BC Rural Update is an e-newsletter of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc)

Latest Articles


RCCbc News

RCCbc Grant Helps Rural BC Doctor & Partners Breathe New Life Into Ghana’s Biomedical Equipment Infrastructure

“Welcome to the graveyard,” says Dr. Dominic Akaateba, an internal medicine specialist in Wa, northern Ghana. His ironic sentiment becomes clear as he peels back a bedsheet to reveal stacks of unused and broken-down medical equipment that line a corridor in the Sandema Regional Hospital. In rural Ghana, about 40 percent of medical equipment is out of service, despite being integral to preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness. Patient outcomes suffer as a result. And banished, unrecyclable devices heap into “medical equipment graveyards”.

All this is starting to change in Ghana, thanks in part to an innovative “Clinical Engineering Project” led by Dr. Kelly Hadfield, a rural physician in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, and her non-profit organization, Ghana Medical Help. With a $10,000 grant from RCCbc’s Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative, the innovative Project is breathing new life into the country’s biomedical equipment infrastructure. Read more about the “Clinical Engineering Project” and how YOU can apply for a Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative grant!

RCCbc Honours National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30 

Thursday, September 30, marks Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation—a day to recognize and reflect upon the tragic history and legacy of residential schools, and to honour survivors of the residential school system. To mark this important day, RCCbc is launching a new progress report to keep ourselves, and our partners, accountable to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action to advance reconciliation. To develop this progress report, our staff and healthcare leaders have reflected and assessed how their current work considers and contributes to these Calls to Action—and where and how improvements can be made to advance truth and conciliation in our work. Read RCCbc’s new progress report and learn more about Orange Shirt Day, which is also commemorated on September 30.

Better connected: How low-orbit satellite internet can pave the way for health equity 

Technology has allowed rural healthcare providers to improve patient care in their communities—but there are still gaps because of a lack of infrastructure. Real-Time Virtual Support, which can incorporate Point-of-Care Ultrasound virtually, among other services made possible by fast internet connections, have been important tools for rural providers in the past few years, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But not all communities are created equal when it comes to having the infrastructure needed to make the best use of this technology. So what can be done? Dr. Stefan Du Toit, a general practitioner in Valemount, says low-orbit satellite internet has the potential to make a big impact on rural healthcare.  Learn how low-orbit satellite internet could help bring virtual health and point-of-care ultrasound to more rural BC communities

Meet the RCCbc Team in Our Spotlight Series

In RCCbc’s ‘Team Spotlight’ series, our team members tell us what they do, why they do it, and how they help improve the health of rural people and communities in British Columbia.

This month, we introduce you to Dr. Ian Schokking who shares what his proudest working moment with RCCbc has been. We also delve into Tom Skinner’s next bucket list item and how it correlates with the Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Networks program.



RTVS Offers Three Educational Opportunities in October 

Mark your calendars in October for three sure-to-be fantastic educational opportunities from physicians with the Real-Time Virtual Support program. On October 1, Dr. Suzanne Campbell will provide a “Snapshot of Rural Maternity”. On that same day, UBC CPD will host a Virtual Health Grand Round with Dr. Brydon Blacklaws, who will reflect on the RUDi (Rural Urgent Doctor in-aid) pathway’s recent experience of supporting Emergency Room providers in Dawson Creek. Dr. Rina Chadha will also present on the HEiDi 811 Physician Service. Then, on October 21, join Drs. Sara Sandwith and Alysha Feder-Mackenzie for a presentation on “Preparation for Pre-term Birth”. Click here for more details about these learning opportunities.

Going Rural: Enhancing Practice Education Symposium 

UBC Health is hosting a collaborative health education symposium on practice education in rural and remote areas of BC on Thursday, October 21, 2021. The symposium will focus on the Rural Education Acceleration and Collaboration in Health (REACH) action framework, which is intended to increase the number of health student placements in rural and remote areas of BC.

The symposium will bring together health partners who have a role in facilitating the delivery of practice education in rural and remote areas of BC to discuss the REACH action framework development process, contents, and lessons learned as well as identify collaborative opportunities to utilize the framework in order to enhance capacity and quality of rural and remote practice education.

The symposium will include opening remarks from Dr. Ray Markham (Executive Director of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC and Special Advisor to the Vice-President, Health on Health Systems, UBC), followed by a presentation about the REACH action framework and group discussions around the roles of different partners in moving the framework forward. Click on this link to register. For more information on the symposium, visit UBC Health’s website.

Coming Up: Rural Rounds

Are you a rural healthcare provider who’d like to learn up-to-date and relevant medical education through interactive online presentations? Join UBC CPD for the second session of its Rural Rounds series on October 14, 2021, from 8 to 9 a.m. The Round will feature Drs. Erika Kellerhals and Anne Nguyen, who’ll discuss Micro-dosing Opioid Agonist Therapy. Rural Rounds are free to attend, thanks to funding from the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, and you can earn 1 Mainpro+ credit per session. For information and registration, visit the website.

CME on the Run: Psychiatry

Join UBC CPD for the next session in its unique and award-winning half-day series, “CME on the Run”, on October 15, 2021, from 1 to 5 p.m. The topic for the afternoon is “Psychiatry”. A number of interesting presentations will be provided on topics, including, “Anxiety and Depression in Youth: Balancing the Impacts of Social Media, Screen Time on Mental Health” and “Insomnia Diagnosis and Management”. This conference is particularly beneficial for rural family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, residents, and students. Each session is eligible for 3.5 Mainpro+/session credits. Register on UBC CPD’s website.

Rural Research Lineup

Registration Now Open for BC Rural Health Research Exchange Presenters 

It’s back!

If you attended last year’s BC Rural Health Research Exchange (BCRHRx), you’ll have been blown away be the variety and ingenuity of the rural health research happening in British Columbia (BC).

And because we know the work never stops, we wanted to do it all over again.

That’s why the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), with the support of the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, is hosting the second annual BCRHRx on November 23, 2021, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Just like last year, the event will be a fast-paced virtual half-day event designed to inform, engage, and share current rural research in BC. And just like last year, we’re inviting anyone to take part. Learn how you can become a presenter at this year’s BCRHRx. (Participant registration will open soon!)

Grant Deadlines, Rural Leadership Development Program, UNBC Rural Physician Study & More…

Apply for RCCbc’s grants on Rural Physician Research and Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative before October 31, 2021. Looking to develop your skills as a leader? The Rural Education Action Plan is accepting applications for its Rural Leadership Development Program. And researchers from the University of Northern British Columbia are looking for rural physician participants for a study into the “phenomena of the rural physician.” Click here to learn more about these research opportunities!





Web site background image: Cowichan Bay, BC. Photo: Gary Oaksun