Monday, November 16, 2015


Patients left Riverview and were transferred to newer facilities operated by the health authorities. Naturally, there was a corresponding reduction in the number of beds at Riverview.

In 2009, around 215 patients at Riverview were awaiting the development of new specialized mental health beds in the community.

During this time, the staff at Riverview maintained the tradition of providing quality care. Even though they were working in an uncertain environment where their futures were not clearly defined and with severely outdated facilities.

 “No matter what the challenges are, our staff maintain a professional approach and support patients even after they have left Riverview. Patients often call back to touch base and stay connected. And a lot of staff volunteer here after they retire. A sense of community remains, no matter what size we are.”

Lynn Cook Site Operating Officer, Riverview Hospital

All through its history, Riverview Hospital has sustained a legacy of transformation. Just think, the original Essondale Hospital started as one of only two or three mental health services in BC. Yet, the hospital continued to reinvent itself again and again in order to respond to the changing needs of the community.

In 2009, a wide array of mental health services worked together to provide a continuum of care that is one of the best in the world. Some of the mental health services in BC today include a growing number of regional mental health facilities, psychiatric units at dozens of hospitals and specialized programs such as the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions and Forensic Psychiatric Services.

At the end of 2009, there were about 200 beds in operation in Riverview. The hospital maintains its role as a provincial tertiary care centre and patients continue to be admitted and discharged based on their recovery and readiness.

Just passed the midway point in 2009, health authorities continued to work together to transfer patients to smaller, more home-like facilities in the community and to finalize plans for the development of the remaining beds. This is the Riverview Redevelopment Project. Centre Lawn and Valleyview were the two major buildings on site still used for patient care. The 240-acre Riverview lands are home to a variety of agencies and services including Fraser Health, Coast Mental Health, the Society for Community Development and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Thanks to the PDF, Riverview, A Legacy of Care and Compassion for the above information. That is the end of the PDF, however, I have a few more things I want to tell you about Riverview.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

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