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'This team has made VCH a leader': Overdose Emergency Response team wins People First Award of Merit


Above photo: CEO Mary Ackenhusen (third from left) stands with members of the Overdose Emergency Response team at the People First Awards.

Implementing supervised consumption and overdose prevention sites that receive 30,000 visits a month. Completing 155 educational trainings in naloxone and advanced overdose management. Supporting housing overdose prevention services at 22 community partner sites.

These are just a few of the incredible achievements of Vancouver Coastal Health's Overdose Emergency Response (OER) team, winners of the 2018 People First Award of Merit for Teamwork & Collaboration.

The group is responsible for planning and implementing initiatives to reduce harm and deaths associated with the B.C.'s overdose emergency – but they do much more than that. Collaborating with partner organizations and peers to educate, break down barriers and reduce stigma are also key focuses for the award-winning team.

“The OER team exemplifies a 'people first' approach by building relationships, empowering peers as leaders in their communities, and seeking out strength-based solutions," said Director of Regional Prevention Caitlin Etherington, when talking about the team's People First Award.  

“[Their initiatives] have made VCH a leader in developing a comprehensive and collaborative strategy to overdose prevention and response."

On July 17, CEO Mary Ackenhusen stopped by the OER team's downtown Vancouver location (524 Powell Street) to congratulate them on their award. Members of the Overdose Outreach and STOP HIV teams were also in attendance. 

"Thank you for such a welcoming and informative visit yesterday," Mary wrote in her 'high five' to the group. “I loved hearing about what makes you all such a great team!"

The Overdose Emergency Response Team members include: Sally Kupp, Shannon Riley, Sarah Levine, Sebastien Payan, Rebecca Thomas, Harriet Heeley, Airi Nakamoto, Erika Bell, Marissa Mar, Helenka Jedrzejowski, Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Dr. Reka Gustafson, Miranda Compton, Troy Shannon, Chris VanVeen, Elizabeth Holliday, Misty Bath, Tim Chu, Erin Isnor, Skye Ruttle, Robyn Putnam-Mclean, Chris Dickinson, Jesse Hilburt

More award winners 

[VIDEOS] People First Award winners shine at ceremony

SOURCE: 'This team has made VCH a leader': Overdose Emergency Response team wins People First Award of Merit ( )
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