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Executive Director’s Message

Message from the Executive Director

It is an honour to serve Alberta’s family physician community. Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” And I do.

The value of a family physician to their community cannot be underestimated. Whether that community is a small rural or remote outpost in Northern Alberta or the provincial community that requires a family physician to untangle the solutions regarding a clinical pathway or preventative intervention created through system redesign. The innate leadership competency that a family physician brings to a team is extraordinary and often unnoticed, it’s like magic.

The ACFP’s Board of Directors is a strong and committed group of leaders who continue to bring vision and strategic, system-level thinking to the table. They have provided wise counsel to me through a number of complex events and tough decisions. They concern themselves with the health and reputation of the ACFP and the profession but are bold and willing to take risks to innovate and step out into the unknown. They look forward, seeking to understand where family medicine will need to be in the future, considering what we need to do now to be ready for it. Your organization’s governance is in good hands.

We have the input of students, family medicine residents, first five years in family practice docs, ‘seasoned veterans’ of family medicine, and mid- or second-career docs. Our board, committees, task forces, and advisors remain our source of truth and connection to our members, but we always need to hear directly from our engaged and not-so-engaged members to know what we can do better.

As a staff team, we often talk about how we believe so strongly in the work that we are doing and that when we get to work directly with our members, we are reminded that our work matters so much to them and to the communities that they serve. We truly love our work and believe wholeheartedly in the vision, mission, and mandate of the Alberta College of Family Physicians.

I believe that every Albertan needs a family physician to be on their team; we have several and it makes all the difference.

Terri Potter, BA PMP CAE
Executive Director, ACFP

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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.