Some of Brandon Regional Health Centre's (BRHC) youngest patients have been given a new reason to smile.

On Friday, August 26, Prairie Mountain Health, in collaboration with the BRHC and Smilezone Foundations, officially opened a Smilezone within the BRHC Pediatric Unit, the first one unveiled within the province.

Thanks to contributions from three families through the Smilezone Foundation, the bright, fun Smilezone includes murals, child-friendly furniture, a TV, and other sensory development materials meant to help improve the experience for children and families when they visit the pediatric unit at the health centre.

Prairie Mountain Health CEO Brian Schoonabert says this friendly facelift can help ease a stressful experience for children and their families and further enhance activity-based options for staff. "We believe smiles are always in fashion, and those within the Westman Dreams for Kids Pediatric Unit will now be greeted with beautiful outdoor-themed wall murals and kid-friendly options in the family room. We are exceptionally grateful to the donor families and both the Smilezone and BRHC Foundations for seeing this extra-special project come to fruition," Schoonbaert stated.

Smilezone Foundation is thrilled to be a part of this exciting renovation at Brandon Regional Health Centre," said Scott Bachly, Co-Founder of Smilezone Foundation. "We are delighted with the new Smilezones as the first in Manitoba, giving children and their families a reason to smile during their hospital visits. A huge thank - you to the Grewal, Kuntz and Spencer families, whom we recognize today for their generous support of this project." "The Grewal, Kuntz and Spencer families are honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to work with the amazing team at Smilezone to provide the first Smilezone in Manitoba at the Brandon Regional Health Centre said, Jin Grewal.

"This Smilezone is dedicated in loving memory to Satwant Kaur Grewal and Dieter Kuntz, who dedicated their lives to health care, a portion of that serving the community of Brandon, at what was then named Brandon General Hospital."