Interior Health begins transition of Penticton's Pathways Addiction treatment services | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior Health begins transition of Penticton's Pathways Addiction treatment services

Interior Health said today, March 10, 2021, the transitioning process has begun to move clients from Penticton Pathways Addictions Treatment Centre to Interior Health care.
March 10, 2021 - 1:01 PM

Interior Health says initial work is already underway to transition Penticton’s Pathways Addiction Centre clients into a new service operated by Interior Health.

The addiction treatment centre in Penticton was told by Interior Health in late February the health authority was moving Pathways' treatment services in-house as of May 31, cancelling a $500,000 contract with the addiction centre and putting its continued operation in jeopardy.

Interior Health Vice President of Clinical Operations Dr. Shallen Letwin spoke to media in a Zoom call this morning, March 10. He said Interior Health and Pathways staff were working towards a smooth transition with a goal towards integrating the counselling services Pathways provides with new clinical services being offered through an Urgent and Primary Care Centre announced yesterday, March 9.

Letwin said the two organizations wanted to start the transition process early enough to allow for a smooth transition to May 31, as well as to take care of Pathways' 500 clients. He said Interior Health’s goal is to “create a care plan for clients custom designed around their needs."

Staff numbers have not been finalized, but Letwin promised there would be as many or more personnel committed to the Interior Health operation.

Pathways currently employs 10 counsellors.

Letwin said plans are still developing regarding “a full suite of services” but did not say with certainty whether the services offered by Interior Health would offer a drop in centre.

“We are going to tailor care to individual clients and one of the key features that we are adjusting is ensuring we have an intake process that is five days a week, to allow for easy access to services,” Letwin says, adding from that point the care team will provide an individually-based set of options for treatment.

Pathways announced last week it would seek funds to continue operations, launching a GoFundMe page in a quest to raise $500,000.

The addiction treatment centre also has a petition titled “Help save Pathways Addictions Resource Centre" at change.org, where it states Pathways has been instructed to prepare to transition clients to Interior Health.

“What this looks like is unknown at this time but in the meantime we are making every effort to support our current clients through their treatment plan," a message accompanying the petition said.

The petition, which was started three days ago, has 1,545 signatures to date.


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