Children with heart health issues in Manitoba now have a beautiful state-of-the-art centre to visit at the Children's Hospital. 

On Wednesday the naming of a new pediatric cardiac clinic at HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital took place with heart patient families and donors present for the momentous occasion. The new name is the Travis Price Children’s Heart Centre thanks to the Price family's generosity in helping fund the project.

"The past heart centre, built in 1984, was not set within the hospital building, could only serve 1,800 children, and many families still needed to travel out of province for tests and procedures," says Gerry Price, father of Travis Price and President & CEO of Price Group of Companies in a news release. "This new centre has a larger footprint to serve the 6,000 patients per year who need it, is equipped with the latest technology to help save young lives and has a variety of features to make visits to cardiologists more comforting for kids and families."

Gerry and Barb Price lost their son Travis in 2004 from an undiagnosed heart condition. In 2019, the Price family contributed $2.5M to start updating and upgrading cardiac facilities at HSC Children’s. As co-chairs of the campaign, they then rallied a community of donors to bring in an additional $15.2M, including $2.3 M in government funding. These funds are ensuring kids from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut who need cardiac care, get the best care possible right here.

"Any child under the age of 18 who has suspected heart diseases – this is where they come. And for many of them, it is an 18-year journey where the heart centre becomes like a second home. So the quality of the space for those families is so important," says Dr. Reeni Soni, Medical Director of Pediatric Cardiology at HSC Children’s.

The space is designed for children who have ongoing cardiac needs and includes dedicated space for exercise/ running tests, three full ultrasound rooms, private exam rooms and a family counselling space. It is located within seconds of the children’s emergency room and intensive care units.

As part of the $17.7 Million cardiac campaign, donors to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba also supported a new catheterization lab which significantly reduces travel out of the province for children who need tests and procedures such as angiograms, angioplasty, cardiac biopsies and more.

This summer they will be adding to the unit with a new fluoroscopy lab opening, helping healthcare providers treat children with heart rhythm problems. It will also include remotely monitored beds and communications technology on every inpatient unit, enabling care for kids in the most appropriate spaces, while keeping intensive care available for the most critical needs.

"The addition of monitored beds throughout the hospital is a game-changer for patient experience and patient flow, especially during busy times like flu season," says Dr. Patricia Birk, Provincial Specialty Lead, Pediatrics and Child Health, Shared Health. "The addition of these beds brings the technology to the children, rather than moving them, and ensures intensive care remains accessible to the most critically ill patients."

Five-year-old Jaxon Miller, diagnosed with a heart condition at birth, needs to visit the Heart Centre on a regular basis. His mom Kristyn spoke at the opening event about how wonderful appointments at the new location have been.

"I’m able to walk in and immediately Jaxon goes to investigate the play tree or look outside the windows," says Kristyn. "These features are a huge asset to young children. The incredibly large open waiting area is truly a calm and nurturing environment. Personally, I have noticed Jaxon is not as anxious and is distracted by all the fun around him. This is huge in our journey as often he would be very shy and quiet.

"We are so grateful to Gerry and Barb Price and the hundreds of other donors. Because of your generous hearts, families now have hope. Hope because we are home to world-class equipment, knowledge and care," says Kristyn. "We are eternally grateful for those who have funded this campaign - from our broken and mended hearts - thank you."