Anti-racism plan discussed during September VPSA/VCH leaders meeting

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VPSA board and staff meet monthly with VCH senior leaders. The focus of the September meeting was an overview of VCH’s anti-racism strategy, as well as updates on medical staff orientation and on the work of the VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee.

VCH’s Anti-Racism Strategy

VCH’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Susanna Tam gave an update on the strategy and ways the health authority is currently working to engage internal stakeholders including medical staff. The goal is to co-create a strategy based on feedback obtained through in-person and virtual sessions as well as a survey that will be launched soon. The first steps of VCH’s anti-racism action plan aim to encourage engagement, build awareness, and support education of the impact racism has on Indigenous peoples as well as racialized communities through meaningful engagement.

Internal engagement will continue with Susanna and her team collaborating with staff and medical staff to develop an Anti-Racism Action Plan. This will be followed by external engagement with input sought from patients and families. Stakeholders will have opportunities to engage online regarding the draft plan after which VCH will launch and implement its anti-racism plan.

Regional Medical Orientation Working Group update

Vancouver Community Senior Medical Director Dr. Michael Norbury reported on the work accomplished by the Regional Medical Orientation Working Group over the summer.

The group has completed stakeholder engagements and developed its first full draft of orientation products that the VCH Executive Committee will review this fall. A manual will act as a self-directed information guide and compendium for onboarding and during live orientation meetings. Two live sessions will be offered each year; these will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, with VPSA looking forward to exploring ways to support the in-person sessions. New medical staff members will meet at their community of care with regional learning components delivered virtually.

The working group anticipates that the plan will be finalized by the year end and be implemented in January 2023.

VMDAS/VPSA President Dr. Alison Harris noted that VPSA’s next Meet and Greet event for Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community is coming up on October 3. (VPSA members interested in attending can register here.)

VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee update

VCH Executive Director, Physician Engagement and Contract Strategies Michael Ducie and committee co-chair Dr. Fahreen Dossa reported that the committee had taken a break over the summer but that the working groups were making good progress. Through VPSA, the committee is funding nine departments/divisions in addressing physician burnout and fulfillment. The Wellness Champions Working Group will be meeting again in October; Dr. Chantal Young, the director of the Keck School of Medicine Office of Well-Being has been invited to make a presentation.

The next wellness survey has been deferred until 2023 so as not to interfere with the deployment of CST. Physicians can expect to see some questions related to CST on that survey. Dr. Dossa noted that there were similarities between VPSA’s 2020 wellness survey results and those of a recent survey conducted by the Canadian Medical Association. CMA’s survey found more that half (53%) of physicians and medical learners experience high levels of burnout (VA/VC: 51%). Eight in 10 (79%) CMA respondents scored low on professional fulfillment (VA/VC: 75%). Sixty per cent of physicians and residents in the CMA survey indicated that their mental health has worsened since the onset of the pandemic (VA/VC: 54%).

The committee plans to engage with other communities of care within VCH over the coming months to collaborate on wellness opportunities and will also be sharing its experiences as part of a new Doctors of BC physician wellness network. The group also looks forward to developing a relationship with the VCH Regional Medical Director for Wellness once that appointment is announced.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the VPSA-VCH SLT will take place on October 13.

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