New First Nations Addictions Care Initiative Launched



The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) are pleased to announce the creation of the Integrated First Nations Addictions Care Initiative.  

The new Initiative will identify opportunities for collaboration between the FNHA and BCCSU with the goal of strengthening partnerships within the healthcare system in the context of the provincial opioid overdose emergency.

Given the current opioid crisis, the initial focus of the Initiative will be to implement innovative responses to substance use disorders and associated harms, identify and address gaps in substance use and related health services, and ultimately reduce opioid overdoses and overdose deaths amongst the First Nations population in BC.

Additionally, the Initiative will:

• Develop strategic, preventative, and addiction treatment related innovations

• Identify shared priorities and opportunities for program alignment

• Link the BCCSU's network of researchers and clinicians to the various opioid response initiatives within FNHA

• Improve coordination amongst partner organizations, First Nations organizations and communities

We are pleased to announce Shawna Morrison as the new First Nations Addictions Care Coordination Lead.

Shawna is a Gitxsan woman who belongs to the Lax Gibuu (Wolf) Clan in the Wilp (House) of Wii Gaak and answers to the traditional name of Uma Nii Tah (Sitting Pretty). Shawna grew up in Northern British Columbia in her home community of Gitanmaax. Shawna's background includes education in Criminology, Child and Youth Care and various Substance Use courses to help her better understand the issues that arose in her previous employment. Shawna has extensive experience working with youth, marginalized people and Aboriginal people in both rural and urban areas and has worked on several research projects.

Please join us in welcoming Shawna Morrison in her new role with the BCCSU and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at FNHA. Shawna-Morrison.jpg