Message from the President and Director - March 16, 2022

Bozhoo! Tan'si! Greetings from IPAC,

On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, we hope you are all finding time for joy and rest. The theme of this quarter’s newsletter is growth, something IPAC has experienced much of over the past year. It’s been a fast-paced and exciting time to serve IPAC and we would like to share some of our highlights.

We welcomed two new board members, Dr. Mike Dumont and McMaster student Josha Quinn, both of whom are founding members of our Champions Committee – a group dedicated to lifting up and celebrating our colleagues for their amazing work. Since its’ inception in the fall of 2020, we have seen successful Indigenous nominees for the CMA awards, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, the RDoC awards and more.

Our membership grew to 341 active members, largely in part to our Membership and Mentorship Manager, Sara Ayaruak-Thomson. Since joining us in November they have been fostering relationships with medical schools and encouraging them to sponsor IPAC student member fees as part of their reconciliation journey. Sara has created and rolled out our Mentorship Circle, which already has over 50 registrants whom are making the most of this personalized portal. They have also organized and hosted several membership and mentorship events online and have been integral to the planning of PRIDoC, where you’ll have the chance to meet Sara in person.

Our capacity as an organization has also grown significantly. In four short months, our Administrative Coordinator, Ariel John, has created and improved our administrative procedures and systems, allowing us more time and energy to focus on IPAC’s strategic priorities. Ariel supports the IPAC board and staff, often going above and beyond, in keeping us organized and on track. An excellent problem solver, she has quickly become an invaluable part of the IPAC team. Ariel has been the lead on all things accreditation for PRIDoC and you’ll have the opportunity to thank her in person for your CPDs this July at PRIDoC 2022.

Through our partnership with the National Consortium for Medical Education (NCIME), we launched our working group on Physician Wellness and Joy in Work. We have been collaborating on a draft framework to define physician wellness and joy in work with the ultimate goal of creating tools to support Indigenous physicians. The NCIME executive and working groups will have their first in-person meeting April 22, in conjunction with the Canadian College in Medical Education (CCME).

Our relationships with partners and stakeholders have grown as well. In 2021, IPAC became a member of the Canadian Medical Forum which brings together leaders of Canada’s major national medical organizations to discuss issues of priority to physicians, their patients, and the Canadian health care system. We received a $1 million grant from the Canadian Medical Foundation to increase capacity and create the IPAC mentorship program. We also entered into a funding agreement with MD Financial which will support our future annual gatherings and AGMs as well as student travel to PRIDoC 2022.

With the Pacific Regional Indigenous Doctors Congress (PRIDoC) 2022 around the corner, our staff, board, and volunteer subcommittee members have been hard at work preparing to welcome you in partnership with our host nations – the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We cannot wait to connect in-person, learn from each other and celebrate our cultures. Registration is open!

Chi-Miigwetch, Kinanaskomitin,

Thank you,

Dr. Cornelia Wieman, President
Melanie Osmack, Acting Director