Striving to meet community needs

Oceanside division of family practice working to give Oceanside residents health excellence

The Oceanside Division of Family Practice represents the communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, French Creek, Errington, Coombs and Lighthouse Country.  We are a non-profit society which was formed in November 2010 by local family physicians. Our members work together to increase family practitioner influence on health care delivery in our region, enhance professional satisfaction to general practitioners and improve patient care in our area.


Division Priorities — professional development and community support

One of the Division’s key roles is education. We have organized several continuing medical education talks for our physician members to allow them to attain their ongoing professional development goals.

The Division also believes keeping people informed about health care issues. As a result, the Division has organized an ongoing series of community health forums. The forum series for 2011 saw Dr. Clair Biglow present within his expertise about diabetes, Dr. Bayla Schecter speak about addiction being a brain problem rather than a moral one and Nanaimo Family Life shared information about handling stresses within a sandwich generation household. The first forum for 2012 allowed Dr. Richard Henderson, partnering with the Alzheimer Society, to meet the growing interest in issues related to dementia. We look forward to the hearing from community residents about other topics they would like addressed during the forum series.


Division healthy living initiatives

Oceanside Division has formed a PAWOR group (pronounced POWER and standing for Physicians Advocating Wellness for Oceanside Residents).  The PAWOR group looks to support the BCMA Be Active Everyday program in schools. We are looking forward to future projects including presenting talks in schools, re: dangers of smoking, alcohol, drugs and risky behavior such as driving fast. We are also planning a Walk With Your Doc community event to increase awareness of the importance of daily exercise.


Oceanside Division influence within the regional health care system

It is important for health care partners to communicate and collaborate about local health care needs and services. Our Division meets within the framework of a Collaborative Service Committee (CSC) model. Partners comprising the Oceanside CSC are the Division, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the General Practice Service Committee and the Ministry of Health. The CSC mandate is to meet area health care needs and to develop plans for evolving services.

The committee partners present clinical issues of concern for patient care outcomes, co-determine priorities and co-design solutions. The CSC also invites input from patients, community residents and leaders.


Residential Care, an Oceanside priority

The Oceanside CSC is working at completing a Residential Care Proposal. This proposal will lead to improved patient services and supports in long term care facilities, higher physician job satisfaction as well as reduced health care costs. If successful, the proposed program could potentially be implemented in other areas of the province.


An Oceanside Division invitation

The Division board of directors has worked consistently to meet with community groups dealing with health care associated supports and programs.

The Division has invited delegations to meet with the Division board and word-of-mouth response to our community-minded activity has drawn other groups to our table. These meetings have given the Division perspectives and awareness that will help individual physicians with patient care responsibilities and in our decisions about professional development, CSC priorities and community health forum topics. We are also trying to learn about resident perspectives about health care gaps in programs and services and would encourage residents to email us their stories.

The Oceanside Division can be contacted through our co-ordinator Geri Sera at


— Dr. Mark Morris is a member of the ODFP

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