We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Ron Abrahams, medical director of Perinatal Addictions, along with Sarah Payne, who was the former senior practice leader for Perinatal Addictions and manager of Fir Square, will both receive the Meritorious Service Cross.
The Meritorious Service Decorations created by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II are federal decorations that recognize Canadians for their exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country and is an important part of the Canadian Honours System.
Ron and Sarah are both being honoured for their incredible work in treating and advocating for pregnant women with substance use and their babies. Together, they established Fir Square Combined Unit
at BC Women’s to address the need for compassionate and non-judgemental care for pregnant women struggling with substance use. The unit has greatly impacted this vulnerable population by improving health outcomes for mothers and their babies.
Fir Square utilizes a harm reduction philosophy of care to reduce substance use and risky behaviours that can cause harm to mothers and their babies. The unit provides holistic care for women and helps foster mother and baby bond by providing opportunities for mothers to feel more positive and engaged in their pregnancy that include regular ultrasounds and education tools, in addition to keeping mothers and babies together in the same unit.
Fir Square is the first program of its kind in Canada, and thanks to Ron’s dedicated vision and leadership, women and their babies continue to receive the support and care they need during their stay at Fir, as well as providing a support network and tools to lead healthy lives beyond our hospital walls.
The Civil Division of the Meritorious Service Decorations recognizes a deed or an activity that has been performed in an outstanding professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada.
Congratulations Dr. Abrahams and Sarah for this well-deserved recognition!