Leaders address wide variety of issues at June meeting

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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 June meeting focused on the current physician wellness survey and funding for physician recruitment and retention measures, as well as other opportunities to provide input on upcoming initiatives.

VPSA wellness update

Dr. Fahreen Dossa provided an update on current VPSA wellness initiatives with a particular focus on the VCH-wide physician wellness survey that was deployed on May 1. The goal is to get 1,000 responses from across the health authority; to date, 600 physicians have completed the survey. The deadline has been extended to June 30 and Dr. Dossa asked that those attending the meeting encourage their physician colleagues to take the survey. She reminded everyone that the survey is anonymous, action oriented, and there are great prizes.

Word of mouth will be vital to getting more physicians to take part. Key messages include that the results will be used to shape wellness initiatives; the survey is a valuable use of time given that results will inform interventions.

VA Senior Medical Director Dr. Vinay Dhingra was recognized for the efforts he made to encourage physicians at the May VPSA lunch at VGH to take the survey and he was asked to do the same this month. The message needs to include encouraging physicians who have already taken the survey to get their colleagues to do so too.

VPSA President Dr. Ka Wai Cheung asked the VCH leaders present about the best route to inquire about possible cost-sharing. All VCH physicians can take the survey, but all costs are being borne by VPSA. The group’s suggestions included approaching the VP of Medicine, other MSAs, and Doctors of BC for regional funding possibilities.

Recruitment and retention funding

Dr. Cheung informed the VCH leaders that VPSA is now accepting applications from departments and divisions for physician recruitment and retention measures. Funding (up to $3,000) can be used for projects meeting specific criteria.

One suggestion was to find out the areas with the highest vacancy and turnover rates and target them. (The form does ask applicants to identify their needs.) The VA and VC senior medical directors asked to have the opportunity to give feedback on the applications to avoid duplicating efforts between VCH and VPSA. This offer was gladly accepted, and Dr. Cheung committed to keeping the senior leadership group updated on which applications will be funded.

Recent VPSA-VCH collaborative event debriefs

The two organizations worked together on two events recently: the third annual VC appreciation evening on May 16 and the second annual Resident Physician Recognition Event on May 22.

Feedback about the latter event included a strong desire to change the focus so that all residents are recognized rather than just those who are nominated. This would make a more inclusive celebration.

Other business

Dr. Cheung noted that VPSA has approached MPOSH (Medical Staff and Physician Occupational Safety and Health) and VCH’s violence prevention specialist to find out what measures are in place to address this important issue and to determine where the gaps are. She will keep the group informed to ensure any steps VPSA wants to take align with VCH’s plans.

Dr. Cheung also brought up changes that are happening regarding privileging across VCH that will result in some membership changes to VPSA and VMDAS. There are currently many moving pieces, but VPSA and VMDAS want to keep as many health-care professionals as possible in its fold. This may require changes to the groups’ bylaws.

Next meeting

The group next meets on July 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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