Medical Bureaucrats at BC Children’s Hospital & PHSA Botch Multimillion Dollar Donation For Desperately Needed BC Adult & Children ADHD Clinic 3


The CEO of Deeley Harley Davidson Canada, Don James has been trying to give a 3 million dollar donation for a desperately needed children and adult BC ADHD clinic. For 3 years. Incompetent BC medical bureaucrats have ignored him. Repeatedly.

This is disgraceful.

Pamela Fayerman, the Vancouver Sun’s medical reporter wrote an excellent investigative story on this. Check out her Blog Medicine Matters, Twitter  Facebook. But unfortunately, her 1675 word investigative story complete with a staff photographer photograph that looks like it’s written for the print edition is posted instead in her blog, not the print edition.

Why? Was it spiked? Blog spiked? It’s a great story. Did it offend the powers that be at the Vancouver Sun? Their connected friends or organizations? Vancouver Sun managing editor Harold Munro apparently made the decision. Please ask Harold why an excellent story like this is not in the print edition? Here’s his email address hmunro@vancouversun.com ADHD gets ignored or stigmatized in BC far too much.

Don James, CEO of Deeley Harley Davidson Canada explains why he offered the generous donation for a much needed BC adult and children’s ADHD clinic.

We’ve had some experience with ADHD in our family,” he said. “My wife Ruth, and I, wanted to ensure that children treated there aren’t suddenly dropped as patients when they transition to adulthood,” he said, noting that in 2009, a B.C. Medical Association report drew attention to the need for more services for ADHD patients of all ages.

I wish there were more people like Don James in BC.

James approached various mental health experts at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), the BC Mental Health Foundation as well as experts at BC Children’s Hospital. Although there was initial interest, no one got back to him with a plan or promise to use the money, he said.

This is disgraceful.

As an Adult ADHD coach who runs the Vancouver Adult ADD Support group, I get people emailing me on a daily basis, asking for people who can diagnose ADHD in children and especially in adults. I’ve heard far too many horror stories by people who suffered because they didn’t get diagnosed and treated for ADHD.

Many BCers wait months on wait lists to get diagnosed for ADHD IF they can find someone who is actually knows ADHD well enough to give a proper diagnosis. Most medical professionals in BC have no training in ADHD. UBC medical students only get one hour of training on ADHD.

Don James says

If they weren’t interested in our donation, they should have had more respect by referring us elsewhere because we weren’t talking about an insignificant amount of money. We weren’t given the straight goods.

People were protecting their turf and not thinking about all the patients out there who aren’t getting proper treatment. We were handled in an incompetent, unprofessional manner

So adults and children with ADHD in BC who are severely lacking in resources for diagnosis and treatment HAD someone out there willing to fund the services they so desperately needed but didn’t get them because incompetent medical bureaucrats decided fighting ego turf wars was more important than helping ADHD patients?

Or did they just have contempt for people with ADHD? I know people who work in the mental health field who’ve went public at work with their ADHD and experienced discrimination by doctors and psychiatrists because of it.

Dr. Jana Davidson, a psychiatrist and head of mental health at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, admitted that, as one of those tasked with handling the pledge, she dropped the ball and left James and his wife dangling for three years.

“I feel badly. These were incredibly generous, well-meaning people, intent on trying to improve services for those living with the negative effects of ADHD. “The responsibility fell on my shoulders. I should have done a better job, especially in the formal communication with them,” Davidson said.

The BC Liberal govt closed down the only public adult ADHD clinic in BC 5 years ago after having a politically embarrassing 12-14 month wait list for an entire year. Still closed. I asked then NDP health critic Adrian Dix‘s (now BC NDP leader) office if they’d do something about it, but just got a lot of empty promises and nothing in the end.

Why hasn’t health minister Mike De Jong done something about this? What will he do about this badly botched multimillion dollar donation? Email mike.dejong.mla@leg.bc.ca Phone: 250 953-3547

I asked BC Premier Christy Clark at her town hall meeting 8 months ago if she would reopen the BC Adult ADHD clinic the BC Liberals closed. Her answer is on my blog post with the audio, she said “I’m Absolutely Committed To Working With You On It”. CKNW and CBC did a story on it. But nothing’s happened.

“James said he made several overtures to experts, including Leslie Arnold, president of BC Mental Health and Addictions Services, a PHSA (Provincial Health Services Authority) agency that has a mandate for ADHD services based at Children’s Hospital.

When James first approached BC Children’s in 2008, the hospital was about to stop accepting adult patients because waiting lists were too long. Even after dropping adult patients, waiting lists for pediatric patients — and their parents who may be taught new parenting skills —are still long. At present, new patients must wait five months to be seen.

James said he’s incredulous he’s only recently learned more about the dithering on his pledge. And he’s especially disturbed he discovered about it through a Vancouver Sun journalist (this writer), not from hospital officials.

“No one ever told us they couldn’t use our money or why. We offered money and they simply ignored us.”

Dr. Margaret Weiss head of the BC ADHD clinic, and world renowned authority on ADHD resigned in part over this. She’s worked there for 20 years. This is a big loss.

The Don James donation debacle played a role in the resignation from BC Children’s Hospital of Dr. Margaret Weiss, one of the world’s leading authorities on ADHD. Weiss had practised psychiatry at the hospital for 20 years and had led the ADHD program for about the last half of them until she left a few months ago. The McGill and Harvard University-educated psychiatrist is now seeing ADHD patients and conducting research in her North Shore home office.

She’s one of the world’s most prolific authors of ADHD studies published in prestigious medical journals. She also advises health systems around the world how to provide ADHD treatment programs. Weiss said the diversion of the James donation, coupled with the BCCH policy to stop accepting patients after their 19th birthday, was devastating news to her and her patients. It was one of the reasons she resigned, she said

If you ever wanted to do something about getting back an adult ADHD clinic in BC now’s the time.

“Someone else should do it” rarely really happens in real life. Many non ADHD people don’t even think ADHD is real let alone care about us.

People with ADHD don’t get services in part because far too often many in the media, the govt, and the medical bureaucrats don’t think it’s real, or a real problem. If we want services, we need to tell them why we need them.

Here are a few ways you can help:

Please read the story and pass it on to people you know who might be interested in it and facebook/twitter, consider commenting on Pamela’s blog post or writing a letter to the editor, if you do, ask them why the article is not in the print edition of the Vancouver Sun.

Please call your MLA and demand they reopen the BC adult ADHD clinic and ask them to do an inquiry on why a much needed $3 million dollar donation for BC adult and children’s ADHD clinic got ignored for 3 years.

Here’s how to find your MLA’s contact info

Also please consider politely (cursing gets deleted) explaining to these people why adults and children with ADHD need a BC adult and children clinic. If they don’t think we need resources they won’t give us it. Lots of other groups want the limited resources.

If the PHSA Provincial Health Services Authority won’t help adults and children with ADHD, they should give the resources to VCH Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to do so

1. Lynda Cranston, President and CEO of the PHSA. Provincial Health Services Authority lcranston@phsa.ca

2. Lorna Howes, Director of Mental Health Services for VCH. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority  lorna.howes@vch.ca

3. Mike De Jong. Minister of Health. Email mike.dejong.mla@leg.bc.ca Phone: 250 953-3547

4. Mike Farnworth BC NDP’s Health critic. Email  Mike.Farnworth.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Phone: 250 387-3655

Other ideas?


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3 thoughts on “Medical Bureaucrats at BC Children’s Hospital & PHSA Botch Multimillion Dollar Donation For Desperately Needed BC Adult & Children ADHD Clinic

  • Brandy

    I’m 33 years old and was only diagnosed with ADHD a month ago. I had taken my 13 year old son to be tested because of his falling grades. Our doctor talked with the two of us for nearly an hour. After confirming that my son was indeed ADHD he recommended that I make an appointment to be tested as well. I didn’t even realize adults could have the disorder.

    I have been doing as much reading on the topic as possible. (More blogs than books since I buy my books online and I’m more of an instant gratification kind of girl.) Once I started reading about people living with ADHD it was like someone had turned on a lamp in a darkened room.

    I feel like I understand my son and myself more. I feel like my peers understand me less than before. They see ADHD as this made-up conspiracy to sell more pharmaceutical drugs. When I try to explain to them what ADHD is, I am met with dismissive comments such as,”Well, If that’s the case then EVERYBODY is ADHD at one time or another”. They don’t understand that we don’t deal with our symptoms “one time or another”. This is something we struggle with all day, everyday our entire lives.

    If the doctors we depend on to diagnose and treat us believe ADHD isn’t real, then how are we suppose to convince the average person that it exists.

    My son and I have recently joined the campaign to educate the masses with our new blog. Of course, our small contribution alone is only of value when added to the efforts of more experienced ADHD supporters and educators like yourself. We have a lot to learn and a long road ahead of us. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I’ve already leaned a lot from you.