What's New

Explore news stories and information from the SOS Division of Family Practice.


December 27, 2023

No Shortage of Patients for New Walk-In Clinic - Penticton Herald

From left: Executive Director of Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen Aaron McRann, Director of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen George Stayberg, Vice Chair/Treasurer of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen Tessa King, Dr Heidi Ingram, Dr Tom Oliver.

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Published by Penticton Herald - See Article


Approximately 900 patients per month are seeing doctors at a new walk-in clinic that opened earlier this year in Penticton.

Between Oct. 3 and Dec. 22, there were a total of 2,697 patient appointments handled by 26 different doctors at the Community Walk-In Clinic in the Apple Plaza, according to a press release from the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice.

That group joined with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen and Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen to reopen a walk-in clinic in the space, formerly home to Apple Plaza Medical.

Organizers say 60% of patients who have visited the clinic do not have a family doctor. They’re among approximately 9,000 people in the region in a similar predicament.

"The Community Walk-In Clinic can help mitigate this problem by providing timely care for patients and help relieve our strained emergency departments,” said Dr. Tarinder Grewal in the release.

The clinic is generally open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but with special holiday hours through Jan. 1. For more information or to book an appointment, call 250-493-5228.

There are two other urgent-care options in Penticton: Peach City Medical and the Penticton Urgent and Primary Care Centre.


December 21, 2023

Bringing Maternity Care Closer: South Okanagan Maternity Centre Providers Expand Rural Services

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Exciting news for expectant mothers in the South Okanagan region! The South Okanagan Maternity Centre providers are delighted to introduce biweekly half-day clinics in Oliver and Keremeos starting in January. The goal is to enhance access for patients in rural communities who choose the maternity clinic as their primary maternity care provider, all while ensuring a seamless and convenient experience.

Despite the expansion to rural satellite clinics, there are no changes for referring patients or contacting the clinic. All administration, including appointment bookings and cancellations, remains centralized through the South Okanagan Maternity Clinic at Penticton Regional Hospital. Patients and providers can continue to use this familiar point-of-contact for all their needs.

This expansion allows for gradual assessment and adaptation while prioritizing the needs of patients. The maternity clinic is committed to providing diverse choices and convenient care for expectant mothers in rural communities while maintaining the efficiency and ease of communication their patients are accustomed to.

The South Okanagan Maternity Centre is grateful for the Osoyoos Indian Band Health Centre and Dr Mark Baillie's support in allowing the use of their clinic space.


December 7, 2023

Holiday Social + PMSA Medical Awards Night

Drs Weisgarber and Hamilton accept their awards.

MCs Dr Michelle Scheepers, President of the Penticton Medical Staff Association and Dr Jennifer Begin Board Chair of SOS DoFP

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The Penticton Medical Staff Association (PMSA) and SOS Division of Family Practice hosted the 2023 Medical Staff Association Awards and Holiday Social on November 30th at Penticton's Pizzeria Tratto Napoletana.

Each year, providers who have been nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions to teaching and service in medicine are honoured.

Congratulations to Dr Danielle Weisgarber, the 2023 PMSA Award recipient for Outstanding Service in Medicine!

Danielle is a dedicated physician and a strong patient advocate who continuously seeks out learning opportunities and practice improvements, striving to advance her clinical care and provide the best possible patient outcome. She takes on leadership roles, commits her time to various committees, advocates for fellow physicians and helps implement real change that improves how we practice. Her tireless commitment to improving our medical community earns her the 2023 Award for Outstanding Service in Medicine.

Also nominated in the category of Outstanding Service in Medicine:

  • Dr Tom Oliver, Family Medicine
  • Dr Paul Sanders, Radiology
  • Dr Dale Gatenby, Family Medicine
  • Dr Barb Main, Family Medicine
  • Dr Andy Hamilton, Anesthesia

Congratulations to Dr Andy Hamilton, the 2023 PMSA Award recipient for Outstanding Teaching in Medicine.

Andy is a dedicated educator who teaches at all levels of medical education, a physician who consistently encourages learners to seek opportunities for growth and expansion in their practice and advocates for leadership development and continued education. His commitment to teaching is evident in his recognition as an outstanding teacher, praised for his expertise in clinical skills and medical leadership.

Also nominated in the category of Outstanding Teaching in Medicine:

  • Dr Jennifer Begin, Family Medicine
  • Dr Tarinder Grewal, Family Medicine


November 16, 2023

Penticton’s Community Walk-In Clinic, Six Weeks In!

From Left: Dr Tom Oliver, Kelly Hawes and Erin Millar - SOS Division Clinic Support Manager and Lead

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Since opening its doors on October 3rd, the Community Walk-in Clinic (CWIC) has provided care to 1,100 patients. Feedback from Penticton Regional Hospital emergency department physicians has confirmed the important role the CWIC has played in supporting urgent and unattached care in the region.

A dedicated team of eighteen providers covered 91% of shifts in October, some taking one four-hour shift and one covering 21 shifts. The clinic schedule shows good coverage through March.

Noteworthy is the recent addition of a licensed practical nurse to the CWIC team, enhancing clinic capacity and operational efficiency.

Patient feedback has been superb, with the feedback box filled with praises such as "Lifesaving facility, enlightened doctors, and excellent staffing!" The clinic consistently reaches capacity by 9 am, showcasing the significant need for accessible healthcare services in our community.

The backbone of CWIC's success is the providers, who report high satisfaction and a positive and collaborative work environment. "Working at the Penticton Community Walk-In Clinic has been such a pleasure this last month," shares Dr Tiffany Bursey. "The staff are incredibly helpful, supportive, and efficient. Patients are grateful to see a physician same day and get their issues managed. We have an amazing group of doctors who care and want to see this clinic for our community."


November 2, 2023

Upper Similkameen Indian Band Welcomes Keremeos Doctors

USIB Health Director Lindsay Bishop gifted Drs Louw and Van de Vosse with handmade traditional medicine bags.

Above, from left: Sandra Allan-Wagnitz - USIB Director of Operations, Dr Marina Louw, Mike Allison - USIB Councillor, Bonnie Jacobsen - USIB Chief, Dr David Van de Vosse

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Keremeos physicians started to deliver primary care services at the Upper Similkameen Indian Band Health Centre on October 10. Doctors Marina Louw, David Van de Vosse and Ifeju Omojuwa will take turns offering clinics at Upper Similkameen Indian Band Health Centre every Tuesday. Hedley community members will also be able to access the Tuesday clinics when there are available appointments.

In a traditional welcoming ceremony, Upper Similkameen leaders and members shared their gratitude for the services and gifted the physicians in attendance with traditional medicine bags.

The Upper Similkameen primary care services are part of the Primary Care Network service plan, as a strategy for delivering culturally appropriate Indigenous care. Division representatives were in attendance at the ceremony, having supported development of the service plan and convening conversations between the Upper Similkameen community and Keremeos physicians over the past four years.



October 1, 2023

Collaboration Effort Keeps Penticton Walk-In Clinic From Closing

Apple Plaza Walk-In Clinic will re-open Oct. 3

From left: Executive Director of Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen Aaron McRann, Director of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen George Stayberg, Vice Chair/Treasurer of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen Tessa King, Dr Heidi Ingram, Dr Tom Oliver.

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Published by Penticton Western News, Brennan Phillips - See Article


A collaboration between community groups and local health-care providers is set to keep a walk-in clinic open longer in Penticton.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen and the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice are working together with the doctors and nurse practitioners to open the clinic at Apple Plaza, set to open Oct. 3.

The Apple Plaza Walk-In Clinic had previously announced its closure for Sept. 30, due to a shortage of physician staffing.

However, the new collaborative model offers a fresh approach to the clinic’s operation that is hoped to keep it open for at least six more months.

“In the old model, doctors own the clinic, hire and manage the staff, look after the building, all while trying to provide medical care to patients. My partners and I just couldn’t attract anyone to work in that type of clinic anymore, which is why we needed to close,” said Dr. Heidi Ingram. “But in this model, we are supported by community organizations. We aren’t doing it alone”

The clinic will continue to offer a comprehensive range of primary healthcare services, including general medical consultations, minor procedures, and referrals to specialists when necessary.

The model the clinic will work under is similar to that adopted for Foundry Penticton.

“The Community Foundation and Community Futures will hold the lease for the Community Walk-In Clinic, while the doctors and nurse practitioners, supported by the Division of Family Practice, will provide the service. This partnership is an excellent example of groups leveraging their strengths to make important things happen quickly,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation

A Community Fund has been established to receive charitable donations for the development and operation of community-based primary care services. To donate you can contact McRann at 250-493-9311 or

Individuals in the South Okanagan Similkameen in need of medical attention can call 250-493-5228 to schedule an appointment or book online at Patients with existing family doctors or nurse practitioners are encouraged to contact their providers before visiting the Walk-In Clinic.

Those seeking a family doctor or nurse practitioner are invited to register on the Health Connect Registry at Health Connect Registry Link.

The clinic is located at Apple Plaza at 162 - 1848 Main St. and was to open Oct. 3. Once open, the clinic will have hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., barring some exceptions due to lack of staffing.



October 5, 2023

Thanks for Celebrating with us at This Year's AGM!

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Members gathered at Linden Gardens on 21st September for the SOS Division Annual General Meeting.
Following a lovely meal, the fiscal year ending 31st March 2023 was reviewed with Board Vice-Chair Dr Jennifer Begin highlighting the years' activities and auditor Chris Newton of Omland Heal LLP summarized the Division’s financial position.

The membership expressed their appreciation to the retiring board member of six years Dr Alan Gow. Dr Tom Oliver and Rudy Enzmann were elected to the Board. Dr Jennifer Begin and NP Viola Brown were re-elected. They join returning directors Dr Kevin Hill, Dr Kyle Stevens, David Kozier, Eliza Terbasket, and Dr Driaan Van Der Vyver. 

The SOS Division congratulated those practitioners retiring from longitudinal practice, Drs Elizabeth Watters, John Surkan, Cathy Harrold and Marjorie Krabbe.



September 8, 2023

Dr Marius Snyman Retires From Obstetrics

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SOS Division would like to extend the best to Dr Marius Snyman upon his retirement from obstetrics at the South Okanagan Maternity Centre (SOMC).

SOMC at Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH) opened as a one-year pilot project on April 1st, 2018. Dr Snyman was essential in developing this collaborative interdisciplinary clinic embedded in the South Okanagan Similkameen Maternity Care Community Model. The Primary Maternity Care Advisory Committee, comprised of family physicians, midwives, obstetricians, paediatricians, patients, Interior Health and allied health, developed the model in response to declining family physician numbers and difficulties recruiting and retaining new colleagues. Loss of family physicians from obstetrics and the potential closure of the Primary Care Maternity Clinic (PCMC) was looking increasingly likely which would have had a severe impact on patients, other maternity provider groups and PRH.

The SOMC opened in April 2018 with four family physicians (including Dr Snyman) and one registered midwife (Susie Lobb). The providers in the clinic intended to improve the overall sustainability of the clinic by pooling MSP billings, standardizing their practices to optimize patient and provider satisfaction, increasing professional scope, and improving teaching and learning opportunities.

"Marius was a wonderful part of the SOMC team from its conception until his retirement. He will be greatly missed." - Dr Jennifer Begin

Today as Marius exits the service he helped create, the SOMC's wrap-around care of patients stands strong with eight family physicians, three midwives, and a network of specialists for seamless referrals. The addition of more midwives to respond to community needs, added clinic shifts, increased home visits, and the addition of the Nesting Pregnancy series during COVID contribute to making the pregnancy journey as impactful and memorable for patients as possible.

"Marius, SOMC families greatly appreciated your respectful, calm and confident demeanour. You will be missed by both patients and the lucky few who called you a colleague. All the best in your new adventures!" - Isabelle Beaudoin, Registered Midwife



August 17, 2023

Incident Command: Eagle Bluff Wildfire

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When a wildfire south of Osoyoos crossed the Canadian border on 29th July 2023, the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) initiated an Incident Command.
Division staff sit at the Health Services Incident Command table with Health Emergency Management (HEM) and Interior Health (IH) directors to facilitate communication between primary care providers and the broader health service community in times of crisis. Incident Command meetings are convened daily, seven days a week, at the outset of crises.
With the Town of Osoyoos on evacuation alert, Mariposa Gardens long-term care and assisted living facility was evacuated immediately, per IH policy. Of the 112 residents evacuated, 86 who are in LTC were accommodated at Lakeview Lodge in West Kelowna. Assisted-living residents were relocated to Vernon. MRPs were made aware of the patient transfers by fax and followed their patients for the eight days of displacement. Local and provincial leadership facilitated further organizing of residents according to facility capacity the following morning.

"We watched the fire race across the border from my rooftop. The golf course and the orchards and our amazing local fire department saved the town and Mariposa." - Dr Calder


Following the successful interventions of the BC wildfire service, the EOC gave the green light for the repatriation of Mariposa residents beginning August 4th.
Due to the increased frequency of these emergency occurrences, IH has a well-coordinated plan between sites. Lakeview Lodge had been through a similar scenario two years prior, and Mariposa also had a robust action plan and resources organized from their 2021 setup.
Many thanks to the Osoyoos and Oliver physicians who continued supporting their patients and their families through this challenging time. A special thanks to Dr Rob Calder for his steady leadership, facilitating communication between local MRPs and the receiving physicians in West Kelowna.



July 20, 2023

Long-Term Care Summit Recap

Above: Christina Kause, CEO of Health Quality BC presents 'Shifting Tides: How to Advance Quality in our Changing World'

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The 6th Annual Long-Term Care Summit was held June 27th at Linden Gardens. Forty-three health care providers attended (60% primary care providers; 3 NPs, 23 FPs).

The 2023 Long-Term Care Initiative results we celebrated at the Summit: 

  • 85% of longitudinal primary care providers in the SOS region cover long-term care and participate in the initiative (while many other areas struggle to cover LTC). 
  • 100% of LTC patients have a family practice provider for the fifth year consecutively through a care home-specific rota system. 
  • Penticton providers have focused their practice on particular care homes (clustering by joining a rota); this means less than half as many primary care providers in each care home compared to five years ago, making team-building and strengthening relationships with staff easier.
  • Warm handovers from MRP to MRP (reported by receiving providers) are happening 88% of the time across the region, up from 40% two years ago. 
  • 95-100% care conference attendance by MRPs at many care homes working with the clinics on scheduling improvement. 
  • Dedicated pharmacists are now working with MRPs on med reviews at all 13 homes; 3 care homes had been without for some time due to staffing during the pandemic. 

Also presenting that evening via Zoom were Drs Sharleen Gill (Geriatric Psychiatrist, Fraser Health) and Carlin Man (GP Fraser North West Division) on 'Practical Tools for Diagnosing Dementia'.

A newly developed Dementia Care Pathway for clinicians provides workflow suggestions and links to assessment tools, enabling doctors to email resources directly to patients via a no-reply email address. For those who were unable to attend the LTC Summit, a previous webinar recording is available for 'Practical tools to diagnose dementia' HERE. View the Dementia Care Pathway HERE.



June 15, 2023

SOS Division Presentations at Quality Forum 2023

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"We wish we lived in the SOS!" This was the frequent feedback the SOS Division heard following their successful presentations at Health Quality BC's 12th annual Quality Forum conference, held June 6 – 8, in Vancouver, BC.

This year’s Quality Forum included a variety of sessions on topics related to improving quality across the continuum of care. The SOS Division presented to a curious audience the following topics. 

TEAM-BASED CARE Presentation Slide Deck  •  Fact Sheet
MATERNITY - Presentation Slide Deck  •  Fact Sheet
CLINIC MANAGEMENT - Presentation Slide Deck


June 6, 2023


October 18, 2022

News Archive
2021 November 
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2021 October 
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