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Rising to the crisis

2016’s unprecedented spike in overdose fatalities prompted a provincial public health crisis that many of us had never seen before. And every day our staff showed up, rose to the challenge and and continue to be on the frontlines of it.

It has been a deadly year in Vancouver. The outcome of the current overdose epidemic, largely linked to the potent opioid fentanyl, has been grim, sad, and discouraging.

St. Paul’s sees the majority of Vancouver’s overdose patients. According to recent BC Coroner’s data our Emergency Department, on average, receives and treats approximately 70% of the city’s overdose patients.

“Sadly, many of our patients are among the over 900 people in the province who died from an overdose last year, making this crisis situation even more personal, challenging and upsetting,” says Dianne Doyle, President and CEO, Providence Health Care.  “And still, in a time of instability and turmoil, one thing has remained constant: our staff.”

Whatever it takes

Providence staff, medical staff, volunteers, contract services and support services rose, and continue to rise, to the challenge of the crisis, responding to the intensity, unpredictability, and heartbreak of it all with unwavering compassion, professionalism, and patient-centredness.  

Staff work around the clock to meet the needs of patients, families, and fellow staff members, making crucial split-minute decisions and, volunteering on the heels of a 12-hour shift.

Providence staff show up every day and take on the unknown, committed to meeting each and every patient where they’re at.

When there is a need, our staff fill it. When a life needs saving, our staff are there, ready to revive.

The heroic resiliency of our staff and everyone’s ability to rise to the situation, while overcoming numerous challenges taking place over  tireless hours; the constant seeking of creative solutions and a willingness to do whatever it takes for our patients and genuine concern for the vulnerable goes beyond simply doing a job – it exemplifies the heart of Providence, and what it means to care.

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