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First in the world

  • BC Women’s Hospital’s Psychiatric Genetic Counselling Clinic was the first to offer genetic counselling services to patients living with psychiatric illness and their families, providing services to more than 400 families to date (since 2015) and training other clinicians from around the globe.

First in Canada

  • BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre was the first large specialized hospital in Canada to be designated a World Health Organization and UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital.
  • The hospital is home to Canada's first milk bank, providing pasteurized milk to infants where formula is not appropriate or if a mother's milk in insufficient or unavailable.
  • BC Women’s Hospital created Canada’s first program to care for substance-using women and their substance-exposed newborns. The Families in Recovery Combined Care Service (FIR) received an Innovative Services Award of Excellence from British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth in 2008.
  • Dr. Brian Fitzsimmons secured a fellowship from the Fellowship in Family Planning, making BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre the first Canadian site to receive the fellowship. 
  • Women in remote communities now have greater access to information, health resources and information to motivate health-related behaviour change throughout pregnancy with the development of the SmartMom program. A Canadian first, this prenatal education program is delivered by text message and was created by researchers from BC Children's Hospital and Women's Health Research Institute to meet the needs of a more mobile phone-friendly generation.

First in BC

  • Women injecting illicit substances in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) are now able to do so in a safe environment with the opening of BC’s first women-only overdose prevention site. The initiative is a partnership with BC Women’s Hospital, Atira Women’s Resource Society, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health. It is part of the larger harm reduction and overdose response strategy that BC’s health authorities have committed to support.  
  • The first-of-its-kind in BC, the Heartwood Centre for Women is a residential substance treatment program for women with significant substance dependence, mental health concerns, and primary health care needs. The program offers a full range of treatment supported by an interdisciplinary team. 

SOURCE: Firsts ( )
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