Our Populations of Emphasis

Providence welcomes the challenge of caring for some of our society’s most vulnerable populations

People with heart and/or lung diseases

The Heart Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital is BC’s most comprehensive referral centre for patients with heart disease, providing leading programs in cardiac diagnostics, coronary intervention, heart surgery and electrophysiology. The Healthy Heart Program is an innovative wellness program for people at risk for heart attack and stroke, and for those who have suffered a heart attack or recently undergone heart surgery. Providence is also home to the Institute for Heart + Lung Health and BC’s Heart Failure Network.

People with kidney risks or disease

Providence Health Care’s Renal Program provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care for people with chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease, including transplantation and dialysis. The largest kidney treatment, research and education program in BC, it serves patients living within the Vancouver Coastal Health region as well as many from throughout BC and the Yukon. It is also home to the provincial Renal Pathology service and the BC Renal Agency. Providence Health Care also operates seven community dialysis units in Vancouver, Sechelt, Squamish, Powell River, North Shore and Richmond.

People with mental illnesses

The Mental Health Program provides a range of coordinated emergency, inpatient, ambulatory and provincial services for people with a serious mental illness. Providence Health Care handles 85 per cent of the most severe mental health emergency patients in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The St. Paul’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program is the provincial referral centre for adults with disordered eating. The Pain Program provides interventions available nowhere else in BC for this difficult-to-treat condition.

Older British Columbians

Providence Health Care provides a wide variety of residential and medical services for elders at eight locations throughout Vancouver. These sites have adopted the Eden Alternative—a commitment to improving elders’ social and physical environments. In addition to residential programs, Providence also offers acute care services such as geriatric assessment, geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry. We also offer rehabilitation for older adults from across BC who are recovering from stroke or amputation.

People with HIV/AIDS

St. Paul’s HIV/AIDS and Addiction Program is the largest comprehensive program of its kind in Canada, providing 11 per cent of all the total hospital care given to HIV-positive persons in the country. The program is also the headquarters of the national and provincial offices of the Canadian HIV Trials Network, which facilitates clinical trials and runs an expanded access program for antiretroviral drugs. The program also distributes antiretroviral therapy to the province of BC and monitors HIV-related outcomes as part of the mandate of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. The Centre for Excellence is housed at St. Paul’s and is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research and treatment program.

Urban Health

Urban Health addresses the diverse needs of city-based populations with complex medical and surgical conditions. It delivers coordinated critical care, including surgery, medicine, intensive care, palliative and maternity, highly specialized clinics, same-day surgery and emergency services. Social conditions in some downtown neighbourhoods lead to health problems like HIV, Hepatitis C, malnutrition and drug and alcohol-related illnesses. St. Paul’s plays a strong role in caring for the socially disadvantaged, serving medically/socially complex populations (HIV positive, substance abuse or substance dependent patients and patients with no fixed address).