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Chronic Pain and Substance Use Task Force

Chronic Pain and Substance Use (CPSU) Task Force

Two key clinical areas that family physicians treat everyday in practice are chronic pain and substance use disorder. A group of family physicians in Alberta have agreed to meet regularly to work on behalf of patients and providers toward better care for patients with chronic pain and substance use disorder.

Our vision

An integrated health and social system that provides access to high quality compassionate care for people with chronic pain and addiction anywhere in Alberta.

Our priority areas of focus

  1. Chronic pain patients and patients with substance use disorder have high quality support and access in their community to well resourced Patients’ Medical Homes (PMH).
  2. PMH team members are provided mentorship and supports to build confidence and competence in managing chronic pain and substance use disorders in their practice.
  3. Family medicine education and research informs an evolution of practice for primary care providers’ managing chronic pain and substance use.
  4. To be a trusted voice, advocating for evidence-based models of care, sustainable dedicated funding, and the integration of health and social systems that support patients with chronic pain and substance use disorders.

We value

  • The voice of patients
  • Equity in service
  • Access to a PMH team
  • Harm reduction
  • Life-long compassionate care
  • Our history

In December of 2016, the ACFP recognized the role of the family physician in the opioid crisis response and struck a task force to formulate a set of recommendations and create momentum within the primary care system to support patients struggling with opioids. The resulting set of recommendations led to the ACFP leading the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative (PHC ORI) which Alberta Health’s Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission supported with a two year $9.5 million grant to coordinate 12 partner organizations including: Alberta Health, ACFP, five Zone PCN committees, Applied Research and Evaluation Services Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Medical Association, PEER, Addictions and Mental Health AHS, and Primary Health Care AHS.

With the end of the PHC ORI in March 2020, the ACFP applied to the Substance Use and Addiction Program (SUAP) with Health Canada for additional funding to support the Collaborative Mentorship Network for Chronic Pain and Substance Use for an additional three years. With sustainable funding and an agreement that there still was much work that needed to be done in primary care and in the system to advance access to high quality care, the Opioid Response Task Force expanded their mandate and membership to continue working on improving the prevention, management, and treatment of chronic pain and substance use in primary care practices in Alberta. And so, the CPSU Task Force was formed.

Committee Members

Ms. Terri Potter, Chair
Dr. Rajdeep Kandola, Calgary
Dr. Christine Kennedy, Fort McMurray
Dr. Tina Korownyk, Edmonton
Dr. Ted Findlay, Edmonton
Dr. Yasmin Majeed, Calgary
Dr. Tally Mogus, Edmonton
Dr. Cathy Scrimshaw, Pincher Creek
Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller, Edmonton