November 7, 2023

DRYDEN, ONTARIO - Following ongoing advocacy and proposals for funding, Dryden Regional Health Centre (DRHC) has been allocated funding to build a satellite hemodialysis unit of the program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC).

In an announcement made November 6, 2023, at DRHC, The Honourable Greg Rickford confirmed that the Ontario government will support the planning, design, and implementation of the satellite renal unit.

"I am grateful for the support of and collaboration with Minister Rickford and the provincial government, for the recognition of the need and now the financial support to bring this dream of dialysis in Dryden to reality. This will have massive positive impacts on our communities and region and would not be possible without the support of Ontario Health, the Ministry of Health, the Northwest, Ontario Renal Network and Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre," says Doreen Armstrong-Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer at Dryden Regional Health Centre.

"I am extremely proud of the work that our team has put into this project. Our communities have asked us to offer these services, and we are so pleased that we can now answer that call," adds Armstrong-Ross.

"The addition of hemodialysis to the roster of services available locally in Dryden will make a significant difference in the lives of renal patients and their families in our catchment area, who currently have to travel frequently to other communities or relocate altogether for this life-sustaining treatment," says Dr. Bruce Cook, Chief of Staff at Dryden Regional Health Centre. "As a family physician in the community, I am glad that these vital services will be available locally for our patients."

"In our roles on the Board and as community members, we all have or know of a family member who has needed dialysis services in the community for quite some time, this is such exciting news for Dryden and the area. This wouldn't be possible without the hard work of the DRHC leadership, staff, physicians and Minister Rickford's strong advocacy and commitment to the project and the Dryden area," says Vanessa Simpson, Chair of the Board of Directors at Dryden Regional Health Centre.

"The announcement of a dialysis unit in Dryden is truly amazing," says Shauntelle Pihulak, an employee at Dryden Regional Health Centre with a personal connection to the project. "Our family did the drive to Sioux Lookout for four years, three times a week, to take my father for [dialysis] treatment. Though we tried to make the best of it by enjoying our time driving Dad, they were long, tiring days for all involved. Delays due to weather and road closures did occur, which resulted in delayed treatments at times."

Pihulak adds, "We are so pleased to see this come to fruition and cannot wait to support the program. Thank you to everyone in our amazing community who advocated for this project- words are not enough to express what this will mean for families to be able to keep their loved ones close."


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BP.O. Box 3003, 58 Goodall Street, Dryden, Ontario, Canada, P8N 2Z6     Apatientrelations@drhc.on.ca     x807-223-8200     TTY807-223-8295     * ^

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