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President’s Message


By now, you’re probably aware that it is a PHSA requirement that by 2025, all medical staff must have taken the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program and Anti-Indigenous Racism Response training (2024 for medical leaders).

This article is a bit of a confession. I can only speak for myself here, but perhaps my thoughts may be informative for those who haven’t yet taken the San’yas course. When I heard we were to take the training, I must admit, I rolled my eyes a bit. My inner thoughts went something like this: “Well, I suppose the hospital has to do this as we’ve had some recent incidents showing we need to improve. I guess we all have to take our collective medicine to show progress, but I very much doubt I’m the target. I’m fairly progressive and liberal. It’ll just be stuff I already know, like don’t be racist and be respectful to our First Nations patients. It’s not that difficult…”

And, with that thought, I plunged into the San’yas training course, though I didn’t log on till three weeks after the course started due to life and not a small amount of apprehension about what the course would entail. As I sat through module after module, I noticed several other thoughts springing into my mind repeatedly. “Huh, I didn’t know that,” or, “Oh, I knew that, but I didn’t feel it the same way the Indigenous people being interviewed did”.

I often felt my hackles raised as my worldview was challenged. I felt unfairly lumped into a society that has caused oppression! It wasn’t ME! I didn’t oppress anyone! But as I reflected on the experience for this article, the most relevant point is this: it’s not about me. It’s about the Indigenous people of British Columbia who have had their world systematically destroyed and the need to acknowledge and reconcile what happened. And, it’s about listening to their stories so we can understand their perspective better. 

It’s giving a voice to those who had been systematically and intentionally suppressed, and the least I can do is listen.

There are compelling stories to be heard. The course offers perspectives I had yet to be exposed to in quite this fashion. Is it easy to read and listen to? No, it’s challenging, and I haven’t completed the course yet. It’s taking me time to process this information. But it has made me think, reflect, and understand better than I did.

So, as you take these courses in the next year, I challenge you to be open to the sensation of your hairs raising as you read and hear about experiences that are uncomfortable to acknowledge, to keep an open mind, and to reflect on the experiences presented. It’s a small contribution we can each make toward righting historical wrongs.

If you have questions, I’m always happy to chat. Email me at anytime.

Election Update

Thank you all for a successful AGM. The results of the election for the 2024 MSACW Executive Board are:

President: James Chen
Vice-President: Katey Armstrong
Treasurer: Li Wang
Secretary: Serena Kassam

Treasurer’s Report


It was wonderful to connect with all of you virtually during our December general meeting. I am delighted to share an overview of our funding status for the fiscal year spanning from March 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.

In the past fiscal year, our expenditures from the MASES account amounted to $516,987. Notably, 71% of this total was allocated to members’ engagement projects, which encompassed various initiatives such as:

Physician Engagement Time, Projects, Events: $138,771

Meeting Expenses and Conference Fees: $143,983

Consultants: $78,285

Travel Expenses: $3,990

For a detailed breakdown of consultants’ fees, please refer to the table provided.


Engagement Project expenditures $66,349.94
Strategic planning for MSACW $11,035.54
Website maintenance $900
Total $78,285.48
As we navigate the first quarter of the 2023/2024 fiscal year, an additional $36,490 has been expended. Importantly, we still have ample funds available to support more engagement projects.
We invite you to contribute your exciting ideas and collaborate with fellow members on themes including Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Planetary Health, Wellness, Leadership, and Quality Improvement in patient care on our campus.

Feel free to submit your applications at any time and our dedicated executive team will ensure timely reviews.

On the administrative front, we’ve streamlined membership dues collection through the Canadian-based payment platform, Membee. Since 2022, we have successfully collected membership dues covering the years 2021, 2022, and 2023, and the current balance is $71,211. Additionally, there is an extra $57,445 remaining from the previous KDZ account, providing us with increased flexibility to host social events beyond the constraints of DoBC.

Recent social events, such as the family movie night in November, garnered positive feedback from many of our members and their families. Despite some initial reservations about the movie choice, a remarkable 90% of members expressed interest in similar events in the future. We are actively planning more family-friendly social gatherings, and we welcome your ideas. Please feel free to reach out via email or approach any of our executive members with your suggestions.

It has been a privilege serving as the secretary/treasurer for the past two years, and I am honored to continue in the role of treasurer for the coming year.

I look forward to maintaining the financial stability of our organization while fostering a vibrant community through engaging activities in 2024. Thank you for your continued support.


MSA Membership Means Paying Your Dues

Dues for 2024 are coming upavoid the hassle later and pay them now.

Guest Columnist

Message from BCCH & BCWH Chief Medical Officer


It is hard to imagine that we are approaching the end of the year. So much has happened over the past year that we can celebrate together, Accreditation with Exemplary Standing and Childkind Certification, among them. However, the year has been and continues to prove difficult and painful for many. As medical staff, you have risen to the occasion in supporting each other, leaning in when your patients and their families needed you, and when programs and clinics asked more of you. Thank you. As we move into this holiday season and the close of another year, please hold loving and compassionate space for each other and yourselves and take time to connect with your loved ones.

Recently, medical staff who reached significant milestones in their careers at Children’s and Women’s were celebrated. With gratitude for their many contributions to this campus of care, I would like to recognize those medical staff who received their 20 year and higher pins:

20 years – Collin Barker, Quynh Doan, Catherine Ellis, Terry Evans, Brian Fitzsimmons, Paul Helpard, Gabriela Horvath, Catherine Hui, Sayrin Lalji, Zoe Leatherbarrow, Karen Nordahl, Fredrick Purdy, Susanne Schulz, Suzanne Stock, Winnie Sui, Helen Ting, Gunka Vit, Michael Winters, Grace Yu

25 years – Christine Alvarez, Laura Arbour, Amanda Barlow, Myles Blank, Heather Bray, Rod Bucke, Robin Friendlander, Norbert Froese, Alain Gagnon, John Mawson, Wendy Norman, Susan Purkiss, Stephanie Rhone, Louis Scheepers, Eric Webber

30 years – Sue Bright, Frank Chiu, Leslie Cohen, Mary Connolly, Peter Dolman, Jane Finlay, Fred Kozak, Howard Liang, Jake Locke, Angelina Loo, Harvey Lui, Elizabeth Mickelson, Anton Miller, Megan Rees, Clayton Reichert, Kirk Schulz, Mary Stephenson

35 years – Rhona Gordon, Katherine Harris, Paul Korn

40 years – Yamuna Kalyanpur, Walter Mail, Robert Scott, Ellen Wiebe

45 years – Paul Rogers, Ralph Rothstein

50 years – David Smith

As always, it is a great privilege to work along side each of you.

Guest Columnist

Information of potential interest to the membership

Drug Toxicity, Prevention, and Response at PHSA


In April 2016, British Columbia declared a public health emergency due to a significant increase in unregulated drug-related deaths.

Since then, the province has responded in various ways by scaling up community-based naloxone distribution, improving access to opioid agonist therapy, launching education campaigns and establishing overdose prevention services. Despite these efforts, British Columbians continue to experience unprecedented incidences of overdose-related harm. In 2022, there were 2,293 suspected illicit drug toxicity-related deaths, averaging 6.3 deaths per day.

Collaborating with system stakeholders and people with lived experiences, the Provincial Health Services Authority has brought together a team to renew its focus on Drug Toxicity, Prevention and Response to:


  • Foster collaboration across PHSA services
  • Lead PHSA’s response to the unregulated drug toxicity crisis by aligning initiatives, identifying gaps, and creating targeted actions within PHSA’s specialized service areas, as well as providing provincial coordination
  • Provide guidance for drug toxicity provincial planning and in-scope digital health services
  • Align with ministry priorities and provincial direction
  • Share resources with health system partners
  • Develop strategies to meet individual patient and population health needs

How Can You Help?

The DTPR team is planning to engage all medical staff across PHSA programs who are interested in sharing their perspectives, experiences, and knowledge on addressing the unregulated drug toxicity crisis. These engagements will lead to the formation of a DTPR Clinical Reference Group.

We will start with a series of 1:1 virtual consultations over the next two months, which will lead to the creation of a clinical reference group for this work. This initiative is supported by the Health System Redesign funds and eligible physicians will be compensated at the Health Redesign Sessional Rate. There will be opportunities to explore support for other medical staff.

If you are interested in sharing your perspectives, experiences, and knowledge on this issue, please provide us with your contact information by filling out this online survey.


Tips for Submitting Reimbursements on the FEMS App

Did you know? It’s easy to use the FEMS app to enter activities for which you’d like to be reimbursed! Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

When entering an activity for which you’d like to be reimbursed on the FEMS app (it’s easy!), you’ll be presented with a summary.

However, if you click the “Submit” button you’re not actually done yet!  You’ll progress to this screen.

When you press “Submit” on this screen, then you will actually have submitted your claim for us to review and approve, and for you to be reimbursed. The confirmation page will look like this.

So unless you see this confirmation page, you haven’t actually submitted the claim yet. Please ensure you click all the way through until you see this final screen. You may also be prompted with a Doctors of BC survey (your claim still hasn’t been submitted yet). You must skip or click through the survey to get to the confirmation page.

We agree that the terminology should probably be improved, but it’s not “our” app, so we’re stuck with it for now. We’ve had many folks wonder why their FEMS claims weren’t being paid, but upon investigation, it turns out they hadn’t actually submitted the claim yet, only believing they had. Don’t fall into that trap!

Also, a note: when submitting for After Hours Meals Claims (or other expenses that do not include sessional time), please do so via the web browser, not the app. Unfortunately, the app has not been configured to allow you to skip sessional time. When submitting for After Hours Meals claims, please click the “Submit an Expense” button on the top right hand side of your FEMS web dashboard (instead of the “Submit a Claim” button, which is for sessional time). This will allow you to submit only your receipt.

If you have any questions about submitting your FEMS claims, please email

Upcoming Events

Be on the lookout for an after-holiday social event at the end of January!

Halloween Spirit

Here are some pictures of Halloween costume fun, courtesy of the General Surgery Dept. at BCCH. Start planning your costumes for next year!


A man goes on a trip to an exotic locale and returns home feeling unwell. He goes to see his doctor and is rushed to the hospital to undergo a barrage of tests. He wakes up from the tests in a private room. When the phone by his bed rings, he picks it up.

Patient: “Hello?”

Doctor: “We’ve got the results back from your tests, and it turns out you have a very nasty and very contagious infection.”

Patient: “Oh, that’s horrible! What are you going to do, doctor?”

Doctor: “Well, we’ll start by putting you on a diet of pizza, pancakes, and quesadillas.”

Patient: “Will that cure me?”

Doctor: “No, but it’s the only food we can get under the door.”

The MSACW Monitor is published six times a year by the MSACW Executive. Please direct all feedback, questions, and contributions to