Teal decorative wave.
Portrait of Penny Ballem next to a window. She is wearing a grey sweater and white collared shirt

For the more than 29,000 staff and medical staff who serve 1.25 million people around the province, the effects of these last three years will last far longer than the removal of masks for most of us. Add to this the opioid crisis and the need to provide ongoing support to the increasing numbers of those with mental health and substance use challenges, not to mention climate change alarm bells in the form of wildfires, snowstorms, atmospheric rivers and heat domes, and you have a workforce that has been challenged but shown a superhuman resolve. Unprecedented and unexpected describe both the events of the past year, and the leadership and heroism we’ve seen within our ranks. They get us through; they really do, and we are inspired and grateful. 

This year’s Impact Report covers several highlights of this work, all of which support our expanded strategic framework. The new VCH Pillars are the solid structure upon which we are building our future work. They are critical to optimizing health outcomes for the diverse population we serve at VCH and represent our strong commitment to: 

  • Indigenous Cultural Safety: Delivering culturally safe care to Indigenous Peoples every day in every way 
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Promoting a sense of belonging where we can all bring our whole selves to VCH 
  • Anti-Racism: Creating a community where we dismantle attitudes, practices and processes that impact people based on their race or ethnicity 
  • Planetary Health: Inspiring people to create, restore, steward and conserve healthy ecosystems 

The stories in this report bring to life extraordinary people working through an extraordinary time. In small ways, and in large, we are able to deliver a full continuum of quality health care services, mostly because of our partnerships. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I extend our appreciation for the ongoing support of the Ministry of Health, and offer thanks to our partners at Providence Health Care and other organizations who share mutual goals. Grace and generosity have defined these partnerships, and we are grateful.  

I feel hopeful as I think of what’s ahead, because I know our people and our communities are in this together, and that makes us all want to do better for each other; to keep each other safe and healthy. It is a privilege for all of us on the Board to serve the people of Vancouver Coastal Health.