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The ACFP Honours MacEwan University Health Centre for Its Excellence in Patient-Centred Care

On October 17, 2023, the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) presented the MacEwan University Health Centre (MUHC), an Edmonton teaching clinic, with its 2023 Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) Outstanding Family Practice Award. At the celebration, Dr. Noel DaCunha, ACFP President, spoke of the clinic’s exceptional leadership and demonstration of the PMH principles and went on to say, “We need more clinics like this, around the province, around the country, to meet the needs of our population. I hope every Albertan, every Canadian will be able to belong to a medical home like this one.”

In his remarks, Dr. DaCunha also made mention of the teaching clinic’s design and how “it [MUHC] has been training medical students, family medicine residents, and those in other health professions in a high-functioning multidisciplinary team environment.” All of which is made possible through the MUHC’s unique collaboration between the University of Alberta, Department of Family Medicine, and the MacEwan University.

Dr. Julia Chronopoulos, MUHC Clinic Director, was also in attendance to accept the ACFP Award and share a few words on behalf of the clinic’s 60-strong primary care team.

“It is a privilege to come to a job everyday which you love and which you are proud of, and it is a privilege to work with patients whom you love like friends and colleagues whom you love like family.  It is all of that love that fuels the compassion, the dedication, the teamwork that makes MacEwan University Health Centre a patient-centred medical home that it is today,” said Dr. Chronopoulos.

ACFP President Dr. Noel DaCunha (right) presents the ACFP 2023 Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice Award to MacEwan University Health Centre through its clinic director, Dr. Julia Chronopoulos.

Many of the MUHC staff were in the room to witness the occasion, including award nominator, Mirella Chiodo, Director of Health Services of the University of Alberta, Department of Family Medicine. In her nomination for MUHC, she wrote:

 “Among the many successes this team has achieved, probably the most notable one is the culture they have built around TEAM and “team-based care.” The team has created clinic processes which are robust and provide safety nets to ensure nothing is missed.”

The PMH Outstanding Family Practice Award is one of the several awards annually presented by the ACFP to recognize excellence in family practice. Through the College’s Awards and Recognition Committee, the ACFP reviews nominations and honours outstanding family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students. Visit for more details.

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My name is Smitha Yaltho and I feel privileged to work as a family physician. Why? I believe that being a family physician has been the best job any physician can hope to have. I have personally grown in my own abilities and skill-sets with diverse opportunities in ambulatory practice, acute care and work in Facility Living.  Working in primary care has been exciting and has also afforded me tremendous opportunities for growth while still remaining stimulating in its complexity.  I believe that Family physicians are trusted partners in patient care –  every step of the way. 

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I currently have an interest in Physician Leadership and  trauma informed care.  I have served as a director with the Board of Directors with the Edmonton North PCN, Edmonton’s largest PCN. Thereafter, I have worked as the Director of Medical Services with CapitalCare (also based in Edmonton) for almost 6 years. It is my express wish that my contribution on the ACFP board of directors will highlight the excellence of family medicine that exists right here and now within the Alberta health care system. 

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
Ability to highlight and further support the excellence of primary care right here in Alberta.