Congratulations to Dr. Jane Buxton who has won the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)’s Ron Draper Health Promotion Award.
Dr. Jane Buxton
The Ron Draper Health Promotion Award is presented to an individual, group or organization engaged in community work who has made a significant contribution to health promotion by working in the community to build healthy public policy, create environments that support health, enable community action, enhance personal skills, and/or re-orient health services.
Dr. Buxton is a professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and a physician epidemiologist and Harm Reduction lead at the BC Centre for Disease Control. Working closely with peers (people who use drugs) and public health colleagues, she introduced the BC Take Home Naloxone (THN) program in 2012, which trains lay people how to prevent, recognize and respond to opioid overdose using naloxone. Naloxone is a safe medication which restores breathing during an opioid overdose and has no effect in the absence of opioids.
Under Dr. Buxton’s vision, passion and leadership, BCTHN has been implemented at 70 community sites across the province. Since its inception, program sites report training over 3100 people, dispensing 2000 naloxone kits and 200 overdose reversals. Through the THN Community Advisory Board, Jane works closely with peers and frontline service providers to ensure implementation challenges are identified and addressed. For instance, reports of police confiscating naloxone kits led to the development and distribution of informational handouts for police. A mixed methods evaluation conducted in the first year of the program remains the only published evaluation of a Canadian provincial overdose prevention and response program. The BCTHN program has provided guidance to other jurisdictions looking to set up similar programs, including Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Jane’s work has influenced numerous national and regional policy initiatives, empowered people who use drugs to learn a life-saving skill, and helped reduce the burden of overdose morbidity and mortality.
Last year, Dr. C. James (Jim) Frankish, also a professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health, was the winner of this award.