VPSA/VMDAS board and staff meet monthly with VCH senior leaders to develop a collaborative relationship between medical staff and the health authority. Those attending the April meeting heard updates on the work of the VCH Medical Staff Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as well as the Engaging Physicians in Indigenous Cultural (EPIC) Safety Task Group. The group also continued its discussions on ways to make the meetings more meaningful.
Dr. Joy Masuhara, VCH’s Regional Director for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and co-chair of the EDI Steering Committee, gave an update on her group’s work.
Steering Committee members met earlier this month to take part in a strategic planning session. Members identified their key priorities and relevant goals. The group will meet again in May to plan their next steps and to finalize the plan.
Ongoing EDI projects now include four affinity groups (IBPOC women; men’s EDI; 2SLGBTQIA+; women’s discussion). An EDI Journal Club Plus is in the works and the group expects to launch its first session in early summer. An external consultant is putting together a survey and focus group to assess the experiences of medical staff living with disabilities. Eight mentors across VCH sites have been identified for the VCH Physician EDI Mentorship Program; mentee applications have been received and are being reviewed. A subgroup is working on a user guide for search and selection standard operating procedures and is exploring collaboration with VCH for the next steps in this process. Members are meeting regularly with the newly formed Physician Search and Selection SOP Working Group.
Dr. Masuhara reported that the final report on the recent 2SLGBTQIA+ survey and focus groups is now complete and requested the opportunity to present its findings at a future meeting of the senior leaders. She also updated participants on the lactation project that is moving forward at three sites: VGH; Richmond Hospital; and Lions Gate Hospital.
Dr. Kendall Ho, chair of the EPIC Task Group, joined the meeting to give an update on the group’s activities and to remind attendees of its purpose: to prioritize and advance Indigenous cultural safety in health-care settings.
To date, 10 Indigenous Health Rounds have been offered with an average of 400 health-care professionals taking part in each session. About 20 per cent of participants provide feedback in the session follow-up surveys with 94 per cent saying they have learning something that will help them provide or facilitate culturally safe care and 93 per cent feeling more confident in engaging Indigenous patients and families in health-care conversations.
CPD credits are available for physicians attending the IHRs and the task group is exploring opportunities for credits for other health professionals. Dr. Ho reports that they are also working with UBC CPD to see if higher levels of credits could be made available to encourage participants to reflect and apply what they have learned at IHRs.
An Indigenous artist is working to create infographics that reflect the IHR learnings and to help us understand the impact of cultural safety.
A generic survey is now sent to people attending the IHRs a month after the sessions to ask if they have incorporated anything they learned into practice. This survey has a low response rate and a small percentage say they have changed the way they practice.
The first patient experience think tank was held recently; Dr. Ho thanked VPSA for providing funding to support physicians who are participating in this.
Dr. Don Wilson, VCH’s Regional Medical Director of Indigenous Health, and Dr. Terri Aldred, FNHA’s Medical Director, Primary Care, are now both members of the EPIC Task Group.
The next IHR will be held from noon to 1:30 pm on June 20 and will focus on the LGH and Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s seniors palliative care program. Look for registration details in an upcoming MSA/VPSA Checkup.
The VPSA/VMDAS board and staff and VCH senior leaders who attend these monthly meetings are committed to making them more impactful. Time has been set aside at the recent sessions to discuss ways to do this. At the April meeting, the group talked about ways to use the time more effectively and turn them away from monologues and into greater dialogues.
The shared goal is to further develop strategic alignment between the two groups. VPSA’s Strategic Plan expires in 2024, so the time is right to work with VCH to affirm priorities and set objectives. This work will result in the ability of the monthly meetings to better capture opportunities.
The group concluded that one or more meetings need to be devoted to in-person strategic planning. That will be the focus for at least the next session.
The group will meet again in June. If you have an item you wish to be brought forward at these meetings, please contact VPSA Operations Director Andrew Pinfold.