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New UBC chair to advocate for rural health care in B.C.

November 15, 2016

Dr Dave Snadden has been appointed the first UBC Chair in Rural Health, a new position funded by the Joint Standing Committee (JSC), one of four joint collaborative committees that represent a partnership of the government of BC and Doctors of BC. Based out of Prince George, Dr. Snadden will provide academic leadership in rural affairs, establish relevant research, and address rural physician recruitment and retention.

Dr%20David%20SnaddenThe idea of establishing the Chair position came from rural doctors themselves. Dr. Alan Ruddiman, president of Doctors of BC and co-chair of the JSC says: “Rural doctors know that our medical schools are the best place to give our educators and our doctors-in-training a realistic and informed appreciation of the complex rural framework. The announcement of our new rural chair – a doctor himself who can also provide academic leadership and a credible footprint in B.C.’s rural communities – means enhanced supports for rural doctors, and ultimately improved long-term health services and supports for the patients they serve. This new legacy once again confirms that British Columbia has the most comprehensive suite of programs to support rural physicians and the communities and patients that they serve."

Prior to his role as founding chair, Dr. Snadden was the executive associate dean of education with the UBC faculty of medicine. Before that, he spent eight years overseeing the expansion of UBC’s medical education and training programs to northern B.C, including the Northern Medical Program, a partnership between UBC and the University of Northern British Columbia.  

Dr. Snadden says: “I am both humbled and excited to be appointed as the founding Rural Doctors’ UBC Chair in Rural Health. I will use this opportunity to explore the challenges faced by rural practitioners, as well as what’s working for them. With that knowledge, we can resolve the difficulties and replicate the successes. There is much for us to do to address the needs of rural patients, and it will take many of us working together to make a difference.”  

The JSC is providing a $5-million endowment, and additional operating funding of $350,000 per year over the next five years.

For more information on the announcement of the Rural Chair of Medicine, click here.