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Event focused on toxic drug crisis in Nanaimo will get a report

An event focused on the toxic drug crisis in 2023 will be producing a report.

SPARK Nanaimo was the first part of the SPARK program, which aims to bring people together to identify health care challenges and find potential solutions.

The event addressed the ongoing toxic drug crisis, where according to Island Health more than 2,500 lives were lost in the province last year. Island Health’s innovation lab held this event at Vancouver Island University from November 23 to the 24 to talk about the issue.

Director of brand, digital engagement and innovation Matthew Miller says the goal of SPARK is location, activation and inclusion.

“Rather than tackling problems in the Innovation Lab or at Code Hack, we’re bringing the Lab’s design-thinking process into communities to explore opportunities with the people who are affected by, and who can most benefit from, potential solutions,” said Miller.

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The first day saw conversations and presentations from those with lived experience and professionals about the crisis, with the second day seeing projects and ideas presented to help those in need.

Island Health says the event was met with enthusiasm and appreciation from the community. To plan out next steps, they add that a report is being prepared for participants to review the event and provide their thoughts on the future.

They hope to bring similar events to other locations on the Island for communities struggling with the toxic drug crisis.

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