Update on the Central Okanagan wildfire situation

A message from Mike Allard, Acting Dean and Dermot Kelleher, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President, Health, UBC.

The wildfires in Kelowna and around B.C. have been devastating this year. With the rapidly evolving situation in Kelowna along with the evacuation of UBC Okanagan (UBCO), we know all of you are deeply concerned about our Faculty of Medicine learners, faculty and staff who are facing these extremely challenging circumstances.

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been adversely affected — along with their families and friends — and the local communities and First Nations.

Many of our UBCO-based learners, faculty and staff have been directly impacted by the wildfires and evacuation order today and need our support. The Office of the Dean and the Office of Vice Dean, Education, are working together with the Regional Associate Deans and their teams (in the Southern Medical Program, Northern Medical Program, Island Medical Program and Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program) to ensure a province-wide emergency response, coordinated with University leadership and UBC Safety & Risk Services to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people during and post-evacuation. This includes direct communications from the respective Faculty of Medicine Education programs to learners who are affected.

For those impacted by today’s events, we are committed to helping you navigate through this challenging time. UBC and UBCO leadership issued a statement that includes the following guidance and supports for people on the ground in Kelowna.

As this serious situation unfolds, we will continue to monitor and provide the supports needed. We also want to extend our utmost gratitude to the emergency workers and local leaders who are working tirelessly to keep everyone safe. We ask for everyone to stay alert as the situation evolves and to look out for one another. We must stand together and support each other through these challenging times.

This message was sent to all faculty, staff and learners in the Faculty of Medicine.