President’s update

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Many of us are taking the summer to enjoy time off with our families and friends. I hope everyone has the opportunity to rest and re-energize as the coming months will offer many great opportunities to strengthen our networks and sense of connection to our work. Your VPSA board members and staff are beginning a new strategic planning process; our goal is to have our new plan in place by February 2024. I encourage you to look for chances to have your say as we move forward.

The past months have seen many changes; one of the greatest of these has been the transition to CST. VPSA has maintained a dialogue with senior medical CST leadership to bring forward your feedback and concerns. The October VMDAS quarterly meeting will focus on CST Cerner with an update on ways to make suggestions for improvements. The CST Task Group has applied to Doctors of BC for additional funding to support deployment at UBC Hospital as well as GF Strong.

Our Wellness and Community Building Task Group is one of our busiest committees. The members approved funding for 18 commensality groups recently, with representation of 133 physicians from at least eight departments and divisions. This committee plans many events including a recent resident recognition evening that received positive feedback. A heads up that the group is also planning another lawn bowling event—set September 10 aside! The members are also working with the regional medical director of wellness to determine the timing of our second wellness survey. We hope to launch this in the fall in conjunction with other VCH communities of care.

Funding from the VPSA Projects Committee has been the catalyst for many steps forward in patient care. The group, which is chaired by Dr. Nicholas Lenskyj, has approved four Small Steps, Big Idea projects so far this year. These include a gap analysis to streamline the booking process for advanced endometriosis cases, a UBCH Emergency Department pediatric in-situ pilot simulation project, and integrated practice units with both Neurosurgery and aortic surgery. The Projects Committee is also working on improving its standard operating procedures.

We work closely with VCH on several committees. These include the Vancouver Acute/Vancouver Community (VA/VC) Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee, which is currently focused on reducing unnecessary medical tests and use of climate-conscious inhalers. The committee launched its speaker series recently with a presentation from Dr. Keren Papier on sustainable diets, health, and current research.

The Engaging Physicians in Indigenous Cultural (EPIC) Safety Task Group’s Indigenous Health Rounds now qualify for two hours of credits with UBC CPD. Committee members have worked with an Indigenous artist to finalize infographic summaries of previous health rounds for on-demand learning; these are awaiting approvals from the Ministry of Health. The group is also finalizing a summary of the VCH Patient Experience Think Tank including recommendations on how to move forward with humanizing care through humility and reconciliation. Members drafted an application to the Patient Voices Network, which resulted in the recruitment of two Indigenous patient voices.

The VCH Medical Staff Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee recently completed the second phase of its strategic plan. The Mentorship subgroup of the Leadership Skills and Talent Management Working Group has identified six mentor-mentee pairs… their welcome and orientation was completed in late June and the pairs have set up their first meetings. The committee established several affinity groups this year. The IBPOC Women Medical Staff Affinity Group and the Women Medical Staff Discussion Group have each organized meetings this fiscal year; with the next discussion group meeting July 19. The 2SLGBTQ+ Staff and Medical Staff Affinity Group has met three times. The Journal Club Plus organized its first meeting in June with a focus on Indigenous health; the next meeting of this group will be in the coming months. A dashboard with results from the 2020 Medical Staff Diversity Survey is now active and open to VCH users. The final report of the survey was released last year. A subgroup from the Leadership Skills and Talent Management Working Group is providing feedback to a health authority working group tasked to revise medical staff search and selection standard operating procedures. The timeline is to have the new SOPs ready by the fall. Drs. Melanie Altas and Joy Masuhara are also working on a collaborative framework with Vivian Chan’s team to further EDI initiatives. A lactation project was started a year ago with the aim of improving facilities and policies at VCH. Medical staff at VGH, Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital and, more recently, UBC Hospital and GF Strong have assisted in its development. Plans have been drafted for the larger sites for a first phase with several VCH teams putting together a regional proposal. Funding from various foundation is being explored. The committee also encouraged VCH to apply successfully for participation in this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade. Everyone is welcome to participate.

While many of our events take time off over the summer, there are still physician appreciation lunches offered monthly at VGH and UBCH. I hope to see many members at these or at other gatherings this fall.


Dr. Alison Harris, President

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