VMDAS Quarterly Meeting report

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Over 100 VMDAS members gathered online and in person for the May 30 quarterly meeting. President Dr. Alison Harris welcomed members as well as the evening’s guests: Vancouver Community Senior Medical Director Dr. Michael Norbury; Vancouver Medical Advisory Committee (VMAC) Chair Dr. Nadia Zalunardo; and DEI representatives Dr. Joy Masuhara and Susanna Tam. Read the meeting minutes. 

Vancouver Community update

Dr. Norbury explained how Vancouver Community (VC) fits within VCH. Vancouver is one of three communities of care, with both VC and Vancouver Acute falling within it. VC has 563 medical staff and a current annual budget of $726.8 million. It handles the delivery of VCH’s community-based services across a range of program and clinical areas.

Dr. Norbury introduced members to the VC senior leaders and its various medical directors. He went on to give a “menu” of VC’s major program areas and their responsibilities: long-term care; addictions; palliative/end-of-life care/primary care; mental health and substance use; home support; home health; urgent primary care centres/primary care networks; supported housing and complex rehabilitation; and community geriatrics. He described the challenges medical staff in these diverse areas are facing.

When asked how the current shortage of family physicians is affecting VC and what the solution might be, Dr. Norbury remarked that it has put significant pressure on VC’s services for several months. VC is working closely with its partners at the Vancouver Division of Family Practice and regional primary care facilities, but the situation remains an ongoing problem and a challenge.

You can view the slides from Dr. Norbury’s presentation here.

VMAC update

VMAC’s role is to advise the VCH board of directors and senior leadership on matters relating to the quality of medical care provided in VCH-operated facilities and programs in Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community. Dr. Zalunardo commented that it has shifted its approach to address challenges identified in co-operation with senior medical leaders. These include limited connections with stakeholders related to VMAC’s mandate, limitations of existing quality metrics and support for QI work, learning from safety events, and capital allotment decision making.

She also stressed the importance of wellness and VMAC’s advocacy work for interventions that address the drivers of burnout.

VMAC, Dr. Zalunardo mentioned, is seeking expressions of interest for a vice chair. Those interested can reach out to Emily.Cheng9@vch.ca for more information.

VCH DEI survey update

VCH has launched its DEI survey with the goal of establishing a baseline understanding of the health authority’s diversity and workplace experience. Tam, who is VCH’s DEI director, gave an overview of the initiative. She and Dr. Masuhara , who is the Regional Medical Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, emphasized the need for as many people as possible to participate as VCH will use the data to establish goals and strategies to better represent the communities we serve and to promote an inclusive workplace.

The survey will identify who we are (demographic characteristics) and how we feel (workplace experiences). Everyone should have received an email from WorkTango, an independent contractor, inviting them to participate in the survey. By noon on May 30 there had been over 150 responses from medical staff. The deadline to complete the survey is June 17.

Upcoming VMDAS events

  • Annual physician awards: September 12

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