clinics
Skip to main content
Close

Youth Health

We provide clinical services, health promotion, education and training, advocacy, and research in youth health.
About

Guiding principles

The Division of Adolescent Medicine is a committed to improving the health of young people in British Columbia through clinical services, health promotion, education and training, advocacy, and research. 

The Division advocates a strengths-based model of adolescent development, focusing on health and well-being, and the transition to adulthood. We communicate with patients and families in a way that is clear, respectful, and respects privacy and confidentiality. 

 

What to expect

Our clinic runs a bit differently then most other medical clinics out there. In our clinic the healthcare team sets aside a lot of time to get to know you as an individual, focusing not just on medical issues but your life as a whole.


In our clinic we take a whole person approach to care. Working with teens between the ages 12-18, we see youth that have preexisting medical conditions that are being complicated by developmental and social issues and teens that have been impacted by health challenges that are interfering with their ability to function. We offer a clinic where comprehensive assessment, goal planning and resource finding can lead to a place of better health and wellbeing for youth. 


Often we talk with you about friendships, dating, school, family, sexuality, jobs, home life, sleep, eating, health conditions, social activities, drugs, and your mood just to name a few topics. We want to work with you to support you where you need to help you move successfully toward a healthy adulthood, and in some cases adult care. And if we are not the best place to help you meet your needs we also offer referrals to other professionals and resources to find the best support.


 Youth are seen on their own and with their families, caregivers, or support persons as we strive encompass Youth Friendly and Family Centered practice.

Getting into the program

You need to be between 12 and 18 years old and get a referral* for one of the following reasons:

  • Complex undiagnosed condition or symptoms
  • Personal or family crisis effecting your health
  • Risky health behaviors
  • Sexual health questions and/or concerns
  • Chronic medical condition and/or a disability
  • Medical treatment planning
  • Pediatric transition planing needs

*Note: A referral can come from youth, family or caregivers, a teacher, a doctor, a nurse or a social worker. We just need to know why you want to come and make sure this is the best clinic for you.

Booking an appointment

Contact the Youth Health Program Secretary or fax a referral form


We have Youth Health Clinics on Mondays to Thursdays in the afternoon.


The first visit

Please bring your BC Medical card, any letters or reports from your doctor and school, a list of your medicines, and any questions or ideas about what you want to get out of the visit. 

We will ask for your consent to be involved in treatment and discussions. You have the right to access your own health information and to provide informed consent for your care. Please ask any questions you might have to make sure you understand the information.

Typically our first appointment will be hour and a half hours long. We will start by meeting with you and your support people whether that is your family, caregiver, friend or social worker to give everyone a brief outline of what to expect at the appointment. Then, if you agree, we will meet with you alone and talk about you to get an idea about your world. It is important to know that what we talk about is kept confidential and is not shared with anyone outside of the team without your permission.

You are the client and we would like to see you on your own. We also support family-centered care and involve your family (as defined by you) as much as possible. Also, with your written consent, the team members may ask to contact your school, counselor, doctor or others involved in your life for information to assist us provide best care for you.

After the first visit

Follow up visits are decided with you and your family before you leave from your first appointment. Typically we will see you 4-5 times for about 1 hour and then help you find supports closer to your home if longer support is needed. However, this varies with each youth and if you need more or less appointments we can make that happen. We make follow up appointment through our Program Secretary.

The program counsels young people about adolescent development, health and well-being, sexuality, and the transition to adulthood. The program also provides consultation as well as educational and training opportunities for professionals.

As a part of Specialized Pediatrics we address concerns about teens personal, social, and physical development, their mental wellbeing, substance use, sexual health, safety and risk taking behaviors as well as transition to adulthood and possibly adult care in relation to their health. Youth are seen on their own and with their families, caregivers, or support persons as we strive encompass Youth Friendly and Family Centered practice.

Your rights

Find out what your rights are in regards to consent, confidentiality and the healthcare system. 


 

Consent

Consenting to treatment is the same as giving your doctor permission to treat you. Doctors aren't allowed to examine or treat you without your consent.  

The age when children begin to give their own consent varies, it is not measured in years.  You are able to give your own consent when you are able to fully understand your choices and their consequences.  Until then, your parent or guardian will make these decisions on your behalf.  

If you have more questions about consent, talk to your health care provider.  

Confidentiality

If you visit the Youth Health Clinic, your information will be kept private.  No one will share your information without your knowledge and permission.  The only time this changes is if you are clearly at risk of hurting yourself or someone else at which point we would involve the necessary people to keep you safe.  

Taking Part in your Healthcare

Here are some questions you might want to ask your nurse or doctor, to help you with your healthcare decisions:

  • Why do I need to have this test/treatment?
  • What happens during this test/treatment?
  • If I have the treatment, how much better will I be?  What is the worst thing that could happen?
  • Are there other treatment options?
  • What could happen if I choose to do nothing for the time being?
  • What are the most common things that could go wrong?
  • Who will do this procedure? What experience does he/she have?
  • What things can go wrong during the anesthesia?
  • What care will I need after this procedure in the short and long term? How will I get this care?
  • How can I expect to feel after this procedure?  Will there be any changes to my daily life?
Other tips:
  • Repeat back information to make sure you understand correctly.
  • Make notes so you can go over things later with your friends or family.
  • If you have concerns, write them down so you don't forget to ask about them.
Take a minute to review the Consent to Treatment handbook so you are prepared before coming to the hospital. 


Your Healthcare Rights

  • I have the right to live and to have my pain and suffering treated, regardless of my age, gender or income. I have the right to be viewed first as a child, then as a patient.
  • I have the right to be treated as a unique individual with my own abilities, culture and language.
  • I have the right to be afraid and to cry when I feel hurt.
  • I have the right to be safe in an environment that is unfamiliar to me.
  • I have the right to ask questions and receive answers that I can understand.
  • I have the right to be cared for by people who perceive and meet my needs ven though I may be unable to explain what they are.
  • I have the right to speak for myself when I am able and to have someone speak on my behalf when I am unable.
  • I have the right to have those dear to me close by when I need them.
  • I have the right to play and learn even if I am receiving care.
  • I have the need to have my rights fulfilled.\
What are my rights about consent and privacy?

Here are some points specific to staying in the hospital, but please go to our Youth Rights page for full details. 

Giving Consent

While you are in the hospital, staff will ask for your consent to do a number of things. They need your consent whenever they need to touch you or do anything to or with you. They ask for consent in this way, "Is it all right with you if I...?" After they ask for your consent you have the right to ask them questions until you feel comfortable saying yes. Some of your questions might be "Why will you be doing that? / How will you do it? / Will it hurt? / How long will it take?" If you do not feel comfortable with any of the explanations, you can refuse consent until your questions and concerns have been answered. Sometimes you will need to consent in writing to a surgery or treatment. The hospital staff are here to support you and your family make those more difficult decisions.


Privacy

Being in the hospital is a private matter. Your health condition and treatments are also private. No staff person should give any information about you to anyone who might call the hospital or visit without your permission. You also must respect the privacy of other patients and not share what you might have heard on the unit.

While you are in the hospital, your bed and cupboard is your private space. It is also important to respect other patients' private space.

Getting Information

You have the right to information about yourself. We encourage you to ask questions and get involved in your health care. You can ask your charge nurse if you can read your medical chart. Your parents can also ask to see your chart, but they need YOUR permission first. 
 
When you are in hospital - many doctors, nurses and other team members will visit you. You might feel that they are asking you a million questions. But what about YOUR questions? It is great to have questions. Everyone wants and needs to know about themselves. If anyone is to be an expert on your body or health, it should be YOU!

Here are some ideas about how you can get your questions answered:

  • Plan ahead - think about what you want to ask and write the questions down. Ask your nurse for a clipboard, a pencil and paper, or write it on the whiteboard in your room.
  • Write the answers down.
  • Make sure you understand the answer -ask them to explain if you have any questions. If you don’t understand, keep asking until you do.
  • Ask an adult to help you to ask your questions. 


Staff







Adolescent Medicine/Youth Health Team

Our team is committed and interested in your health. We are changing constantly to meet your needs. We want your ideas and feedback to make sure we are helping you. There are several people on our team and we work with other specialists in the hospital as well. These are the main members of our team:

Curren Warf - Medical Director 

Dr. Warf attended medical school at the UCLA/Drew School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and completed pediatric residencyand Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at Children's Hospital LosAngeles. He relocated to Vancouver from Los Angeles in 2009, where he had been on faculty at Children'sHospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California School of Medicine, to become Head of the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine at BCCH.He holds a Master Degree of Science in Education from the University of Southern California.Dr. Warf is a Fellow of the Canadian Pediatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics,and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. 

Dzung Vo - Adolescent Medical Specialist

Dzung X. Vo, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Vo sees health from a "whole person" perspective, which involves the body, the mind, and the social environment. He can help address the broad range of adolescent health issues, and is particularly interested in mindfulness-based interventions, and working with youth with chronic illness, chronic stress, and chronic pain. He is passionate about helping young people manage stress, develop resilience, and move towards positive health and behaviors

Peiyoong Lam - Adolescent Medical Specialist

 Dr. Lam is an Assistant Clinical Professor for the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine Department of Pediatrics and the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for Children and Adolescents. She graduted in 1994 with Bachelor of Medicine, and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne. In 2002 she completed her Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.She works almostly full time in eating disorders on the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program in BC.  This program provides inpatient care as well as day program and outpatient care with 2 new assessment clinics per week.  She also has a clinical role in Adolescent Health and Medicine.Her teaching and research interests are in Adolescent Medicine and Eating disorders and part of my role within the Provincial Specialized ED Program has been to contribute to province wide guidelines in management of pediatric eating disorders in the emergency department, acute pediatrics and family medicine. 

Eva Moore - Adolescent Medicine Specialis

Katherine Mitchell - Adolescent Medicine Fellow
Katie Mitchell, MD, earned her medical degree from the University of Calgary. She completed residency in Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. She is currently a fellow in the Department of Adolescent Health and Medicine. Dr. Mitchell is interested in understanding the complex relationship between each youth's biological, psychological and social health. She enjoys working with youth to help them cope with a wide range of adolescent health issues, to assist them in identifying and moving towards their own wellness goals. Her current research focuses on boys who have been sexually exploited, and explores precursors to exploitation, the exploitation experience and health outcomes. 

Sabrina Gill - Nurse Clinician 

Sabrina graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002 from the University College of the Cariboo. She also holds certificates from the Mental Health Specialty Program and Practice Education for Health and Human Services.Sabrina has gained extensive experience working with the Adolescent population as a RN and has a special interest in educating adolescents on how to build resilience and strength. She has the opportunity to work in a diverse role as a clinician, educator, and resource for staff, patients and the community. Her main goal is to advocate and encourage "youth friendly care" for the adolescent patients at BCCH.

Program Secretary - Harleen Gill
Telephone 604-875-3472 




Resources

Websites

Drug Cocktails - Get the facts about the risks of mixing prescribed medication with booze and street drugs

YouthinBC - crisis-line, online support, and educational resources

YouthCo - A Vancouver-based youth-driven organization. Includes information about HIV, HepC and sexual health. Also provides support and education programs.

YouthVitalSigns A youth-driven research project that gave Vancouver a 'report card' in youth subjects. 

NIDA for Teens - The National Institute on Drug Abuse's teen website has scientific information, games and a blog all about street and prescription drugs.

First Call - Is a great website for youth and their families, especially the resources for transitions from childhood to youth, and youth to adulthood.

BC Council for Families - Programs and resources for families

Websites for Youth with Chronic Health Conditions

The Gutsy Generation website has teen-relevant information and ways to get involved with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

ON TRAC

Transitioning Responisbly to Adult Care

Check out this website for youth, families and health care providers to learn more about tools, tips and activities to help youth get ready to transition to adult care.

On Trac BC

Youth-to-Youth Violence

BC Children's Hospital and Kwantlen Polytechnic University created these books in partnership to provide information and practical solultions for those affected by youth to youth violence. The effects of youth violence are many and can last long after an episode of violence. Although statistics show that youth who are violent or are victims are a small number compared to the total number of youth who live in BC, violence is a reality in many youth's lives.

The Youth-to-Youth Violence project was partially funded by Acting Together: Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) project at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Youth to Youth Violence: A Guide for Parents

Youth to Youth Violence: A Guide for Youth

Youth to Youth Violence: A Guide for Adults Working with Youth

Libraries at the hospital

The Kelty Resource Centre

The Family Resource Library

Other BCCH Libraries and specialty libraries


Resource development

The Youth Health Program is active in developing resources for youth, families and health professionals. We are provide education and tools to the staff of British Columbia Children's Hospital (BCCH) to support them in providing best care for the youth and families see at BCCH. There is also a variety of material available to teens and parents through our Family Resource Library

Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (MARS-A)

Mindfulness means "paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjdugmentally."  Mindfulness-based clinical interventions teach mindfulness meditation skills, and have been shown to help people cope with chronic stress, pain, and mood symptoms.  MARS-A is an 8-week outpatient training program to teach adolescents (age 15 - 19 years) mindfulness skills to cope with psychological distress, including depressive and anxiety symptoms, chronic pain, and chronic stress.  MARS-A is a partnership between Adolescent Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at BC Children's Hospital.

For information and referrals to MARS-A, MARS-A Mindfulness Flyer for Providers and Patients_Spring 2015.pdf

For more general information on mindfulness with children and youth, including a short video "Mindfulness: Youth Voices" - see the Kelty Mental Health Resource Center mindfulness page

Contact the Youth Health Program Secretary or fax a referral form



Mindfulness

Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (MARS-A)

Mindfulness means "paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjdugmentally."  Mindfulness-based clinical interventions teach mindfulness meditation skills, and have been shown to help people cope with chronic stress, pain, and mood symptoms.  MARS-A is an 8-week outpatient training program to teach adolescents (age 15 - 19 years) mindfulness skills to cope with psychological distress, including depressive and anxiety symptoms, chronic pain, and chronic stress.  MARS-A is a partnership between Adolescent Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at BC Children's Hospital.

For information and referrals to MARS-A, MARS-A Mindfulness Flyer for Providers and Patients_Spring 2015.pdf

For more general information on mindfulness with children and youth, including a short video "Mindfulness: Youth Voices" - see the Kelty Mental Health Resource Center mindfulness page

Contact the Youth Health Program Secretary or fax a referral form



SOURCE: Youth Health ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2016 Provincial Health Services Authority