Pathways

Interior Health not budging on decision to pull funding from Penticton addictions centre

IH will start hiring a team soon to take over addiction services

Interior Health will not be changing its minds about pulling funding from Pathways Addictions Resource Centre.

Despite Penticton MLA Dan Ashton and South Okanagan Richard Cannings, along with other community leaders raising concerns about Interior Health’s decision, work has already started to transition addiction services in-house and away from Pathways, said Dr. Shallen Letwin, IH vice president of clinical operations.

In a press conference with Penticton media on Wednesday, Letwin confirmed that Interior Health will absorb Pathways client base.

“We are integrating our mental health and addictions services by bringing in a team that will help all facets of their (clients) journey,” Letwin said.

Meanwhile, more than $3,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe account to help keep Pathways open past June 1, when IH pulls all its funding. A Change.org petition has also been gaining signatures from people opposing IH’s decision.

Currently, there are nine counsellors and clinical staff at Pathways. None of them are being brought onto the new IH team, Letwin said. Instead, Interior Health will begin a hiring process.

The staffing of the team will ‘maintain or enhance’ the level of care currently provided by Pathways, Letwin said.

When asked how IH could handle taking on Pathways 1,000 clients, Letwin said they plan to provide the same level of care within IH’s integrated team approach. But Letwin was vague on specifics, including how easy it will be for people to access care.

“We are mindful that clients from Pathways have built relationships with the staff. We recognize trust and continuity is key.”

Pathways, which has been in Penticton for more than two decades, will have its $500,000 annual budget pulled as of May 31. They offer a continuum of care that can last years as well as a drop-in centre that allows anyone off the streets to come to see them.

Interior Health said it would not be offering a drop-in service at this time but will be accessible five days a week.

Some of that access will be at the new urgent and primary care centre opening up on Martin Street on March 31.

READ MORE: New urgent and primary centre opening with a focus on addictions and mental health

If an individual came to the Martin St. care centre and said they wanted to get off drugs, they would be connected with a team who would tailor a treatment plan that would suit that individual’s needs, said Letwin.

Residential treatment is not part of IH’s plan.

He also didn’t answer what the waitlist will look like for those seeking help with addictions and mental health.

“We will be monitoring the management of people’s access to care,” said Letwin.

“We are working weekly with Pathways on a transition plan, looking at the clients’ needs and how they will come and get services from Interior Health and make sure we have the staff we need to ensure a smooth transition.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz received his COVID vaccination April 5. 
(Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Liams Lowdown: It’s time to vaccinate

All Revelstoke residents above the age of 18 can get a COVID-19 inoculation

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: More human twins are being born now than ever before

Your morning start for Friday, April 16, 2021

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read