16.


For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Phone: 306-787-4083
Cell: 306-537-3594
Email: tmcmurchy@health.gov.sk.ca

Linda Lewis
Communications Officer
Prairie North Health Region
Phone: 306-446-6625
Cell: 306-441-4248
Email: linda.lewis@pnrha.ca

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