Monthly meetings with VCH senior leaders put focus on physician priorities

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Since the start of the Facility Engagement Initiative in 2017, VPSA board and staff have been meeting regularly with senior leaders at VCH to develop a collaborative relationship.[1] These monthly get togethers have created a common space to address issues of concern. They allow medical staff views to be represented and for us to contribute to the development and achievement of VCH’s plans and initiatives with respect to matters that directly affect physicians.

The group prioritizes issues that significantly affect the health authority, physicians, and patient care. Other goals of the meetings are to support VPSA members to acquire the leadership skills needed to participate effectively in discussions about issues and matters that directly affect you and your role in the health-care system as well as to support physicians to develop a structure where representative physician colleagues can play a meaningful role within VCH.

The VMDAS Hub for Engagement and Wellness at VGH is one of the significant accomplishments to come from these gatherings, with VPSA able to negotiate for a larger space than the health authority was originally offering.

“It has been so great to partner with VPSA to talk about ways we can best support our physicians,” said VCH President and CEO Vivian Eliopoulos. “Important topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion that are raised at this table are benefiting medical staff across the region. Similarly, we’re seeing the lines of communication open between the VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee and Richmond physicians. In the coming months, we expect to expand the scope of the meetings to address planetary health as well as the VGH learning environment.”

“The VPSA board sees these Senior Leadership Team meetings as a great venue to raise members’ concerns and a forum where we can hold each other accountable,” said VPSA President Dr. Alison Harris. “We always have constructive discussion and have found the health authority to be responsive to both our long-term issues (e.g., physician wellness) and our short-term priorities (such as the parking situation we found ourselves in during the early part of the pandemic). We are not always able to resolve issues, but we are working collaboratively. I hope that members will reach out to us if they have ideas they would like us to bring forward.”

Standing items at the VPSA-SLT meetings include wellness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, onboarding, and CST implementation. The March 2022 meeting focused on onboarding and wellness.


Vancouver Community Senior Medical Director Dr. Michael Norbury cochairs a working group looking to  develop a region-wide orientation for new medical staff. The group includes VCH medical staff representation from urban/rural, acute/community, including VPSA members Dr. Andrea Brovender, Dr. Derek Chang, Dr. Serge Makarenko, and Dr. Katie Wiskar. The committee’s goals are to provide regional, standardized information to new physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, and midwives, and to support VCH’s communities of care in delivering orientations without gaps or duplication.

“Our working group was struck out of HAMAC [the Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee] to identify the necessary components and delivery methods of an effective regional orientation,” said Dr. Norbury. “Work began in February and our goal is to launch the orientation sessions in September.”


VPSA Initiative Manager Andrew Pinfold and VCH Executive Director, Physician Engagement and Contract Strategies, Michael Ducie gave an update on the progress made to date by the VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee and its working groups.

“The groups are making progress in meeting their objectives,” said Ducie. “The committee is currently supporting nine departments and divisions with funding to address physician burnout and fulfillment and monitors their progress.”

The committee has set up a Wellness Champions Working Group that meets quarterly and is using support from the VCH People Team with coaching, focus-group facilitation, and change-management training. Going forward, committee members plan to engage with other communities of care within VCH to collaborate on wellness initiatives.

Looking ahead

Going forward, VPSA will have regular reports from the VPSA-SLT meetings. The focus of the April meeting will be diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as the implementation of CST.

[1] Regular attendees are from VCH: Lori Benning (Director, Strategy Deployment); Bob Chapman (Interim VP, VC); Michelle de Moor (Interim VP, Vancouver Acute Services); Dr. Vinay Dhingra (Co-Senior Medical Director, VA); Michael Ducie (Executive Director, Physician Engagement and Contract Strategies); Vivian Eliopoulos (CEO); Dr. Chad Kim Sing (Associate Vice President of Medicine, Quality, & Safety, VCH); Dr. Michael Norbury (Senior Medical Director, VC); and Dr. Ladan Sadrehashemi (Co-Senior Medical

Director, VA); from VPSA: Dr. Ka Wai Cheung (VP), Dr. Alison Harris (President), Dr. Michael Nimmo (Secretary), and Andrew Pinfold (Initiative Manager); as well as VMAC Chair Dr. Nadia Zalunardo and from Doctors of BC: Fran Hopkins (Engagement Partner). Read the group’s terms of reference.

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