VANCOUVER, BC, September 21, 2012 – Vancouver-based resource firm Goldcorp Inc. announced today that it is making a $5-million donation to two unique addiction and mental health programs serving Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES).
The donation will enable the programs, to be run by Providence Health Care and Vancouver Coastal Health, to combine efforts and work together towards improving the health and lives for individuals and families struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
"Goldcorp is committed to making a positive difference here in Vancouver as well as in those communities where we operate our mines," said Chuck Jeannes, President and CEO of Goldcorp. "We want to help create a healthier future for the DTES and recognize the urgent need for support in addressing severe mental illness and addiction. We're pleased that our donation will enable health care experts to leverage one another's work, and produce a transformational and lasting impact in the lives of Vancouver's most vulnerable residents."
Of the $5-million donation, $3 million will be dedicated to establishing Canada's only addiction medicine training program west of Ontario. The St. Paul's Hospital Goldcorp Fellowship in Addiction Medicine will address a critical lack of skilled, specialized addiction medicine specialists in B.C. by providing training to 20 fellows over five years. "This Fellowship will create the capacity to increase care and advance research to revolutionize public health in these communities and beyond," explained Dr. Evan Wood, physician leader of the Fellowship program and co-director of the Addictions and Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul's.
The remaining $2 million of the Goldcorp gift will be used to support Vancouver Coastal Health's Assertive Community Treatment program (ACT). ACT is an intensive, 24-hour voluntary outreach mental health service that supports people in the DTES struggling with severe, persistent mental illness and addiction with the objective of helping them receive treatment, find sustainable housing, and secure meaningful employment.
"ACT has been in operation for more than a year and proven to be very successful in reducing frequencies of hospitalization, and improving people's ability to live on their own," said Anne McNabb, Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services at Vancouver Coastal Health. "Thanks to Goldcorp's generosity, funding is now in place for ACT to continue to operate."
"This generous leadership gift from Goldcorp has enabled all parties involved to work collaboratively. Our combined efforts will deliver greater benefits to the community than our individual actions," said Ron Dumouchelle, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
"Goldcorp's donation will create a legacy of positive change for the people of Vancouver's DTES and beyond," said Dianne Doyle, President & CEO of Providence Health Care, which operates St. Paul's Hospital. Target start date for the Fellowship program is July 2013.
Goldcorp has previously invested over $15 million in the DTES to fight homelessness, support education and training, and provide sustainable employment.