Thank you for attending yesterday’s All-Staff Forum!

On the Forefront of the Overdose Crisis: An Update

“Working in the Mobile Medical Unit allowed the ED nurses to view addiction through a different lens – beyond the hospital experience where care is often on our terms and our rules. We often hear the term “meet people where they are”. This was especially powerful for the ED nurses. They were able to see past a medical diagnosis and see an actual person, learn about the experiences that got them to where they are today, and recognize that person is part of a resilient, supportive community. Our take away from this experience is to try and bring a little piece of the MMU back to the ED.”

~ Lori Korchinski, Patient Services Manager, VGH ED 

asf-panel-verticalLori Korchinski was one of our excellent panelists and speakers at yesterday’s All-Staff Forum who each brought valued perspective to the update for staff and physicians on the overdose crisis and our continued response in VCH-Vancouver.

Dr Mark Lysyshyn, Medical Health Officer, started things off with an informative update on where we are now and where we’ve come since the provincial emergency was declared, including various harm reduction, treatment and prevention initiatives.

Our panelists then answered questions that: corrected some common myths around exposure to fentanyl and carfentanyl; talked about the successes and learning around the MMU; discussed some of the various forms of treatment available for people with untreated addictions who are ready to take that next step towards turning their lives around; and how trauma impacts people with addictions and how the new on demand DTES Connections addictions clinic is addressing these barriers to care so people can get the help they need.

Dr Rolando Barrios, Senior Medical Director for Vancouver Community, also recognized the staff and physicians in the community who are truly on the frontlines of the crisis.

“Dr Lysyshyn clearly articulated that for every single person brought into the ED, there must be many other overdoses that had been managed in the community. This is paying a heavy toll on our staff. These people are their clients who staff have known for a long time, and they are dying. Most of the work being done in the community doesn’t make it into the stats but it is still work being done every day.”

Members of VCH’s Harm Reduction team were also on hand to answer questions from staff with naloxone kits and other materials on display.

Members of VCH’s Harm Reduction team. From left: Paul Choisil, Harm Reduction Worker, VC; Kim Murphy, Harm Reduction Coordinator, VC; and Sebastien Payan, RN, Regional OD Strategy

Live webcast

Due to technical difficulties experienced yesterday, some staff may have had trouble viewing the live webcast. If you missed it but would still like to view this informative session, please be sure to click here.

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