This past Wednesday evening featured a presentation by Southern Health-Santé Sud for the new hospital that's currently under construction in Portage la Prairie.  Implementation Lead Kyle MacNair spoke with some others at Stride Place and shares highlights of what he said to the crowd that was gathered.

"We described how the planning processes have occurred over the course of the last six years to get us to the point of the design process, how we've worked with the communities and the province to determine the needs of the facility, and then worked with the foundation to come up with a concept of what the functional plan was going to be," says MacNair. "That plan was ultimately approved by the government to build. And since then, we've been working on the design of the space with both experts from the architecture team and then the staff of the facility -- the physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals in the facility -- to make sure that we're designing a space that meets the community's needs and is also functional for the staff that are going to work in the building."

Kyle McNairKyle MacNair

MacNair says they're continuing to work on the design process with an actual site in the city where mock-up rooms have been constructed. 

"We walk through spaces and see what they would be, once they're built, to make sure that they're spacious enough and they're functional enough for us to deliver services in," continues MacNair. "And then we have been continuing to work on the design to make sure that we're meeting all of our milestones in the construction to be completed."

Southern Health-Santé Sud CEO Jane Curtis was present and says she's extremely excited for this project that's been a long time coming.

"I've been working in the region for over 25 years and I remember in the early 2000s, we were talking about the need for a new hospital," says Curtis. "But the way that it's being planned and designed is just really very catered to the needs of the community. I think the best thing is, is that it's catering to the needs today, but also lots of thought being put into it for the future, as well."

Curtis says it was a time to listen and learn as well as provide feedback from Portagers. She notes they're asking you to get involved and contact them with ideas at their website.

Among unique features the hospital includes is an Indigenous spiritual room on the second floor above the alternative entrance at the back where smudging can take place as well as other religious ceremonies.