VPSA AGM celebrates our diversity as well as our shared experiences

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Close to 100 Vancouver Physician Staff Association members gathered December 17 for the association’s annual general meeting and to hear the evening’s guest speaker, Dr. Eric Cadesky, the president of Doctors of BC, talk about diversity and inclusion. Dr. Cadesky  also spoke of the pressure physicians are working under and its impacts and consequences, including people becoming tribal rather than engaging with their colleagues.

“It’s harmful when we start to see ourselves as different from one another; this causes more stress and distrust,” he said. “The health care system is in great need of reform but we first need to listen to each other and share our diverse experiences. I’m proud of the work Doctors of BC is doing in the area of diversity and inclusion and the sense of belonging that can grow from that. I’m also happy to see so many physicians here tonight as that shows you feel like you belong and that your ideas are respected.”

Year in review

Dr. Simon Rabkin, president of the VPSA board of directors, then spoke of the association’s many accomplishments in 2018.

“Our mandate of Connect, Collaborate and Care applies not only to the patients we serve but also to how we treat each member of the medical staff,” said Dr. Rabkin. “We’ve offered many different activities this year and everyone who attends walks away having learned something new and made new connections. In 2019, we will continue to engage both horizontally through events like our Breakfast with Leaders and Unique Lives in Medicine series as well as with more networking events and opportunities to welcome new physicians. And, engaging vertically with VCH leaders remains a priority.”

A major accomplishment in 2018 was securing the Round Room in VGH as a Physician Engagement and Wellness Hub.

Dr. Rabkin identified the coming year’s risks and opportunities as the need to continue engaging with VCH leadership, encouraging more membership participation, and recruiting a new co-chair.

VPSA funding assured through 2019-2020

In her report, VPSA treasurer Dr. Noa Mallek noted the Specialist Services Committee (SSC), which funds Facility Engagement Initiatives throughout the province, has guaranteed VPSA full funding of $850,000 per year until at least the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year. This removes the uncertainty for VPSA’s staff and allows for easier planning and budgeting.

“SSC has, however, changed its carryover policy for 2019-20,” said Dr. Mallek. “The new policy stipulates there is no carryover of any unspent funds from 2018-19. This rule has prompted us to rollout many of our budgeted activities during the current fiscal year and, thanks to a full complement of staff, we were able to do this quickly.”

The 2019 Physician Master Agreement that is currently being negotiated will determine if the provincial initiative continues past March 31, 2020.

Dr. Filiatrault announces her departure

Dr. Lyne Filiatrault has been VPSA co-chair since the association was formed and a passionate advocate for facility engagement throughout that time. She will be leaving on March 31, 2019.

“This has been a labour of love; I really believe in this initiative,” she told members gathered for the AGM. “It has been an honour to serve you, to meet so many amazing physicians, as well as our up and coming leaders who are taking an active part in our association. I truly believe the more we stop talking from our tribes and come together to speak with a unified voice the better we will be.”

New voices welcome

Members are at the heart of VPSA’s work. They serve on committees, help organize events, and speak at our presentations. If you would like to volunteer on a VPSA committee, please review the opportunities here.

VPSA’s upcoming events include an evening with Dr. Stephen Swensen, a world-renowned expert on employee engagement, on January 23, a Meet & Greet networking event on February 4, and a wellness workshop on Managing your Energy February 11.

Click here to view a copy of VPSA’s 2018 Board of Directors Report and here for photos from the AGM.

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