Donation News

Diamond Family Donates $20M In BC

The Diamond family of Vancouver is donating $20 million to help fund a substance use treatment program that could have saved their loved one.

Steven Diamond was 53 years old in 2016, when he died of a fentanyl overdose just a few days before he could have seen an addiction psychiatrist. He’d spend nearly three months on a wait list for that appointment, a wait that his family believes contributed to his death.

“We’re speaking out today for the first time because we want to save lives,” said Jill Diamond, Steven’s sister, in a statement. “No matter where we turned, we never found the help that Steven needed.”

“This tragedy clearly shows our health-care system was not and is not up to the task,” she added.

On behalf of Steven, the Diamond Family is donating $20 million to help fund the Road to Recovery Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. The program aim to fill gaps in treatment by shortening wait lists and supporting patients between appointments, with a wide variety of treatment services in one location. It will offer its first beds for stabilization care this fall, with the help of these new funds.

“Road to Recovery began as a vision for a full continuum of substance use care within a single setting at St. Paul’s Hospital, so that people can access the evidence-based addiction care they need, when they need it,” said Dr. Seonaid Nolan with the B.C. Center on Substance Use.

The program is funded by a $586 million investment in treatment and recovery services included in the 2023 budget and the province has committed $60.9 million toward the program’s operating costs, said a statement by the St. Paul’s Foundation.

The Diamond family manages the Diamond Foundation, which is known for its philanthropic contributions to medicine and social services.

Photo: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock