Vancouver Coastal Health and Teck Partner to Study How Bacteria-killing Copper Can Reduce the Risk of Infection Transmission in Long-term Care Homes
VANCOUVER, May 25, 2023 - Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Teck Resources Ltd. ("Teck") and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation are partnering to study how antimicrobial copper can be used to prevent infections and improve health outcomes in three long-term care homes across the VCH region. Funded by Teck, it will be the first study of its size in Canada.
Teck has provided $750,000 in funding through its Copper & Health program for the research study that includes the installation of more than 600 antimicrobial copper products on high-touch surfaces including door handles, cabinet pulls, faucet handles, flush levers, fridge handles and grab bars in shared spaces at Minoru Residence in Richmond, Berkley Care Centre in North Vancouver and Purdy Pavilion in Vancouver.
The study will incorporate a number of measures, including microbial load and durability of the copper installations, resident health care acquired illness rates as well as perceptions of staff, residents and their families. It will build on previous research conducted by VCH in multiple hospital settings as well as on transit vehicles which showed that antimicrobial copper alloy surfaces eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria in less than two hours of contact. This study will be using Health Canada-registered antimicrobial copper fixtures and surfaces.
"Vancouver Coastal Health continues to innovate and find ways to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our residents, their families as well as our staff," says Jo-Ann Tait, Executive Director, Long-Term Care and Assisted Living. "The communal environments of long-term care homes provide a research opportunity to understand how new tools - like antimicrobial copper - can reduce the risk of infection transmission as part of our commitment to quality improvement and providing leading-edge care."
"We are grateful for our project partners in supporting this work and are excited to further our understanding of copper as an infection prevention and control tool in the long-term care setting," says Dr. Titus Wong, Medical Director, Provincial Infection Control Network, Provincial Health Services Authority.
"We are proud to be participating in this leading research project to demonstrate how antimicrobial copper can reduce the risk of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and help protect some of the most vulnerable individuals in our health care system," Jonathan Price, CEO, Teck. "HAIs continue to have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of many Canadians, resulting in increased illness and costs for our health care system."
Antimicrobial copper kills infection-causing bacteria. When combined with other infection prevention and control methods, like cleaning surfaces and other engineered solutions, antimicrobial copper can decrease the spread of infectious disease, reduce hospitalization, decrease readmission rates and lower residents' illnesses and deaths. Copper installations can reduce risk of disease transmission and contribute to a healthier space for everyone.
"Philanthropy is a key component of funding new research and innovative ideas to improve patient care," says Angela Chapman, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. "We are so grateful to partner with Teck and Vancouver Coastal Health to better protect some of our most vulnerable populations and our health care workers by supporting innovative new ideas like this copper installation."
This announcement builds on the groundbreaking study announced on May 18, 2023 led by VCH and financially supported by Teck that studied the use of antimicrobial copper in public transit settings in Vancouver and Toronto as well as the effectiveness of copper in killing viruses in a laboratory setting. Study results showed that select copper products eliminated 99.9% of bacteria on public transit and 99.9% of viruses in a laboratory setting within two hours of contact.
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About Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is committed to delivering exceptional care to 1.25 million people, including the First Nations, Métis and Inuit in our region, within the traditional territories of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo-Xai'xais, Lil'wat, Musqueam, N'Quatqua, Nuxalk, Samahquam, shíshálh, Skatin, Squamish, Tla'amin, Tsleil-Waututh, Wuikinuxv, and Xa'xtsa. VCH is British Columbia's hub of health-care innovation, research and academic excellence, providing specialized care to patients throughout the province. Learn more at www.vch.ca.
As one of Canada's leading mining companies, Teck is committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal. Copper, zinc and high-quality steelmaking coal are required for the transition to a low-carbon world. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Teck's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TECK.A and TECK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TECK. Learn more about Teck at www.teck.com or follow @TeckResources.
About VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is Vancouver Coastal Health's primary philanthropic partner, raising funds for specialized adult health services and research for all British Columbians. We partner with donors to drive innovation and sustainable health care at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services.
About Teck's Copper & Health Program
Through its Copper & Health program, Teck has funded numerous initiatives across a range of industries and public facilities to help improve health and safety in high-traffic, high-touch areas through the installation of antimicrobial copper. Teck's Copper & Health program has installed copper surfaces in a number of healthcare facilities, including Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul's Hospital, on public transit in partnership with TransLink and Toronto Transit Commission, throughout the terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in major attractions including Royal Ontario Museum and Science World, and in schools through partnerships with BCIT, SFU and UBC. Teck is a proud member of CHAIR Canada, the Coalition for Community and Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (chaircanada.org).
MORE INFORMATION: Copperstopsthespread.ca
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