Unit Name

Message from the Administrative Director

As the leaves change colours and the air grows crisper, we are delighted to welcome you to the October edition of the DFP newsletter. It's an exciting time of year. UBC is in full swing for learners, faculty and staff. Our team has been hard at work to bring you a compelling mix of updates, insights, and highlights from our department's activities.

In this edition, you'll find a wealth of valuable information, including the latest developments, noteworthy achievements, upcoming events and more. This array of updates, awards and activities reflect the dedication and innovation of our department members. As we continue to navigate our ever-evolving landscape, I hope this newsletter serves as a source of knowledge and inspiration for us all.

With autumn in full swing and the holiday season just around the corner, we hope that the articles, interviews and announcements featured in this issue will help you stay connected, informed and motivated. We encourage you to engage with the content, share your feedback and keep the spirit of collaboration alive within our department.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment and hard work, which makes this newsletter possible. We look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and are excited to face them together as a united team.

Wishing you an informative and enjoyable read, and as always, we welcome your ideas and contributions for future editions.

Marni Fraser

Director, Administration


Awards and Recognition

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The Cedar Awards

This month, the Department recognizes Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Sharon Vipler for the Cedar Award. Thank you to Dr. Nitasha Puri for submitting the nomination! Read here to learn what Nitasha has to say about her friend and colleague.

Congratulations, Sharon!

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Faculty of Medicine Awards

Each year, the Faculty of Medicine recognizes faculty and staff members for excellence in teaching, research, administration, innovation and public service.

You can read about the recipients (including some of our department members) and their achievements here.


Killam Teaching Prizes 2024: Internal Deadline February 1, 2024 @ 12pm

UBC Killam Teaching Prizes are UBC’s most prestigious teaching awards. The UBC Killam Teaching Prizes recognize excellence in teaching in the medical and science undergraduate programs, residency programs, school and graduate programs within the Faculty of Medicine. The Prizes are awarded annually, and are supported by the UBC Killam Endowment Fund.

Overview | Nomination Form | Previous Recipients

Contact: Office of the Vice Dean, Education (laura.gillis@ubc.ca)

More info: UBC Office of the Provost & VP Academic



Partnering for Pediatric Pain 4th Provincial Pediatric Pain Symposium

This UBC CPD accredited hybrid event is brought to you in collaboration with Pain BC and Child Health BC. You can join us online via Zoom or in-person!


  • Thursday, November 16, 2023
  • 9:00 am - 4:30 pm PST


  • Chan Auditorium: BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
  • 938 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4H4

Learn more and register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/partnering-for-pediatric-pain-4th-provincial-pediatric-pain-symposium-tickets-663265062657

Contact Info:

For questions or additional information about the event, please send an email to: childkind@cw.bc.ca

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Ophthalmology for Emergency Physicians A Seminar and Skills Course

Nov. 17 (Fri) | In-person conference | UBC Eye Care Centre, 2550 Willow Street, Vancouver, BC

Audience: emergency physicians, family physicians, residents and medical students. 

Overview: Announcing a new conference hosted by UBC Department of Ophthalmology. This event brings together a broad range of ophthalmic experts from across the province to provide a detailed review of ophthalmic emergencies. It includes both didactic and hands-on components, enabling participants to sharpen skills to diagnose and manage ocular and visual presentations in acute settings.

Up to 6.0 Mainpro+/MOC Section 1 credits

Learn more and register.

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Reducing Our Environmental Impact in Primary Care

Join Ilona Hale, MD, to explore new ideas in environmentally sustainable practice.

Going far beyond recycle bins and LED lights, the webinar will help participants see the connection between the environment and high-quality care concepts like patient-centred care, de-prescribing and health promotion.

"Practicing high quality, low carbon care can improve patient outcomes, decrease the burden on our healthcare system, reduce provider workload and help address climate change. That's a win-win-win!" 

Date:            November 7, 2023

Time:             12:00-1:00pm (ET)

Platform:       Zoom https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/89152371689

Host/Facilitator: Jessica Nowlan

Speaker: Ilona Hale

Tech support: Cate MacLeod



Realizing Change in Mental and Behavioural Health Policy

October 20, 2023



UBCO's Department of Psychology and the Centre for Obesity & Well-Being Research Excellence are proud to present the next guest in their Advocacy Speaker Series about increasing access to psychological services in British Columbia. 

Dr. Birinder Narang is a family physician, DFP clinical assistant professor, and Global News contributer. Over the past four years, Dr. Narang has shown unwavering support for the integration of the Be Well Behavioral Medicine program. His innovative efforts within the Division of Family Practices in the Burnaby Primary  Care Systems are aimed at realizing the vision of integrated primary care, encompassing both mental and behavioral health providers. 

Email to RSVP: core.lab@ubc.ca



Canadian Association of Midwives Meeting

Six Midwifery Program faculty and six students attended the Canadian Association of Midwives meeting in Ottawa from October 4-6. This was the first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic and provided an opportunity for spontaneous conversation and questions among national midwifery leaders. Faculty presentations included:

  • Allison Campbell & Jenn NguyenGeneration Woke: Teaching Social Justice in Midwifery Education. This presentation explored their experience developing and teaching MDIW 120 Midwives and Social Justice.
  • Cathryn EllisDoes Respectful Care Affect Access to Midwifery Services in Remote Nepal? Cathy presented her global health work in Nepal.
  • Cecilia JevittPreserving Midwifery-Led Intrapartum Care: Holistic Assessment of Metabolic Health in Obesity. This presentation included data collected and analysed by Jevitt, Kathrin Stoll, and Shadan Ashrafi demonstrating that even when BMI exceeds 40, more than 50% of women in BC had no metabolic disease through a pregnancy and could qualify for midwifery-led care.
  • Alix Bacon, co-lead for Global Health, adjunct faculty member, and CAM immediate past president did a presentation on enhancing networking opportunities for CAM that summarized a mixed-methods study the association did to improve governance, strategic planning and operations.
  • Allison CampbellToward Midwifery Praxis-Social and reproductive justice as core disciplinary knowledge for midwifery. Allison proposes that midwifery is a practice driven by social justice principles.

Kellie Thiessen’s research was represented by her team from the University of Manitoba in the presentation “A novel care model: Maternity care experiences of pregnancy persons who use substances.” Cathy Ellis welcomed Hawa Elmi, a Somali midwife sponsored by UNFPA, who Cathy has worked with in Somalia in improving Somali midwifery education. Allison Campbell and Cecilia Jevitt participated in a feedback workshop hosted by the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Council (CRMC). The CRMC is in the process of revising the CMRC Midwifery Competencies Appendix and sought feedback about content and language. Jane Wines and Cecilia Jevitt answered questions at a UBC exhibit hall table that featured UBC Midwifery Continuing Professional Development. UBC Midwifery students broadened their education and several met with CAM student groups and the National Indigenous Council of Midwives.


Allison Campbell Awarded Funding

Allison was awarded funding from the UBC Public Scholars Initiative – Health Equity Stream for 2023-24 with potential for additional funding for 2023-24. Read Allison's profile here.


New Deadline: UBC Grad School, Strengthening Mothers Through Perinatal Research Award

A $1,650 award is offered annually by Beverley O’Brien for graduate students pursuing research into woman-centered, holistic and physiologic maternity care. Beverley O’Brien is a UBC Nursing alumna, Professor Emerita in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing, and a Registered Midwife.

See details here.



Help us to better estimate how team-based care can address the gaps in primary care in Canada!

The Innovation Support Unit is conducting a study to explore how pharmacists, social workers, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and physician assistants add capacity to a primary care team. If you have worked as a dietitian, social worker, occupational therapist or physician assistant in a primary care team within the last three years, or you have experience as a primary care provider, primary care researcher or decision maker, and you want to be part of co-developing and validating the evidence for team-based care, the ISU would love to hear from you!

To find out more about the Capacity Estimator (CapEs) Study and what’s involved, visit the ISU website (https://isu.familymed.ubc.ca/our-work/evaluation/primary-care-capacity-estimator-capes/) or email Ada Okonkwo-Dappa (ada.okonkwodappa@ubc.ca) at the ISU.



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Meet Hiresh Gindwani, Research Coordinator

Hi everyone! My name is Hiresh (they/them) and I am the new research coordinator for the department. I have a background in clinical research in traumatic brain injury populations and medical education development, having been with UBC Faculty of Medicine for the past five years across different departments (Psychiatry, Physical Med and Rehabilitation, Continuing Professional Development, and now DFP)! I have a big interest in social determinants of health as well as healthcare equity and have been involved in JEDI-related work within FoM. 

A little bit more about me personally – I was born and raised in Indonesia and I enjoy long walks around the city, being out in nature, reading, playing music, doing crafts and spending time with my little black cat Indu.

I see myself as a lifelong learner and am very much looking forward to collaborating with the wonderful people and setting up the research arm in the department! Please come say hi if you see me in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! 


Dr. Farah Shroff Keynote Speaker at TUFJ 2023 and Mino Fest '23

Dr. Shroff will be a keynote speaker at the Network for Health Unity Conference, coming up in Dubai.

She is also a keynote speaker at a conference about birthing for racialized people, called Mino Fest. Learn more about this conference here

Dr. Shroff published a paper about racialized women's health in Canada during the pandemic: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgwh.2023.1126934/full and received funding to do a knowledge translation event for it at UBC Robson Square.The free event will be held in January.

About Dr. Shroff

The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health honoured Dr. Shroff as a Takemi Fellow in International Health, 2021-22. She lived in Boston and held a short-term faculty position at the Harvard TH Chan School in 2022 and then was on the faculty cohort for the Harvard HealthLab. She currently sits on the board of the Harvard HealthLab. Learn more here: https://www.healthlabaccelerator.harvard.edu/team-4-2


The future of engaging patients and families for patient safety

Recruiting the next generation of rural healthcare practitioners: the impact of an online mentoring program on career and educational goals in rural youth.

Understanding, diagnosing, and treating Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome - State of the art: Report of the 2nd international meeting at the Charité fatigue center.

Factors influencing engagement in online dual practice by public hospital doctors in three large cities: A mixed-methods study in China.

Daily solitude and well-being associations in older dyads: Evidence from daily life assessments.

Adherence to oral antiretroviral therapy in Canada, 2010-2020.

Policy and practices in primary care that supported the provision and receipt of care for older persons during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative case study in three Canadian provinces.

Ranking versus rating in peer review of research grant applications.

Evaluation of audit and feedback to family physicians on prescribing of opioid analgesics to opioid-naïve patients: A pragmatic randomized delay trial.

Systematic screening for perinatal anxiety and why it matters.


Planetary Health

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Planetary Health Committee, Advocating for Planetary Health and Climate Action

DFP Postgrad Family Medicine Residency has started a committee whose role is to advocate (loudly!) for planetary health and climate action and have the support the Postgraduate Education Committee (PGEC) and the JEDI committee.

We are currently reaching out to the various portfolio committees within the program in order to consolidate a summary and report back to PGEC and to JEDI in Jan 2024.  

We’d like to introduce ourselves as a work in progress under our current name: Planetary Allies for Climate Action – PACA or Advocating Loudly as Planetary Allies for Climate Action – ALPACA! The name is meant to honor and recognize how planetary and human health are intertwined, and the need to use multiple ways of knowing to understand and act. We are very grass roots and action focused at the present. Mandate and terms of reference to hopefully come in the new year once we finish information gathering and secure a permanent fixture in the department. Special thanks to those who have been working closely with us this far! 

Reach us anytime evelyn.cornelissen@ubc.ca and jdittaro@nosm.ca 

Key tips this month: explore options for waste reduction and management at your site and at your meetings, i.e., buy with an eye on the accompanying waste, what can you compost or recycle or reimagine (second life at second hand?) or refuse (e.g., swag) and how?


Sustainability Hub

This is a quarterly email from the Sustainability Hub. Their goal is to share key upcoming sustainability-related opportunities relevant to teaching and research.


Teaching and Research

  • Curriculum Grants: The Sustainability Education Grants of up to $20,000 over two years will start receiving applications in the spring of 2024. If you are interested in developing interdisciplinary courses and applying for this grant, this is a good time to start thinking about partnerships with fellow faculty.

  • Research Funding: UBC Campus as a Living Lab (CLL) is hosting a one-time climate-focused Grand Challenge this fall to fund three projects with $250,000 each (2 UBC Vancouver projects and 1 UBC Okanagan project). We are looking for collaborations between researchers and UBC staff on innovative and transformational projects that advance both academic research and campus operations. We invite applicants to envision a future BC and Canada, how we can respond and adapt to the climate emergency, and the role that UBC can play in realizing this future in our communities, cities, and regions. A notice of intent from potential projects is due September 28 and a full application is due November 27. 

  • Integrating Sustainability Research into your Curriculum to Support Student Learning and UBC’s Sustainability & Wellbeing Commitments: The SEEDS Sustainability Program facilitates applied student research projects that not only advance UBC's sustainability and wellbeing commitments but also provide enriching learning experiences for students. Our program connects you and your students with policymakers and operational staff within the UBC community, providing opportunities to take on meaningful work that advances UBC’s sustainability and wellbeing policies, plans, and practices across a wide range of issues.

  • Sustainability Data Portal and Dashboards. Faculty are invited to explore and download UBC operational sustainability data for classroom use. Our Open Data Portal allows users to examine the schema, build charts on the fly, and download datasets. Our Sustainability Dashboards analyze and visualize some of these datasets to illustrate current sustainability trends.


Student Learning Opportunities you can share in the classroom

  • Paid internships for Grad students are available this fall. Encourage your students to apply to applied research projects through the Sustainability Scholars program by September 17. 

  • Climate Action at UBC course: The course provides an overview of Climate Action at UBC Vancouver, including UBC's Climate Emergency Response, Climate-Related Student Engagement Opportunities, and Tips For Adopting a Climate-Friendly Campus Lifestyle. All students are welcome, from newcomers to this topic to seasoned climate and sustainability champions!

  • Catalyst: The Catalyst program offers recognition and validation to participants in existing and emerging leadership experiences on and off campus for their sustainability and climate action work. Students can join the program anytime throughout the year.



  • Funding for climate change-related events: The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions relaunched “PICS Climate Action Events Program” available to faculty, staff and students which provides funding support for climate change-related events on and off campus.  

  • Faculty interdisciplinary connections and support. Meet faculty members from across disciplines and learn how units in the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability can support your teaching and research at the Open House for Faculty at CIRS on October 19, 1-3 pm.



  • Sustainability in your Department. The Sustainability Coordinator Program provides UBC faculty and staff with opportunities and resources to promote and implement sustainable practices within their departments and the Workplace Sustainability Fund awards up to $1,000 for projects and sustainability initiatives within respective UBC units. 

  • Greening Your Lab: UBC’s Green Labs Program can support you in reducing the environmental impact of your laboratory activities. Learn more about what resources are available to you, here. Take this short, self-paced Lab Sustainability Course to get started. 


In the News

Vancouver Sun Run founder among recipients of '7 Over 70' award

From the Vancouver Sun:

For two hours every morning, you can find Dr. Jack Taunton clutching trekking poles and hauling it down Salish Sea Drive in Tsawwassen.

The 75-year-old pioneer of sports medicine is one of seven hard-charging seniors being recognized Saturday with a “7 Over 70 Award” honouring “older persons who continue to spend their lives taking on new projects, business, and philanthropic endeavours.”

Read the full article here.


New licensing system gives health workers freedom to work throughout much of Canada

From the Vancouver Sun:

Health ministers met in P.E.I. over two days to discuss the health-care staffing shortage and shoring up the country's primary-care system.

Read the full article here.

Community Futures says housing plan luring doctors, non-profit clinic could keep them here

From Castanet

An estimated 25,000 people in the Vernon area are without a family doctor, according to Community Futures.

General manager Leigha Horsfield says the lack of doctors creates issues from an economic development standpoint because those having a hard time finding housing are also hearing they also can't find a doctor.

"Right now, we're seeing our walk-in clinics being significantly at risk ... one is closing in the north of town, and then the one at the south end of town is (also) at risk of closing," Horsfield told Vernon city council this week.

Read the full piece, featuring our FPPG expansion sites, North Okanagan here.


HR Corner

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It’s officially autumn! The days are shorter, and nights are cooler so keep warm and protect yourself from the sudden temperature drop.

October is National Book Month! Snuggle up with a blanket, get your favourite drink and snacks, and enjoy new books. What is your favourite book?

What’s New?

Payroll Timesheets Submission Deadline

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

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

Click here to learn about benefit updates, onboarding resources, workshops and more in the HR Corner. 




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