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President’s Message: February 2023

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Often February is home to the long, cold days of winter in our province, but thankfully they are also a time of celebration, conversation, and togetherness for ACFP members. 


ACFP’s Family Medicine Summit 2023 (Summit) will be our chance to welcome you back and thank you for all of the work that you have continued to do during such a challenging time. So please, come home to Summit 2023 in person or online. We will all be happy to see you however way you wish to engage.  I recall Summit three years ago, as the last conference I went to prior to the pandemic arriving in Alberta and the world as we know it shutting down the following week. While that was an unusual experience for all of us, I also recall the comfort that I had in having seen and worked with so many of you in person just prior to all that uncertainty.


Our Summit Planning Committee, Board, and staff all hope to see you in person or online at the Family Medicine Summit.  As you have come to expect from Summit, there will be several inspiring keynote presentations, interactive sessions of varying formats to help us learn best, and opportunities to interact with invited guests who will be present (for example from the CFPC leadership).

Primary Medical Home Award – South Health Campus Clinic

It is also ACFP awards season, which is another opportunity to thank and recognize our fellow colleagues. One such award I recently had the pleasure of recently presenting was the 2022 Patient’s Medical Home Award. Congratulations to South Health Campus Clinic in Calgary for achieving this great honour and thanks to them for setting an example of excellent patient care and coordination. We greatly enjoyed the visit, the tour, and the people at South Health Campus. 

If you have a colleague or group of colleagues that you would like to nominate for one of our many ACFP Awards, please do, so they can have the recognition that they deserve. Our staff is prepared to help you with the nomination process if you wish. Presenting awards to our very deserving colleagues has been one of the highlights of my tenure as your president.  

Final Farewell

On that note, this is the last President’s Message that I will be writing as my term as president will be up as of the Annual Meeting of Members at Summit. This is when the attending membership will review and ratify the new Board slate. Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this capacity on your behalf. I do feel that ACFP has made great strides during the past couple of years, and I attribute that to all of you, our members. You have contacted us frequently and provided us with information, feedback, and valuable knowledge that our organization (committees, staff, Board) could then strategize with and act upon. I could not be more grateful. I also feel that I am a different person since assuming this role. I experienced growth and gained knowledge in many topics previously unknown to me. Many of you have also been personally supportive of me during very challenging life events. I feel that these experiences would have been much more difficult without the support of a community like ACFP. 

Once our new president (Dr. Noel DaCunha) assumes his post, I assure you that ACFP will not skip a beat as Noel has been immersed in ACFP’s leadership and advocacy efforts during his time on our Board and the past year as President-Elect. So, we will forge on. 

Best wishes to Noel and to all you during our Board transition and for the rest of the winter. We will meet soon and often. 


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

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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.