For Immediate Release: February 27, 2013 FIRST NATIONS KIDNEY DISEASE SCREENING LAUNCHES IN MANITOBA Projects Aims to Prevent

Dialysis and Reduce Impact of Kidney Disease WINNIPEG – Manitoba is now home to a unique $1.6 million federally funded collaborative project that will provide early detection kidney disease screening and treatment to several Manitoba First Nations communities starting in March, which marks Kidney Health Month in Canada. The project, known by the acronym “FINISHED” (First Nations Community Based Screening to Improve Kidney Health and Prevent Dialysis), will be co-led by Manitoba First Nation's Diabetes Integration Project (DIP) and Manitoba Health's Manitoba Renal Program (MRP). Funding for FINISHED is being provided by Health Canada’s Health Services Integration Fund, which supports First Nations, federal and provincial collaborative planning and multi-year projects aimed at better meeting the health-care needs of First Nations and Inuit. “Our government is pleased to partner in a program that will focus on prevention and early detection of kidney disease among Manitoba First Nations," said the Honourable Leona Aqlukkaq, Minister of Health. "This investment will build on the strengths of existing Health Canada programs, such as the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative to improve health outcomes for First Nations people." Manitoba has some of the highest rates of kidney disease in Canada with diabetes being the leading cause of kidney disease among Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people in Canada are three times more likely to experience end stage renal disease or kidney failure. Only about 50 per cent of Manitobans with advanced kidney disease who start dialysis live longer than five years. ”This project is an integrated approach to addressing an immediate health need,” said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. “This will be culturally appropriate care starting right in the community.” Project participants will be screened through simple on-site tests and then provided with appropriate follow-up care and education. “This screening can improve health outcomes for these First Nations communities,” said Dr. Catherine Cook, Vice-President of Population and Aboriginal Health with Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “By diagnosing kidney disease early we can avoid the need for dialysis or emergency care.”

"The Manitoba government has been actively working with health professionals and First Nations communities to help prevent and treat kidney disease in our province” said Manitoba Minister of Health Theresa Oswald. “Strong partnerships like FINISHED will help us achieve the best possible health for all Manitobans.” Apart from improving health outcomes, FINISHED aims to reduce the financial burden of kidney failure for the health care system. The estimated cost of one dialysis patient’s care over their lifetime is $550,000. The FINISHED project aims to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of screening for kidney disease and show that a community based screening strategy is safe, effective and sustainable. - 30 –

For more information please contact: Audrey Gordon Project Manager, FINISHED P: (204) 926-7840 C: (204) 250-8313 Diabetes Integration Project The Diabetes Integration Project (DIP) is an Integrated Diabetes Health Care Service Delivery Model that was developed to begin to address the needs for First Nations people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The project will overcome barriers to access to a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated diabetes care and treatment service for limb, eye, cardiovascular and kidney complications. The DIP will utilize Mobile Diabetes Health Care Service Delivery Teams to provide diabetes care and treatment services in First Nation communities throughout Manitoba. Manitoba Renal Program – Winnipeg Regional Health Authority The Manitoba Renal Program (MRP) is made up of an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals working together to prevent kidney disease, promote kidney health and provide kidney health services to Manitobans.

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