Monthly Archives: October 2015

Community Spotlight: Brody Williams

This month’s community spotlight is, as always, a little bit different.

One of our beloved friends at VIDC, Brody Williams, recently appeared on Global News as a success story — Brody has finally won the battle against hepatitis C after six (6) different treatments!

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Brody Williams telling John Daly of Global News how he feels about the news Dr. Conway delivered. (Click on the photo to watch the video, or click on this link.)

Brody’s story is filled with a lot of ups and downs. He’s been struggling with the disease, the illness, the effects of the medications, the stress and financial burden of the disease and treatment, etc. This interview is Brody’s way of waving his flag at the top of a mountain after all the hardships he had to deal with to reach the summit!

At the end of the video, Dr. Conway says to Brody:

“… we’ll pick up the ball from here. We will help the people you want us to help.”

After everything he’s been through, Brody is determined to help others out. He’s been very passionate in attending and providing insight and support to other patients at our HCV Treatment Support Group.

Now that he’s officially cured, he is all the more determined to help others succeed in their battle against HCV. He’s currently still very actively engaged in our HCV Treatment Support Group and is looking into other avenues to better help other out.

The article on the Global News website also tackles one of the biggest issues facing HCV Patients — treatment cost.  Click on this link to read more about it.

Brody, we look forward to continue working with you in bettering the HCV situation in Vancouver — and in Canada!
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Red Ribbons 4 Life!

The Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre (VIDC) and the Empire of the Peace Arch Monarchist Association (Imperial Sovereign Court of Surrey) together with Lookout Emergency Aid Society (formerly KEYS Housing & Health Solutions) invite you to the 8th Annual Red Ribbons For Life (RR4L).

RR4L PostCard JPEG

This event was founded in 2008 by Martin Rooney as a part of the campaign to remove the US HIV Travel Ban. Proceeds have surpassed $35,000 since its inception and have benefitted two worthy organizations — primarily the Surrey HIV Food Bank (operated by Lookout) and AIDS Tijuana (Traux House), a clinic in Tijuana Mexico operating with funds raised through the International Court System and the Imperial Court de San Diego California.

Red Ribbons 4 Life has now become the largest single, one-night benefit for AIDS in the lower mainland outside the city of Vancouver!

It will definitely be a night to remember with breath-taking performances, an informative keynote address, an AIDS Memorial ceremony, silent and live auctions, and raffle draws — all while raising funds and awareness for the on-going battle with HIV!

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(PC: Emma Briones) Dr. Brian Conway MD FRCPC is following-up on his popular addresses at the last two years’ events this year for RR4L 8!

VIDC’s President and Medical Director, Dr. Brian Conway, will be giving the keynote address at the event.

World renowned Live Female Impersonator, Bobby Drake, is the headline performer for the celebration. A number of amazing local talent — Miz Adrien, Jennifer Geddes, Kiki LaWhore, Robin Loveless, and more — will also be gracing the stage with their performances!

We invite you to join us in making this event successful!

Details of the event are as follows:

Red Ribbons 4 Life 8th Annual Campaign

When: Sunday (November 29) 6-10PM
Where: The Columbia Theatre (530 Columbia St. New Westminster BC)
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Conway MD FRCPC
Tickets: $25CAD*
Tickets can be purchased from the website.
*Early bird rate until November 15, 2015. Regular price would be: $35CAD
**A cash bar and food menu will be available

If you have any questions about the event, or issues concerning ticket purchase, contact: rr4life@shaw.ca

We hope to see you there!

FREE Webinars on HCV

In line with our goal of tackling  HCV through generating public awareness and promoting education, VIDC would like to share this amazing resource with all of you!

The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (Réseau Canadien sur l’Hépatite C) — or CanHepC for short — is happy to inform you that their webinars for 2015-2016 are open to the public!

Yes, FREE WEBINARS ON HEPATITIS C related topics!

But what is CanHepC?

CanHepC is a collaborative network funded by CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) and PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada) to establish a continuous pipeline from discovery to implementation to reduce HCV transmission, cure and improve the quality of life of persons infected with HCV, and to work towards the eradication of HCV infection in Canada.

Our overarching goal is to conduct innovative and interdisciplinary research, build research capacity, and translate evidence for uptake into practice and policy, to improve HCV prevention and health outcomes of Canadians and contribute to the global effort to reduce HCV burden worldwide. (About CanHepC)

The webinars cover a wide range of topics from Hepatitis C (HCV) statistics, patient care, all the way to research writing and patents. The wide selection is meant to cater to health care professionals and academics who are involved in HCV research, treatment, and patient care.

However, for the general public — HCV patients, friends/relatives of people with HCV, interested community groups, and even advocacy groups — there are a number of topics that could be very useful!

Here are some examples:

  • HCV in Aboriginal Communities (November 4)
  • Practical Nursing for HCV Patients (January 27, 2016)
  • Drug Use and Treatment: the Point of View of Real Patients (Feb 3)
  • Research/Patient Partnership (Feb 17)
  • The Federal Role in Hepatitis C (March 9)
  • HCV Prevention in Health Care System (March 23)

Simply head over to the website — here is the link again — and follow the instructions on how to register to attend one of these webinars. It’s that simple!

Better understanding of hepatitis C will help positively impact the fight against it in a lot of significant ways! Education helps dispel stigma, promote better health practices, and eventually affect the eradication of this disease.

If you, personally, won’t have time for the webinars — pass the information on!

VIDC September Multicultural Highlights

Last week VIDC had the opportunity to get involved with two momentous community-focused events by S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and RésoSanté Colombie-Britannique.

Health Fair 2015

SUCCESS HF Banner

On September 20, 2015 VIDC partnered with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and had a Community Pop-Up Clinic (CPC) set up at their annual health fair. At the fair, we tested over 100 people for hepatitis C. And even provided FibroScan® options for those who tested positive, or who self-report being previously diagnosed with hepatitis B. We provided services in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English to ensure that information is being delivered efficiently.

RésoSanté Directory Launch

ResoSante Logo

On September 22, 2015 RésoSanté launched their directory of health care professionals that can provide services in French. This year was a momentous event for them as their directory now has 1000 health care professionals in BC that cater to the Francophone community — and of course, VIDC is on the list! (If you don’t know, our President and Medical Director, Dr. Brian Conway, is a Francophone!) At the launch, Dr. Brian Conway was invited to speak on the importance of receiving health care in your own language.

The importance of this directory of French-speaking health care professionals cannot be underestimated. The best health care is provided in the best way possible at the time that it is first requested. One component of this excellence is to provide it in the right language. – Dr. Brian Conway

VIDC’s involvement in these events are the first steps we are taking into pursuing our commitment to providing a community-based holistic approach to treatment. Dr. Conway’s statement rings true regardless of what language or culture is in question — health is one of the few fundamental things that one should have access to, and this access should be facilitated through the right medium.