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August Messenger 2020

August Messenger 2020 | Posted August 21, 2020

Our Condolences

With immense sadness, we recognize the passing of one of our colleagues, Dr. Walter Reynolds.

Dr. Reynolds practised as a family physician in Alberta since 2006 at the Red Deer Village Mall Walk-In Clinic. He passed away on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after he was assaulted while at work and died as a result of his injuries.

Please join the CPSA team in extending our sincere condolences to Dr. Reynolds’ loved ones and keeping them in your thoughts. CPSA would also like to recognize Dr. Reynolds’ colleagues and patients at the clinic for their heroic actions in ensuring no one else was hurt in the attack, as well as the first responders on the scene.

If you need support, the Alberta Medical Association’s Physician and Family Support Program is available 24/7 by calling 1-877-767-4637. This program is accessible to physicians, post-graduate trainees, medical students and their immediate family members.

Why run for CPSA Council?

Ten reasons you should consider putting in a nomination

We’re gearing up for this year’s Council Election to fill two physician vacancies. We will accept nominations until Sept. 9, 2020. Find out what you need to do.

Top 10 reasons to run for CPSA Council

  1. You want to support profession-led regulation
  2. You have (or want) board experience
  3. You want to grow as a collaborator and leader
  4. You want to give back to society and the profession
  5. You want to help physicians improve their medical practice
  6. You’re interested in standard and policy development
  7. You can bring diversity and a new perspective to Council
  8. You respect the work of CPSA Council and want to be part of it
  9. You have the time
  10. You have the passion-and want to make the time! See CPSA Councillor Dr. Luke Savage’s story

Your Physician Portal is not just for documents anymore

Since 2019, CPSA has made your prescribing data available in your Physician Portal. Within the portal’s Analytics tab, you’ll find your most recent MD Snapshot-Prescribing, easy-to-access resources, your prescribing trends for the last 12 quarters, and much more.

Remember, TPP Alberta no longer sends multi-prescriber letters, but this information is still available within the opioid and benzodiazepine summaries in your portal.

We want to provide you with resources that will help you help your patients. Log into your Physician Portal today and click on the Analytics tab to the right. The information you’ll find here is updated quarterly, so be sure to check back often.

Questions or concerns? Email

Physician practice improvement: join the evolution

Like most professions, medicine is constantly evolving and a physician’s practice must follow suit. A commitment to lifelong learning, continuous quality improvement (CQI) and personal development is an essential part of practising good medicine and providing high-quality patient care.

In 2019, the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities in Canada (FMRAC) released a statement on CQI, stating in part that:

“Patients deserve and expect the best possible care from their physicians, and all licensed physicians in Canada must be able to demonstrate that they are sustaining and enhancing their competence throughout their careers.”

What does this mean for you?

At CPSA, we are committed to empowering physicians in their journey of professional growth, to foster a culture of learning and optimized patient care. This is why we are preparing to launch the new Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP).

PPIP will support physicians in accessing resources and knowledge to incorporate CQI into their practice. Recognizing that personal factors and system stressors can influence performance, this program will also focus on a physician’s personal development.

We want to encourage physicians to strive for small changes that can make a difference, both personally and professionally, in pursuit of providing the best care for Albertans. Stay tuned to your email, Messenger and CPSA’s website in the coming months for more information.

Questions in the meantime? Email Dr. Shelley Howk, PPIP project lead and CPSA Senior Medical Advisor, at

An introduction to the Office of the Health Advocates

By: Janice Harrington, Alberta’s Health Advocate / Mental Health Patient Advocate

Did you know Alberta’s Health Advocate has existed since 2014 and Alberta’s Mental Health Patient Advocate has existed since 1990? Did you even know Alberta has health advocates? Appointed to this role last November, it is my goal to expand awareness of the Office of the Health Advocates and education about patient rights within the healthcare system.

The Health and Mental Health Patient Advocate’s role is to assist Albertans in dealing with their concerns related to health and mental health services in the province. More specifically, the Health Advocate’s role is to review complaints that a person has failed to act in a manner consistent with the Health Charter. The Health Charter outlines the expectations of both patients and healthcare providers in Alberta’s healthcare system. It is intended to guide the actions of health authorities, provincial health boards, operators, health providers, professional colleges and Albertans. Just like CPSA’s Standards of Practice, the Health Charter is used as a reference in reviewing complaints. It sets out what patients should expect as good medical practice and quality care.

The role of the Mental Health Patient Advocate is more prescribed under the Mental Health Act, to ensure the rights of mental health patients under certificate or community treatment order are upheld, and to help them navigate and access the resources available to them. In both advocate cases, we may investigate complaints and make recommendations.

The Office of the Health Advocates works collaboratively with healthcare providers as a neutral party. We assist Albertans in understating how the system works-providing them with resources and education to become more effective self-advocates, as well as referring them to existing complaint mechanisms. Most importantly, we play a role in identifying issues and opportunities for improvement in Alberta’s healthcare system, by using the input we hear every day from patients and their caregivers to provide insight and recommendations, to both operations and policy.

The rights outlined in Alberta’s Health Charter and those of mental health patients under the Mental Health Act will be familiar themes for physicians, as they relate to guidance CPSA’s standards of practice for physician-patient relations (Establishing the Physician-Patient Relationship and Terminating the Physician-Patient Relationship). Our goal is to expand on these rights and patient-centered care so the patient is a full partner. We also seek to more fully coordinate the patient-caregiver experience and to improve communications in a fragmented healthcare system. Fundamentally, we seek to encourage openness to feedback and patient experiences, to help provide opportunity for improvement.

The Office of the Alberta Health Advocates is a resource available to you as physician, as well as your patients. In the coming months, we hope to provide more specific information and our office is always available for support by phone or email. You can find more information at

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