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Health Sciences Centre Foundation Honours Paul Albrechtsen

Posted: November 7, 2017

Cancer treatment equipment unveiled; heliport named in donor’s honour
 
WINNIPEG – The Health Sciences Centre Foundation recognized Paul Albrechtsen today at an official unveiling of the Varian Edge™ radiosurgery system – a system that was purchased with Mr. Albrechtsen’s $5 million gift.

With this contribution, Mr. Albrechtsen becomes the Foundation’s largest-ever donor. The heliport at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, which opened late last year, has been named the Paul Albrechtsen Heliport in recognition of his support.

"Mr. Albrechtsen has been supporting the Health Sciences Centre Foundation since 1993,” said Tina Jones, Chair of the HSC Foundation Board. "He has a keen understanding of the role donors can play in helping the hospital keep pace with technological innovation. He cares deeply about research, technology, health, and community well-being.”

The Varian Edge, which has been fully operational since late 2016, represents the latest generation of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) technology. For patients, this means that radiation treatments can be delivered faster and with greater accuracy. The Edge is an important complement to surgery, and because of the equipment’s sophistication, it can even replace surgery in some cases. It is a highly effective piece of equipment for patients with cancer and for patients with certain types of benign tumours. HSC and CancerCare Manitoba have treated 84 patients with the Edge so far. In addition, the hospital will be conducting research into the Calypso Tracking Unit, an add-on to the Edge that monitors tumour movement while a patient breathes in order to enhance the equipment’s performance even further.

"The Edge system is another example of how the HSC Foundation and its donors, like Mr. Albrechtsen, bring tomorrow’s health care to Manitobans today. This technology will allow us to destroy cancer cells and benign tumours with a level of precision we have never seen before in Manitoba,” said Dr. Perry Gray, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of HSC Winnipeg. "Along with our partners at CancerCare Manitoba, we are in a better position to improve outcomes for patients with certain types of cancer. And as we learn more about the Calypso system in the coming months, we will see even better results.”

The operation of the Edge is financed through the hospital’s regular budget, funded by the Province of Manitoba through the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

"We are inspired by how the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, HSC Winnipeg, CancerCare Manitoba, and Mr. Albrechtsen have joined together to enhance the provision of care in Manitoba,” said Premier Brian Pallister. "Mr. Albrechtsen is a visionary community leader who makes Manitoba a better place through his generosity and passion. His legendary philanthropy saves lives and enriches communities. His support of the Edge is a shining example of his love of Manitoba.”

For his part, Paul Albrechtsen is happy to lend a helping hand.

"The HSC Foundation and the hospital impress me with their commitment to acquiring the best possible technologies to treat patients. I am also fascinated by the research they are doing to make the Edge system as sensitive and as effective as possible,” said Paul Albrechtsen, the owner of Paul’s Hauling. "The HSC Foundation is driven by compassion and the pursuit of excellence. It is my privilege to support them.”

 
For high-res photographs of ribbon cutting, the Varian Edge or the Paul Albrechtesen Heliport, or to arrange interviews with a patient who benefitted from the Varian Edge or anyone quoted in this release, please contact:

Katherine (Kat) W. Fox
Director, Communications – HSC Winnipeg
Email: kwfox@hsc.mb.ca  |  Mobile: 204-918-3228
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About the Health Sciences Centre Foundation
Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg is Manitoba’s flagship hospital with specialized support for trauma, neuroscience, spinal, burn, transplant, and reconstructive surgery. Thanks to donors and supporters, the HSC Foundation helps to improve patient care at HSC through promising research initiatives, advanced technology and facilities, and training opportunities for medical teams. Help us bring hope to life for patients and donate today at www.hscfoundation.mb.ca.