What's new in Chilliwack

Across our region, we are investing in community-based care by increasing health care resources in community settings. This means patients will receive the right level of care in the right places. This is about looking at the programs and services we provide and making decisions that are in the best interests of patients and residents, decisions that will help people avoid being in hospital, get them out of hospital more quickly and support them more fully in the community and in their homes.

What we are talking about is a complex shift of resources but our goal is clear – to promote health, wellness and prevention in our communities. All of our decisions are based on what is best for the communities we serve and the people we care for.

Here are some examples of how this is happening in Chilliwack.

Community Services in Chilliwack

Mental Health and Substance Use

  • Riverstone Daytox Program is a medically monitored group-based day program offering withdrawal management for individuals in early recovery or whose substance misuse does not require intensive residential withdrawal management services. Riverstone Detox was recently expanded to residents of Fraser East. Now Chilliwack residents have access to two additional mobile detox teams for support in withdrawing from substances. Clients receive a medical assessment by a physician along with regular monitoring by a nurse and health care worker during the withdrawal process. Case workers also help clients connect with community services to continue their recovery.
  • New community outreach nurses enable our outreach team to provide services seven days per week, 12 hours per day. The expanded outreach team provides services to people with serious mental health or substance use problems that require intensive outreach, and works with Chilliwack General Hospital’s emergency department and inpatient units to identify patients with substance use needs who can be safely discharged and be better served in a community setting.

Eye Centre

  • Chilliwack General Hospital Eye Centre performs approximately 5,750 procedures annually. They are the only high volume cataract public center in the province. The Eye Centre is unique in that it is an outpatient surgical centre within a hospital, which allows patients to return home within a few hours of their surgery, without going through the process of being admitted to hospital.  The Eye Clinic provides outpatient cataract extraction and intraocular lens implant procedures four days a week. It is the only hospital east of Langley that performs ophthalmology surgery including cataract surgery. One third of eye surgeries performed in Fraser Health are done at the Chilliwack clinic. 

Chilliwack General Hospital Updates

  • In 2014/15 we invested $1.558 in capital equipment for Chilliwack General Hospital, including infusion pumps. 
  • Some clinical enhancements include the development of a pediatric observation unit, expanded outpatient rehabilitation services, enhanced access to ambulatory services for the older adult population, new echocardiogram services.
  • Enhanced weekend coverage with Patient Care Coordinators to facilitate discharges allowing patients to return to the comfort of their homes more quickly.

Regional Updates

Across Fraser Health, we are investing in: 

Home Health

  • This program provides clients who need help to manage their health and to live safely in their homes with case management services, nursing support, older adult day programs, respite service for caregivers, and more. We have added staff to improve access to home support – bathing and medication management, for example – and other home health services – wound care and short term-physiotherapy – by clients who are either recovering at home following a hospital stay or seniors who need help to remain independent at home.

Home First

  • Home First is expanding in Abbotsford with the addition of key team members to improve access to home support and other Home Health services. Home First is a program for seniors in hospital who have been assessed at the residential care level who have the potential to go home instead. They are fast-tracked to return home with the home health supports they need as well as other community supports, medical and non-medical. Nearly 1,000 patients returned home and avoided residential care placement in the first three years of Home First (2012 to 2015).


  • This community program offers clients with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) home-based education to help them manage their disease and prevent flare-ups which could otherwise send them to the emergency room or result in hospitalization. A respiratory therapist works with the client and their doctor to develop a health improvement plan, and connects the client with community services such as lung rehabilitation, home supports, rehabilitation therapy and exercise programs. As of March 2016, 1,430 people are accessing the service across the region. The program is now expanding to Fraser Health residential facilities.

Mental Health and Substance Use 

  • Across the region, 226 new and redeveloped beds will become available for clients with mental health and substance use challenges in 2016/17. Of these, 96 are residential care beds (a mix of licensed residential care and assisted living); 33 are Supported Independent Living subsidies; and 97 contracted beds will provide services and supports to individuals with substance use challenges.
  • The Rapid Access Clinic (RAC), which provides timely access to a one-time  consultation with a psychiatrist and nurse from your local Mental Health Centre (MHC), in order to provide your general practitioner or nurse practitioner with treatment recommendations.
  • The START Team (1-844-START11), which provides an assessment and intervention program for 6-18 year olds experiencing a mental health crisis in the Fraser Health region.
  • A state-of-the-art Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU) for children and adolescents with urgent mental health issues is set to open this spring at Surrey Memorial Hospital. CAPSU will serve young people from across the region, aged six to 17, who need a five- to seven-day stay in hospital for stabilization. CAPSU will be home to a Snoezelen™ Room, a multi-sensory environment used to help reduce agitation and anxiety and stimulate and encourage communication, the first of its kind for children and youth in a hospital psychiatric unit in Canada.  

Recent kudos for our health care providers

  • The care I continue to receive at our Chilliwack Hospital is fantastic. So I want to say again, "thank you" to the unit clerk who checked me in, the nurse who got me ready, anesthesiologist who kept me sleeping (an extra high-five to you) the operating room nurses, my surgeon and all the great people in the recovery room. You smile, you laugh, you joke, and made another tough day for me bearable. What all of you do does not go unnoticed. I am so grateful. (Via the Chilliwack Times)
  • I was a patient at Chilliwack General Hospital and remained overnight. I was very well treated by all the staff I came in contact with. I would like to comment specifically about the student nurse who was my caregiver, her name is Shannon. She was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable. She was thorough in her explanations of what was happening. I enjoyed her friendly personality and attention to detail. In my opinion, we are very lucky to have young students like Shannon entering the medical field. Once again, thanks for everything Shannon. (Via feedback@fraserhealth.ca)
  • My husband and I wanted to provide our gratitude about the excellent care we received for our daughters when we brought them into the Chilliwack General Hospital emergency department earlier this evening. The experience from the triage nurse to the attending physician, and our nurse Patricia, was very reflective of a great team.  Our experience was delightful, professional and each person was compassionate.  Additionally, there was a gentleman there who did not take part in our direct care (I don’t know if perhaps he was a unit clerk?) who brought the girls blown up gloves - which delighted them, and provided my husband and I an extra chair - very thoughtful and observant of our needs :).  Cindy, who took the girls’ blood was encouraging, as was Patricia, Nan and the male doctor (sorry I don’t recall his name at this time). In addition to the excellent care we received it was provided in an efficient manner, despite the busy status of the emergency department.  Our family really appreciates the team that came together for the continuity of our care this evening, thank you Chilliwack Emergency department, well done :)  (Via feedback@fraserhealth.ca)
  • We would like to compliment the staff on the third floor Medical Ward at Chilliwack General Hospital for the professional and compassionate care our father received during the first week of November. All the staff involved with our father ensured his final days were as comfortable as possible. The high quality of care and helpful services made this difficult time much less stressful. (Via feedback@fraserhealth.ca)
  • I was recently a patient at Chilliwack General Hospital. I was totally overwhelmed with the exceptional care I received from all the staff that I had any dealings with. Everyone was so kind and helpful to me and I could not help to notice that the other patients in my room received the same care. What really surprised me most was that everyone really seemed to enjoy their job a lot and take a vested interest in our condition. (Via feedback@fraserhealth.ca)

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