Funds for helipad announced in Fort Frances

Press Release

FORT FRANCES — Ontario is investing in the emergency health services system to help patients access faster coordinated care when they need it most.

Yesterday, Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River was at La Verendrye Hospital (part of Riverside Health Care) to announce that Ontario is providing funding of up to $100,000 to support the design and preparatory work for a heliport next to the hospital. Upon completion, the heliport will allow pad-to-pad air transportation between hospital sites for patients requiring care in Northern Ontario.

“Riverside Health Care can now start planning for a heliport that will provide patients with timely access to care right in their communities,” said Rickford. “This is a significant first step towards improving patient flow and reducing patients’ time in transit to the care they need.”

The new heliport will improve the availability of land ambulance services and enable timely response to critically-ill patients in Fort Frances and the surrounding areas. Patients will receive faster access to care, rather than being transported by land ambulance to hospitals often hours away.

“Our team at Riverside Health Care is extremely pleased with the recent funding announcements by our provincial government, for hospital operations and to aid in the development of a helipad,” said Henry Gauthier, President & CEO of Riverside Health Care. “These announcements demonstrate the Ontario government’s ongoing commitment to health care in the Rainy River District and Ontario.”

This one-time funding is part of Ontario’s 2019-20 investment in emergency health services to improve equitable access to care in Northern Ontario.

The heliport is expected to be in operation within one to two years after the completion of the initial design and preparatory work this summer.