HSC Transplant Wellness Centre Unveiled

New centre transformative for organ transplant recipients and future recipients

Increased transplant operations, reduced wait times, and safer care of patients who need transplant services are now possible thanks to the Health Sciences Centre Transplant Wellness Centre. The Health Sciences Centre Foundation, together with the Province of Manitoba and Transplant Manitoba, officially unveiled the new Centre in April 2021. This brand-new space not only consolidates services previously spread over HSC’s 39-acre campus, but allows for more kidney transplants to be performed.

“By quadrupling the clinical space, the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre is already providing many of our patients with improved care by offering all services under one roof, allowing virtual appointments, and fully outfitting rooms with new equipment,” says Jonathon Lyon, President and CEO of the HSC Foundation. “We are truly grateful for the exceptionally generous donors who stepped forward to make a difference.”

An empty boardroom in the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre

“The HSC Transplant Wellness Centre is also a place of education. We put on classes and information sessions for donors and recipients,” says Dr. Nickerson.

The HSC Transplant Wellness Centre cost $4.5 million and was made possible by the Province of Manitoba and two anonymous gifts to the HSC Foundation.

“Kidney transplants started in Manitoba in 1969 and have increased by 78%,” says Dr. Peter Nickerson, Medical Director of HSC’s Transplant Manitoba. “Our program has been growing; however, our physical space did not keep pace. Not only was the clinical space far too small, but Transplant Manitoba staff were scattered across the HSC campus. For those with a suppressed immune system, not having to go all over the hospital is crucial for safer care.

“Thanks to the new environment, we are now able to develop strategies that will increase kidney transplants from 60 per year to 80,” adds Dr. Nickerson. “As well, fully equipped rooms mean staff no longer wait for necessary items such as a portable bladder scanner or blood pressure monitors. Liver transplant care is expanding from two clinic rooms to four, and the Living Kidney Donor Program is now offering enhanced service. All of this is thanks to the expansion.”

A patient speaking to a receptionist at the front desk of HSC's Transplant Wellness Centre

Transplant Manitoba went from having around 500 square feet of clinic space to 11,400 square feet in the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre.

The multidisciplinary team is now together providing care throughout the patient journey to transplant or living donation. The Centre has its own new phlebotomy room which allows blood to be drawn onsite; there is a dedicated Transplant Assessment Clinic; and pre- and post-lung transplant care has a dedicated space with new spirometry and ultrasound equipment.

This space is used to meet the needs of kidney transplant patients—before and after their surgeries in Winnipeg— and lung and liver transplant patients waiting for and returning from surgeries in other provinces.

Saad and Amel Abdulrasool with Abdulrasool's living donor, Tracey Craigon amongst flowers at the Garden of Life.

L-R: Saad and Amel Abdulrasool with Abdulrasool’s living donor, Tracey Craigon. Abdulrasool was one of the first patients to use the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre’s services.

By increasing the Centre’s ability to perform more transplants, it is estimated the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre will save $63,000 annually per patient by taking individuals off dialysis much sooner.

When it is fully operational, the investments made starting in 2016 to increase capacity in organ donation and transplantation will result in net savings of nearly $29 million by 2023.