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Year in Review – our Top 10 stories of 2023

As we close out 2023 and usher in 2024, we look back at the year that was, and some of the biggest Daily Scan stories about Providence Health Care.

Last year was packed with amazing work, accomplishments and announcements from every corner of the organization, all with the goal of improving patient and resident care. Choosing just 10 was a challenge, but here, in no particular order, are the highlights.

BC Premier David Eby tours the Clinical Support & Research Centre being built on the site of the new St. Paul’s Hospital.

CSRC at new St. Paul’s Hospital moves forward

The new St. Paul’s Hospital took a big step forward with the province’s approval of the business case and funding for the Clinical Support and Research Centre, to be built near the new St. Paul’s and connected by a sky bridge. The centre’s work will help lead to medical breakthroughs for patients.

Premier David Eby called the building “the future of health care in BC. The excitement is very real.” And Providence CEO Fiona Dalton says it is “a transformational moment for health care.”

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

See media coverage on CTV and in the Toronto Star.

L-R: Peer coordinator Ian Haynes shares his story with Premier David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside at an event to announce Road to Recovery in December.

Road to Recovery treatment program opens

In December, BC Premier David Eby visited St. Paul’s Hospital to announce the opening of its new Road to Recovery substance-use treatment program. It is closing long-standing gaps in addictions care by providing patients with seamless services through each stage of detox, bed-based care and recovery, and outpatient treatment, from the same clinical team.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Read coverage of this story in The Vancouver Sun.

Providence CEO Fiona Dalton speaks about the value of single rooms for residents at the new Chénchenstway long-term-care home that opened late last year.

Chénchenstway long-term-care home opens its doors

In October, Providence, Fraser Health and BC health minister Adrian Dix announced the opening of the Chénchenstway long-term-care home in Burnaby. All rooms are private for patient safety and comfort. “The opening of this new long-term care home signifies our commitment to ensuring dignified and compassionate care for people,” says the minister. 

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

See coverage of this story on CityNews.

L-R: Anne Stevens, Vice-President of Business Development, AbCellera; Gail Murphy, professor, VP research and innovation, UBC; Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation; Fiona Dalton, President & CEO, Providence Health Care; Joan Phillips, MLA, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

Mount Saint Joseph Hospital to build Clinical Trials Unit

Mount Saint Joseph Hospital is set to become only non-cancer Phase 1 Clinical Trials Unit in Western Canada. A $4.2-million investment by the government of British Columbia makes this possible.

The six-bed unit will open doors for BC biotech companies to create more high-quality jobs and keep critical intellectual property in the province. Patients will benefit by being able to take part in trials for therapeutics they otherwise would not be able to access.

Fiona Dalton, Providence CEO, says the province “has recognized the economic and societal benefits that early-phase clinical trials bring.”

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Read the coverage in Business in Vancouver.

Members of the Diamond family donated to the Road to Recovery in memory of their brother Steven, right.

Diamond family donates to Road to Recovery

Vancouver’s philanthropic Diamond family generously honoured the tragic loss of Steven Diamond—a cherished father, son, brother and addictions counselor killed by fentanyl in 2016—with a massive $20-million donation to the Road to Recovery.

“We’re speaking out today for the first time because we want to save lives,” says Jill Diamond, Steven’s sister and Executive Director of the Diamond Foundation, which is making the gift to the St. Paul’s Foundation.  She says Steven might be here today if the program had existed when he was trying to find care.   

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Watch the coverage on Global TV.

A team at St. Paul’s Hospital helped Joanne Munroe with her drug dependence so she could keep her baby Alvin.

St. Paul’s maternity team helps mom overcome addiction, keep her baby

Joanne Munroe’s Mother’s Day 2023 was the first happy one in awhile thanks to the support of specialists at St. Paul’s Hospital’s Pregnancy, Birthing and Newborn Centre.

A struggle with a drug dependence meant her first two boys had to be placed in foster care. But by the time her son Alvin was born at St. Paul’s in early 2023, the Centre’s doctors, social workers, nurses and others developed a plan to keep Munroe and little Alvin together in optimal health to bring them the stability they needed.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Watch the coverage on Global TV here.

Mount Saint Joseph surgical oncologist Dr. Amy Bazzarelli prepares to operate on a patient implanted with the breast seed.

Tiny “seed” used in breast-tumour removal has big impact

It’s tiny, the size of a sesame seed. But it is having a big impact on the comfort, convenience and recovery for women who undergo breast surgery at the Providence Breast Centre at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

It is the first BC hospital to use this magnetic seed, which is inserted into a tumour to identify its location more precisely for surgeons. The result is an easier surgery for patients.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Watch coverage of this story on Global TV.

A rendering of the future St. Vincents Heather long-term care home in Vancouver

St. Vincent’s Heather home to help residents live with freedom and dignity

In March, the announcement that Providence is preparing to build the new St. Vincent’s Heather long-term care home came as long-awaited news.

St. Vincent’s Heather will be built on the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, which served the Vancouver community for 65 years. Providence Health Care, in partnership with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, is contributing the land to build the 240-bed home, expected to finish in fall 2028.

“Our goal at Providence is transformational change in the long-term care sector,” says Fiona Dalton, President and CEO, Providence Health Care. “We want to drive innovation to create conditions to provide the very best care to seniors and the frail elderly – support residents to live their lives with freedom, choice and dignity.”

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.

Read coverage in The Daily Hive.

HIV rates drop to historic lows

British Columbia, once Canada’s epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, now has historically low levels of HIV infections. The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital says this is the virtual end of the domestic epidemic of HIV in BC.

The BC-CfE’s points to its Treatment as Prevention (TasP) strategy, and the availability of government-funded HIV medication Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) since 2018, both of which played a role in lowering the incidence of the disease.

Read the story on The Daily Scan.

Saige Flaumitsch Laboucan is a peer support worker with the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation team at St. Paul’s Hospital.

The role of the peer in substance-use recovery

A peer support worker plays an important role in treatment and recovery from substance-use dependence. The worker acts as a bridge between patients and clinical teams. Peer support workers draw on their personal experience to advocate for patients and make them feel more comfortable and supported as they find the resources they need.  

Providence’s substance-use programs shared their thoughts on the role of peers.

Read the full story on The Daily Scan.