Join our next Community of Practice for Mental Health, Substance Use and HIV and HCV

The mental health, substance use and HIV/HCV Community of Practice provides a forum for learning and discussion for people interested in mental health and substance use. We meet on a monthly basis and also have an online forum for ongoing dialogue.

Please join us for our next CoP session on April 30th @ 1-2 pm.

Host: Neora Snitz from Heart of Richmond will be hosting this session

Hot topic: Kristen Kvakic from AIDS Vancouver Island will lead a discussion around the following hot topic:

Social workers/support workers/community workers conduct their practice in complex and challenging environments. When trauma, mental health challenges, homelessness, and addictions are present in the lives of clients, the individuals living with these challenges experience shame and stigma when accessing healthcare services. Gray (2009) explores the many ways that shame presents a significant barrier to treatment: “it mortifies and silences, distorts perception and creates a sense of self that is unlovable, dirty and low”. This reality presents health care providers (nurses, physicians, social workers, etc.) with a unique opportunity to “do dignity” with people living with complex social and health challenges. My short talk will explore the role of social workers/support workers/community workers in combating stigma and doing dignity with clients/patients living on the margins. References: Gray, Rebecca. (2009) The dynamics of shame: Implications for counselors working in alcohol and other drug settings. Psychotherapy in Australia, 16(1), 30-36.

Come join in the discussion!

 Here’s the registration link:

Note: Save the email link that arrives when you register. You will need it to connect to the call at meeting time

IMG_5347Carlene Dingwall

Mental Health, Substance Use and HIV/HCV Program


Posted in Announcement, Mental Health News, News |

BCCFE and Positive Living BC: HIV Treatment and Care Webinar Series

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), in partnership with Positive Living BC, is offering a series of webinars that will provide up-to-date HIV treatment and care information. This series will meet the needs of learners across geographical and professional boundaries, with content designed to be relevant to a broad range of learner levels. Sessions will bring together experts to share their knowledge and provide a forum for interaction, dialogue and mutual learning.

You can watch the previous sessions of this series:

Dr Mary Kestler (Oak Tree Clinic) and Alana LaMalice discuss issues related to caring for women living with HIV.

Glen Bradford, Dr. Silvia Guillemi and Mary Petty discuss issues in linkages and access to care.

Dr Reka Gustafson, Dr David Hall and Mr Paul Kerston are presenting on issues related to HIV testing.

Dr. Silvia Guillemi, Dr. Rolando Barrios and Mr. Paul Kerston are presenting an overview on the HIV Cascade of Care.


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Tips for Evaluating Your Tweets

Do you know what level of engagement or activity your Tweets have? Dan McDonnell, Community Manager at the American Evaluation Association, recently posted a blog that outlines some interesting ways to explore your Twitter metrics. McDonnell explains, “By evaluating your Twitter activity and engagement, you can better understand what content resonates with your followers, and how your tweets might help you expand your network of contacts and followers.” Check out his blog post here.

Questions? Comments? Email

Elayne Vlahaki, MPH
Principal Consultant, Catalyst Research Group
Manager, BC HIV/HCV Evaluation Advisory Group, Pacific AIDS Network 


Posted in Evaluation News, News | Tagged , ,

Job Posting – Community Connector – QMUNITY

Qmunity logoJob Opportunity
The Community Connector will be responsible for recruiting, managing and supporting the Friendly Visitor Project volunteers, identifying potential clients and matching volunteers with clients.

The Friendly Visitor Project is a one year initiative that will build a network of 20 LGTBQ volunteers who will support 20 isolated LGTBQ seniors. The Friendly Visitor team of volunteers will conduct home visits to seniors with limited mobility or who are unable to leave their residential care and assisted living facilities.
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Posted in Job Posting, PLDI News | Tagged , ,

CANARY study on access to medical cannabis seeking participants

CANARY study graphicThe CANARY Study is nation-wide study, led by Lynda Balneaves (UBC School of Nursing) is examining the impact of the regulatory changes on patient access to cannabis for medical purposes, as well as the impact on health outcomes and health care utilization.

The study will focus on patients living with acute or chronic health conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, and chronic pain who are accessing cannabis through the MMAR, those accessing it through the MMPR, and those not accessing it through either government program. We will also be following patients who do not currently use cannabis for medical purposes.

We will be following patients through the changes for the next year. There will be 3 online surveys to fill out during that time, as well as interviews for a small subset of participants.

The first survey must be completed by May 1st.

Please visit for more information on the study and a link to the survey. Also, read the letter of invitation.

Please share widely with your clients and networks.

Posted in Announcement, CBR Musings, PLDI News |

A loving Spoonful relocated to bigger space in March 2014

Daily Extra
By Shauna Lewis

A Loving Spoonful will expand its capacity to serve those living with HIV/AIDS when the organization relocates to a larger space in spring 2014.

“We are moving to a location that is twice as big, which will really enable A Loving Spoonful to expand their services and allow for future growth. It’s pretty exciting,” executive director Lisa Martella says.

The non-profit group, which provides meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, will be moving to a 5,195-square-foot warehouse at 1449 Powell St in East Vancouver March 1.

The move was announced Nov 22 at its annual World AIDS Day luncheon, a charity event that raises more than $50,000 annually for the organization.

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