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Welcoming the New Year with a look back at our 2017 successes

Across PHSA, 2017 was an incredible year of challenges and accomplishments in health care.
PHSA highlights in health care 2017
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​Every day, we are driven to make a difference in the lives of others by improving care and the health of British Columbians throughout the province. This is clear in each and every one of our successes and milestones across PHSA. Here are some of the highlights:

We continued to lead the nation in health research and practice education, maintaining our fifth place ranking as one of Canada's top 40 research hospitals and the largest outside Ontario. PHSA researchers were awarded nearly $132 million in funding 2016/2017 and our staff mentored over 1,000 medical students and supported over 4,000 unique placements in various clinical specialties.

PHSA was once again named as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for the sixth year in a row and a BC Top Employer for the ninth year in a row. 

BC Children's Hospital, including Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, and BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, maintained its accreditation with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada – the highest level of accreditation offered to a health care organization.

Four PHSA programs/staff were recognized in the 2018 Quality Awards, presented by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council , and another three were recognized at the 2017 BC Health Care Awards, presented by the Health Employers Association of BC .

This spring, BC's first women-only overdose prevention site opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside through a partnership with BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, Atira Women's Resource Society, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health. 

In March, the Ministry of Health announced $91.4 million in funding for BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) over the next three years. An additional $4 million in immediate funding will also be provided for necessary equipment, including carbon monoxide monitors, stretchers, safety kits and visibility gear. This targeted investment will improve emergency response with additional ambulances, paramedics and dispatchers, support new initiatives to enhance access to primary and community-based care and introduce improvements to support how BCEHS responds to calls.

Staff from various PHSA services and programs, including Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC), BCEHS and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), worked around the clock to support affected residents and communities impacted by the wildfires in the Interior and Central BC. BC Cancer, the BC Renal Agency, BC Transplant and BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services collaborated with Interior and Northern Health to ensure that those patients impacted by the fires could continue to receive appropriate care and treatment that they needed.

Opioid drug overdoses have continued to rise to unprecedented levels in British Columbia and staff across PHSA have worked tirelessly to reduce the number of lives lost. BCEHS first responders have saved thousands of lives across the province and HEMBC formed a new Mobile Response Team to address the psychological impact for front-line staff in responding to overdoses from the opioid crisis. Closing off the year was the expansion of the take-home Naloxone program into pharmacies throughout the province, in a new partnership between the BC Pharmacy Association and BCCDC to tackle the overdose crisis by increasing access to naloxone.

In October, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services assumed operational responsibility for Correctional Health Services on behalf of PHSA, after health services in ten correctional facilities across the province transitioned to the Ministry of Health. The change aims to improve the quality and continuity of care for inmates as they move between correctional centres and the community, aligning with recommendations from the World Health Organization to deliver health care for inmates through a nation's respective ministry of health.

The Teck Acute Care Centre officially opened later in the month, providing specialized care for the most seriously ill children and complex obstetrical patients in BC. The centre features 231 inpatient rooms over eight floors of clinical space from BC Children's Hospital, along with BC Women's Urgent Care Centre which includes 10 single-patient rooms, providing care for women who are pregnant to six weeks post-birth.

A Canadian first, the Family Immunization Clinic opened at BC Children's Hospital, providing thousands of immunizations at no cost to children, youth and their families visiting the facility. 

Construction began on the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in November. This new 105-bed facility will offer specialized residential treatment to adults with severe mental health and addictions challenges, with the goal of helping to stabilize their illness and move forward with rehabilitation and recovery. The centre is slated to open in late 2019 on the Riverview lands.

As of early December, BC Transplant reached a total of 448 transplants - well ahead of 2016. Registrations in the BC Organ Donor Registry topped 1,192,359.

On December 14, BC Cancer launched the Indigenous cancer strategy in partnership with First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation British Columbia and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. "Improving Indigenous cancer journeys: A road map" addresses unique cancer-related challenges facing Indigenous communities in British Columbia, as well as all aspects of cancer from prevention to survivorship, with a focus on delivering culturally safe cancer care.

Among our many programs, individuals were recognized with local, national and international awards and accolades for their innovation and leadership in health care.

Finally, our Patient Experience Council and Workplace Culture Council continued to focus on ways to enhance the experiences for all patients, clients, families and staff through monthly meetings and various initiatives.

From our researchers and medical staff to those supporting us in the office and providing direct patient care, thank you for your contributions this past year. For a detailed list of achievements in 2017, including health care firsts and program/service growth, visit the accomplishments section of

accomplishments; BC Cancer Agency; BC Centre for Disease Control; BC Children's Hospital; BC Ambulance Service; award; BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services; BC Transplant; BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre; BCEHS; firsts; HEMBC; Indigenous Health; Research; Sunny Hill; transplant
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