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by Rhonda Spivak, April 14, 2012

The condition of an elderly female Jewish resident from the Simkin Centre was the subject of a recent report to the Protection for Person's In Care Office [PPCO], the Winnipeg Jewish Review has learned. The Winnipeg Jewish Review is presently investigating the details of this recent report to the PPCO, and will post additional information as it becomes available.

According to the website of the PPCO, "The Protection for Persons In Care Act (the Act) is a law to help protect adults from abuse while receiving care in personal care homes, hospitals or any other designated health facility."

In an email dated April 12, 2012 from Lori Lamont, Vice-President and Cheif Nursing Officer to Harriet Berkal, who has led a delgation of concerned families, Lamont wrote:

"I have been able to confirm a report to the PPCO. They had not notified the WRHA as they were still in the preliminary stage of determining how they would proceed. They will be contacting the family."

In a telephone conversation today with Bill Brownstone, Acting President of the Board of the Simkin Centre, Brownstone confirmed that there has been a report to the PPCO in relation to the condition of a female resident who went to hosptal and has now returned to the home.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review is awaiting clarification as to whether this latest incident occured while Jan Currie was acting CEO (i.e. before the end of March ) or whether it occured afterward her last day.

Brownstone said that he did not know the full details of the matter but said that Alanna Kull, Director of Care would have knowledge of same, but that it was not anything major.

In a conversation yesterday, when asked when he first learned of this incident, Brownstone said "I don't know," but he added "I am aware of it."

When asked if he had called a special meeting to notify the Simkin Centre Board of this incident involving a report to the PPCO, Brownstone said he hadn't, since "There is nothing out of the ordinary here."

"If it was major, I would have called a special meeting."

A day earlier on Thursday April 12, Harriet Berkal called Dr. Ted Lyons, a Board member who advised her that he was unaware of the incident. Lyons chairs the committee to recommend reforms re: the governance structure of the Simkin Centre

Brownstone confirmed that he had not advised Lyons, as there was no special meeting called, and a number of Board members did not know.

In her email to Harriet Berkal, Lamont wrote:

'I do agree that information needs to be shared with the residents and families but we also need to do so responsibly."

As of this date, there has been no information officially shared from the Simkin Centre to the residents and families of the Centre regarding this matter.

On Thursday April 12, the Winnipeg Jewish Review made an inquiry to the PPCO about this matter. Jack Marquardson, Communications Coordinator,Communication Services Manitoba wrote in an email April 13, 2012.

"Regarding your inquiry, we do not proactively announce that investigations are being initiated, and to protect privacy, we are not at liberty to discuss specific patients. In any situation, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a patient is or is likely to be abused, the matter is referred to an investigator for a more extensive investigation. After referring the matter to an investigator, the patient or the patient’s authorized representative is notified that a report of abuse has been made and an investigation is to be conducted."

Although the Winnipeg Jewish Review has learned of the name of the resident involved from atleast three different sources, out of respect for privacy considerations the name will not be published.

Update: April 16, 2012. The Winnipeg Jewish Review has called Alanna  Kull to get a response from her. She has not yet returned the call but we will update this article as soon as we hear back.

April 17, 2012- Received email form  Alanna Kull that states:

Good morning Rhonda,

I have received all of voice messages and messages left with my staff.

I will not be giving any statements. Jonathan Kroft speaks on behalf of The Simkin Centre.

Please direct your questions to Jonathan.


Thank you,




Alanna Kull RN BN

Director of Care

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.