Deer Lodge celebrates 100th anniversary
BY SUSIE STRACHAN
Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, June 29, 2016
On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, Deer Lodge Centre hosted a party for its residents, staff and visiting dignitaries, complete with brass band, dainties and the laying of a new corner stone.
The Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, the Honourable Janice Filmon unveiled a new corner stone on the same day she lauded both the history of Deer Lodge Centre, with best wishes for the next 100 years.
“Deer Lodge provides hope and healing to veterans, and those living in long-term care and those undergoing rehabilitation,” she said. “Truly, it helps Manitobans at a most difficult point in their lives. This centre creates something beautiful: it gives people hope.”
Brigadier-General H.C. MacKay (left) presents Michael Kaan, manager of the Operational Stress Injury Clinic with an award.
Brigadier-General H.C. MacKay, the Surgeon General/Commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, presented an award to the Operational Stress Injury Clinic for providing support to Canadian Armed Forces members in assisting with their return to work or transition to civilian life.
“Deer Lodge has a long history of dedicated service to the community, and the armed forces,” he said. “I am very impressed that Deer Lodge continues to evolve and respond to the needs of today’s military veterans.”
The clinic – one of the first of its kind in Canada, and one of only 10 in the country today – provides service to Canadian Forces members and veterans, eligible members of the RCMP, and their families, who need treatment for the impact of severe stress.
“The federal government has pledged funding over the next several years to assist with significant expansion of the OSI clinic to meet the growing demand for health services,” said Gina Trinidad, Chief Operating Officer for Deer Lodge Centre and Long Term Care at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “As a testament to that demand, staff at the clinic treated over 700 outpatient clients last year.”
The celebrations took place on the front lawn of Deer Lodge Centre.
Offering rehabilitation services to veterans since 1916, Deer Lodge has evolved from a trauma facility which, at its peak, housed 1,000 veterans, to a dedicated rehabilitation and long-term care facility in the 1980s. It has come back full circle to increase services to military and RCMP personnel through the Occupational Stress Injury Clinic which opened in 2004.
“Deer Lodge continues to lead through innovation and I am gratified to see the progress they’ve made and the issues they’ve addressed through their 100-year tenure,” said Milton Sussman, President and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), noting that Deer Lodge is the third largest health facility in Winnipeg.
“Pioneering programs such as special needs units in long term care and addressing mental health in military and law-enforcement professionals make Deer Lodge an important hub for the continuum of care in the community,” said Sussman.
Since changing hands from a federal to a provincial facility in 1983, Deer Lodge has taken on the mantle of a rehabilitation and long-term care facility. As the first facility in Winnipeg to open a unit dedicated specifically to the special needs required by dementia patients that same year, Deer Lodge has continued to take on new steps in the fields of long-term care, rehabilitation and mental health.
“Providing the most appropriate and comprehensive care to all of our patients, and their families, is our ultimate goal,” said Trinidad. “Increasing capacity for clients who need specialized service gives their loved ones peace of mind that they’re getting the care they need. Deer Lodge Centre ishome for these individuals and we are committed to making their journey a positive one.”
Deer Lodge Centre was also recognized by the Manitoba Historical Society for 100 years of providing medical care to returning war veterans and members of the community. City Councillor Scott Gillingham also presented an award in recognition of the facility’s centenary.