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Physician advocacy at the local level – your community, our support

February 14, 2017

The work that you do to support patients in your communities and local hospitals forms the core of physician services in our province. No one knows your community better than you do. Increasingly, over the last few years, Doctors of BC has made it a key priority to better connect and engage with physician members at the community level. We’re doing so in a number of ways such as ongoing President’s Tours, participating in and supporting regional Joint Clinical Committee meetings, and engagement by Board delegates with their district’s constituents.

As President and as a Board member, this vital role of strengthening the Association-to-community linkage is one of our most important responsibilities. We further recognize that at times you may have a question or need information that doesn’t necessarily require contacting your Board Delegate, yet may be pertinent to your everyday practice and to your patients. We’ve also heard from some members who live and practice outside the Lower Mainland who feel it isn’t always easy to liaise with and navigate Doctors of BC headquarters in Vancouver, and that you’d like our Association to provide you with support and services at a local community or more regional level. You’d welcome staff who can better understand challenges you face in your community.

We have heard you. Over the last year we introduced five staff members, your Regional Advisors and Advocates (RAAs), who live and work in the regions of the province that align with Health Authority boundaries. Their primary goal is to act as a first point of contact for you when seeking Doctors of BC services or support, and to facilitate your access to these services in an easy and timely manner. Plus because they live in your regions, they know and better understand your local issues and challenges.

RAAs have three primary functions:

  • Informing you – keeping you updated and informed on Doctors of BC initiatives and programs of importance to you in your community and more broadly within the profession.  
  • Connecting with you – helping you connect with the right people and the appropriate resources at Doctors of BC to get your questions answered. 
  • Advocating for you – connecting with Board delegates, the President, senior Doctors of BC staff, and others to support your local advocacy efforts so your professional voices are heard when important decisions are being made in your communities.

The RAAs’ role will complement the support provided by your Board delegates. To date they have been involved in such activities as: working with Facility Engagement Liaisons to help deploy the Facility Engagement Initiative which in turn is helping form the locally incorporated Medical Staff Associations (MSAs); developing and coordinating the regional Doctors of BC Education Days; aligning physicians of influence and senior staff to advise members on how best to advocate for and seek solutions to healthcare and/or Health Authority obstacles to efficient and effective care for our patients.

You can learn more in my latest BCMJ President’s Comment, or click here to contact your RAA. 

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