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President’s Message – June 2024

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Dear ACFP Members, 

Today, June 21st, marks Indigenous Peoples Day across the country. Coinciding with the National Indigenous History Month (NIHM), this annual observance encourages us to celebrate the rich history, heritage, resilience and the diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples across Canada.  

Both events unite all of us to make every effort to deepen our understanding of the historical and social context of Indigenous communities, and to foster appreciation for their culture and contributions to our land for many generations. 

Indigenous Peoples face unique health challenges and as family physicians, our role is to make sure they receive excellent equitable health care that is comprehensive, patient-centred, continuity-based, and compassionate to meet their needs.  

Our Commitment 

Guided by our Strategic Framework, the ACFP reflects on our actions and advocacies in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action on Health (Items 18-24). The ACFP further shines a light on the contributions of our members and provides learning opportunities that improve cultural competency in family medicine practice.  

While we actively organize or engage in initiatives that combat systemic racism, strengthen cultural respect and inclusivity, and impact meaningful change, we recognize the need for increased dedication and commitment to achieve an equitable health care system.  

Engage in ReconciliACTION 

To signify our commitment to reconciliation and healing, it is important that we participate in activities that support the work being done towards ReconciliACTION. Take a moment to learn and understand the history of Indigenous populations and take concrete steps to promote cultural safety and inclusivity in our practices. 

Here are a few suggestions to aid your ReconciliACTION process: 

Pride Month

Another celebration taking place in June is “Pride Month,” which honours the talents and recognizes the contributions of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.  

The ACFP recognizes the value of providing gender-affirming care to people in these communities and the need for family doctors to have easy access to appropriate resources to support the patients’ unique health needs.   

In the spirit of inclusivity and gender-sensitivity, it is crucial that we educate ourselves on how to best support our gender-diverse patients. To gain more insight on the medical issues relevant to the 2SLGBTQ+ community, please join the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) webinar happening on June 26th, 6:00 p.m. 

Take some time to enrich your knowledge and understanding of Gender-Based Affirming Care. Sign up/Log in to ACFP Networks to gain access to relevant CPD recordings and discussions.

A Note of Gratitude 

I would like to acknowledge and extend my gratitude to all the Indigenous Peoples, who have been long-standing stewards of this land we call home. Your wisdom, resilience, and contributions have shaped our society in so many ways and it is my hope that we all walk towards healing, diversity, and reconciliation moving forward. 

Wishing everyone a meaningful Indigenous Peoples Day, NIHM, and Pride Month! 



Noel DaCunha, MBBS, CCFP 
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.