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St. Paul’s Foundation contributes $1.5 million to establish new endowed chair

March 31st, 2017
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Chair in Substance Use Research to work out of new centre

Dr. Kanna Hayashi has been named the inaugural St. Paul’s Chair in Substance Use Research at the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).

Dr. Hayashi, a professor at Simon Fraser University, is an internationally recognized substance-use epidemiologist and a human-rights advocate for people who use drugs.

“This Chair is an opportunity to join a dynamic group of multidisciplinary scholars at St. Paul’s Hospital and SFU to respond to the challenges of substance use through a holistic framework,” said Dr. Hayashi. “It is my hope to transform substance use treatment in BC, improve the health and well-being of people who use drugs, and mentor students to advance research in substance use.”

Contributions from St. Paul’s Foundation on behalf of BCCSU, SFU, and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS were all key in the new Chair’s establishment.

“On behalf of everyone who has helped bring about the new BC Centre on Substance Use,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Director of the BCCSU, “I’m extremely grateful to our partners for helping make this Chair in Substance Use possible. Dr. Hayashi is a world class scientist who will help this new centre’s efforts to modernize the province’s approach to substance use.”

St. Paul’s Foundation CEO Dick Vollet also spoke to the importance and impact of community support.

“Our donors are playing a key role in a new model of care for those struggling with problematic substance use,” said Mr. Vollet. “Now, with the work of the new BC Centre on Substance Use and our new Chair, we have an opportunity to change the entire addiction medicine landscape in BC and around the world.”

Dr. Hayashi will take an active leadership and advocacy role locally, nationally and internationally to advance understanding in substance use. She will develop a research program in substance-use prevention, treatment and health policy and will work closely with existing networks including government, community, and clinical units.

Working in collaboration with Dr. Wood, Dr. Hayashi will evaluate the effectiveness of existing opioid therapies such as methadone and suboxone. She also plans to conduct clinical trials to identify a new medication to treat those who use both opioids and stimulants such as cocaine.

A key objective is to ensure that more people will have access to treatments that effectively prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for unregulated drugs such as fentanyl and heroin.

Donations made by friends of St. Paul’s have helped to make the new BC Centre on Substance Use a reality, thus helping to create at St. Paul’s one of the most innovative substance use programs in the world. Please continue your support as these next critical steps are taken in substance use research and care.

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