More physicians join committees and task groups

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VPSA is pleased to welcome six physicians who have joined our Engaging Physicians in Indigenous Cultural Safety Task Group, the VA/VC Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee, and the VPSA Communications Committee.

Dr. Shannon Turvey and Dr. Nori MacGowan are the new VPSA representative on the recently formed EPIC Task Group.

Dr. Shannon Turvey is the new VPSA representative on the recently formed EPIC Task Group. She is a member of the Association for Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Canada Indigenous Health Committee and has completed the San’yas Indigenous cultural safety training core ICS health course.

“In my work as a tuberculosis physician as well as an HIV physician, I have had the privilege of providing longitudinal care to many Indigenous patients,” said Dr. Turvey. “I’m passionate about working collaboratively to support and foster delivery of culturally safe health care to Indigenous people and improve the quality of care that we individually and collectively offer to Indigenous people. I am excited to help develop and promote educational opportunities in this area and to continue my own journey of ongoing learning.”

Dr. MacGowan works in Family Medicine, Palliative Care.

“In my clinical practice providing home-based palliative care, I am acutely aware that Indigenous patients face significant challenges in accessing, and feeling culturally safe when engaging with, community palliative and in-patient hospice care,” she said. “I am truly humbled by how much I have to learn if I am to try to improve this in my role as a program medical lead. I was interested in joining this committee to deepen my own understanding of the experiences of Indigenous patients in our health-care system, and to collaborate with others to identify additional educational or other opportunities for learning.”

Additional VPSA members on this committee include Dr. Jay Slater and the group’s chair, Dr. Kendall Ho.

Three physicians will represent VPSA members on the new VA/VC Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee: Dr. Harpinder Nagi (General Internal Medicine); Dr. Gordon Finlayson (Critical Care); and Dr. Fahreen Dossa (Hospitalist and Rural Family Medicine).

“I believe physicians have a duty to protect our planet and to empower others to do the same,” said Dr. Nagi. “ I am an active member with CAPE and part of Doctors for Planetary Health. I’m interested in QI projects to encourage planetary health initiatives within VCH.”

“Climate change will become the single most important determinant of health in the years ahead,” said Dr. Finlayson. “The generation of waste from acute care medicine is simply enormous. Further, changing clinical practice and purchasing decisions to influence these environmental impacts of care seems impossible at the individual level. I am interested in engaging with leaders to reduce our collective carbon footprint in the workplace.”

Additional VPSA members on this committee include Dr. Fahreen Dossa, and the committee’s two co-chairs: Dr. Andrea MacNeill, VCH Regional Medical Director for Planetary Health, and Dr. Rashmi Chadha.

Dr. Marla Gordon, who specializes in the care of the elderly, is the new physician representative on the VPSA Communications Committee. Through her work she has learned firsthand the importance of effective communication, respectful workplace relationships, and the true essence of teamwork.

“I’m a big fan of VPSA and have been actively involved since its inception,” said Dr. Gordon. “I’ve been fortunate to receive funding for special projects and for a commensality group. As a member of this committee, I hope to increase member engagement and to promote VPSA’s many wonderful activities. Ultimately, I hope spreading the word about VPSA’s activities will help reduce physician burnout and increase joy in our work.”

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