Double Your Impact: Meet Surrey’s Positive Health Clinic

SMHF Ep. 6 Positive Health Clinic

Canadian business icon Jim Pattison is making a $4-million matching donation to support Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s fundraising campaign to upgrade equipment inside the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. In this video series, join us in exploring some of the 56 clinics providing vital health care for the community.

The current Surrey Hospitals Foundation campaign supports the care provided at the 56 clinics at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, including the Positive Health Clinic.

As the only clinic in Fraser Health specializing in providing wrap-around care for patients living with HIV or Hepatitis C infections, the Positive Health Clinic has grown from just over 100 patients to about 500 today, notes Dr. Michael Chapman, Infectious Disease Specialist.

To meet that need, the team has also grown – from a staff of two to almost 20, including Infectious Disease Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, Pharmacists and Dieticians.

“We’re the only HIV clinic run by the health authority here, so we serve a very wide geographic area,” Dr. Chapman notes.

“People will continue to get their speciality care here, but what we’re trying to do more and more, as HIV becomes a very manageable and treatable chronic condition, is partner up with patients’ existing care providers that they’ve known for years and work toward managing their case together so they don’t have to travel so far – they get the benefits of both worlds.”

Much has changed over the years in terms of management of these chronic conditions. Today, people with HIV can require just one daily pill to keep the viral load of the infection low. The same is true of Hep C infections.

Viral load can increase from time to time, especially if a patient contracts another illness or infection, which is the reason they require ongoing blood tests, medication review and educational support. Whereas a diagnosis of HIV infection inevitably led to death 40 years ago, today HIV-positive people are living to old age. This important clinic helps oversee their medical care as they age.

“It’s quite remarkable to see HIV transition in just a number of decades from a fatal illness to something that is chronically managed, with people living healthy and well,” Dr. Chapman says.

The Positive Health Clinic is one of 56 specialty clinics at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. Help the Centre’s medical teams continue providing leading-edge care: Donate today at DoubleYourDonation.ca and Jim Pattison will match your donation!

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