Issue No.9 Community Voices in Health Professional Education at UBC

November 2014

Issue 9

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Reaching over 1200 people in the community and university, this newsletter promotes patient and community involvement in health professional education at UBC.


Community Educator Awards Announced!

The 2014 R. Paul Kerston Award Committee has selected 2 exemplary community educators who have made a difference to student learning at UBC. 

Mo Korchinski and Tiare Laporte will be honoured for their work to expand student learning beyond traditional boundaries at an awards reception hosted by the College of Health Disciplines in November.

Mo Korchinski is a founding member of Women in2 Healing (Wi2H), a not-for-profit community-based organization of formerly incarcerated women, volunteers and academics who seek to improve the physical, emotional and social healing of women inside and outside of prison by engaging in participatory research processes. She visits schools, colleges and universities to share her story and findings from Wi2H research projects with students.

Tiare Laporte helped develop a speech and audiology course, entitled: Approaches to audiology and speech-language pathology for persons of First Nations, Metis or Inuit heritage. She has facilitated community learning experiences for over 160 audiology and speech-language pathology students and serves on the school's Advisory Council.

Congratulations to these two outstanding community educators! 

300+ visit Allies in Health Fair

The 6th Annual Allies in Health Fair took place on October 29th with 40 community exhibitors and 8 patient panels visited by more than 300 students from Audiology and Speech Sciences, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Genetic Counseling, Social Work, Physical Therapy and Counseling Psychology.  

“It was a very unique experience to see things from the patient's point of view and how some of the hardships could have been avoided with a better quality of care.” said one medical student.

For Fair organizers, 2014 marks an important step towards sustainability with community organizations matching university contributions to ensure the Fair continues. Read more...

Fair visitors weigh in on community engagement

This year’s Allies in Health Fair was home to a ‘Conversation Corner’ to inform UBC’s Commitment to Community Engagement. Thank you to those who shared their thoughts, ideas, and insights.

Participants mapped connections to communities all over the country and all over the world – from UBC Campus to Kitimat, Fort McMurray, Iran, the Philippines and China, to name a few places. 

Visitors endorsed the need for relationships between UBC and various communities with key themes being the benefit to learning, development of broader perspectives, and the need to connect – “connections between students and the community help keep us balanced and grounded while we study; they also help us tie in education with its practical application in the community”.

The challenges were captured in comments such as “it is one thing to reach and another to engage”. Read more...

UBC Health Mentors program goes to Parliament Hill

Nic Steenhout, Irene Ogrizek and Dr. Sawatzky with assistance dog Leon at Parliament Hill in October.

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky was invited to parliament hill to comment on a private members bill put forward to parliament by MP Stephen Fletcher from Manitoba on physician-assisted suicide.

In her speech, Dr. Sawatzky, a faculty supervisor for medical students in the UBC Health Mentors Program, told members of parliament about the Health Mentors program and what students in the program learn from people with a chronic condition / disability. "We’re teaching future doctors how to provide support, care and appreciate the larger picture of those with greater health care needs." said Dr. Sawatzky.

Health Advocacy workshop package available

In Canada, medical education is organized around 7 roles that physicians are expected to perform (the CanMEDS framework). Of all CanMEDS roles, Health Advocate has proved to be the most problematic to define, teach and assess.

This workshop package was developed and piloted for geriatric psychiatry residents and includes information to assist with the development and delivery of a workshop on health advocacy for medical residents that is co-create and co-taught by representatives from community-based advocacy organizations.

The workshop development was funded by the UBC Faculty of Medicine Special Populations Fund 2012-14.

Work will continue with a Medical Education Research Grant from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to design additional educational materials, develop best practice guidelines for community involvement, and study the impact of these materials on resident learning and engagement.

For more information visit:

Mentor Spotlight:
Sari Sikstrom

Sari Sikstrom knows both sides of mentorship. A UBC Health Mentor since 2013, Sari has enjoyed being a mentor to UBC health care students.

"She taught me knowledge that I could not learn from an academic lecture or a textbook and helped me to understand my own strengths and weaknesses." says audiology student Jia Guo.

Since she was 10 years old, Sari wanted to write a book. Her childhood dream became a reality when she discovered the UBC Booming Ground mentorship for creative writing. Sari was mentored by author Pearl Luke along with other aspiring authors to fulfill her dream. "Mentors amplify your effort, providing support and encouragement when you falter." says Sari.

Her first novel, Watermark The truth beneath the surface, was inspired by a used book published in 1817. Check out Sari's book at

Board Directors Wanted!

Long-time UBC Patient & Community Voices partner, Richmond Mental Health Consumer and Friends Society (RCFC) is seeking board directors to fill 2 positions.

RCFC is looking for people who have a strong background in fundraising and/or business. It is also important that they have an interest in mental health and could be either a friend or family member of a person living with mental illness. Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at the RCFC offices in Richmond, from 9:30am-11:30am

Contact Barbara Bawlf, Executive Director at (604) 675-3977 or by e-mail at for further information.

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Brought to you by:

Division of Health Care Communication
College of Health Disciplines
Woodward Instructional Resources Center
400 - 2194 Health Sciences Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: (604) 822-8002