Nature’s Path donates $3m to help build facility for those struggling with addictions

Dec 14 2021, 11:39 pm

A new, purpose-built facility that will support those struggling with addictions has received a major boost thanks to a donation from two BC entrepreneurs.

The VGH & UBC Foundation recently announced a $3 million donation from Arran and Ratana Stephens, co-founders of Nature’s Path, towards the Withdrawal Management Centre planned for East Vancouver. This massive contribution will help the Withdrawal Management Centre bring together the many resources for substance use currently
distributed across Vancouver and put them under one roof.

“Addiction touches everyone,” says Arran and Ratana Stephens in a release. “No one is immune, no race, or ethnicity. It does not matter whether you are rich or poor or educated. So many people in the world, and so many here in British Columbia are affected by addiction.

“By helping to establish this Withdrawal Management Centre, we hope we will be able to make a difference in many lives, to give people an opportunity to move beyond their addiction.”

Arran and Ratana Stephens, co-founders of Nature's Path

Arran and Ratana Stephens/Submitted

According to the VGH & UBC Foundation, more than 1,500 people died from illicit drug use in BC in the last nine months.

The Withdrawal Management Centre will be as accessible and as comprehensive as possible for those in need of support. The interconnected resources will help simplify care while providing clients and their families with improved treatment and support systems.

“The Withdrawal Management Centre will be a leading addictions care facility that will bring together specialists, services and additional social supports in a culturally safe and welcoming environment,” said Bob Chapman, Interim Vice President, Vancouver Community at Vancouver Coastal Health in a release. “It will enable us to provide the best possible care for patients with substance use challenges and create space for recovery.

“The poisoned drug crisis has taken a devastating toll on our communities. We are grateful for the Stephens family and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation for their support of the Withdrawal Management Centre and the creation of a consolidated substance use treatment and recovery facility offering a symbol of hope for our community.”

Withdrawal Management Centre rendering/Vancouver Coastal Health

The Withdrawal Management Centre is scheduled for completion in 2025, with VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation explaining that philanthropic support will directly impact the quality of care at the new facility.

The Stephens’ $3 million donation towards the Withdrawal Management Centre is not the only support that the entrepreneurs have provided to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. The entrepreneurs donated $1 million this past August to establish the Stephens Family Fellowship in Gastroenterology, a 10-year program that will support future Canadian leaders in clinical care and research.

The Stephens family has also worked with numerous charities and non-governmental institutions and organizations in BC. They were also the recipients of the 2021 Order of British Columbia for their continued dedication to altruism and sustainability in the province.

Between personal donations and charitable contributions from Nature’s Path, they have contributed $40 million to important causes.

“I know our donations have had an impact,” said the Stephens. “As a human being, you don’t live for yourself alone. Wherever there is a need, wherever you can make a difference, you must do so.”

For more information about the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, please visit www.vghfoundation.ca

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