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Message from the Director

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2023. I hope that the holiday break was restful, and that the new year offers you a sense of renewal both personally and professionally. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and learn a little bit about what is going on throughout the Department. Some highlights of this month’s newsletter include updates to HR resources, funding, and information on the Faculty of Medicine Gender Equity Project.
Broadly speaking, this year brings with it a new strategic action plan. With this plan, we will aim to listen, offer support, and meet your needs to inspire and support our learners and each other. Please stay tuned to future newsletters, social media, and our website. 
If you have anything you would like to include in an upcoming newsletter, please email

As we move in to the new year, I wish you all the best and thank you for your contributions to the Department of Family Practice.
Robert Petrella, Department Head
If you have anything you would like to include in an upcoming newsletter, please email

As we move in to the new year, I wish you all the best and thank you for your contributions to the Department of Family Practice.


Program Update: HealtheSteps™

The HealtheSteps® Program 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; 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 family physicians, nurses, medical residents, undergraduate medical, health sciences, integrated medical sciences, kinesiology, dietetics, and psychology students as well as graduate students in health and rehabilitation sciences, and kinesiology. Coaching as an extracurricular or practicum/placement/elective opportunity for students to gain experience in lifestyle counselling, has grown across academic institutions in Canada to include the University of British Columbia (BC), Western (ON), Queen’s (ON), McMaster (ON), Lakehead (ON), University of Toronto (ON), Athabasca (AB), Mount Royal (AB), University of Victoria (BC), and Thompson Rivers University (BC).
Funding for further development of HealtheSteps® program curriculum was recently renewed through the University of British Columbia’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund – Large Grant (2023-2024) with a focus on co-creating Indigenous HealtheSteps curriculum for coach trainees to deliver equity-oriented, culturally safe lifestyle counselling.

Click here for a more detailed program update.
Participants can join via self-referral or referral from a health care provider. Participants can sign up through our website:
If interested in becoming a trained HealtheSteps coach, please contact us here:

For any further questions or inquires please email:

Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

Grants and Funding Opportunities

2023 Faculty of Medicine Canada Research Chairs Competition Launch
The Faculty of Medicine has launched the 2023 Canada Research Chair (CRC) Competition. We invite applications for up to one Tier 1 and up to six Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) in any field of research aligned to the Faculty of Medicine strategic plan through a competition open to FoM Departments/Schools with Centres/Institutes as partners, as appropriate. Tier 1 Chairs are seven-year positions, renewable once, intended for experienced researchers who are world leaders in their fields, while Tier 2 Chairs are five-year positions, renewable once, intended for exceptional emerging scholars who have the potential to lead in their fields.

The Canada Research Chair Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan guides the University's efforts to remove barriers to equitable participation of people with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized people, women, and people from minoritized gender identity groups. Please consult the Canada Research Chairs website for full program information, including further details on eligibility criteria:

Departments/Schools may submit proposals for internal or external chairs. Only full time, tenure track faculty are eligible to apply for an internal chair position. All other candidates, including partner track and clinical faculty, are welcome to apply and will be considered together with the external chairs.

The Faculty of Medicine 2023 Canada Research Chair (CRC) Competition will have an aim to meet the following Research Strategies, as outlined in the Faculty of Medicine’s strategic plan:

  • Strategy 1: Catalyze innovation and excellence in foundational, clinical and health systems research to accelerate translation across the continuum and enhance precision and population health.
  • Strategy 2: Facilitate research excellence by taking a strategic approach to creating and supporting core platforms across the province.
  • Strategy 3: Integrate equity, diversity and inclusion principles in team composition and throughout the research lifecycle from design to translation.
  • Strategy 4: Enhance our ability to respond nimbly to changing circumstances by creating opportunities for collaboration, training and team science.

For specific instructions regarding the application process for internal and external chairs, please refer to the Application Process section on the Mednet CRC webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact Corné du Plessis in the Faculty of Medicine's Office of Research.



Canadian Institutes of Health Research Opportunity Pre-Announcement: CIHR-PHAC Applied Public Health Chairs Program

You can read more about this opportunity here



The Rural Education Action Plan (REAP) provides sponsorship to UBC medical students and family medicine, specialty and subspecialty residents to attend provincial and national rurally-focused medical conferences each year.  Students and residents who have an interest in exploring rural medicine may apply for up to $1,200 for travel and accommodation expenses plus conference registration to attend one of two conferences.  This year’s offering includes:

SRPC’s Rural & Remote Medicine Conference – April 20–22, 2023 – Niagara Falls, ON

RCCbc’s Rural Health Conference – June 2–4, 2023 – Whistler, BC

If you are interested in conference sponsorship, please apply by completing the application form found at – select “Rural Conferences and Events Sponsorship” once you’ve logged in to the application platform.  Those selected for sponsorship will be contacted by the REAP office by February 28, 2023. Those not selected for sponsorship will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if a space becomes available.

To learn more and apply, please visit by January 31, 2023.

Orthopaedics for Primary Care Virtual Series 2023 

1-hour- Each week in January (Wednesdays) | 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST | Virtual Conference Series 

Audience: family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, residents & students 

Up to 4.0 Mainpro+/MOC Section (1 credit per session) 



Jan 4: Understanding Neck and Back Pain in Adult and Children 

  • Address best practices for the assessment and first-line treatment of neck and back pain, and what to do when the pain won’t go away. 

Jan 11: Lost in Translation - interpreting radiology reports of the Spine 

  • Understand normative findings in the spine, and on findings that require monitoring or urgent specialist referrals and discuss clinical correlation to the radiographic findings. 

Jan 18: Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spine Surgeon - indications for operative management and understanding referral pathways 

  • Identify operative indications for spine surgery in adults and children, and how to best navigate the referral process. 

Jan 25: Common pediatric foot and knee disorders - how to screen, when to reassure, when to refer

  • Review how to assessment of common pediatric foot and knee disorders, and differentiate between benign conditions and those that require further intervention. 

View full agenda for details 

Can't join us live for one of the sessions? 

All lectures will be recorded (with speakers' consent) and available to watch on demand for up to 3 months after the session(s). If you miss the live conference, you may be able to claim self-learning credits after watching recordings: How-to-Claim-Self-Learning-Credits 

2023 Annual Medical Education Day & 17th Dr. William Webber Lecture 

Teaching and assessing learners with disabilities 
Webber Lecture by Dr. Lisa Meeks, University of Michigan Medical School 
Date:              March 3, 2023  
Time:              9:00am – 2:30pm (registration and breakfast at 8:15am) 
Venue:           University Golf Club 
            5185 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1X5 
Attendees:    Faculty in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC with content specific to medical education 
Please join us to learn about: 
  • Ableism and how it manifests in health professions education  
  • Human rights legislation and accommodations  
  • Supporting learners with disabilities and other learning needs 
More information at:

Opportunity to Participate: UBC FoM Faculty Gender Equity Project

We invite you to participate in a project that aims to increase gender equity and inclusivity within faculty positions and faculty leadership of the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

We would love to hear your perspectives as a UBC Faculty of Medicine faculty* member who identifies as a cis or trans woman, trans man or as Two Spirit, intersex, gender non-binary, agender, gender fluid or otherwise gender diverse. We are particularly interested in the perspectives of faculty members who also identify as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour.

*UBC Faculty of Medicine faculty members include those individuals with a faculty appointment within the Faculty of Medicine: clinical faculty, full-time/academic/tenure track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, affiliate or honorary faculty, etc. This also includes faculty members at UNBC, UVic and UBC-O who are connected to and work within UBC contexts (e.g. Northern Medical Program.

Options for confidential and/or anonymous participation: online open-ended survey OR individual/group interview.

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact our research assistants (from outside FoM): or visit


The Intersection of Abortion and Criminalization: Abortion Access for People in Prisons.

Increasing the availability of long-acting reversible contraception and medical abortion in primary care: the Australian Contraception and Abortion Primary Care Practitioner Support Network (AusCAPPS) cohort study protocol.

Primary care embedded within permanent supportive housing for people who use substances: A qualitative study examining healthcare access in Vancouver, Canada.

Co-design of a nurse-led model of care to increase access to medical abortion and contraception in rural and regional general practice: A protocol.

Antibody response durability following three-dose COVID-19 vaccination in people with HIV receiving suppressive ART.

Photovoice exploration of physical activity norms and values among rural and remote pulmonary rehabilitation participants in British Columbia, Canada.

Measurement of self-reported, facility-based labour and birth experiences: The Perinatal Experience Assessment Tool (PEAT).

Advancing digital patient-centered measurement methods for team-based care.

Assessment of muscle strength in para-athletes: A systematic review of observational studies.

Feasibility issues impacting optimal levels of maternity care in rural communities: implementing the Rural Birth Index in British Columbia.

An Urgent Call to Integrate the Health Sector into the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Sport and exercise medicine/physiotherapy publishing has a gender/sex equity problem: we need action now!

HR Corner

Welcome back! Our HR Team took some time off to spend the holidays with our family and friends, and we are excited to be work to work. If you are new to our Department, please get to know our key team members:

  • For any escalated HR questions or concerns for all employee groups, please reach out to Marni Fraser, Director of Administration or Annie Lai, Assistant HR Manager
  • Marni Fraser, Director of Administration – Point of contact for tenured faculty lifecycle, Escalated questions and concerns
  • Annie Lai, Assistant HR Manager – Escalated questions and concerns for term/clinical faculty lifecycle, HR full services advisory. Advises on HR services offered by HR Team – reach out to Annie for questions.
  • Adrian Whitehead, HR Assistant – Point of contact for 1st level Staff/Student questions, Workday, Payroll Processing
  • Ara Silva, Clinical Faculty Coordinator – Clinical Faculty Appointment and Reappointment Process
  • Armaan Kahlon, Work Learn HR Student – HR and Administrative Special Projects


HR Resource Development

In 2022, our HR Team has created various resources and streamlined HR processes for managers and their teams. For example, we developed a customized departmental Manager and Employee Guide, that was specifically tailored to our department and emphasizes on recommended meetings and conversations to help prepare any new hire to the Department. We also created new Clinical Faculty Promotion documents to provide guidance for Clinical Faculty on their promotion process, and standardize the process more with an EDI lens. We are currently developing resources on professional development, full-cycle recruitment, and many more.

We’d like to hear from you to understand what specific resources may be helpful to you from an HR lens, especially as we look forward to a new 2023 year. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please reach out to Annie Lai, Assistant HR Manager.

Work Learn Program – Deadline is January 23, 2023

  • Proposals for funding of student work experiences through UBC Vancouver’s Work Learn Program will be accepted from January 4, 2023  – January 23, 2023; 4:00PM PST. These proposals are for experiences taking place during the Summer Session (May 1, 2023 – August 31, 2023).
    • As of the new year, our HR Team (Adrian and Annie) can provide advisory-support to newer managers who may be interested in having a student as part of the Work Learn program. Managers now have the full responsibility of submitting the proposal.
    • Questions managers/supervisors can ask are: how does having a Work Learn student benefit the student’s learning and growth, and contribute to the visions and goals of the overall unit?
    • For more Work Learn specific questions, please reach out to


Manager/Supervisor Corner

  • UBC introduces mental health literacy training for managers and supervisors - As of January 17, 2023, managers and supervisors will be invited to complete a new required training: Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers and Supervisors. On January 17, managers and supervisors will receive an email to enrol in the training, which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The training will be available in the Workplace Learning ecosystem (WPL).  We ask managers and supervisors to meaningful engage in this training, within the next 45 days. Learn more here:


Career Opportunities within Department of Family Practice


Other Updates

  • In 2022, UBC added legislative sick leave in response to the update to the BC government’s amendment to the Employment Standards Act. This legislation entitles employees to 5 days of paid sick time off each year. Today, we have a better understanding of how this legislation applies to our various employment groups, many of whom already have sick leave entitlements through their collective agreement, handbook, and other agreements and policies. If you have any questions, please reach out to Adrian Whitehead, HR Assistant.