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qathet nurse recognized by BC Centre of Substance Use

A qathet nurse’s contributions to substance use care is B.C. is being honoured by the BC Centre on Substance Use.

According to the qathet Regional District, registered nurse Ellery Cleveland is being recognized for her efforts, and was awarded the Interdisciplinary Clinical Excellence Award.

Cleveland works for Lift Community Service’s injectable opioid agonist treatment program.

The award is given to a clinician who has demonstrated “exemplary leadership supporting the implementation of evidence-based practice, and who champions substance use care education and training,” according to the regional district.

Having started her career in harm reduction at AIDS Vancouver Island in 2010 as a volunteer, Cleveland then worked as a nurse at Insite – the first sanctioned safe injection site in North America located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

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Cleveland moved to the qathet region in 2019 to work with Vancouver Coastal Health’s Intensive Case Management team before joining lift in 2021. The say she was instrumental in developing the injectable opioid agonist treatment program.

Lift Community Services’ community development manager Kathryn Colby says the program has made the qathet area become the first community in a remote coastal setting to offer the type of substance use treatment.

Lift Community Service adds Cleveland is committed to research and clinical knowledge advancement and generating data on rural substance use.

“The work she does is largely unseen by the community,” said executive director Stuart Clark.

“But she is an incredible asset – not just to Lift and to the people she supports daily, but to the community and province. She’s a true leader in the growing field of substance use care, and we are so happy to be able to celebrate her contributions today.”

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