Between February 24th and February 26th, PHCN had the privilege of participating in the PAN/CATIE – Frontline Support Workers’ Conference held in Richmond, BC. The three day workforce development training was well organized and included a variety of interesting sessions and workshops—including one led by PHCN.
The first day of the conference was led by Yvette Perreault from the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario. It examined grief, loss, and how to build resiliency. One of Yvette’s many noteworthy points was that grief doesn’t have a clear beginning or end, but may come in waves for sometime after the experience. Thus, it’s important to take some time away or seek support not only immediately after a trauma but also after some time has passed. Or to put it another way, if someone experiences trauma, it is just as important to be supportive months after the trauma as it is just after it.
Conference sessions held on the other two days explored HIV and hepatitis C co-infection and new and emerging treatments for hep C. For example, CATIE led a workshop about dual diagnosis, dual stigma, and maintaining good health while living with co-infection. Dr. Alnoor Ramji, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, and PHCN then led sessions on the new and emerging hep C treatments. PHCN’s session also discussed the challenges and barriers to hep C treatment access and solutions that provide the best options for people living with hep C.
Other workshops covered harm reduction, emotional wellness, aging with HIV, HIV disclosure and criminalization, and recreational therapy and animal assisted intervention.
Thank you to all those who worked to make the conference such a successful event.