Members of Vancouver’s first ACT Team are celebrating a year’s worth of client success stories at their first anniversary.
Although the link between mining and community health is not always obvious, it surely exists. As with any organization, successful workforces require strong, healthy employees and support for the local communities in which they live. For this reason, Goldcorp’s concern for health and safety does not stop at the property line. Focusing on building a strong culture of health ‘outside the fence’ and in the communities where we have a presence is an integral part of Goldcorp’s operational strategy.
In 2012 Goldcorp made a $5-million donation to two unique addiction and mental health programs serving the Downtown Eastside (DTES) in Vancouver, Canada where the company is headquartered. This donation was made to support a partnership between Providence Health Care and Vancouver Coastal Health, combining their efforts towards improving the health and lives for individuals and families struggling with mental health and addiction issues. In our latest blog, we are privileged to have guest blogger Barbara Grantham, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation share news about the recent developments made possible in the DTES through Goldcorp’s commitment to improving community health.
Vancouver Community Health Services ensures that people have access to the care and resources that they need, in their own neighbourhoods. This includes everything from addiction support groups to assisted living, to ensure the best quality of life possible, especially for Vancouver’s most vulnerable.
That’s why we are so very grateful for Goldcorp’s generous support and commitment to keep Vancouver’s ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) team in operation – a program initially funded by Health Canada, that was slated to close in November of last year due to funding cuts.
Ask any member of the ACT team and they will tell you that no work day is ever the same. What remains constant, though, is the importance that all team members place on helping people with chronic mental health and addiction challenges function independently in the community, with fewer police and hospital contacts. Data from 2012-2013, its first year in operation, suggests the team’s dedication is paying off, with several of the program’s key metrics exceeding target: acute psychiatric bed use had dropped by 80%, visits to Emergency are down 70%, and incidents requiring involvement by the Vancouver Police Department have been reduced by 47%.
These are incredible statistics, but what does all this really mean on the street? Well, as Andrew Ryan, ACT Program Coordinator, so nicely put… ”One of our clients is no longer living in a tent by the train tracks and rampantly psychotic. Another admitted he might want to stop using crack. A client who has been an alcoholic for years finally let her care lead know why she drinks. We’re focusing on the strengths of our clients, not their challenges.”
ACT supports the very sickest, most street-entrenched residents of the Downtown Eastside. With continued support from Goldcorp, these Vancouverites will now receive the best chance possible to fully participate as members of our community; proving once again that leveraging the power of philanthropy can help to ensure the very best in adult health care for all British Columbians.
About VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is the registered charity that raises funds for much-needed medical equipment, important research and improvements to patient care for the many specialized areas of care at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. The Foundation also fundraises for the hospitals’ partner – Community Health Services in Vancouver; a network of community and home-based health care across the city. Throughout our Foundation’s more than 30-year-history, the generosity of donors has been vital to our hospitals’ success in delivering the best of health care to adults in British Columbia. For more information, visit www.worldclasshealthcare.ca
To date, Goldcorp has invested over $15 million in the DTES to fight homelessness, support education and training, and provide sustainable employment.
For more information on how the company is supporting local communities by leaving a legacy of social and economic benefits visit: https://www.goldcorp.com/sustainability/communities/default.aspx
To learn more about Goldcorp’s philanthropic efforts visit: http://3blmedia.com/News/Campaign/Contributing-Communities-Where-Goldcorp-Works-and-Lives