2022 Annual Report

Abbotsford Division of Family Practice

April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022

A Message from our Co-Chairs

Well, it’s been another unprecedented year from multiple waves of Covid, the floods and increasing pressures within primary care. As the co-chairs on behalf of the division of family practice we would like to commend you all on how well you have overcome these hurdles.

The division of family practice board recognises how challenging longitudinal family practice is in this current landscape and has made supporting Patient Medical Homes (PMH’s) – your offices, the focus this year. We hope that Doctors of BC in partnership with the Ministry of health can improve the situation for the people of British Columbia and family doctors.

During this past year the board welcomed four new board members and they have been great additions to the team. They include Drs John Dickinson, Hardeep Aujla, Michael Yatscoff and Richard Welsh.

This was a year of transition for the board, given half of the board was new and we said goodbye to our Executive Director. Our Fraser Health colleagues have seen changeovers of VP and ED in primary care.  The current focus of the board is hiring a new ED.

Looking back at the year in review we have made some valuable contributions to our community. In September of 2021 we had our AGM which was done virtually. We had planned for many social events that didn’t happen to due to ever-changing covid restrictions. We look forward to having some in the near future and seeing everyone.

As a community we came together and offered influenza vaccines. This was a successful campaign. Thank you to all of those who participated.

The Division supported the UPCC in its opening and now they have recruited more physicians and we look forward to them increasing their attachment numbers.

All member events were well attended and the information gathered was used for future planning by the board. We are now in the final states of submitting our expression of interest (EOI) to become a Primary Care Network community (PCN). We hope this will lead to further supports for your PMH’s. We welcomed Dr Trent Loewen as our PCN lead – thank you for all your hard work.

In November we experienced catastrophic floods that divided the valley. We came together as a community to support patient care and partnered well with our neighbouring communities to treat patients on either side of the flood waters. We are planning to do more work to enhance our emergency response.

Thank you to those who attended the Airshow, it was a fun, family friendly event and great to reconnect with you all.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, both your co-chairs have completed our time on the board, thank you for allowing us to represent you. With change comes new beginnings and we are excited to see where the new board will take things.

- Caroline and Presley

We welcomed the following new Physicians this year!

Dr. Brittany Ansell
Dr. Morgan Campbell
Dr. Ryan Chard
Dr. Balraj S. Dhaliwal
Dr. Senan Fernandes
Dr. Josh Karram
Dr. Jennifer Liang
Dr. Marylu Loewen
Dr. Abigail Mather
Dr. Dustin Mattie

Dr. Grant Mandair
Dr. David Morgan
Dr. Reza Pourvali
Dr. Shabnam Rostamirad
Dr. Ashandeep Sandhu
Dr. Shaleen Simon
Dr. Mandur Somani
Dr. Danae Tracey
Dr. Andrea Wong
Dr. Jingfei Zhang

Treasurer's Report

Dear Division Members, 

If you ever wonder what the treasurer does, well, it's making sure the cheques get signed, and the budget is reviewed with the Executive Director. One of the reasons I was asked to take on this roll was because I asked a lot of questions and wanted things to be made simple. I am pleased to say that over the last year, the staff have made the financial statements much easier to understand and follow. It still takes some effort - but if you want, I can walk you through it!

To make it simple: The Division receives money from GPSC based on our membership numbers. Some of the money is flowed through the Division for Programs. Our biggest program is the very successful LTC Network (about $350k/year). Other funds come under the category of Restricted funds meaning we can only use the money for certain projects. About 20% of our total budget is meant for member engagement (funding sessionals).

From a financial position, I am pleased to say we have satisfied our Auditors. We have managed our funds carefully and as a result, have had an excess of revenue that had to be repaid to our funders. While this shows we have been prudent, our goal in the future is to use our funds as efficiently, as effectively and as fully as possible.

As a member driven organization, our budget allows us the funding to reach out and get your input. Starting early this year, the Division has embarked on re-engagement with the membership as we have come out of Covid. We are finding new ways to get your input. We value your time and we can compensate you for it.

More than ever, it is through us as Family Doctors, in all its forms, that will help make healthcare in our community better. The Division is given significant funding to enhance and support our members. This year, more than ever, use the Division to bring about the changes we need!

Respectfully submitted,

Holden Chow



A huge thank you to the following physicians for accepting patients from the Care Connector Waiting List!

Dr. Marylu Loewen
Omnicare Clinic
Dr. David Ross
Dr. Paul Fluit

Dr. Abigail Mather
Dr. Nadia Kalsoom
Dr. Kim Arora
Dr. Kaver Purewal

A Word from Our Acting Executive Director

Marking another year has a natural tendency for reflection of the times, we acknowledge the changes and new developments of the past and how these guide and shape our future vision. This past year has certainly been consistent in keeping change and adaptability front and centre. New hope came with the world’s introduction to the COVID-19 vaccine and its Canadian roll-out through the mid to late 2021 and into 2022. The most notable change this year includes the emerging out of the pandemic and the cautious return to our ‘new normal’. As we begin to return to pre -pandemic routines and daily life… or rather defining what these are…. the challenge of navigating the restart remains top of mind.

Over the past year the Division continued to support foundational work for members in anticipation of emerging from the pandemic. These include:

  • Progressing the PCN EOI with strong community partners endorsements and membership’s approval for becoming a PCN community;
  • Initiating the first phase of the Emergency Response Plan with the Practice Continuity Plan and sister clinic support network;
  • Also included was the collaborative effort with Fraser Health incorporated the approved the 5 PCN Early Draw Allied Health Professionals into a service model with 5 pilot clinics to test and learn for future PCN Planning.
  • Work continues with building meaningful relations with the region’s First Nation and Indigenous peoples with exploring potential for partnering in the PCN endeavour.
  • Care Connector attached about 1,400 patients to members.
  • Your Division welcomed 16 new family physician members and 4 Emergency Room Practitioners to membership.

Collaborative work with Division partners remained slowed over the past year with continuing effects of pandemic restrictions and its subsequent infection waves. However, the summer has shown optimism for resuming ongoing collaboration projects and initiatives for new endeavours.

It is with renewed optimism, the Division is poised to emerge into a new era, in many respect, to continue supporting and progressing Primary Care to the Abbotsford community.

Patients Waiting for Attachment*
Patients Attached 2021 - 2022

*As of April 31, 2022. This number is currently higher

Care Connector Waiting List Prioritization

This year has seen some exciting updates to the Care Connector waiting list. Division members met to determine additional survey questions that would help to identify patients with a need for urgent attachment. Not only does this ensure a more equitable attachment process, but it allows for the customization of panels for Physicians accepting patients from our waiting list..

While we were sad to see them go, we wish a happy retirement to these Physicians after years of dedication to the health of our community!

Dr. Gail Arnott
Dr. Arthur Harder
Dr. Neil Hilliard

Dr. Ian Morrison
Dr. Don Ross
Dr. Kulraj Singh
Dr. Adriaan Windt

PCN Update

Primary care in BC (and Canada) is struggling with a large and widening care gap.  Both the cause and potential solutions are myriad. One substantial step in the right direction is acknowledging and enhancing the many community family practices that serve as Patient Medical Homes (PMH's) and then intentionally connecting them with each other, and building around them a network of resources including a team of allied healthcare professionals - this is called a Primary Care Network (PCN).  The goal is to help improve patient access to care while reducing the burden on the family physician.

The members of Abbotsford Division of Family Practice have expressed strong unified support for pursuing this approach and as such we have begun the process of becoming a PCN community. As a reminder, this is not new work, it is a new name for work that has already been occurring in many of our practices for some time with new funding and support to make it better.

To date we have accomplished the following:

  • Met with a large number of physicians and offices in the community to listen and provide information
  • Received a strong mandate from the membership to pursue the process of becoming a PCN community
  • Hired and implemented "early draw" AHPs (Allied Health Professionals) including a dietician, social workers, and clinical counsellors in a few pilot clinics.  Early feedback has been positive.
  • We have created a regular working group between our local team and a small team of Fraser Health leaders to proactively address some of the challenges of interfacing local needs with health authority perspectives.  This has been effective.
  • We have learned the importance of a strong governance model and have advocated for more control at the local level for decisions affecting how we design, fund, and implement a PCN for Abbotsford.
  • We are making slow progress on building relationships with the region’s local first nations with a goal of finding opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
  • Advanced work toward a final EOI (Expression of Interest) to submit for approval of a plan to the Ministry of Health for becoming an official PCN community.  Once approved, this will secure our funding toward full implementation. 

Also, none of this will be mandatory for anyone - it is voluntary but we trust it will be so beneficial to the practices that it is irresistible.  We intend to help ease the workload of the local family physician, support physician income, and improve patient care; imagine if we succeeded!

The Division welcomed the following UBC Practice Residents as Associate Members:

Year 1
Dr. Harpreet Brar
Dr. Justin Dhinsa
Dr. David Kim
Dr. Satvir Pandher
Dr. Guirsiman Rekhi
Dr. Noah Reich
Dr. Lorenzo Smith
Dr. Raiya Suleman

Year 2
Dr. Diane Bosc
Dr. Clare Chiu
Dr. Jas Hans
Dr. Casey Hicks
Dr. Michal Jurkowski
Dr. Richard Low
Dr. Michelle Ou

Dear Members,

We would like to start off this year's letter by acknowledging all of our long term care physicians. We know all of our physicians work tirelessly to provide care for our community in various settings and roles. We sincerely acknowledge your hard work in all of your clinical roles and thank you for providing exceptional care to our 700+ long term care residents and for providing support to the staff at our 11 LTC sites. 

"We are blessed to work with an amazing team of physicians. Thank you!" - Abbotsford LTC Site

This past year, as most of you have probably noticed, we had a few staff changes at the Division. However, after only a few position changes, we welcomed Jasmine Sekhon into the role of long term care programs lead. We are very happy to have her and admire her for her dedication and creativity.

Some of our accomplishments this year include successful recruitment of multiple physicians, advocating for our physicians at Fraser Health meetings, collaborating with other Divisions at the Interdivisional meetings, hosting an Osteoporosis education session lead by Dr Sabrina Gill, hosting a very successful all members meeting, maintaining the on-call program, and new member orientation and support.

In the next year, we hope to continue to improve on the patient-provider and provider-site experience. One of our main focuses will be to continue to push for better EMR systems so our physicians have all the information they need to make the best decisions for their patients. In the meantime, we are working on a way to onboard all of our physicians to CareConnect. We also look forward to an in person education session this Fall. If you have any feedback or comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or Jasmine Sekhon.


Shelley Bhalla
Abbotsford Division of Family Practice Long Term Care Physician Lead

Residents in Long Term Care
Increase in Residents with a Care Conference
Long Term Care Sites
Physicians Working in Long Term Care
Total Beds in Long Term Care

This year, the Abbotsford medical community lost a beloved mentor, doctor, and friend.

Remembering Dr. Jonathan Burns

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