2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
Reflections from the President
2020 presented the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) with many challenges – a worldwide pandemic, transitions to virtual learning and engagement opportunities, and tumultuous government relations. The ACFP tackled these issues head on through the incredible efforts of our Board, Committees, staff, and members. As an organization and as a profession, we learned the importance of strength and unity. It has been important to see colleagues and patients rally behind us and recognize our importance in the system and in providing care on a day-to-day basis across the province. Family physicians are resilient, adaptable, and are at the Heart of Family Medicine.
We are proud of the advocacy efforts we established in 2020—we registered as a lobbyist; launched the Heart of Family Medicine media campaign; and voiced member concerns with government officials— but know this is only the beginning. The ACFP will continue to build on these accomplishments while maintaining the standard of excellence in educational programming our members expect.
Our signature events pivoted to a virtual world and flourished. Technology and similar innovations inspired new programs (Check-in and Check-up Webinar Series) and enhanced favourites. We also saw the support from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program to continue our Collaborative Mentorship Network for Chronic Pain and Addiction for an additional three years – a legacy project from the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative (PHC ORI).
The well-known proverb “Out like a lion, in like a lamb” comes to mind while reflecting on the year that was 2020. The coronavirus (COVID-19) made for an unprecedented and unpredictable year; even so, with vaccinations on the horizon, we can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and the hopeful return of some normality.
It has been my honour and privilege to serve these last few years as the ACFP President. I thank all of you for your continued commitment and hard work through the various challenges we face.
Wishing you all good health,
Vishal Bhella MD, CCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians