Official Opening Marks New Heliport at Portage District General Hospital

SH SS PDGH Foundation Partnership


Portage la Prairie – The opening of a new heliport at the Portage District General Hospital will allow Manitobans to access specialized critical care more quickly during a medical emergency, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“When a person is in medical distress, the ability to access emergency care on a more timely basis can make the difference between life and death,” said Friesen. “This new heliport will make a difference in improving the standard of care Manitobans living in rural communities receive.”

Portage Heliport

Pictured (lt. to rt.): Andrea Robertson, CEO-Stars, Jane Curtis, CEO-Southern Health-Santé Sud, Honourable Cameron Friesen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Ian Wishart, MLA Portage la Prairie & Dale Lyle, Chair-Portage District General Hospital Foundation

Located on the campus of the Portage District General Hospital, the 560-square-metre heliport will provide timelier support to patients needing specialized emergency care at a tertiary care centre. The heliport was put into operation last month, following certification from Transport Canada for compliance with Canadian aviation regulations. In its first month of operation, the heliport was used five times by STARS.

“The heliport at the Portage District General Hospital is improving health outcomes for critically sick and injured patients,” said Jane Curtis, CEO of Southern Health-Santé Sud. “We are grateful and very appreciative for the vision and leadership of the Portage District General Hospital Foundation, as well as the community of Portage la Prairie for their tremendous support.”

The Portage and District Hospital Foundation contributed over $350 000 towards the construction of the heliport.

“The community got behind this project and supported it whole-heartedly,” said Tara Pettinger, Executive Director of the Portage District General Hospital Foundation. “The heliport could never have become a reality without the full support of this amazing community. Health care outcomes will be enhanced and lives will be saved because of a remarkable community that got behind this incredible project.”

“The official opening of the heliport at the Portage District General Hospital is a tremendous development for patients living and passing through the region”, said Grant Therrien, Provincial Director for STARS. “For STARS, our focus is on saving minutes and saving lives. The heliport allows us to save roughly 20 to 30 minutes per mission – an amount of time that can be life-saving.” 

For more information, contact:

Tara Pettinger, Executive Director
Portage District General Hospital Foundation
T 204-239-2242

Southern Health-Santé Sud
Media Intake Line
T 204-424-2329