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Executive Director’s Message – January 2024

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Dear ACFP Members:

Twenty twenty-three was a year of change, challenge, and renewal. The provincial elections came with many challenges that required increased advocacy and engagement efforts. The need for advocacy will continue into the foreseeable future as the Alberta primary care system gets reorganized and restructured.

As we struggle to maintain the volunteer army that is so critical to the ACFP’s governance and operations, we understand the burden that all family physicians and primary care leaders are carrying. Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in advocating for our family physicians whenever and in whatever way possible.

In the midst of it all, our Board, staff, committees, and members were ready to take action and make things happen. Here are the highlights for 2023 from my perspective:

ACFP’s Top 10

  1. The post-pandemic Family Medicine Summit celebrated a record attendance with in-person and virtual participation of more than 475 attendees.
  2. The ACFP lobbied, engaged, and influenced government as they launched the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative to ensure Family Medicine is the Foundation for a Healthy Alberta (ACFP’s Vision Statement).
  3. The ACFP became a member of the ministry’s Supporting Comprehensive Primary Care Task Force and lobbied for and solidified a report with 16 recommendations to decrease administrative burden in primary care and submitted and reviewed proposals for immediate stabilization measures for family medicine.
  4. The ACFP continued forging partnerships and trusted working relationships within the ministry and bureaucracy of Alberta Health as the health system is refocused and restructured.
  5. The ACFP celebrated the success of the Collaborative Mentorship Network for Chronic Pain and Addiction as we gathered mentors, mentees, staff, and special guest speakers together to summarize and commit to ongoing work for people who struggle with pain or substance use.
  6. The ACFP launched its new and improved ACFP Website.
  7. The ACFP built onto the ACFP Networks collaborative space and a mentor module.
  8. The ACFP hosted the second annual Leaders’ Retreat with ACFP’s dedicated committee members to strategize how we might tackle primary care crises.
  9. The ACFP continues to lead the implementation of the Coalition for Primary Health Care with all of the critical health partners and professions gathering regularly to share and strategize about the future of primary health care in Alberta.
  10. The ACFP took a lead role in supporting colleagues in provincial chapters through CFPC funding and leadership changes.

We don’t anticipate 2024 to be any less challenging for the ACFP and its membership but we are eager to take on the work that is needed to ensure that Family Medicine is the Foundation of a Healthy Alberta.  We will continue to work on our strategic priorities where:

  • Family physicians are valued, supported, and inspired,
  • Family physicians are highly skilled resource to their communities, and
  • Alberta has a fully integrated health system with family medicine as the foundation.

We are and will always be there for you.

Terri Potter, BA PMP CAE
Executive Director

2 Responses

  1. Hey Terri. Enjoyed reading your summary. Looking forward to connecting and fostering a closer relationship between SFM and the ACFP.

  2. Hey Terri.
    Enjoyed reading your summary.
    Thank you for the ACFPs involvement and work supporting family physicians on the Supporting Comprehensive Primary Care Task Force, and in particular leading the effort around Administrative Burden.
    Looking forward to connecting and fostering a closer relationship between SFM and the 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.