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January 11, 2008

Grace Hospital Joins Winnipeg Health Region

Move Will Standardize Patient Care and Better Co-ordinate Services

The Governing Council of the Salvation Army, the Board of Management of Grace Hospital and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority announced today that the Salvation Army is transferring the governance and management of the Grace Hospital to the WRHA effective April 1, 2008.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald praised the move, saying it will result in the delivery of better-integrated and coordinated care. "Ultimately that is good news for patients, which is always our primary concern," she said.

The Salvation Army will continue to have a voice in the management of health care in Winnipeg through a representative on the WRHA Board of Directors. As well, the Salvation Army has agreed to continue to deliver spiritual care at the hospital.

"The history and culture of the Grace are part of what make it the unique hospital that it is," WRHA President and CEO Dr. Brian Postl said. "That is obviously a key element that we must maintain and want to maintain. So we are very pleased that the Salvation Army has agreed to continue in that capacity."

Major Susan van Duinen, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army, Manitoba & North West Ontario Division, said the issue has been under discussion for quite some time and said she was pleased all parties were able to come to a final agreement that will see the Grace become more fully integrated within the delivery of health care in Winnipeg.

"The delivery of health care today is much different than it was when we opened the Grace in Winnipeg more than 100 years ago," van Duinen said.  "As our role changes we move forward with the comfort that this new arrangement will continue our legacy of health care excellence in this community."

Grace Hospital Chief Operating Officer Adam Topp called the move positive. "This will allow the Grace to enhance the quality compassionate care for which it is known."

The Grace Hospital will be the third major health care facility to be operated directly by the region. Both Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and Deer Lodge entered into such agreements earlier. The region has operating agreements with the other hospitals.

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