Shaping our next strategic plan: VCH leaders provide input

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VPSA/VMDAS board and staff meet regularly with VCH senior leaders to develop a collaborative relationship between medical staff and the health authority. The December meeting offered VCH staff the opportunity to provide valuable input towards VPSA’s new strategic plan. There was also an update on wellness activities.

VPSA strategic planning update

VPSA’s 2024-2026 strategic plan is in its development stage. Board and staff members along with committee leads met in November for a retreat and made substantial progress, identifying four new strategic priorities:

  1. Promote a thriving and healthy work environment to enhance member well-being.
  2. Increase member awareness of and involvement in Vancouver Physician Staff Association initiatives.
  3. Improve member engagement and influence with Vancouver Coastal Health leadership.
  4. Enhance collaboration with strategic partners, such as Vancouver Coastal Health medical staff associations.

During the meeting, Doctors of BC Engagement Partner Russell Stead and VPSA President Dr. Ka Wai Cheung sought input from VCH leaders. They noted that making better use of these monthly get togethers was a priority brought up at the retreat.

Time allowed for only some of the themes raised at the retreat to be discussed at the meeting:

  • Highlighting VCH leadership roles – Many VPSA members do not know VCH’s leaders nor understand their roles. Suggestions to address this include:
    • Leverage quarterly meetings and AGMs with VCH leadership representation. Leaders could highlight their roles and how their work collaborates with VPSA.
    • Leverage the weekly Checkup newsletter with profiles of VCH leaders.
    • Host more Breakfast with Leaders/Dinner with Leaders events.
  • Engaging trainees – Health Human Resources are a major concern. Facility Engagement Initiative rules now allow for funding for recruitment and retention. Suggestions:
    • Host annual resident appreciation events. (VCH People has agreed to fund these.)
  • HAMAC and VMAC – Many VPSA members do not know what roles these committees play. Suggestions:
    • Explore how VPSA can work more with the committees including:
      • Develop a survey for department and division heads about their greatest needs.
      • Make the meetings more interactive and collaborative.
    • Leverage the weekly Checkup newsletter with information about the roles of VMAC and HAMAC.
  • Handouts – Create documents or interactive tools to describe some of the organizations better including:
    • The role of medical staff associations and the various VCH MSAs.
    • A high-level overview of VCH’s leadership structure.
    • HAMAC and VMAC.
  • How to engage more with Vancouver Community VPSA members – VC physicians work in 30 sites and nine program areas across the region. Ideas to demonstrate they are valued and heard include:
    • Reach out to each program area to identify their issues.
    • VC commensality groups have been very successful and could be used more to identify pain points and concerns.
    • Overall VC events at VanDusen Botanical Garden and the Arbutus Club have been good, but program-specific events would be better.
    • Breakfast with Leaders events for different program areas.

Further input on the themes emerging from strategic planning will be discussed at the January VPSA/senior leadership team meeting.

VPSA physician wellness initiatives update

Dr. Fahreen Dossa, co-chair of the VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee and a member of the VPSA Community Building and Wellness Task Group, gave this update, noting that wellness is a priority for VPSA members.

She gave an overview of the evolution of the two wellness groups and asked for input from VCH leaders about how to advocate making wellness a VCH strategic priority. Dr. Dossa reviewed the experiences of the nine departments/divisions that VPSA is supporting with wellness champion funding. These groups were selected not just for their burnout rate but also for their readiness to take steps to change.

The VA/VC Physician Wellness Steering Committee has begun to collaborate with Dr. Ashok Krishnamoorthy, VCH’s regional medical director responsible for medical staff wellness, particularly regarding the wellness survey that is expected in the first half of 2024. Program funding will be renewed for departments and divisions, with room to support another two to three groups. The committee will also continue to support the wellness champions working group thanks to Health Systems Redesign funding. VPSA also supports 31 commensality groups, representing 233 physicians. These have been successful and such groups have been shown to reduce burnout, decrease depression, and improve job satisfaction.

VCH leaders provided feedback and supported the suggestion of surveying department and division heads to determine their pain points when it comes to workplace efficiency. While there is not unlimited funding, some workflows can be improved with minimal costs.

Next meeting

The group next meets on January 11. If you have an item you wish to be brought forward at these meetings, please contact VPSA Operations Director Andrew Pinfold.  

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