oneVCH COVID-19 Bulletin
October 21, 2020
The bulletins are distributed on Mondays and WednesdaysPast bulletins are available on the COVID-19 section of our VCH staff intranet.
If you receive a media inquiry, please contact our Public Affairs team immediately for support. Our media line is 604-202-2012 or email
  • There were 203 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. today.
  • Total of 12,057 cases in the province and 1,766 active cases
    • Vancouver Coastal Health: 4,215
    • Fraser: 6,517
    • Interior Health: 632
    • Vancouver Island: 244
    • Northern Health: 361
    • 88 people who are from outside of Canada, but currently in B.C.
  • 70 hospitalized 
  • 21 currently admitted to ICU
  • 9,993 recovered
  • 256 confirmed deaths
Click here to see more updates on the BC COVID-19 Dashboard

Missed today's Listening and Learning session?

At today's session, panelists examined the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) frameworks and strategies that can be implemented with the help of leaders of select departments to improve inclusivity for all employees.  They defined procedural and process level racism, listened to stories about experiences with procedural and process level racism faced within VCH, and discussed what can be done to address racism at a procedural and process level at VCH.

Here is the link to today's session:

Oct. 21: VCH Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Session #3 - Anti-Racism at the Procedural and Process Level

You can any of the sessions, any time, by clicking on the links on our staff intranet site.

Join the next session (part three of our listening and learning series) on November 4, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. using the same links above. 

For more information, view the DEI Listening and Learning poster.
Transformation Talks: structural and systemic racism in health care

As part of our efforts to address anti-Indigenous racism in health care, Riel Dupuis-Rossi and Vikki Reynolds are welcoming you to join their next webinar that addresses the question: What do we mean when we say that racism in health-care is structural and systemic?

This session will provide participants with the analysis and knowledge needed to effect system transformation in their respective areas of practice within the mental-health system.​


What: Transformation Talks Webinar: What do we mean when we say that racism in health care is structural and systemic? 

When: Thursday, October 22, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Please register for this webinar on the Learning Hub.
COVID-19 testing for staff and physicians

If you are sick, do not come to work. If you are a health-care worker or medical staff and feel sick, you should:​ ​Put on a mask, finish any essential services you are providing, review the latest COVID-19 testing guidelines​ to determine if you need to be tested​, and go home​.​
If you need to be tested, please do so at a VCH or PHC testing centre as they will expedite your test. These testing sites include:


Honoria Conw​​​ay at St.​ Vincent’s, adjacent gravel lot 
  • Advanced Parking Lot #9075, 700 block West 33rd Avenue. Enter on the north side of West 33rd Avenue between Willow and Heather Streets. Please do not enter Honoria Conway. Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is both a drive-up and walk-in location. 
Downtown Eastsid​​e
  • 429 Alexander Street, phone: 778-886-4081. Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed between 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Walk-in services only.
Vancouver Commu​​nity College, north parking lot #865
  • 1155 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC. Enter on 7th Avenue between Keith and Glen Drive. There is no access to the site through ​Vancouver Community College​. ​Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.​ Walk-up and drive-through services available for people with symptoms and aged 12 years or older​.


​Richmond Assessm​​​ent Centre
  • ​​​6820 Gilbert Road (parking lot of the Richmond Tennis Club)​. Open daily, including statutory holidays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-up and drive-through services available.


North Vancouver
  • Capilano Claim Centre, North Vancouver
Sea to Sky
  • Squamish General Hospital
  • Squamish Assessment Centre
  • Whistler Health Care Centre
  • Pemberton Health Centre
Sunshine Coast / Powell River
  •        Sechelt Assessment Centre
  •        Powell River General Hospital
  •        Powell River Recreation Complex, Powell River
Central Coast
  •        R.W. Large Hospital Emergency Department (Bella Bella)
  •        Bella Coola General Hospital
For testing centre locations and hours of operation, please visit
Caring for you during COVID-19 

We recognize the hard work and long hours you are all putting in during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to make it easier for you to focus on providing the exceptional care that you do and support you in the demands of daily living as much as possible.
This week’s staff supports feature is communication, including Exploring Leadership Communication online learning workshop, Employee Wellness (EFAP): Taking Care of Me Customized Sessions for Team Well-being and Employee Discounts to stay connected with your loved ones.

View this week’s staff supports one-pager and help share the information with your colleagues.

Visit VCH’s Staff Supports Intranet page for the latest updates, information and offers that support caring for you during COVID-19.
Environmental sustainability is everyone's story 

Want to know more about environmental sustainability at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)? 

The 2019 Environmental Performance Accountability Report (EPAR) is now available!

The EPAR compiles work undertaken by staff across VCH to reduce energy, water, waste, emissions and to improve climate resilience and adaptation. This is particularly important as B.C. seeks to shift towards a low-carbon economy and reduce climate risk. It includes health-care impacts on the environment, program information, graphs detailing progress and inspiring stories showing why environmental sustainability is important to you.

“I am so proud of our team’s achievements to date, and just as proud of Vancouver Coastal Health staff and leadership for their commitment to building healthier workplaces,” says Robert Bradley, Director of Energy and Environmental Sustainability. “There’s still much work to be done to embed environmental sustainability within our health-care system. I encourage all staff to check out this year’s report and get involved.”

Read the full story on VCH News here. 
Congratulations to our high five contest winners from Raven Song Community Health Centre!

As part of VCH's high-five contest, a high-fiver and their recipient will be selected each week to win a $25 gift card for helping to spread joy across the organization. This week, we are shining the spotlight on Lillian Lock and Kattia Gonzalez from Raven Song Community Health Centre. Lillian sent Kattia a high five for her positive attitude and being a great team player! 

Read the full story here on VCH News. 

Perspectives on transformation: Exploring the butter principle

“In this treacherous world, nothing is the truth nor a lie. Everything depends on the color of the crystal through which one sees it.” ― Pedro Calderón de la Barca, 17th century priest, playwright and chaplain to Spanish kings 

Can you remember when you were a child and you looked through a microscope or a telescope for the first time? That experience gave you a whole new perspective on the world. When you stopped looking through the lens, your previous perspective was still there, but you never really thought about the world quite the same way ever again. Your mind was expanded, and you knew from then on that there was more than one perspective to the natural world. A few years later, you may have added more perspectives by studying germ theory, chemistry or physics. Throughout our lives, we learn that different levels of truth exist in the physical world at the same time.

Over the years, we also add perspectives to dimensions of our lives beyond what we can see through a physical lens. We learn to view the world though political, professional and relational lenses to name only a few. These are often more challenging areas in which to consider various perspectives because they involve our values. But we do it because adding and integrating new perspectives increases our knowledge and wisdom. A still more challenging but very helpful area in which to consider various perspectives is religion. New perspectives in this dimension of human understanding can sometimes be a little frightening for us, because religion has a lot to do with our core self and feelings of being grounded. With this need for being grounded in mind, permit me to introduce you to a second metaphor that can assist us in understanding how religious perspectives can shift without our fears being realized.

Religion is like a container or vessel, the walls of which are made up of the beliefs, teachings and ritual practices of any given faith tradition. The vessel may be an ornate vase with a top, or a jug with a cap or a travel mug with a lid. The purpose of the vessel is to hold liquid whether it be milk, coffee, wine or some other libation. The liquid inside the vessel represents a person’s spirituality. As such, religion provides a structure for persons to contain and understand their raw spiritual experiences, much like the way a vessel contains and provides shape to the liquid inside it. In other words, religion contains and shapes our experience.

But what happens when our spiritual experiences feel differently than they did before, due to an event that has really shaken us up? For some people, such shaking could be experienced as similar to how a carbonated pop beverage may spontaneously explode. These are folks who lose or change their religion in reaction to some spiritual tumult pushing the limits of their container. This may be necessary and spiritually healthy in some cases. But when the liquid inside the vessel is cream, such shaking only makes it thicken into butter. Indeed, most of us react to life-shaking experiences more like cream turning into butter, than like exploding pop. When shaken by crises the majority of us become fortified in our beliefs.

So, we may ask, does this butter principle then preclude the adding or synthesizing of new perspectives during such shaking times as a pandemic? Hopefully not, being that we have seen just how beneficial widening our perspectives can be. Fortunately, there is a way for those of us who are more like butter than pop, to preserve our sense of being grounded while embracing new perspectives, but only if we first address our fears. People fear expanding their religious perspective when they think it means that they will consequently burst their religious container and lose their religion.  

In reality, during the human life cycle, religious perspectives quite naturally change over time as people mature. Religious elders in all faiths are, generally speaking, more accepting of various views. Their religious containers are well fortified and have withstood many shakings, but the lids on their containers are open to new perspectives. Their spirits have been shaken into butter, but seasoned via new perspectives. This openness results in seasoned elders developing similarities with one another without ever leaving their respective religions. So, if we feel the need to expand our perspectives in response to pandemic experiences challenging our pre-existing world view, we may not need to throw away our religion in order to adopt something new, any more than religious elders have thrown away theirs ― or any more than we needed to throw away our our normal vision after we looked through a microscope.

Transformation of perspective can take place in us while we keep our religious centre. The new can inform the old without leaving it behind. Learning from other religious perspectives or world views is like looking through a telescope at the planets. We may not be able to, or even wish to, live on those worlds, but we are glad to be informed by them, and deeply appreciate their existence. It changes our perspective on our own planet for the better when we look upon the vastness of the heavens. But if, out of fear, we cap the telescope, we become blind to new perspectives – labeling it alien truth.

During a pandemic, it is important to balance maintenance of our identity with openness and adaptability. This is how we become seasoned from experience while remaining grounded in the religion or tradition that helps us make sense of our lives. If after the pandemic, we find lots of diverse people who seem similarly seasoned, it will signify mutual respect and understanding born of our being shaken together while remaining open. The world will be a safer and better place for it.

Written by Doug Longstaffe, Profession Leader, Spiritual Care & Multifaith Services
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