Winter 2022 (Volume 32, Number 4)
B.C. Society of Rheumatologists (BCSR) –
Update from the Pacific
By Jason Kur, MD, FRCPC
As 2022 nears its close, it is a
time to reflect on some of the
successes in B.C.
We have seen the impact of COVID
slowly decline, which has allowed
our members to re-engage in
the important work of strengthening
rheumatologic care in the province.
And finally, this work is happening
both in person and remotely.
B.C. continues to be a leader in
emerging models of care. The crisis
in primary care has highlighted the
need for multidisciplinary teams in
the community more than ever. We
have now had 10 years of experience
in the evolution of rheumatology
nursing in community practice, and
the field continues to expand. Drs.
Tommy Gerschman and Michelle Teo have been granted
$1.385M from the Specialist Services Committee (a Joint
Collaborative Committee of the Doctors of B.C.) to help
specialists develop and implement an interprofessional
team care model in their outpatient fee-for-service clinics.
Eleven participants, from 8 different specialties (4
surgical and 7 medical, with one being pediatric rheumatology)
from all health regions in B.C. are participating in
this change model based on the Institute for Healthcare
Improvement (IHI) Breakthrough Series Collaborative.
At the time of this writing, a proposed new Physician
Master Agreement is being presented by the Doctors of
B.C. for ratification. While the details are just now emerging,
there is a considerable shift in the payment model
for family physicians in an effort to stem the crisis in
primary care. The impact of this potential agreement on
specialist care has yet to be articulated, and we will be
watching developments closely.
The 17th annual British Columbia Rheumatology
Invitational Educational Series (BRIESE)
The BRIESE conference took place in September. The
sessions were back in person and more impactful than
ever. The outstanding program included international
guests Professor Georg Schett from Germany and
Dr. Maria Dall’Era from the University of California San
Francisco (UCSF). Canadian content was represented by
Dr. Janet Pope from the University
of Western Ontario (UWO) and
Dr. Benjamin Lai from the University
of British Columbia (UBC).
Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta also
led a lively lupus panel that included
all the invited guests. After
several years of Zoom fatigue, the
B.C. rheumatology community was
eager to reconnect, learn and celebrate
in record-breaking numbers.
We also took the opportunity to
praise some of our finest with the
Annual BCSR/UBC Award presentations
in September. The Innovation
Award was given to Dr. Maziar Badii
for his longstanding innovation and
collaboration with radiology in the
areas of gout and knee osteoarthritis
using genicular artery embolization. Dr. Ann Marie
Colwill was awarded the UBC BCSR Teaching Award for
her outstanding contributions to the medical training program
notably in the area of anatomy teaching. Dr. Diane
Lacaille received the Advocacy Award. Her work, known
worldwide, has focused on patient empowerment, work
success, and advocating for improved models of care.
Award winners (from left to right):
Drs. Anne Marie Colwill, Diane Lacaille
and Maziar Badii
B.C. is also blessed with some outstanding leadership.
I would like to congratulate Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta
on his recent appointment as the UBC Rheumatology
Division Head, as well as Dr. Michelle Teo and
Blumenauer for their terms on the Board of Directors of
the Doctors of BC this past year.
Lastly, I would be remiss without acknowledging the
outstanding contributions to B.C. rheumatology made
by Dr. John Esdaile.
Dr. Esdaile recently announced
his retirement. He has guided a generation of trainees
throughout the country. His vision and commitment to
patients and Arthritis Research Canada have left a legacy
beyond compare. He leaves behind at Arthritis Research
Canada (ARC) the largest clinical arthritis research centre
in North America!
Jason Kur, MD, FRCPC
Artus Health Centre, University of British Columbia
President, B.C. Society of Rheumatologists
Vancouver, British Columbia