Friends of St. Paul's Hospital

Our Community Health: The Future of St. Paul´s Hospital

Forum Invitation
Introduction to Friends of St. Paul´s Hospital
Panel Members
Report on the Forum


Forum Invitation


The West End Citizens´ Action Network (WECAN),
Davie Village Business Improvement Association,
and Vancouver Community Forums
are pleased to invite you to a forum.

Friends of St. Paul's Hospital

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
Reception at 6:30 pm
Forum - 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Coast Plaza Hotel - 1763 Comox Street at Denman

Join a panel of community leaders, including representatives from Providence Health Care, WECAN, the Davie Village BIA, and the Downtown Vancouver Association who will address three themes related to the future of St. Paul´s Hospital

  • the livability of the community
  • the economic health of the community , and
  • the delivery of health care services in the community
There will be a brief question period following the presentations. Participants will then be invited to join the individual panel members in conversations at tables located around the room.

This event is designed to help people become informed about the issues and interests around the future of St. Paul´s Hospital and the role St. Paul´s plays in the health of our community.

Please forward this invitation to anyone you think will be interested.



Introduction to Friends of St. Paul´s Hospital


Friends of St. Paul´s Hospital was created as an initiative of the West End Citizens´ Action Network to stimulate informed conversations about the issues surrounding the redevelopment of St. Paul´s Hospital. At issue is whether the hospital will remain at its Burrard Street location or be relocated to the False Creek area and the interests involved and affected in the role St. Paul´s plays in our community, the need for accessibility to quality medical care, safety and financial issues, and the heritage value of the 1932 Burrard Building.

   St. Paul´s Hospital   

St. Paul´s Hospital is an acute care, teaching, and research hospital with a proud history that began when Mother Emilie Gamelin founded the Sisters of Providence in Montreal in 1843. Named after Bishop Paul Durieu and founded on the pledge of providing compassionate care, St. Paul´s Hospital began as a 25-bed institution on the outskirts of Vancouver in 1894. St. Paul´s Hospital is No 8 on Heritage Vancouver's 2007 Top Ten Endangered Sites

Interests and opinions vary from those who prefer to see the hospital stay in its current location, to those who prefer to see it relocated, and to those who haven´t yet formed an opinion or who have other ideas. Friends of St. Paul´s Hospital are pleased to introduce you to others who have an interest in the future of the hospital. We have provided links to those who have a stated interest and a point of view. You will find information to help you develop your own position on the issue and take whatever action you feel is appropriate.


Panel Members


Neil MacConnell

Neil MacConnell joined Providence Health Care in September 1998. He is responsible for the Providence Legacy Projects, which include St. Vincent's Heather Campus of Care, Richmond Campus of Care, Mount St. Joseph's transformation and St. Paul's renewal.

Neil has over 25 years of architectural, planning and construction experience in health care. He has extensive experience in project management from inception to completion, including programming, master planning, design and construction, project and construction cost control and project scheduling.

Educated in the U.K., he has a D.A. (Architecture) from Duncan of Jordanstone College, and a D.M.S. from Portsmouth. Neil has been a registered Architect since 1970 and is a Member of A.I.B.C.

Sheryl Williamson-Harms

Sheryl moved to Vancouver over a dozen years ago and firmly rooted herself and her family into the community. Sheryl is the Chair of the West End Citizens' Action Network, holds key positions in several community organizations and has participated in many initiatives including

o West End Integrated Neighbourhood Network Steering Committee(WEINN)
o Safe Streets Coalition
o Family Services of Greater Vancouver Community Advisor, 1134 Burrard Project
o Four Pillars Coalition
o Street Crime Working Group - Justice Review Task Force
o Police Board Deliberative Dialogue

Sheryl is currently working on an initiative to bring a 500 delegate Safe Streets Safe Cities Conference to Vancouver in the spring of 2008. In her spare time, she is the Director of Operations of a privately owned business in Vancouver and holds several industry designations.

Sheryl is a Certified Marketing Executive with a Diploma in Sales and Marketing from the Sauder School of Business at UBC. She is married with one child.

Lyn Hellyar

A native of Bowmanville, Ontario, Lyn Hellyar completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Science and Education at the University of Toronto. She taught senior secondary school in the Comox Valley where she raised her two daughters. Lyn was instrumental in establishing the Comox Valley Music Festival and was involved with the Vancouver Island School of Dance for 12 years. After her family had grown, Lyn moved to Whistler where she ran her own business. In 1998, Lyn moved to Vancouver to take the position of Registration and Office Administration Coordinator with the College of Psychologists of BC.

Since March 2004, Lyn has steered the Davie Village Business Improvement Association under its banner “Together we will create a thriving vibrant business community”. Working with an energetic committed board and the approval of City Hall, the boundaries of the BIA have now successfully expanded to create the West End BIA.

Active in the community, Lyn attends WECAN meetings, was a member of the Steering Committee for WEINN, a member of the Safe Streets Action Committee, a Director of BIABC and the DVA, sits on the Community Advisory Committee of Directions Youth Services Centre and is a member of the Executive Board of the 2007 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Cup.

Peter Jackman

Peter Jackman, Development and Donor Services Director for the Vancouver Foundation, is also President of the Downtown Vancouver Association, two organizations with years of accomplishment in our community. The Vancouver Foundation has distributed more than $605 million in the past 64 years. The DVA, celebrating its 60th year, helped to establish the Business Improvement Associations, EasyPark and Tourism Vancouver. Known as a think tank for generating conversations and ideas, the DVA brings speakers to talk about current topics of interest through four active forums: Community Issues, Urban Design and Transportation, Arts and Culture, and Retail. Peter is also a board member of the DVBIA.

Peter Jackman has a wide and varied background in development, marketing and investor relations. Many local business men and women will know Peter from his five years with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he helped increase membership by 30%, the highest increase in North America over that time period. In the past year alone Peter exchanged almost 4,500 business cards making him one of Vancouver´s more active networkers. His other experience includes working with two profitable dot-coms and has worked with several publicly traded entities via Terrenex Acquisition Corporation out of Calgary.

Eva Murray - Moderator

Eva Murray, an educator and facilitator, is currently a training consultant at Vancouver Community College's School of Instructor Education. She trains college instructors throughout BC.

Eva has also held senior management positions in the public and the not-for-profit sectors both in Canada and overseas. For several years she was the Executive Director of the Vancouver Learning Disabilities Association. Prior to that Eva was the Nigeria Program Director for CUSO. In this role she trained Canadian technical advisors, negotiated government agreements and facilitated networking and capacity building workshops for Nigerian NGOs.

Her volunteer roles have included being the Board Chair at Gordon Neighbourhood House and Vice-President of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses. Eva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Queen's University and a Masters in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University, where she focused on cross-cultural training and adaptation. Additionally, Eva has completed training in counseling, coaching and conflict resolution. Eva has been a Vancouver resident for eight years and lives in the West End.


Report on the Conversation


Our Community Health: the Future of St. Paul's Hospital, the first forum brought to the community by Friends of St. Paul's Hospital was held on April 11th, 2007 at the Coast Plaza Hotel. The four panel members presented different views on the topic that served as the basis for table conversations with the participants following their remarks.

Sheryl Williamson-Harms encountered travel problems that prevented her from attending the forum. She sent along a brief statement that was read on her behalf by Eva Murray, moderator of the event's forum. Here is an excerpt from her text:

If I were with you tonight I'd be asking a lot of questions. In my absence, I'd like to leave you with this quote from Stephen Young from his book Micro Messaging: Why Great Leadership is Beyond Words.

Questions are far more effective than defensive statements. They do not imply agreement, but they do convey interest and a desire to understand and facilitate an environment for peak performance. The next time someone accuses you of virtually anything, ask some questions. Resolving the situation may take more time, but the outcome will likely be more productive for both of you.

Peter Jackman, President, Downtown Vancouver Association, said the DVA wants the best medical solution for the region and if that means changing the status quo that should be considered. Whatever is next for St. Paul's, he said, dialogue is vital to ensure we end up better off.

Peter addressed the challenges and realities facing our health care system: its rising costs, the need for sustainability, and our aging population. On average people in their 50´s use $2,100 in health care each year; people in their 70´s use double that; and for those in their 90´s that number balloons to more than $22,000 per year. Delivering what will surely become the quote of the forum, he identified this reality as the looming silver-haired tsunami. Clearly, says Peter, staying the course is not going to work in the long run. In seeking the best solutions for the downtown and the region, there is a need to consider and review all options.

Acknowledging the economic impact the hospital has on the downtown, residents and DVA members, along with the increasing density and population and development in the downtown, Peter said the DVA would not take a position until all the facts are available about possible changes at St. Paul´s. At that time the DVA will be involved in the public consultation he said, emphasizing again the need for dialogue.

Lyn Hellyar, the Executive Director of the West End Business improvement Association, is aware of the impact St. Paul´s Hospital has on the quality of life for many residents, and on the business community. For Lyn, St. Paul´s forms the linchpin of a vast medical infrastructure that includes institutions that provide core health services and have a dependant relationship with the hospital: clinics, drug stores, laboratories, and of course many doctors. In addition, there are peripheral businesses that benefit from the proximity of the hospital: hotels, restaurants, dry cleaners, retail stores and many more. At the same time, these businesses provide essential services for the many patients and visitors from across the province that come to St. Paul´s for medical care.

Reading from a survey conducted by Communitas Social Research and Consulting Group in late 2005, it was clear to Lyn that the loss of the hospital would have a devastating impact on the economic and social fabric of the community. At the same time she was encouraged by the recent information shared by Providence Health Care about its vision to retain some medical services at the Burrard Street location. She was also encouraged by a meeting she and a small group had last spring with Health Minister George Abbott when they met with him to discuss their concerns about St. Paul´s. He assured the group that there would be fair consultation before any decisions were made. Lyn looks forward to a satisfactory and well understood outcome - whatever that may be.

Neil MacConnell, VP, Legacy Project, Providence Health Care, invited Dr. Carere, Program Director for the Cardiac Program at St. Paul´s, to join him at the forum and he too was available to answer questions at the table conversations.

Neil talked about Providence Health Care´s more than 100 years´ history as a health care provider and noted how services have changed during that time and how they will continue to improve into the future. There are many problems at St. Paul´s with buildings that were designed over 35 years ago for a different kind of care, and that present technical and safety issues from the lack of sprinklers to buildings that are at 55% of current seismic code.

Looking to the future, Neil outlined a list of requirements needed to provide optimum care: from 30% more space to facilities that will allow for best practice techniques and a team focus to the delivery of health care.

Neil presented a two-site vision that will see a continuing presence of some services at its current site and a new facility at the False Creek Flats site. Since Providence Health Care will not require all the property they own at both sites they plan to use the land to help pay for the renewal and reduce costs to taxpayers. He also noted plans to engage in extensive public consultations by the end of this year that will help them to complete its business case.

During the Question and Answer part of the Forum, a woman asked what Providence Health Care intended when they present Urgent Care as one of the services to be kept at the Burrard Street site. Since time did not allow for a full response to this question, Neil MacConnell provided a detailed answer to Friends to publish and distribute to people interested in knowing and understanding what Urgent Care services include. We invite you read the document to become more informed on what this will mean for our community.

Report by Gail Brown