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Open letter to the communities of Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton

Vancouver Coastal Health issues 90-day termination notice of addictions programs

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All of us here at Sea to Sky Community Services Society (SSCSS) anticipate that everyone is enjoying the wonderful summer we have had so far. Unfortunately, the end of July brought significant changes to SSCSS, greatly affecting not only our organization as a whole, but also individual programs and services.

As a result, it is with immense regrets that SSCSS announces to our respected community members and stakeholders that we have received a 90-day termination notice from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) for the following addictions contracts: Adult Addictions (Outpatient), Child and Youth Addictions (Outpatient), and Drug Prevention and Education (School-Based). These programs and services will be winding down over the next 10 weeks and will officially come to a close on Oct. 30, 2009.

With regards to Adult Addictions (Outpatient), VCH has stated that these programs "should be redesigned to a concurrent disorder model... in house" and "believe that repatriating (this service) will have minimal impact on client care and expectations." Both Child and Youth Addictions (Outpatient) and Drug Prevention and Education (School-Based) will cease to exist.

We ask that you take some time to consider the immediate and future impact this transition will have on you and/or your connection with SSCSS, and we welcome your assistance in trying to minimize the impact and disruption of service delivery. A contact is also available at VCH to answer your questions or address your concerns: Joanne Bezzubetz, Director of Mental Health and Addictions, at joanne.bezzubetz@vch.ca.

Sea to Sky Community Services Society and the staff members directly affected (Denise Evans, Gloria Thiessen, Dee Beveridge, Jackie Dickinson, and Jesse Burnett) would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your years of support to and involvement with these valuable programs and services.

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