By Letter to the Editor on January 29, 2020.
On Jan. 23, My Lethbridge Now published the following comment by Lethbridge City Councillor Blaine Hyggen >in regards to the Supervised Consumption Services site:
“Hyggen would like the local Supervised Consumption Site looked at by Alberta Health Services, saying he feels that is the way it should be run. ‘That’s the way I believe would suit it best that it is a health concern and so I believe that those who are professionals in the health field should be operating a facility like this.'”
We, as health-care professionals, found Mr. Hyggen’s comment insulting and extremely disrespectful. As a city councillor, Mr. Hyggen should be aware that Supervised Consumption Services in his community is operated, staffed and supported 24/7, 365, by health-care professionals.
We are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered social workers, primary-care paramedics, addiction counsellors, mental-health therapists, harm-reduction specialists, and so much more. We are the same professionals that existed prior to Supervised Consumption Services, and the same professionals you have seen elsewhere in the community.
We’re asking for respect from our city councillor, Blaine Hyggen. Comments like the one Mr. Hyggen made discredits our reputation as service providers and the countless hours of clinical care provided by our compassionate, hard-working and skilled team.
We strive to improve continuously and adapt service delivery as we work collaboratively with valued community partners towards a healthier community. We, as always, offer a warm invitation to Mr. Hyggen to tour our facility, meet directly with our incredible team, and most importantly, hear the powerful stories of the clients we serve.
We look forward to Mr. Hyggen’s response.
Lindsay Stella, RN, BN; Aidan Jensen-Holubowich, RN, BN; Marsha DeLong, LPN, Orthopedic Technician; Madisyn Unger, RN, BN; Sophi Butler, RN, BN; Hayley Schandor, BHsc, Addiction Counsellor; Courtenay Papp, PCP; Ashley Mckenzie, BSW, RSW, MSW; Jerry Firth, MSW, RSW, CPRC; Drake McCheyne, BSN, RN; Lisa Florendine, RN; and Jennifer O’Connor, RN, BN.