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President’s Message: August 2022

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I have always found the summer to be both an enjoyable and challenging time. As many of us are trying to take in as much of this bright and energetic season as possible, the demands of our work as family physicians continues too. I hope we are all striking the best balance that we can and ensuring we have the rest and rejuvenation that we all deserve at this time of year. If you or your team need some ideas on how to best achieve wellness during this season, have a look at our ACFP Wellness Challenge participants and be inspired. 

2021 Patient’s Medical Home Winner

This is also a time when Albertans tend to assemble as friends, family, and colleagues. At ACFP, early this season, a group from our office had the opportunity to get together in person with our colleagues at East Calgary Family Care Clinic to celebrate their achievement as the 2021 Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice Award winner. This was the first time in a long time that we have been able to make an official trip as an organization and it was well worth it. It truly felt great for us all to be together and celebrate family medicine in Alberta. Congratulations again to the East Calgary Family Care Clinic for being a leader in our field.  

Alberta Surgical Initiative – FAST Program

The summer continued to be busy and full of notable changes concerning family physicians including the changes in COVID PCR testing, vaccine booster information, and updates on monkeypox. I would like to take this opportunity to make members aware of changes to some surgical referrals in the province. As part of the Alberta Surgical Initiative, work is underway on several improvement projects with the goal of ensuring patients receive surgeries within clinically appropriate timelines. One project being launched through a phased approach from August 15 to October 19, is a new central access and intake system for managing referrals called Alberta Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST). FAST will accept referrals for Orthopaedic Surgery and Urology using a central office in each rural zone. The office will distribute referrals to surgeons with the shortest wait lists or named providers. 

Getting Ready for Fall

While getting together is both enjoyable and productive, we must continue to be aware of COVID-19’s continued impact on our lives, especially as the school season approaches yet again. The ACFP, as always, will be informing you of trends in COVID-19 prevalence in our province as the fall approaches and any resulting recommendations that follow. 

My best wishes for the remainder of summer and our transition into the fall. Looking forward to seeing you all and especially getting together sometime soon. 

Sincerely,

Sudha Koppula BSc, MD, MClSc, CCFP, FCFP
President
Alberta College of Family Physicians

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