Blog: TREKKing Through Friendly Manitoba

Blog: TREKKing Through Friendly Manitoba 

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Posted on May 22, 2014

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Welcome to the prairies!

Our names are Laura Ebenspanger and Angela Matwick and we have the pleasure of sharing the TREKK coordinator role for Manitoba. We work in the Children’s Emergency Department (ED) of The Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg (PERC site) and coordinate three incredible, yet very different, EDs across Manitoba. Each of these sites enthusiastically participated in the TREKK Needs Assessment and contributed invaluable insight into providing emergency care to children.

“Friendly Manitoba” is known as a province with strong relationships and a small-town feel, despite its vast geography. People work closely across disciplines and decades and TREKK is no exception. Dr. Terry Klassen (TREKK Director) has his roots in Steinbach, Manitoba and Dr. Shannon Scott (TREKK Co-Director & Principal Investigator for TREKK Needs Assessment), hails originally from Neepawa, Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba Faculty of Nursing with Lisa Knisley (Network Manager), and Christy Seniuk (Nurse Practitioner, TREKK rep for Bethesda Regional Health Centre). Dr. Darcy Beer is the PERC Site Representative for Children’s Hospital, where he works as a pediatric emergency physician.  Dr. Beer attended the University of Manitoba along with Dr. Shannon Scott, Lisa Knisely and Christy Seniuk. Dr. Beer provides an amazing connection between all 3 of our sites as he is involved in a multitude of educational and professional development resources.


Our TREKK Sites

Seven Oaks General Hospital, Winnipeg- is a 304 bed, in-patient facility, nestled in the northwest corner of Winnipeg, with the second busiest emergency department in the city. Our needs assessment visits to the site found an amazing staff. We were welcomed with open arms, laughter and an honest interest in the TREKK project.


Portage District General Hospital, Portage la Prairie- is located in a small city of 13,000 people along the Trans-Canada highway, west of Winnipeg. Centrally located, the hospital is an 88 bed facility serving approximately 50,000 people. The staff of this ED was instrumental in providing quality data on the needs of their emergency practitioners.


Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Steinbach- located just southeast of Winnipeg, Steinbach houses about 14,000 residents. Although Bethesda dates back to 1929, its emergency department is in the midst of getting a brand new facility. Bethesda emergency staff welcomed us into their temporary department excited by the prospect of TREKK.

When we were informed that Bethesda was chosen as one of sites across Canada to provide additional, qualitative data for the TREKK Needs Assessment, we were excited and honoured to help facilitate this step. Capitalizing on the timing of the TREKK annual meeting in Winnipeg last October, Lauren Albrecht and Dr. Shannon Scott travelled to Bethesda to conduct 2 facilitative discussions. Leaving in the early morning hours, we traveled the 1 hour out to Steinbach, thankful that Manitoba had held off on delivering an early winter. When we arrived, we found a great turn out of staff that were ready to engage and share.


Lesson Learned

As nurses in the Children’s ED of Winnipeg, it was enlightening and eye opening to hear the perspectives of the Bethesda staff. Our department accepts all of the pediatric transfers from Steinbach and the connection between pediatric and general emergency departments is crucial to delivering the best care possible. When a child is transferred from Bethesda to Children’s ED the outcome of the child is never reported back to the initial care team in Steinbach and this was an important focus group discussion. As nurses in Children’s Emergency it is important for us to recognize and support the care given as well as appreciate the challenges working in a rural tertiary general care centre. Now having visited Bethesda Emergency Department we are more cognizant of the impact that the receiving facility can have on the initial care team. Improving our communication and mutual support and respect for one another is crucial in providing the best care. The difference that TREKK can make to everyday practice through linking practitioners and developing connections across the country is truly amazing.



An enormous thank-you to our TREKK sites, Seven Oaks Emergency, Portage District General Hospital and Bethesda Regional Health Centre for welcoming us into your departments and being so willing and excited to participate. We are grateful for your participation in the TREKK Needs Assessment and excited about your ongoing involvement as TREKK moves forward. Thank-you to our TREKK site representatives, without you the success of TREKK would not be possible. Also, a special thank-you to the nurse managers and Clinical Resource Nurses for your help promoting TREKK and facilitating the participation of your staff. It is wonderful to be part of such a team that is working so hard towards improving emergency care for children.

Laura Ebenspanger and Angela Matwick