Unit Name

Message from the Director

Hello Family Practice Colleagues,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer despite the feeling that it has gone by very quickly. The season is an opportunity for us focus on our overall wellbeing by taking advantage of the extra daylight to spend time with family and friends. Especially outdoors. It is also a time to take break and time for relaxation and rejuvenation in the warmer days.

Welcome to the August edition of our department newsletter. Please enjoy reading about these highlights:

  • Congratulations to DJ Santos at the Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic on receiving a Cedar Award to recognize her dedication to the clinic and department. Thank you, DJ.
  • A fond farewell to Mark MacKenzie as he moves from his role as Program Director, Postgrad. Mark has been an integral part of the department and will be missed in his program leadership role. Luckily, he will remain connected the program and the department. Thank you, Mark. 
  • Congratulations to Wendy Norman for being selected for 2023 Faculty of Medicine Canada Research Chairs Competition. Best of luck.
  • Please click on the Events and Educational opportunities for opportunities to engage with others in the department and learning.
  • Welcome to Connor Hang who is joining the Midwifery program team. 

Please enjoy the last few weeks of summer and if you haven’t been able to take time away from work, I hope you have found ways to enjoy the season, recharge and stay safe and cool during our current heat wave.

Marni Fraser
Director, Administration


Awards and Recognition

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The Cedar Awards

For the August Cedar Award, we are excited to recognize DJ Santos. DJ is a medical office assistant at the Sport and Exercise Medicine Clinic. Over the last 13 years she has gone above and beyond for the clinic, always making sure patients feel extra welcome and cared for. Learn more about DJ here.

Congratulations, DJ!


We are always looking for Cedar Award nominees. If you would like to recognize someone for their contributions to the Department, please email dept.head@familymed.ubc.ca.

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Department Recognition: Mark MacKenzie

This month marks the end of an era for the Department: Mark MacKenzie is completing his tenure as the director of the Family Practice Residency Program.

As a clinician, educator, and leader, Mark possesses the unique combination of having a big heart, brilliant mind, resiliency, patience and incredible people skills, along with a fantastic sense of humour.

Mark was previously the faculty lead for the rurally-oriented Chilliwack site for five years. He continued to share his expertise with the undergrad program, becoming the program director for the Integrated Community Clerkship Program, an innovative program which UBC piloted in Canada that has since been adopted in many other areas.  Administratively, he served as the emergency director for his hospital, and as the chair of his local medical advisory council, as well as serving on the Fraser Health Medical Advisory Council. Mark has multiple articles published and presentations of scholarly work – almost entirely focused on medical education.

All this was before he became the postgraduate program director in 2017.

Since then, Mark has guided us and our residents through a pandemic amidst an opioid crisis that was experienced so profoundly in our training sites. He advocated for and supported the inclusion of EDI and Indigenous voices and ways of knowing into our program. Most recently and more significantly, he has led us through an unsurpassed crisis within family practice, successfully expanding our sites and capacity to train residents. He has done all this with grace and incredible knowledge, in a manner that inspires those around him and gives space for difficult conversations to happen in a respectful positive manner.

Through all this time, Mark has maintained his full-service family practice, and even more impressively, has continued to be a resident preceptor. He has been awarded Preceptor of the Year for his site three times, and has been recognized for his service to his community as the BCCFP Community Physician of the Year. He embodies what we aspire to train our residents to be – an expert, a collaborator, a communicator, a professional, a scholar, an advocate, and most of all, a leader.

Mark is known across the Faculty of Medicine as a faculty member who advocates for and values the contributions of administrators. During meetings about the business and operations of running the residency program, there is an undercurrent of incredible mentorship from him. He teaches others to inspire their teams, how to consider issues from opposing perspectives, how to troubleshoot on the spot and how not to lose sight of overarching goals and vision. 

Mark – on behalf of the Department we thank you for leadership, friendship and kindness from all who have been fortunate to cross your path.

2023 CFPC Medical Student Scholarship for the University of British Columbia

The Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine of the College of Family Physicians of Canada selected DFP medical student Annie Foreman-Mackey as the recipient of the 2023 CFPC Medical Student Scholarship for the University of British Columbia. This scholarship recognizes a top medical student in Canada who has demonstrated an interest in or commitment to a career in family medicine during their undergraduate medical education. 

Congratulations, Annie!



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UBC Division of Palliative Care CME Day 2023

Nov 17 (Fri) | 0815–1535 PDT | Virtual Conference

Audience: family physicians, palliative care physicians, emergency physicians, hospitalists, nurse practitioners practicing palliative care, nurses, pharmacists, residents and students.

Overview: Registration is now open for this year’s UBC Division of Palliative Care CME Day! This year, we will be focusing on palliative care of the mind and alleviation of psychological suffering through the use of cutting-edge therapy and treatments. Don't miss this unique opportunity to expand your knowledge, network with like-minded individuals and share the future of care for patients with life threatening illnesses. Register by October 12 and take advantage of early bird rates!

Up to 6.5 Mainpro+/MOC Section 1 credits



Fall 2023 Research 101 Seminar

The Faculty of Medicine, Office of Research and the Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Office are pleased to invite you to the Fall 2023 Research 101 Seminar.

Please join us for an informative webinar to help researchers navigate the research landscape at UBC. The purpose of this seminar is to:

  • Identify research-related resources available to FoM members;
  • Identify different types and sources of funding opportunities for faculty members to consider;
  • Provide guidance through the administrative processes for the submission of funding applications;
  • Highlight University-wide resources available for graduate and post-doctoral researchers.

This event is intended for early-career researchers, research support staff, and graduate and post-doctoral researchers, but open to all.

Time & Date: 10:00 to 11:00am PDT Wednesday August 30th

Location: Online via Zoom, link to be sent via email

Contact: Evelina Tolstykh (evelina.tolstykh@ubc.ca)

Please register here (registration closes at 4:00pm PDT on August 28th).


The 35th Annual Diabetes Directors Seminar

Friday, October 13th, 2023 

The Endocrine Research Society is pleased to present the 35th Diabetes Directors Seminar – an annual gathering of leading diabetes experts and caregivers across British Columbia. 

Join us at the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre (Broadway) for a full day presentation series covering the latest and most pertinent aspects of diabetes therapeutics and clinical care. 

Audience: Specialists and family physicians with an interest in diabetes care, as well as nurses, dieticians, pharmacists and other diabetes educators responsible for diabetes management within their own groups and communities. 

Register now as space is limited. Online registration can be found at the following link: 

Further, please contact Jayd Adams at the Endocrine Research Society for more information or registration questions.  
Email: jaydadams.ers@gmail.com  
Phone: (604) 689-1055 



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The HealtheSteps® Program (PI: Dr. Robert Petrella, Department Head (Chair) Family Practice) has continued to grow across Canada since launch in September 2020. HealtheSteps® is currently being delivered as a free, virtual, 6-month healthy lifestyle program providing adults (18+) with a specific plan of action to improve their physical activity levels and reduce their sedentary behaviour; increase their exercise levels; improve their eating habits; increase their time spent in nature; and improve their mental wellbeing. This is achieved through personalized coaching, grounded in the principles of Co-Active coaching and supported by innovative health technologies, hands-on training, and widely available health promotion resources and tools.  

Coaches are trained through asynchronous and synchronous learning and certified to deliver the program to individuals looking to make changes to their lifestyle. Current coaches include medical and allied health students.

The program is currently recruiting new participants. Participants can join via self-referral or referral from a health care provider, and can sign up through our website: www.healthesteps.ca  

If interested in becoming a trained HealtheSteps® coach, please contact us here: https://healthesteps.ca/coaches/.  
For any further questions or inquires please email: health.e.steps@ubc.ca  



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New Midwifery Instructional Assistant: Connor Hang

The midwifery team would like to welcome Connor Hang as a new instructional assistant. Originally from New York, Connor has lived in Vancouver for about 1.5 years. He has a background in teaching and was a language instructor and business corporate trainer in Japan for 12 years before coming here. Prior to that, Connor briefly worked in the banking/finance industry after graduating from the  University of Buffalo.

He has been working at UBC with Hiring Solutions for nearly 9 months with multiple departments such as the schools of biomedical engineering, psychiatry and computer science. It's been a great experience working with the different departments the university has to offer.

Connor's hobbies include travelling, food and basketball.

Welcome, Connor!

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Midwives Association of British Columbia ratifies tentative three-year agreement

The Ministry of Health has announced the BC Midwives’ new three-year Midwifery Service Agreement 2022-2025. You can read the press release here. 




"I'm almost opioid-a-phobic": family medicine residents' perceptions of enhancing opioid analgesic and agonist treatment training in a Canadian setting.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on enrollment in medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in Vancouver, Canada: An interrupted time series analysis.

A cluster randomized trial assessing the impact of personalized prescribing feedback on antibiotic prescribing for uncomplicated acute cystitis to family physicians.

Feasibility of a Virtual Health-Promoting Intervention (Choose to Move) for Older Adults: A Rapid Adaptation in Response to COVID-19.

Lenacapavir: an attractive option, but proceed with caution.

Safety and Efficacy of Rapid Methadone Titration for Opioid Use Disorder in an Inpatient Setting: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

First and Second Trimester Surgical Abortion Providers and Services in 2019: Results from the Canadian Abortion Provider Survey.

Resistance Training and Weight Loss in Older Adults: A Scoping Review

Perinatal Injectable Opioid Agonist Therapy (iOAT) Administration: A Case Series.

Challenges of implementing safer supply programs in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative analysis.

How do perceptions of Covid-19 risk impact pregnancy-related health decisions? A convergent parallel mixed-methods study protocol.

Everyday Pain in Middle and Later Life: Associations with Daily and Momentary Present-Moment Awareness as One Key Facet of Mindfulness.

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Hockey Fans in Training Selected as Semi-Finalist in Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge

Dr. Robert Petrella's Lifestyle Research Team's proposed project "Fans in Training (FIT): A Community-Partnered Healthy Lifestyle Program for Newcomers to Canada " has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge, launched by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in partnership with Impact Canada to receive Stage 1 Grant Funding.  PHAC launched this Challenge to encourage innovators to develop and implement community co-designed approaches that address the barriers and determinants of health that lead to having an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes (“T2D”). Dr Petrella and his team have partnered with Sport for Life and YMCA Canada on this initiative and would welcome any faculty and community members who may be interested in learning more about this initiative.


Dr. Wendy Norman Selected for 2023 Faculty of Medicine Canada Research Chairs Competition

The 2023 Faculty of Medicine Canada Research Chairs (CRC) competition resulted in seven selected proposals. Among them is Dr. Wendy Norman, CRC in Family Planning Innovations, Department of Family Practice.

The CRC Program enables Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence and become world-class research centres, with the ultimate aim of translating this research into impactful deliverables for our communities across Canada and the globe.

In alignment with the Canada Research Chair Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, the competition was open to individuals from the four federally designated groups (people with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized people, women and people from minoritized gender identity groups).

We received an impressive number of outstanding proposals from our Departments and Schools with Centres and Institutes as partners, making it a highly competitive process. It was truly inspiring to see not only the exceptional quality of the submissions but also the strong focus and priority on translating fundamental discoveries that hold the potential to change health outcomes, practices, and policies for all. 


HR Corner

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What’s New?


Payroll Timesheets Submission Deadline  

Payroll Timesheets Submission deadline for Hourly Employees: August 23rd 2023@ 11:59 pm

Approval deadline for Managers and Leaders: August 24th, 2023 @11:59pm


New Hybrid Work Agreement for Staff

UBC Hybrid Work Model is available for all eligible staff who have Hybrid Work Agreement in place. On July 24th, a new agreement will be available on Workday and all eligible staff who wish to participate in the Hybrid Work Agreement must complete the new Hybrid Work Agreement, including those who already have the previous agreement in place. Click HERE to complete the new Hybrid Work Agreement.

Manager can contact their HR Representatives if any questions arise.  


Enhancement to the recruitment and onboarding process in Workday

Recruitment and Onboarding process enhancement is now effective in Workday. For detailed questions or feedback about the enhancements, please reach out to your Change Champions or connect directly with Project Team via Qualtrics.


Welcome to UBC In-person Orientation- August 23rd , 2023 (9:00 AM- 11:50 PM)

Welcome to UBC! This event brings together staff from across a variety of portfolios and employee groups. New staff at UBC in their first three months are all welcome. Please click HERE to see the details and enroll.


Benefits @ UBC Webinar- August 16th, 2023 (10:30 AM- 11:45 AM)

UBC offers employees an extensive benefits package to support their continued health and well-being. You will learn what is covered under your benefits plan, a wide range of available benefits for you and more! Please click HERE for the details.


Workday FAQs

We welcome Adrian Whitehead, our HR Assistant to answer frequently asked questions regarding Workday transactions. For more detailed questions, please reach out to Adrian directly (adrian.whitehead@ubc.ca).


Q. How do I get my email account?

A. For newly hired staff, Workday should take you through the process of making an email account as part of the onboarding process. However, in the case of people who have already been employed for a while and don’t have email yet, it is recommended that they contact MedIT. MedIT Service Desk Number: 877-266-0666


Q. I missed the Time Entry Submission deadline and forgot to submit it, what should I do?

A. It depends on how much time has passed since the deadline. If it hasn’t passed the manager’s approval deadline yet, you can ask your manager to enter hours for you. You can also reach out to Adrian to enter the hours on your behalf.

If it has passed the manager’s approval date, you will need to wait a few days before you can enter the hours yourself. You will be paid in the next pay cycle.

Note: It’s important to enter the hours on the days that you actually worked them.


Q. I have a payroll-related question, who can I reach out to?

A. Any of us on the HR team might be able to answer if it’s a simple question, but for more detailed questions or problems please contact Payroll via the ISC (integrated Service Centre). Visit the ISC website HERE.


Pets of the DFP

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Call for Pets!

Starting in September, we will be featuring pets from across the Department. If you would like to spread a little joy in a future newsletter, please send us a photo (or two!) of your pet along with their name and a fun fact about them to dfp.comms@ubc.ca.


Department of Family Practice
3rd Floor David Strangway Building
5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3


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