Surrey’s John Volken Academy commits $1M to British Columbia Centre on Substance Use

Newton recovery operation donates money in midst of the ongoing opioid crisis in B.C.

NEWTON — Newton’s John Volken Academy (JVA) has committed $1 million to support the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) in the midst of the ongoing opioid crisis that took the lives of 914 people in B.C. last year.

“Helping others has brought me tremendous joy and satisfaction,” said JVA founder John Volken, adding that the organization is committed to working with BCCSU to support recovery based activities. “I believe that once we have provided for our families, we should then work for the good of all, especially the most vulnerable in our society.”

BCSSU aims to close the gap between research and practice, to improve the health system for those struggling with substance abuse. The donation from the academy will help promote a recovery-oriented system of care across the province, according to a release.

BCCSU Director Dr. Evan Wood said addiction care “must be a continuum from acute treatment through to after care models that include a range of services and supports including the recovery programs that can be an integral part of system for many.

“The support of the John Volken Academy will allow us to really engage with this sector and ultimately promote the best outcomes for persons who too frequently have nowhere to turn for help,” he added.

In addition, Addiction Medicine Fellows – who are part of the largest interdisciplinary addiction medicine training program in North America hosted at BCCSU – will have the opportunity to train at the JVA as part of an orientation to therapeutic community models of care. This collaboration will further the BCCSU’s mission to train the next generation of leaders in addiction and recovery-oriented medicine.

“Thanks to the John Volken Academy’s gift, we’re able to support the important work of the BCCSU,” says Dick Vollet, President and CEO of St. Paul’s Foundation. “In the face of a public health emergency, continued collaboration and support is crucial as many people continue to face substantial barriers in their care.”

The JVA, based in Newton on King George Boulevard, is a long-term, residential drug and alcohol treatment centre for young adults ages 19 to 32.

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com