Our Hospital, Our StoriesBringing Research to the Forefront

Posted on: Jun 08, 2017

Elaine Hyshka, the Inner City Health and Wellness Program (ICHWP) Scientific Director and University of Alberta Professor – School of Public Health, has received the Community Scholar Award from the University of Alberta for her research supporting...

The Addiction Recovery and Community Health (ARCH) Clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital is the clinical component of the ICHWP. A place where the city’s most vulnerable patients receive the assistance they need - a small clinic that is having a big impact. 

“Our Inner City Health and Wellness Program research shows that some patients who use drugs continue to inject drugs while in hospital, even when maximal medical interventions are provided. It also confirms findings from the community that people who inject drugs in Edmonton report high rates of overdose, syringe sharing and public injecting, which are all risks that are reduced by supervised consumption services."

She adds that she is just one of many who have helped bring research to the forefront.

"It's an amazing honour and I am really grateful to those individuals in the community and at the university, who supported my nomination. It's important to note though that I am just one individual from a coalition of 25 organizations that have been working to secure supervised injection services in Edmonton for the past five years.”

The service is meant to provide access to sterile injecting supplies, medical supervision, emergency care in the event of an overdose, and encourage patients to be open with their healthcare team about their substance use. 

The Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Inner City Health and Wellness Program (ICHWP) was created with the mindset that hospital-based care for Edmonton’s inner city population can no longer be limited to Emergency Room visits in times of need. Instead, the Addiction Recovery and Community Health Team (ARCH) provides integrated health surveillance, evidence-based preventive health activities, and social service interventions to help improve a patient’s social determinants of health. Instead of patients making multiple visits to the Emergency Department for acute care in times of crisis, through ARCH they are now receiving the health and social care they need to live healthier and happier lives.