Session Descriptions

A System that Delivers What Matters Most | 0815 – 0900

Family Caregivers of British Columbia

Foundations for a Transformed Health System | 0900 – 1015

With our health care system embarking on a profound transformational shift, the day will start with the fundamentals – the health system priorities for primary care, surgical care and rural care.

Stephen Brown
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health

Dr. Shelley Ross
Co-Chair, General Practice Services Committee

Doug Hughes
Co-Chair, General Practice Services Committee

Marilyn Copes
Co-Chair, Shared Care Committee

Ministry of Health

Dr. Alan Ruddiman
Co-Chair, Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues

Breakout Sessions | 1045 – 1200

Groups will breakout into the following seven breakout sessions. These breakout sessions will provide an opportunity to learn about significant quality improvement work, new thinking in working together, and innovations in spreading successful new processes. And while each of these sessions reflects the system priorities, it is evident that there really are no clear lines of separation in an integrated system.

You will be asked to choose one of the following breakout sessions at the time of registration.

1: Partnership as a Driver of System Change

Team-based care is one of the cornerstones of the Patient Medical Home, especially for patients with complex medical conditions. The evidence for the effectiveness of a collaborative approach is irrefutable, but successfully implementing and sustaining teams often remains a challenge. This session will explore how the community of Cowichan came together to make a collective impact on the care of seniors.

Valerie Nicol
Executive Director, Cowichan Division of Family Practice

2: Building Supportive Physician Networks

Meeting the needs of patients and families across a whole community can be challenging – to build a true system of care requires both the foundation of the family practice and the ability for health professionals to network effectively to leverage expertise and unique capacities. This session will explore the journey – so far – for physicians in Richmond who have been developing their own unique model of neighbourhood family practice networks.

Dr. Jack Kliman
Family Physician

Denise Ralph
Executive Director, Richmond Division of Family Practice

3: QI for Interdisciplinary Teams

High performing health organizations worldwide have told us time after time that their key to success is highly engaged physicians. In other words, health organizations cannot fulfill their mandate without engaged physician members who are invested in providing quality care. It sounds simple, but health authorities are challenged at times in engaging and involving physicians within their quality structures and programs. In this interactive presentation, attendees will learn about the innovative grassroots model that two health authorities (Fraser Health & Island Health), in partnership with the Specialist Services Committee, have undertaken to support physician quality improvement by giving physicians the chance to identify areas that quality improvement could be made in their own department and then provides them with the knowledge, tools and support they need to become engaged owners of these changes.

Taking a team based approach to quality improvement offers major benefits. Interprofessional engagement provides new opportunities to clarify roles and responsibilities, understand the challenges faced by all team members and craft improvements that will be championed by all partners. This session will look at different approaches to expanding capacity and building enthusiasm among team members for a quality culture.


Dr. Curt Smecher
Anesthesiologist, Department Head, Physician Quality Improvement Advisor, Fraser Health

Dr. Rod McFadyen
Executive Medical Director, Medical Staff Engagement & Development, Island Health

Dr. Gordon Hoag
Chief, Department of Lab. Medicine, Pathology and Medical Genetics & Doctors of BC Representative to Specialist Services Committee

Dr. Bob Woollard
Family Physician

4: Telehealth Innovation for Patient Care and Practice Support

Technology offers enormous potential to transform the way health care is delivered – for patients, as well as for health care professionals. New tech applications are providing the means to improve access to health care services and reduce the burden of wait times and travel for patients – and they also provide invaluable opportunities for health care professionals to support one another in practice. This session will explore the use of telehealth solutions in rural and remote communities to improve peer-to-peer communication, build supportive professional networks and provide point-of-care support.

Dr. John Pawlovich
Family Physician

5: Rural Surgical Networks

Robust local surgery programs are cornerstones of rural health, and are recognized to be essential for the sustainability of local maternity care, including surgical first response, and emergency and trauma care. There are many opportunities to stabilize, support and enhance BC’s rural surgical programs, through collaboration between general practitioners with enhanced surgical skills, general practitioner anesthetists, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses. This session will explore those opportunities and the work done to date to build partnerships for rural surgical care.

Dr. Nancy Humber
Family Physician

6: Improving the Surgical Journey

A fractured hip is one of the most traumatic and potentially life altering injuries a senior can sustain. Timely surgical repair is a critical factor in recovery, but making a real difference in the patient journey doesn’t stop there. This session will highlight how surgeons across the province linked to improve hip fracture surgery, then worked with their colleagues to build a more comprehensive and integrated approach to care of their patients through their whole hospital stay to their recovery at home.

Dr. Ken Hughes
Orthopedic Surgeon

Specialist Representative, Shared Care Committee

Dr. Pierre Guy
Executive Medical Lead, Hip Fracture System Redesign Initiative

7: Pooled Referrals for Better Patient Care

The flow of referral and consultation information between family and specialist physicians is very frequently highlighted as a source of frustration and confusion for physicians, patients and families. A number of different collaborations between general practitioners and specialists have found solutions to streamline the flow of information between physicians, better coordinate communication with the patient, and significantly reduce wait times and access to specialist care. This session will explore some of these successful approaches, and the difference they have made for both physicians and patients.

Gastroenterology, Ortho & Otolaryngology

One System of Care | 1200 – 1330

Northern Health embarked several years ago on an ambitious journey to implement a fully integrated approach to providing health services across the enormous geographical area of Northern BC. Employing the resourcefulness of physicians and staff, innovative technology solutions and a commitment to partnership with Northern communities, the organization has made major strides in building an integrated health system. Chief Executive Officer Cathy Ulrich will provide observations of Northern Health’s journey so far – and share the lessons they have learned along the way.

Cathy Ulrich
Chief Executive Officer, Northern Health

It All Comes Together
Linking Innovative Thinking from Across the System | 1330 – 1415

Following a busy morning of system views and inspiring breakout sessions, there is much to share. This plenary session will provide an opportunity for the morning’s session presenters to reflect the key takeaways from their sessions – and for participants to gather tempting bits of inspiration from the sessions they may not have attended. This will be an opportunity to share perspectives, ask questions, and identify key people to track down at the networking reception.

Supporting Transformation – Personal Action Planning | 1430 – 1630

The most important aspect of a day like this is having some real ideas to use when you return home. This interactive session will move participants through a range of activities to facilitate development of personal action plans that can be applied to your practice, your community of practice, and/or your community as a whole.