This year we have had a busy advocacy agenda, covering the following topics:

Transitioning Patients into Adult Care

The BCPS had a Specialist Services Committee grant (led by Drs. Aven Poynter and Todd Sorokan) which focused on building supports for community pediatricians who are transitioning patients into adult care as they “age out” of pediatric care.

Besides the development of a new Medical Transfer Summary Form (based on work done by the OnTrac program), we collected and posted Division of Family Practice assists in finding family physicians for transitioning patients (as well as adult specialists).  We provided a list of community resources by region, and a set of mental health guidelines.

These mental health guidelines led us to our next SSC funded project.  Besides working to increase the uptake of the Medical Transfer Summary Form, we are focusing on transitioning complex patients with mental health disorders as they age out of pediatric care.  This project will involve creating up to 10 “straw dog” patients (based on typical patient profiles provided by community pediatricians).  Then we will “transition” these patients and see what resources are out there to support them; we know already that this is going to be an issue, so we’ll be looking for solutions that stick.  We’ll be working with our Advisory Committee which includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, MCFD and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions) to understand what’s already been done in this regard, and what can be done.

SipSmart Update

The SipSmart program has now officially been moved over to the Childhood Obesity Foundation on a perpetual license agreement.  They have put up a SipSmart website ( and have plans to update and expand the program.

Child and Youth Mental Health

A constant concern for pediatricians is access and quality of child and youth mental health services.  The BCPS continues to work on this initiative.  The CYMHSU Collaborative is now finished but many communities are continuing their work in with the LATs.

Drs. Wilma Arruda and Aven Poynter along with Stephanie Stevenson have raised this topic with the MoH, MCFD and MoEd on regular lobby trips to Victoria.  Wilma, Aven and Stephanie were also invited to a 2 day planning meeting hosted by the MMHA to start the development of a Mental Health and Addictions strategy.  Ongoing meetings of this advisory group are continuing.  Wilma was invited to attend a 2 day MH conference hosted by the MoEd.

Wilma has been invited to participate in the CPS Task Force on Mental Health as a community pediatrician rep.

Linking Pediatricians to Schools

There are a few examples of school based health centres in BC, one of the most notable being the Barsby Clinic in Nanaimo, founded by Dr. Wilma Arruda and her colleagues. The BCPS is interested in seeing more of these clinics. The MoEd, MCFD and MoH are all interested in this initiative. Aven, Stephanie, and Wilma have met with the Minister of Ed Rob Fleming and will meet with him twice. Minister Fleming was able to visit the John Barsby Wellness Centre in June.

The final report of the 3 year evaluation of the JBWC is in draft form.  MoEd and MMHA are awaiting the report.

Wilma is working on a proposal to the BCPS to fund an advocacy project related to Pediatricians working in Elementary Schools.

Public Coverage of the HPV Vaccine for All Boys (Not Just Boys “at risk”)

We are ramping up our campaign again to increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine (for both boys and girls).  Each community pediatrician will receive a poster and a “prescription pad” educational tool for parents.

Immunization Schedule and Non Publically Funded Vaccine Factsheets

In addition to the HPV project, we are applying for funding to develop a program to assist pediatricians who want to “talk vaccines” to their patients.  And we’re updating the BCPS immunization schedule and vaccine fact sheets.

Jane Finlay joined Wilma, Aven and Stephanie in meeting the PHO Bonnie Henry to discuss wait lists for immunizations and our concern that Public Health Units are not recommending non publicly funded vaccines.  We will meet with Bonnie Henry again in Oct.

Secure Care

The Provincial Government is slowly making progress on looking at secure care, i.e. involuntary care, for youth with severe substance use issues.  Tom Warshawski is on their Expert Panel (Tom led the Secure Care Working Group in the BCPS).  Progress is very slow, possibly because this program needs to be seen in the context of a better overall program for substance using youth (and adults).

Family Centred, Integrated Support of Children and Youth with Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The Project Goal is to establish and provincially disseminate a model for family-centered, integrated support of children and youth with complex neurodevelopmental disorders (e. g., Autism, FASD, Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities) and related behavioural/mental health needs.  Individuals who have complex needs and their families, require integrated support from educational services, Psychologists, community agencies (e.g., The Centre for Child Development), Ministry of Child & Family Development (MCFD), general practitioners, community and developmental Paediatricians, as well as Paediatric Psychiatrists/Neuropsychiatrists.

BCPS has applied for an AAP grant to see if we can get a bit of money for it.