The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest Report



The establishment of the Variety Children's Heart Centre

The Variety Children's Heart Centre was the vehicle by which the HSC intended to deliver its pediatric cardiac services to the children of Manitoba. The funding for the centre came from both the public and private sector, with the Variety Club making an initial contribution of $150,000 towards the renovations necessary to establish the centre and a ten-year commitment of $100,000 annually. All staff who worked within the centre were employees or staff of the HSC (and not the VCHC). Medical staff assigned to the VCHC were considered staff of the hospital in the same way as other hospital medical staff were. The Variety Children's Heart Centre name appears, therefore, to have been largely a public relations and administrative vehicle by which the HSC promoted its pediatric cardiac program. The VCHC was not a stand-alone agency.

Collins, for example, had little control over the centre's budget, which was administered by the Department of Pediatrics. In the end, according to Collins, "there was no such thing as a budget." (Evidence page 33,055)

Collins did, however, play a considerable role in creating the centre's culture. He saw nurses as having a key role in the operation of the centre, particularly in terms of relations with parents. While Collins was the centre's director and the pediatric cardiac surgeon was the deputy director, when the two of them were absent, a nurse, Lois Hawkins, served as the administrator.

Collins also attempted to ensure that the centre operated collaboratively. While the decision to operate always rested with the surgeon, he ensured that at least two cardiologists, as well as the surgeon, reviewed cases before they went to surgery.



Current Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 5 - The establishment of the Variety Children's Heart Centre
Next Collins and de la Rocha
Previous The Provincial Advisory Committee on Cardiac Services in Manitoba
Section 1 Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Issues
  Chapter 2 - Pediatric Cardiac Issues
  Chapter 3 - The Diagnosis of Pediatric Heart Defects and their Surgical Treatment
  Chapter 4 - The Health Sciences Centre
Section 2 Chapter 5 - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Winnipeg 1950-1993
  Chapter 6 - The Restart of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in 1994
January 1, 1994 to May 17, 1994
  Chapter 7 - The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994
  Chapter 8 - Events Leading to the Suspension of the Program
September 7, 1994 to December 23, 1994
  Chapter 9 - 1995 - The Aftermath of the Shutdown
January to March, 1995
Section 3 Chapter 10 - Findings and Recommendations
Appendix 1 - Glossary of terms used in this report
Appendix 2 - Parties to the Proceedings and counsel
Appendix 3 - List of witnesses and dates of testimony
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