Dear Providence Colleagues,
Earlier today, B.C. Premier David Eby and Mental Health and Addictions Minister, Jennifer Whiteside, were at St. Paul’s Hospital to announce $1 billion in new funding to expand mental-health and substance use services across British Columbia.
As part of this announcement, I am thrilled to share that Providence Health Care will receive funding to launch the Road to Recovery (R2R), an initiative we co-developed with the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). R2R is an innovative, multi-phased approach to transform substance use care in BC. It includes additional capacity at St. Paul’s Hospital, and nearby, to enable a full spectrum of responsive and timely care for individuals requesting help for a substance-use disorder, and a partnership with government to create a provincial wide network, to drive co-ordinated and evidence based substance use care across B.C.
We, in close partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), need to be able to provide treatment and recovery for patients when they want and need it most – providing a responsive and integrated system of care that seamlessly supports patients through treatment and recovery. So often, there is only a tiny window of opportunity to respond to patients when they ask for help. Tthis announcement will enable us to meet this need and provide the life-saving treatment and recovery services that patients deserve.
In terms of local additional capacity, the R2R will create 95 new beds to provide the full continuum of services for patients and their families, Approximately 45 of these new beds will be located on-site at the current St. Paul’s Hospital and will be for withdrawal management, acute stabilization and short-term stay. These acute beds will transition to the new St. Paul’s Hospital when it opens in 2027. A further 50 treatment and recovery beds will be located in the community nearby, providing long-term recovery treatments and supports. Through the generous support of BC’s philanthropic community, and in our partnership with the BCCSU, this new model of care being offered through R2R will be evaluated to inform ongoing service delivery.
More details on this exciting initiative will be shared with you in the coming days, weeks and months.
Today marks yet another milestone in our organization’s storied history of leadership in addressing substance-use disorders.
For decades, Providence Health Care has been at the forefront of responding to the needs and circumstances of people who use substances in British Columbia and beyond. Our programs have evolved over time to save countless lives, from stabilizing individuals through the provision of evidence-based therapy to pursuing better harm reduction and treatment strategies even if they challenge conventions, to mitigating the threat of the toxic drug supply and addressing the ongoing harms due to alcohol consumption.
Our approach has always been grounded in evidence-based, multi-pronged, non-siloed, and non-linear efforts that prioritize partnerships and deep cultural humility. We believe that every person deserves access to compassionate, human-centered care that considers the whole person, dismantles stigma and addresses social determinants.
It is with this same commitment to excellence that we will launch our R2R initiative. This initiative builds on our constellation of services for people who use substances, including St. Paul’s Hospital’s Addiction Medicine Consult Team (AMCT), the Rapid Access Addiction Clinic (RAAC), Lighthouse (a Virtual Substance Use Clinic), Crosstown Clinic, the BC Centre for BCCfE’s Hope to Health Clinic, and St. Paul’s Hospital’s Overdose Prevention Site.
Our organization’s ability to make bold moves and rise to the challenge is what sets us apart. We have always been willing to pursue new approaches and innovative solutions to help those in need. With this new initiative, we are once again showing that we are committed to helping people along their pathways to hope and healing.
Thank you to everyone from PHC’s Clinical Addiction Program and everyone who is committed to this important cause. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact in the lives of people who use substances in our community and beyond.
CEO, Providence Health Care