Residents of Gabriola Island have access to comprehensive care from a team of health care providers that includes GPs, visiting specialists, a home care nurse, a community health nurse, a social worker, and a mental health nurse. But this wasn’t always the case. A decade ago, a shortage of office space and a lack of emergency services on the island had created gaps in care, leading the community to build a solution: the Gabriola Community Health Centre.
While the centre was built prior to the formation of the Gabriola Island Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, the division and chapter have been instrumental in initiating a part-time social worker, telehealth videoconferencing equipment and support, development of the Health and Wellness Collaborative and the Palliative Care Working Group, and more. Island Health and other local health care stakeholders support the centre as well.
The centre now functions as a patient medical home, giving people access to the health care they need in a consistent fashion.
Click here to read the full story about the community effort to build the Gabriola Community Health Centre.
The provincial team is pleased to announce that the new Divisions of Family Practice website will go live on July 23. In preparation for the launch, the team will be transferring all content from the current platform to the new Drupal platform and will begin this process on July 13. >
As part of their work on the Residential Care Initiative, South Okanagan Similkameen division doctors began undertaking meaningful medication reviews in local facilities. The resulting changes to patients’ prescriptions caused an increase in the number of medications being returned to pharmacies for disposal—an issue physicians soon realized could be solved by a simple policy change impacting how medications are ordered during the prescribing process. >
A panel of new grads and residents at the recent GPSC Spring Summit was asked about their hopes, aspirations, and concerns for their future careers during a session entitled “Recruitment and Retention: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Family Doctors.” >
Family doctors in communities around BC are working with nurses to provide patient care in both family practice and community settings. Different team-based approaches are improving patient care in various communities around the province. This includes an innovative model piloted by Fraser Northwest Division to improve care for homebound frail elderly patients that has expanded to other Fraser Health communities. A new story collection highlights these approaches and how strong partnerships between divisions and health authorities are enabling the move toward an integrated system of primary care. >
At the Doctors of BC annual general meeting on June 2, Dr Shelley Ross received the Silver Medal of Service award for her outstanding contributions to medicine and improving the welfare of British Columbians. >
During an interview on CBC’s “On the Island” show, Dr Kristy Williams spoke about starting a patient on Suboxone treatment using support from the E-Mentor program, which, according to Dr Williams, has “totally changed the patient’s life.” >
As of June 1, 2018, two new fees to compensate physicians for treatment of patients with opioid use disorder came into effect. >
A videoconferencing initiative started by Northern Interior Rural division doctors is improving access to care for patients in northern BC. The Robson Valley Virtual Medicine project—a collaboration between the Northern Interior Rural division (NIRD) and Northern Health—uses videoconferencing technology to connect two neighboring rural emergency departments, enabling physicians who share on-call duties to see patients immediately without needing to travel from one hospital to the other. The technology has also facilitated physician-to-physician communication during acute emergencies. >
GPs from a number of divisions across the province are recipients of the BC College of Family Physicians’ 2018 awards. >
Campbell River emergency room physician Dr Jeffrey Beselt is the recipient of the 2018 Canadian College of Health Leaders’ Celebrating the Human Spirit Award. The award recognizes the meaningful contributions of individuals or teams who provide health services for acts of caring and compassion that go above and beyond the call of duty, inspire others, and have a profound and lasting impact. >
Advance care planning conversations are key to ensuring that patients receive end-of-life care that aligns with their needs and beliefs. Recognizing this, Fraser Northwest division has been working with Fraser Health for the past four years to implement an effective and reliable method of transferring this information between doctors’ offices and facilities. >
Chilliwack Division support (via the Chilliwack Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Local Action Team) has enabled local students to complete development of a new app that provides lifesaving overdose support and advice for teens, even in situations where they may not have cell or wifi service. >
Pacific Northwest division member Dr Jaco Strydom has been awarded the College Coin from the BC College of Family Physicians for his outstanding work supporting patients in Terrace. Modelled on the coins used by the Canadian military to recognize special achievements, the College Coin is designed to honour unsung heroes in family medicine. >
In fall 2017, the Pacific Northwest division launched a year-long pilot of a diet and exercise program to help patients with metabolic syndrome, a health disorder that leads to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Called CHANGE (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise) BC, the initiative supports patients through a team-based care model that includes GPs, a dietician, and a kinesiologist. After assessing each patient, the team creates a plan to meet their distinct needs, taking lifestyle, income, physical abilities, and exercise preferences into account, and participants’ family doctors oversee the program and monitor their patients’ progress. >
Six family doctors are now providing weekly clinics at Nechako Valley Secondary School in Vanderhoof, through a new school clinic aimed at improving health outcomes for local students. >
Divisions around the province are supporting their members to provide the best possible care to patients who have pain management and opioid addiction issues. Much of this work is accomplished through division-organized CME and information sessions, which promote awareness of community resources and best practice recommendations. >
Feedback from GPs and the success of a joint program of the Fraser Northwest division and Fraser Health have led to a new team-based care pilot project in the region. As of March 1, 2018, the division’s GPs have exclusive access to a Fraser Health social worker, who can assess and intervene in complex situations that may include challenges such as barriers associated with the social determinants of health (e.g., culture, education, poverty), disability and loss of independence, high-risk behaviors, and compromised ability to remain at home. >
The Primary Care Telephone Interpreting Service Pilot Project, launched October 1, 2017, provides immediate phone translation services to help physicians and their teams (nurses, MOAs, etc.) when treating culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Two newly released Provincial Language Service (PLS) resources provide additional support to those using the service. >
The HealthConnection Clinic in North Vancouver, a collaboration between the North Shore Division and Vancouver Coastal Health, was highlighted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) in the second issue of their Innovation in Primary Care series. >
This story, originally published on August 8th, 2017, has been updated to include a link to a related article in the BC Medical Journal entitled "A mental health resource for all communities: The Salt Spring Island Youth Suicide Intervention Toolkit. The Salt Spring Island Child and Youth Mental Health Local Action Team has created a youth suicide intervention toolkit, providing information and support to children and youth in the community who are struggling with suicidal ideation. >
Transgender care has been identified as an emerging health care issue for family physicians and primary care providers. Recognizing the need to support physicians in the health care management of transgender patients in family practice, a number of divisions have undertaken projects to create sustainable solutions for ensuring transgender patients feel safe and confident in accessing care. >
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has announced changes to its physician search directory—specifically, removing the feature that allows family physicians to identify themselves as accepting new patients. >
Dr Shelley Ross, GPSC co-chair and Burnaby Division member, has received the 2017 Physician of the Year Award from the Burnaby Hospital Foundation. Each year this award is given to a physician who has demonstrated community leadership and hospital support through philanthropy and personal influence. >
The Vancouver Island Regional Recruitment and Retention Working Group works together to assist GPs as they explore practice options on Vancouver Island. The “Island Collaborative” (as the divisions call themselves) has a one-for-all and all-for-one philosophy—they approach the challenge of attracting new GPs to their communities by setting competition aside and working for the collective good. >
As clinical care becomes more complex, providing patient-centred care relies increasingly on coordinated interdisciplinary teamwork. Aiming to maintain a stable culture focused on longitudinal, relationship-based care, the Fairmont Family Practice in Vancouver is an interdisciplinary clinic operating under a population-based funding model. >
The GPSC Spring Summit (April 16 and 17) focused on leadership, teamwork, and trust. The event attracted more than 440 attendees, making it the GPSC's largest Summit to date. >
The GPSC’s Practice Characteristics Matrix helps GPs understand what the PMH means in the context of their practices by taking a closer look at the 12 attributes of the PMH. >