NIPAWIN — A fundraising effort to build a heliport at the Nipawin Hospital launched, with $370,000 out of the $700,000 needed for the project already committed.
The launch, hosted by the Twin Lakes District Planning Commission, took place Nov. 6. John Zales gave $200,000 in a private donation. The Town of Nipawin has $150,000.00 allocated from the Humbolt Strong Foundation and budgeted funds from the 2023 budget, while the Premiers Cup gave $20,000
The Nipawin heliport will be adjacent to the hospital on the southwest of the facility.
The STARS presentation was informative as they listed several benefits of having a Heliport located adjacent to the Nipawin Hospital.
During the presentation STARS stressed the critical importance of patient care at the point of handover and during transport. Carol Brons, the mother of Humboldt Broncos athletic therapist Dayna Brons, was there to support the project on behalf of the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation expressing her gratitude towards STARS.
Kyle Stroeder with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, along with numerous doctors, nurses and other authority staff expressed their support and appreciation of the project moving forward.
Since 2018, the commission has been working towards approval to build the heliport, which will connect Nipawin with hospitals in Melfort, Prince Albert, Kelvington and Saskatoon via a growing helipad network.
Previously, STARS landed on the grass field beside the hospital, before Transport Canada required them to cease the field landings due to safety issues.
Since then, STARS have been using Nipawin’s airport, which has about a 15 minute driving time from the hospital.
The Twin Lakes District Planning Commission includes the Town of Nipawin, RM of Nipawin, RM of Moose Range, RM of Torch River, Village of Codette, Village of White Fox, Town of Choiceland, Town of Carrot River and the Village of Tobin Lake.