Quarterly meeting includes inspirational remarks from VCH board chair

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Over 100 VMDAS members gathered in person and online April 17 for the association’s latest quarterly meeting. The session included an update on VPSA and HAMAC activities, as well as an address from VCH Board Chair Dr. Penny Ballem on the value of boards to reflect the populations we serve.

VPSA update

VMDAS and VPSA President Dr. Alison Harris began with a brief overview of the two organizations and then dove into the various VPSA committees and task groups and how these interact and co-operate with VCH and Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community. She spoke of the group’s strategic plan as well as its strategic pillars and priorities as well as its values.

Upcoming VPSA events include a Resident Physicians Recognition Event. Nominations are now open; more information can be found here. The event itself is planned for late May. Submissions for Small Steps, Big Idea funding are accepted on a regular basis. The next application deadline is May 31. More information is available here.

Members from the VPSA executive will represent the association at a meeting on April 26 with key specialist stakeholders including MOH and HA representatives to discuss and provide input on select topics that are of provincial interest to specialists and acute care. The dialogue will help inform how the SSC, in partnership with the MOH and health authorities, and Doctors of BC support specialists. VPSA members are welcome to fill out a survey asking for their input on health human resources, access to specialists, and promoting and strengthening engagement between health authorities and MSAs/physicians.

HAMAC update

The Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee (HAMAC) co-chairs—Dr. Jennifer Beaveridge and Dr. Brenda Wagner—reviewed their organization’s mandate. The committee provides advice to the VCH board of directors and CEO on the provision of health care, education, and research in our facilities, programs, and areas. HAMAC’s focus had been on acute care but that has broadened to include care provided in communities. The organization is also transitioning to a different approach in how it provides good governance and as a trusted advisor.

Its priorities for 2023/24 are health human resources challenges including recruitment and retention, quality, and health and wellness of staff. Activities to support these priorities over the coming year include providing regular medical staff diversity breakdowns to the VCH board, re-establishing a HAMAC HHR subcommittee, piloting, evaluating, and refining the recently developed medical staff orientation, co-leading the privileging process review with VCH Legal, re-establishing a HAMAC quality subcommittee, hosting a HAMAC education workshop for members, and prioritizing advisement on wellness.

To improve transparency, HMAC issues a summary for each of its monthly meetings. These are included in your Checkup newsletter.

VCH board chair address

Dr. Penny Ballem has been the chair of the VCH Board since 2019. She shared with meeting attendees discussions she had at the time of that appointment about the need for a board. The board of directors’ role is to oversee operations, work with management to establish overall strategic direction, and ensure appropriate community consultation.

Dr. Ballem noted that the current board is made up of a diverse group of people, many with a long history of working in the community. She emphasized that the board members see the medical staff as VCH’s experts, while they bring the perspectives of the people we serve. She noted the privileges physicians have and the need to assess the public’s needs and question if they are being served. She encouraged everyone to use the assets we have to do the best we can to serve our many populations.

Dr. Ballem acknowledged the difficulties medical staff have faced over the past three years and said there has been a shift in understanding resource needs and increased transparency among VCH senior leadership. There are also hardships ahead as climate change will make unprecedented demands on the health-care system. She remarked on the critical role of medical staff and encouraged everyone to step up and meet the coming challenges head on.

Association reminders

Dues are due! Active and provisional staff are required to pay annual staff dues at their primary site only. More information is available here.

The next quarterly meeting will be held June 26 and will be the bi-annual Hall of Honour celebration.

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