Bluewater Health Opens Doors to ‘Ryan’s House’

Friday, January 22, 2021 - 8:21am

Residential Withdrawal Management Stabilization and Transition Facility Accepts First Clients

SARNIA & PETROLIA – January 22, 2021 – Today, Bluewater Health opens the doors of its new temporary phase II residential withdrawal management facility to its first clients.

The new facility – formally known as the Residential Withdrawal Management Stabilization and Transition Facility – will commonly be called ‘Ryan’s House’ in memory of Ryan Hicks who passed away from a fentanyl overdose in March 2015. This naming celebrates the personal commitment to the project of his mother Laurie Hicks.

With the support of her husband and two daughters, Hicks tirelessly advocates for the services needed to battle Sarnia-Lambton’s addiction crisis. She started with advocating for the fentanyl patch-for-patch exchange program, which is now law, and is a member of Bluewater Health’s Withdrawal Management Advisory Committee, working to get the permanent 24-bed addictions centre approved. ‘Ryan’s House’ represents the culmination of years of her advocacy work.

“It is such an honour for our family to have this house named in memory of Ryan, and to know his story has been heard. It is very comforting that this incredible addition will provide another resource to those who are determined to overcome their addiction. This will hopefully prevent tragedies and increase recovery success stories, so other families won’t go through the experience we have. It is a very emotional day for all of us,” said Hicks.

With funding announced in December 2020, the advanced planning of Bluewater Health’s Mental Health & Addictions team enabled the efficient preparation and staffing of the 12-bed facility. “I’m very proud of our team and their ongoing commitment to providing the best possible addictions care,” said Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Integrated Vice President, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Bluewater Health and Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent. “They were inspired to mobilize quickly to expand our services and continue to support the Sarnia-Lambton community.”

Bluewater Health continues to operate its seven-bed unit for clients undergoing the immediate withdrawal process, with the new facility offering the stabilization and transitional phase, providing 24/7 supervision and programming to effectively bridge the client’s withdrawal management plan into safe and affordable housing or longer-term treatment programs.

The first three clients transitioned to ‘Ryan’s House’ this morning. According to the first client, Mike, this service offers continued hope for individuals and families battling addiction. “The first steps towards recovery can be incredibly difficult to overcome on our own. Having a safe place to do so makes a vital impact, and can mean the difference between life and death. ‘Ryan’s House’ provides another resource for addicts committed to progressing in their recovery. It allows me to remain hopeful, and provides the security of being in a safe environment and staying committed.”

Clients wishing to access Residential Withdrawal Management Services can call 519-464-4487 to learn more about withdrawal management services available.

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Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Media, for more information contact:

Julia Oosterman
Chief, Communications & Public Affairs
Bluewater Health
519-328-3136

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