​On May 28, 2023, Providence Health Care (PHC) officially welcomed May’s Place Hospice into its family, deepening its dedication to delivering compassionate end-of-life care. This transition signifies a significant milestone as May’s Place Hospice proudly joins PHC as its 18th site.

May’s Place: A haven in the Downtown Eastside

May’s Place Hospice, located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), has long been a sanctuary for individuals living with mental illness and substance use disorders. As Western Canada’s first free-standing hospice, May’s Place played a crucial role in supporting the community during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1990s. Now, PHC has assumed the responsibility of continuing the exceptional care provided at May’s Place.

In a welcome video message to May’s Place staff, Fiona Dalton, CEO of Providence Health Care, expressed admiration for May’s Place and the collaboration with PHC, stating, “May’s Place is renowned for its compassion and exceptional hospice care. When we had the opportunity to take over operations, we recognized the alignment of our mission and values, and we knew we had to act.”

At a welcome event at May’s Place last weekend, Harvey Bosma, PHC’s Patient Care Manager for Hospice Palliative Care Services and Older Adult Ambulatory Clinics, emphasized the significance of the transition: “Assuming operations at May’s Place Hospice is an honor for us. Upholding the high standards set by May’s Place is a responsibility we take seriously.”

At the same event, Sandy Barr, Program Director for Medicine, Older Adult, Palliative, and Hospice at PHC, extended a warm welcome to the May’s Place staff: “To all the dedicated team members from May’s Place, I want to warmly welcome you to the PHC family. Your commitment to patient-centered care, unwavering dedication to holistic healing, and diverse range of skills and experiences have deeply moved us. Together, we will continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in our care.”

Smooth transition, collaboration, and future commitments

The transition process involved close collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and The Bloom Group to ensure a seamless experience for clients, families, and staff. PHC fully immersed itself in the daily operations, learning from existing practices and exploring ways to enhance care.

Over the summer, there will be renovations and upgrades at May’s Place to improve the environment for clients, families, and staff. These enhancements will focus on safety, infection control, and creating a comforting atmosphere through improved infrastructure, furniture, and technology.

Recruiting skilled and compassionate staff is a priority for PHC as they assume operations at May’s Place. An interdisciplinary team with diverse skills and experiences will continue to provide inclusive and empathetic end-of-life care to the DTES community. Any one interested in learning more about job opportunities at May’s Place can contact Harvey Bosma at HBosma@providencehealth.bc.ca​.

With May’s Place Hospice now under PHC’s operations, their commitment to compassionate care and expansion is reinforced, ensuring that individuals in need receive the support they deserve.