President’s Update

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The summer has provided a welcome respite from our preoccupation with COVID-19. But the fall holds uncertainty as to how the pandemic will unfold. Throughout this time, your MSA and VPSA have organized various supports ranging from activities to guard your wellness, food to keep you nourished, and childcare and temporary accommodation so you can focus on your work without worrying about its effect on your family. We have also curated the VCH COVID-19 Physician Communication platform on Slack to keep you informed.

As we enter this next phase, we intend to continue those supports and add some extra activities to keep you connected to your Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community physician groups. Physician appreciation lunches are returning to VGH and UBC Hospital as well as at the Three Bridges, Raven Song and Pender clinics. Your MSA is also funding Wednesday coffee breaks at UBC Hospital and GF Strong. More than 100 physicians have joined our ranks this year—a tumultuous start to their careers. Join us in making them feel welcome by attending our Zoom Meet & Greet event on September 24.

VPSA’s Community Building and Wellness task group is planning several special events this fall. An update on the Surgical Patient Optimization Collaborative that was originally scheduled for April 30 has been rescheduled for October 1. A family movie event is also in the works for October. We are excited to be working with Dr. Tait Shanafelt, chief wellness officer for Stanford Medicine, on a keynote presentation on physician wellbeing and its implications for quality of care that will be delivered November 12. We are also planning a workshop from The School of Life for early 2021.

Our members work closely with the VCH Physician Wellness Steering Committee. That group is developing an organization wellness survey that will be disseminated in October/November. I strongly encourage you to participate in this survey as it will inform interventions to improve physician wellbeing at Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community.

Physician wellness has never been more important and we are continuing to offer a number of special opportunities as well as many resources.

We also participate on the VCH Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. That group is working on a diversity survey that will be circulated this fall. The committee is planning focus groups on racism within the healthcare system as well as on the experiences of physicians of colour and LGDBTQ+ physicians. The aim is to develop more inclusive leadership at VCH as well as within its talent development processes.

We are currently seeking eight physicians to participate in Communication of Unanticipated Medical Outcomes training. To apply, please fill out the intake form here.

Our members play an important role in the CST task group. In light of the pandemic, CST plans are on hold, with a new expected go live date of fall 2022 for VGH and summer 2023 for GF Strong and UBC Hospital. That said, we recognize that opportunities for improvement exist to develop the technologies our members use every day. With that in mind, we will host a forum with Chief Clinical Information Officer Damian Claydon-Platt, IMITS VPP (VCH, PHSA, PHC) on October 7 at 5:30 pm. This event will provide members with a platform to highlight issues and provide suggestions as well as hear about what IT plans are coming.

Your VPSA executive and staff meet regularly with VCH senior leadership. Monthly meetings were paused earlier this year because of COVID-19 but have recently restarted. We discuss an important topic each month to advance shared initiatives. In August, for instance, we discussed racism and explored ways we can work with members of VCH’s People and Culture staff and Aboriginal Health.

Earlier this year, we learned that some members of the Vancouver Acute Advisory Committee subgroups are not compensated for their time. VPSA is now accepting application forms from members on these subcommittees to receive sessional payments for their work.

The pandemic put of number of VPSA’s large and small projects on hold; however, most groups receiving project funding are now rebooting their initiatives. Members can seek funding to support their ideas from the Small Steps, Big Ideas funding stream.

I would like to thank you for your exceptional care and commitment during the pandemic and encourage you to participate in some of the opportunities mentioned above to ensure your continued wellbeing.


Dr. Eric Yoshida, President
August 2020

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