Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice

Volume 18 - August 2021

Strategic Plan Successes

The Strategic Plan has five strategic priorities.  Below are a few examples how each strategic priority has progressed in the first quarter.   This is not an exhaustive list as the examples are numerous at a community, chapter, regional and provincial level.

Strategic Priority One: Building Physician Leadership and Capacity & Strengthening Relationships Across the Division

The Division will be hosting a Rural PCN Forum October 19th in Vancouver.  This in person event will allow Division staff and members to connect and learn from one another on a variety of topics and will include presentations from Wave 1, 2 and future wave communities from outside the Division.  Funding is currently available for the Chapter Physician Lead or designate to attend along with the Chapter Coordinator.  If there is additional interest, there is opportunity to explore creative ways to fund additional delegates.  More information on this forum including registration coming soon!

Strategic Priority Two: Partnership & Collaboration

The Revelstoke Collaborative Services Committee’s Expression of Interest (EOI) for a Primary Care Network will be considered at the Joint Executive Committee (JET) of the FPSC any day now. The expression of interest will be accompanied by a briefing note explaining the unique structure and needs of the Rural and Remote Division to ensure that the Co-Chairs consider our Division as a whole.  Physician and staff leadership have ensured that all Chapters will have an equitable share of the PCN planning funds to accommodate future service planning needs and that key learnings and successes are documented and shared.  Stay tuned for more information soon and cross your fingers for Revelstoke.

Strategic Priority Three: Influence & Advocacy  

The Division created a discussion paper on the desirable attributes for a Rural Group Service Contract that is currently in development at the Ministry.  This paper was reviewed by members and presented to the Network of Rural Divisions.  Division leadership met with Ministry representatives to share feedback.  Click here to read the discussion paper.

Governance & Organizational Health

The Board Development Committee implemented a thorough recruitment process for the 2021/22 Board of Directors this spring.  The Committee has recommended a slate of candidates to the Board of Directors to replace our two outgoing Directors, Dr Danette Dawkin and Travis Holyk, PhD.  Both Danette and Travis have been with the Board since 2018 and have made tremendous contributions to the Division.  We look forward to working with them for the next quarter and providing a proper farewell at our AGM.  Members will receive more information about the slate of candidates for the new Board in September.

The Board of Directors has included an update to the Division Policy Manual. Key updates include: a revised alcohol policy to align with changes to our FTA with the FPSC, a revised physician and allied health remuneration policy to include MOAs and a broader scope of allied health professionals, increased expectations for cultural safety and humility in our Staff and Board Code of Conduct Policies and Bullying and Harassment Policy (updated member code of conduct policy in progress) and strategic planning policy. Click here to review the Division’s policy manual on the members only site.

The Board Finance Committee approved investments for the 2020/21 Infrastructure residual to invest in priorities aligned with our strategic plan and sourced from our Division Strategic Plan Evaluation, Employee Engagement Survey, Board Evaluation and member feedback.  Key investments include the following:

  • A cultural safety and humility plan for the Division
  • Funding for cross Chapter knowledge sharing on topics of interest including maternity, cultural safety and humility
  • Physician retention and sustainability funds for each Chapter

A detailed communication about these investments will be sent to each Chapter Coordinator and Physician Lead.  Stay tuned for more details.

Continuous Learning, Knowledge Sharing & Quality Improvement

The Division’s Patient Medical Home (PMH) Projects continue to wrap up their evaluations.  Recently completed evaluations include:

Bella Coola: focused on the collaborative development of a diabetes education model to meet the needs of the local population.

Hazelton:  created new provider partnerships pairs of physicians or NPs who support each other’s patients when one is off contract or on holiday to improve continuity of care and patient experience of care at the Wrinch Memorial Hospital and Medical Clinic(WMH).

Long Beach: focused on engagement with the Nuu-Chah Nulth Tribal Council (NTC) and are design of mental health and substance use (MHSU) services at Tofino General Hospital.

Click here to view the completed evaluations from these communities in addition to those from the North Vancouver Island, Gabriola Island and Bella Bella Chapters.  

Strategic Plan Evaluation

Division members approved our first Strategic Plan in September of 2019. As we move into the final year of implementation, consultants Adam King from BeThink Solutions and Dr. Ron Lindstrom were engaged to help collect data on progress with the five strategic priorities. The consultants conducted key informant interviews with Regional and Chapter Physician Leads in the fall of 2020.

A thematic analysis was conducted to generate significant insights and three main themes emerged.  Click here to learn more.

The Board wants to ensure that a broader physician membership voice is counted in this process and to that end, we invite you to complete the following survey.  There are 12 questions.  You will be remunerated for 30 minutes at the JCC sessional rate of $158.77 to complete this survey.  To secure remuneration, please email with your full name and the subject line – I took the strategic plan survey. Thank you in advance for helping to shape our next strategic plan. Click here to complete the survey.

Strategic Planning Sub Committee

The Board has struck a Strategic Plan Sub-Committee with representation from the Board, Physician Members and staff team. The first meeting was held on July 28th. We are specifically recruiting a physician member from the Interior region to join the committee. Ideally an IMG, PRA or new grad.  For more information and to review the Terms of Reference, please email

So far representatives include:

JP Baker, Vantage Point Facilitator

Jennifer Brunelle, Chapter Coordinator Revelstoke

Dr. Greg Costello, Physician, Bella Bella

Dr. Jamie McKeen, Physician Hazelton

Leanne Morgan, Executive Director, Surrey

Dr. Tracey Thorne, Division Physician Lead, Gabriola Island

Laurie Walters, Board Chair, Williams Lake

Brooke Wood, Chapter Coordinator Tofino/Long Beach

Dr. Liz Whynot, Board Member, Galiano Island

New Faces and Grateful Farewells


Amy Thain, Chapter Coordinator for Clearwater

Amy joined the Division in September of 2019 and has been a valuable contributor to the priorities of the Chapter.  She has supported the physicians to strengthen their local health planning table and participate in the Interior Rural CSC.  She was a contributing member to the Primary Care Network Expression of Interest and supported the physicians to develop a MOU for the Long Term Care Initiative. Amy has been an enthusiastic and collaborative colleague to her team members and her contributions will be missed. 

New Faces

Shelley Sim, Chapter Coordinator for Clearwater

Shelly has a diverse background including roles as a City Councilor for the District of Clearwater and as a Trustee for the North Thompson Valley School District.  She is a successful entrepreneur who has operated a tourism business for the last 20 years.  In addition to her professional accomplishments Shelley is an active volunteer and community organizer leading numerous events, committees, and organizations.

Dr Paula Ryan, Chapter Physician Lead, Salt Spring Island

Paula has been practising on SSI for over 18 years. She received her Masters degree in Microbiology from UBC and medicine at University of Toronto.

Having raised her family with husband Michael in the community, she has deep ties with the island. She has a particular interest in dermoscopy and spends time working in northern rural communities and travelling overseas.