Record-breaking fundraising efforts will support world-class treatment services and groundbreaking initiatives at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Vancouver, BC (September 24, 2016) – St. Paul’s Foundation’s annual fundraising gala Brilliant raised a record $1.5 million at its sold out event, held earlier this evening. Proceeds will support St. Paul’s continued leadership in mental health and addiction medicine for the thousands of patients who urgently need care, each year.
A spectacular picture of philanthropy was painted throughout the evening as close to 1,000 guests entered a gallery of wonders celebrating iconic artists touched by mental illness and addiction. Some of Vancouver’s most celebrated creatives gave their time, materials and talent to bring St. Paul’s Brilliant to life through fashion, art and dance.
The need for community support of Brilliant has never been greater. “St. Paul’s sees the highest volume of patients with mental health and substance use issues in Vancouver,” says Dr. Bill MacEwan, Head of Psychiatry, St. Paul’s. “In the last six years, St. Paul’s has seen a 112% increase in emergency room visits related to mental illness and addiction – more than 10,500 visits last year alone.”
Brilliant 2016 proceeds will fund groundbreaking initiatives including the HUB, which will provide faster, more intensive care for some of our most vulnerable patients and strengthen patient support from hospital care to community care; as well as our world-leading addiction medicine program at St. Paul’s, which is demonstrating provincial leadership through a range of initiatives including the current opioid overdose crisis.
“In Vancouver, particularly in areas like the Downtown Eastside, high rates of untreated addiction have been a longstanding problem,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Medical Director, Addiction Services at St. Paul’s. “We need to build a functioning, evidence-based addictions system from the ground up.”
A catalyzing gift of $750,000 from the Vancouver Police Foundation was announced this evening. VPD Chief Constable Adam Palmer was met with a standing ovation for this game-changing gift, which reflects the lead role of the Vancouver Police Department in initiating the development of the HUB to provide quality of service for people struggling with serious mental health and addictions issues.
“From a public safety perspective, there is no question that our partnership with St. Paul’s Hospital in developing the HUB will be transformational and beneficial for patients, the police and our community,” says VPD Chief Constable Adam Palmer. “The VPD is committed to pursuing access to care through collaboration with health care providers, so that individuals living with mental illness and addiction issues get the support they need. The HUB will efficiently connect patients with care givers, reduce wait times at the hospital and provide long-term solutions to the complex challenges associated with mental illness and drug addiction.”
“Strong partnership between St. Paul’s Foundation, Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Police Foundation, Providence Health Care, St. Paul’s Health Innovation, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Ministry of Health and the City of Vancouver are making the innovative HUB possible,” said Dick Vollet, President and CEO, St. Paul’s Foundation, “And every dollar raised at Brilliant helps support these lifesaving programs at St. Paul’s, considered ground zero in the changing landscape for treating mental illness and addiction.”
Now in its fourth year, Brilliant has raised over $3.5 million. To support mental health and addiction medicine programs at St. Paul’s, visit brilliant.helpstpauls.com to donate.
About St. Paul’s Foundation
St. Paul’s Foundation raises funds to support compassionate world-class care, research, and teaching at St. Paul’s Hospital, a treasured provincial health resource for all British Columbians. Since 1894, St. Paul’s has built a tradition of excellence and compassionate care for the people of BC, including some of our most marginalized populations. Today, St. Paul’s cares for more than 500,000 patients that visit our hospital each year and conducts research and teaching initiatives that benefit patients locally, nationally and globally. For more information, or to donate, visit www.helpstpauls.com
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Arinn Ryan, Edelman