Family Doctors in New West and Tri-Cities Launch Public Health Education Campaigns
In August 2021 the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice launched a campaign called Physician on a Mission to tackle Covid vaccine hesitancy by amplifying the voices of family doctors in the Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster and Greater Vancouver regions. The campaign was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge.
That campaign consisted of 10 videos in 5 different languages. They were promoted on social media and sent to the FNW Division’s 3,000 newsletter subscribers, and were featured in 3 different local news articles. From a numbers perspective, the campaign exceeded all targets, with a cumulative 1.3 million impressions on the videos, over 27,000 link clicks to the BC Get Vaccinated landing page, and over 270,000 video views which was an average of 8,730 views per day of the campaign, exceeding the goal of 5,000 views per day.
In February 2022 it was announced that the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice had won the $100,00 grand prize for its Physician on a Mission Campaign.
“The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice Society amplified the voices of family doctors as trusted community members, providing accurate and multi-lingual information on COVID-19 vaccines through their “Physician on a Mission” project. This initiative empowered Canadians to make informed decisions about vaccination, allowing our community members to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their healthcare system."
- Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.
Using the $100,000 grand prize money, local family doctors once again banded together to create another set of public education videos - dubbed “Physician on a Mission 2.0.”
Many family doctors in the FNW Division submitted their ideas for videos, and four topics were selected. The first was to humanize family doctors and the message was ‘family doctors are people too’ as there have been concerns of patients becoming verbally abusive towards family doctors and MOAs. The goal was to show that doctors have lives outside of their profession and they face everyday struggles, joys, and family dynamics, just like everybody else. This video features the Manhas family - Drs. Paul, Katie, and Gurdeep Manhas - who operate a clinic together in Coquitlam BC.
The second video features Dr. Kathleen Ross, a family doctor in Coquitlam BC, who discussed HPV education, prevention, and awareness regarding how it’s contracted and what you can do to stay protected.
“HPV is a common virus and it’s passed person to person through intimate touching but you do not need to have intercourse in order to get HPV. By protecting yourself and your partner with the HPV vaccine you can prevent HPV-related diseases.”
- Dr. Kathleen Ross, Family Physician in Coquitlam BC.
The third video was spearheaded by Dr. Carllin Man, a family doctor in New Westminster BC who shared what you can do to prevent diseases by implementing preventative health into your daily routine and protecting your health.
“Preventative health are the things we all do every day to prevent any significant diseases down the line. For example, exercise is a great method of preventive health. It prevents things like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.”
- Dr. Carllin Man, Family Physician in New Westminster.
The final video series was led by Dr. Kathy Jones, a family physician who has practised in New Westminster for over 30 years. She expressed that everyday family doctors hear misconceptions from patients when they come into their clinic. To address those misconceptions Dr. Jones created a video series called “Mythbusters”.
“Most family doctors limit their panel to 1,500 patients, which allows us to do a good job of meeting peoples’ needs. It’s true there aren’t enough family doctors, and unfortunately, many newly trained doctors are not choosing to open practices and do longitudinal practice.”
- Dr. Kathy Jones, Family Physician in New Westminster BC.
In addition to the video series, the FNW Division hosted an appreciation event for family doctors. Over the last two years, and increasing in the last few months, expressions of blame, anger and frustrations from the public have been directed to family doctors and their staff. This has caused doctors to feel unappreciated, exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out. The goal of this event, hosted at Blue Mountain Park in Coquitlam, was to show appreciation to the doctors in our community. The event was attended by over 300 people, including Bonita Zarrillo, Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, Coquitlam City Councillor Brent Asmundson, and Coquitlam City Councillor Teri Towner. This event produced a positive response from the doctors, MOAs and their families in our community.
Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice is one of 35 divisions in British Columbia that make up the BC Divisions of Family Practice, an initiative of the Family Practice Services Committee, a partnership between the Province of B.C. and Doctors of B.C. Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice currently has over 450 members that provide primary care services in Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.