Photo: (left to right): The Overdose Outreach Team received the award May 15: Jesse Hilburt, Chris Dickinson, Rachel Smith, Erin Isnor, Dr. Nadia Fairburn (award presenter), Skye Ruttle, Misty Bath, Robyn Putnam McLean
VCH's Overdose Outreach Team (OOT) was recognized with a special award this week for their critical work on the overdose crisis. An award ceremony was held as a part of the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) annual Addiction Research Day Tuesday, May 15.
The Overdose Outreach Team was honoured with the award for Outstanding Community Outreach May 15 at an annual British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) addiction research conference in Vancouver.
"Each OOT team member has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to working with those who have been directly impacted by the overdose crisis," says Misty Bath, Manager – Regional HIV Services & Overdose Outreach Team. "The team understands that every non-fatal overdose represents an individual who is at risk for future mortality given our contaminated drug supply. It is this knowledge that propels them to connect with all new referrals as quickly as possible – often on the same day that we receive a referral and provide that bridging and outreach support to essential substance use, health and social services."
The Overdose Outreach Team consists of outreach and social workers who connect people who have recently experienced opioid overdose and/or are at high risk for opioid overdose, to addictions care and support. They help clients to access Opioid Agonist Therapy (methadone, suboxone) as well as other health/social services and provide general harm reduction and overdose prevention education. The team responds to client referrals as quickly as possible – often on the same day that they receive a referral in order to provide the outreach support to essential substance use, health and social services.
The team officially started May 2017 and is based at 524 Powell Street. The service is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm but messages can be left ((604) 360-2874) anytime.