Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice

Volume 8 - October 2017


We were honoured to gather with over 60 rural physicians, staff and special guests across 14 videoconference sites plus WebEx for our AGM on Tues, Sept 26th. There is so much great work underway in rural BC! A special thank you to all who were able to join us and to the rural physicians who presented from their home communities on Pemberton patient medical home (Dr. William Ho), Revelstoke rural surgical services (Dr. Vikki Vogt Haines), Gabriola community collaborative (Dr. Tracey Thorne) and Northern Gulf Islands rural health planning (Dr. Dana Hubler and Nancy Rowan, coordinator). And kudos Port Hardy on the video of your Adult Day program!

If you haven't already, have a look at our 2016-2017 Annual Review to see what we've been up to.  

Special thanks to Jacky Chan, PHSA IT staff for his awesome tech support!


Division Retreat Nov 30-Dec 1 in Vancouver 

The Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice is hosting a Division Retreat in Vancouver at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel to bring together Board, other physician leaders, and our operations teams (staff/coordinators) for sharing and planning across our communities. More info to come. Contact Helen at for details.

Fall Family Fun at the Fawcett Farm Oct 13

Rural and Remote Division and Thompson Region are collaborating with UBC and Royal Inlands Hospital Foundation to host a Fall social event with physicians and residents.  


Rural Stories & Video Clips Online

At the FPSC Summit in June, rural health care providers gathered to share presentations of different rural PMH attributes. Nine presentations were recorded and are now available for viewing and sharing.  Check out our very own physician leads:  Rebecca Lindley featured in Patient medical homes in rural BC; and, Jel Coward featured in Life is better in team-based care.


"Pathways is a very useful tool and resource which saves me time and allows me to supply the patient with information easily. Its compilation of information makes the referral process painless and more effective." - Dr. Catherine Prendiville. 

If you haven't already applied for access to this web-based resource to streamline and optimize patient to specialist referrals, complete this downloadable PDF (Pathways Access) and return it to the Division Pathways Administrator at

The BC Emergency Medicine Network

This is a new provincial initiative connecting physicians who care for patients in emergency settings in BC.  The BC Emergency Medicine Network’s website is a free online tool where practitioners can access, share and comment on clinical resources: short procedural videos, two-page clinical summaries, patient information sheets in multiple languages and more. More info ---> click here. 

Telephone Interpreting Services Starting Oct 1

The Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Services Authority will be conducting a pilot project to learn more about the need for and use of interpreting services in BC family practices. Starting October 1, 2017, the pilot will provide family practices across the province with access to telephone interpreting services at no cost to them. For more information on interpreting services, visit the Provincial Language Services website


Join us...

We invite two or three physician members to join a new Finance Committee which will provide oversight of our financial systems including budgeting, financial reports, policies and procedures. The Committee will be chaired by Dr. David Butcher, our Division Treasurer.  For more information contact Kathy Copeman-Stewart, Executive Director, at 

Continuing Professional Development

Billing Webinars Oct 17 & Nov 21

In partnership with the Society of General Practitioners of BC, our Division is pleased to be offering additional billing webinars. The topics were chosen based on the results of a survey earlier this year - thanks to all who participated. And great news, there is no cost for these webinars!  Members are welcome to invite their MOAs to join them in viewing the webinars on their link but due to capacity limitations, we are not able to accept registrations for MOA attendees at this time.

  • Webinar: Update and Review of FPSC Chronic Disease Management Incentives  -  Oct 17, 2017 6:00-8:00 PM PDT    Learn how to appropriately bill the CDM incentives. Register:
  • Webinar: Billing for Care of Patients with Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges  - Nov 21, 2017 6:00 PM PST      Learn what fees and FPSC incentives apply to medical services for patients with MHSU problems.  Register:
  • Webinar: New to Billing or Looking for a General Overview?    Check out Billing in BC: Basics & Advanced -  two free online courses developed by UBC. Each course is approximately one hour and can be done anywhere, anytime and on any device. Participants receive 1 Mainpro+ credit for completion.

Residential Care Refresher Nov 17-18 in Vernon

A brand new conference for healthcare providers involved in long-term residential care featuring a variety of topics: Chronic Disease Management, End Stage Parkinson's, Management of Delirium, Palliative Approach to Long-Term Care, and Dementia Management More info.

Out and About in the Community

L to R:  Samina (dietician), Sara (nutritionist), Curtis (physiotherapist), Dr Greg Kutney, and Dr Howie Lee.

FILOMI Days in Port Hardy

In July, Dr Howie Lee and Dr Kutney of Port Hardy teamed up with the physiotherapist, dietician and nutritionist and hosted a booth at FILOMI Days (Fishing Logging Mining weekend celebration) – this annual three-day celebration commemorates fishing, logging, mining & everything in between and was a fantastic opportunity to engage with community.

Update on Health Authority JSC Virtual Care Projects

The Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on Rural Issues is providing up to $500K to each of the health authorities for virtually supported care.  The goal is to increase access to health care, reduce travel and increase patient and physician satisfaction.  Here’s a look at the approached and work underway across the health authorities:

Northern Health developed a five-year telehealth plan which is in the final stages of approval.  The proposal focuses on improving access to telehealth across the region, including communities that are not currently being served.  The goal is to add between 250 and 750 clinicians to the number who are delivering and coordinating clinical care using videoconferencing and secure messaging. The biggest focus is to reach outside of NH facilities and into physician’s office and patient homes.

Interior Health identified three virtual care projects including enhanced outreach from Lillooet to small First Nation communities including Shalalth, Seton Portage, Ts'kw'aylaxw (Pavilion) and Xaxl'ip (Fountain), and to non-First Nation communities including Gold Bridge and Bralorne to improve access to both primary and generalist specialist care. Enhanced outreach in the Cariboo Chilcotin region to support a solo physician who provides outreach to the First Nation’s communities of Tatla Lake, Anahim Lake, Redstone and Nemiah Valley, all over a large geographic region to decrease travel, and improve access to health care for patients who require frequent follow-up visits and to better manage chronic diseases. Enhanced linkages of specialty clinical services such as geriatric services located in urban facilities that provide care to rural patients across IH. This would significantly reduce the challenges of providing care from rural and remote areas due to ongoing geographic and travel difficulties.

Vancouver Coastal Health has taken a collaborative approach engaging with all four rural divisions, visiting the communities and working together to identify priority projects. Rural & Remote Division facilitated a dialogue with VCH, FNHA, and the four VCH rural divisions regarding the rural PMH/PCH to support alignment and shared understanding for planning telehealth projects. VCH and the divisions identified trialing a web-based video consulting technology in the primary care office to provide care for patients in their home. An office in Powell River and another in Sechelt will participate in the proof of concept phase.

Vancouver Island and the Rural & Remote Division are focusing on a scalable virtual care model for a remote primary care home based in Port McNeill and outreach to the communities of Kyuquot, Sointula, Woss, Kingcome Inlet, Rivers Inlet, Gilford Island, Zeballos, and others located in the Mount Waddington area. Virtual care provides the opportunity to enhance existing longitudinal care to these remote communities by linking the Port McNeill interprofessional team and patients. Telehealth offers the opportunity for patients and families to remain in their community while accessing education and services offered by other regional and provincial programs and specialists.

Fraser Health has not provided an update.

For further information, please contact Helen Truran at