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Lunch & Learn: Watershed Moments — Diverse action for water stewardship across BC health care

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In the last two years, 80% of B.C. communities experienced drought. Several regions declared states of drought emergency, which led to severe water restrictions, impacts to local food production, and restricted community services. The Government of BC is warning that BC summers are becoming hotter and drier. As health-care workers, we have to prepare and respond to water shortages.

Join us on June 26th to hear from leaders across B.C. who are helping our health system prepare for drought and climate change. You’ll hear stories about innovative projects to conserve water (Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health) and coordinated drought response efforts (HEMBC, Interior Health).

Following the presentations, attendees are welcome to stay for an optional post-session “water cooler” conversation to delve deeper into specific questions, share your own reflections and projects, and connect with colleagues interested or involved in similar work.


Learning Objectives

  • Describe the links between climate change, deforestation, and water quality/availability
  • Provide examples of coordinated responses to water shortages within health-care service delivery and operations
  • Identify specific actions that any health care worker can take toward improving our relationship with water


About the Speakers

Provincial Health Services Authority

Maddy Laberge is an emergency and disaster management leader with Health Emergency Management BC, specializing in emergency and disaster preparing, planning, response, and recovery within healthcare, and other complex organizational systems. In her current role with Health Emergency Management British Columbia as manager for Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health, she has coordinated numerous complex healthcare responses to extreme weather related disasters including, the BC 2021 heat dome, numerous extreme winter storms, droughts, and wildfire seasons. She is a respiratory therapist by trade with a Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management.


Vancouver Coastal Health

Monique Roy-Michaeli is a Registered Nurse who lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and son. She has been with VCH for over 20 years and her professional background includes: acute care, critical care/ER, clinical education and most recently home and community care. Her hobbies include gardening, outdoor activities, and she is a beekeeper.


Providence Health Care

Erick Nguyen joined Providence Health Care (PHC) in 2011 and is currently the Contract Manager, Support Services, managing the relationships with our contract partners in Waste Services, Linen and Laundry Services, and Patient Transport. He is committed to exploring more successful and sustainable opportunities in the way we do things at PHC.

Benson Low is the Director for Environmental Services for Providence Health Care. Within his portfolio is EVS (housekeeping), waste and sustainability, and subject matter support for Providence’s redevelopment projects.


Interior Health

Sylvia Wong has been working as an Environmental Health Officer and a delegated Drinking Water Officer since 2012. Currently, she is a small water systems specialist with the Drinking Water Program at Interior Health. As a small water systems specialist, Sylvia engages with water suppliers as well as various stakeholders on questions about source water, water treatment, drinking water regulations, emergency management and water system operations. She provides support and technical advice to a team of Drinking Water Officers who are responsible for the inspection of small water systems.