New board elected at AGM

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The boards of VMDAS and VPSA were ratified at our recent AGMs. Emergency medicine physician Dr. Ka Wai Cheung is our new president, with radiologist Dr. Alison Harris moving into the past president position. Pathologist Dr. Michael Nimmo, our former secretary, is now vice president; surgeon Dr. Adam Meneghetti continues as treasurer, with psychiatrist Dr. Debra Miller continuing in her role as a member at large. VPSA has two additional positions on its board. Family physician Dr. Fahreen Dossa has assumed the position of secretary, while psychiatrist Dr. Anna Borowska continues as a member at large. (Read board member bios here.)

The meeting portion of the evening opened with blessings from Squamish Nation Elder Iris Newman. She made prayers to the Creator and gave blessings to health-care and frontline workers. Dr. Harris provided an overview of activities for the past year. These included VMDAS’s recognition programs (annual medical staff awards, long-service recognition, Hall of Honour inductees, and our first ever resident recognition event) and family-friendly events (lawn bowling and a seed growing workshop). There was a moment of silence as we remembered colleagues lost this year including Drs. Tracy Pickett, Petrus Swart, Naveena Singh, John MacFarlane, Alexander Nagy, Juhn Wada, Ralph Christensen, and Henry Mizgala. Dr. Harris reviewed VPSA’s strategic pillars and noted that a new strategic plan is in the works. She offered a quick overview of VPSA’s committees and task groups with gratitude for all the members who work on these. VPSA’s latest Board of Directors Report provides further details. In her closing remarks, Dr. Harris emphasized that it had been a privilege to serve as president for the past two years and that she looks forward to continuing to work with the board as its past president.

Dr. Meneghetti presented the 2023/24 finances and proposed 2024/25 budgets for both VMDAS and VPSA. These were approved by members attending the meeting.

VMAC update

Dr. M. Raju Heran, who chairs the Vancouver Medical Advisory Committee (VMAC) gave an update on the group’s activities. The committee is the senior medical administrative body for all medical staff in the VA and VC communities of care.

VMAC meets monthly and Dr. Heran expressed gratitude to Dr. Harris as well as to the VA and VC medical directors who bring issues to the table for discussion. Dr. Heran also has a seat on the Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee. This group provides advice to VCH’s board of directors and CEO on matters relating to the provision of health care, education, and research in VCH’s facilities, programs, and areas.

Dr. Heran emphasized that VMAC is there if members ever have concerns. Speak to someone on the executive, he advised, so the committee can bring attention to the matter.

PQI update

Dr. Kelly Mayson provided an overview of physician quality improvement (PQI), a Specialist Services Committee initiative to address gaps in quality structures relating to physician participation in QI activities. PQI funds and supports projects that address system priorities including improved patient experiences, better outcomes, lower costs, clinician well-bring, health equity, and—added in 2023—planetary health.

Dr. Mayson outlined programs members can take advantage of including:

  • QI coaching – ad-hoc, on-demand. Sessional funding is provided for coaching time.
  • Level 1: Institute for Healthcare Improvement Online Open School. Learn at your own pace; five hours of sessional funding.
  • Level 2: Two half days offered multiple times a year via an interactive Zoom class. Seven hours of sessional funding.
  • Level 3: Ten months cohort training from August to May includes interactive training days and full project support from the QI team and data support. Sessional funding provided for 100 to 150 hours. A call for applications is currently open with a deadline of January 19, 2023.

PQI alumni have reported a renewed sense of purpose and feel empowered to solve problems. They find the break to work on a passion project invigorating. The programs can also accelerate their career development and allow for connection with team members and other like-minded physicians.

More information on PQI is available here or by emailing or calling Allison Chiu (604-970-1479) or Enrique Fernandez (604-652-0890).

Message from Premier David Eby

Premier Eby provided a short recorded message for members. He is married to Dr. Cailey Lynch, a former registered nurse who is now a family practice doctor. Premier Eby knows from this experience how hard health-care professionals work every day. He expressed gratitude for the work VMDAS members do and referred to his government’s long history of standing up for public health care.

AGM attendance over time

Member attendance at our annual general meetings has been tracked since 2017. In-person attendance was not an option in 2020 due to the pandemic. The option to attend online began in 2020.



Check out photos from the event here.

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