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Health Centre: building, renovating ongoing since 1891

Brandon Hospital Heritage Brandon

The Brandon General Hospital opened in 1891. The Isolation Building (far right) was built in 1897. This photo was taken between 1900 and 1925. (Source: Albertype Company/Library and Archives Canada)

From the beginning, Brandon General Hospital (now known as Brandon Regional Health Centre), redevelopment and renovation was a constant as administrators continually dealt overcrowding and the need to improve patient care.

Brandon’s first hospital opened in 1891 at Russell Street and McTavish Avenue.

In his book, The Assiniboine Basin, Martin Kavanagh looks at the changes that took place over the following thirty-five years:

Three years after the hospital opened a laundry was built. In 1897, a two-storey isolation building was erected behind the main building.

The hospital was so busy in 1902 that invalids would not be admitted unless they had first ascertained if admission could be obtained.

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The need of space was so imperative that in 1904 it was decided to remodel the old building and erect a maternity building. The architect was Mr. W. H. Shillinglaw.

In 1913 plans were made to further extend the hospital.

But owing to the Great War the corner stone of the new surgical building was not laid till 1921.

This new building consisted of two major, two minor operating rooms, x-ray laboratories, out-patient departments, administration offices, kitchens, staff dining rooms, a general surgical floor, a semi-private ward floor and a private ward floor.

Organizations came to the aid of the institution and in 1922 solaria were erected on the children’s and the maternity floors.

Further renovations were made to the old building. In 1927 it was  enlarged.

The Assiniboine Basin by Martin Kavanagh

Fast foward to the 21st century: A $58-million redevelopment of the Centre was completed in 2004.

Construction will begin in the spring of 2016 to renovate the medical unit.

“Built in 1961, the patient wards of the facility formerly known as the Brandon General Hospital have essentially remained unchanged and are outdated,” said Brian Schoonbaert, chief operating officer, Brandon Regional Health Centre.

“This update is needed to help improve patient care and comfort, and in response to increased demand for in-patient stays.”

Province of Manitoba

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