Our colleague and Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been very clear in her direction on COVID-19. The time is now. The public must self-isolate and maintain social distance in accordance with her orders. What they do today will impact the health and perhaps the fate of British Columbians in the next weeks and months.
As physicians it is crucial that we are united in providing the public with clear guidance. We need to amplify Dr. Henry’s message. During these times of crisis, adhering to the public health direction as the single source of truth is imperative. The truth is that self-isolation and maintaining social distance will save lives.
Today, I am asking all of you – as physicians who care deeply about your patients, their families, and your communities – to help get this message out. It is especially important at a time when we continue to see some of our younger people congregating and socializing, putting not just themselves at risk, but their parents and grandparents.
What can you do?
- Email your patients, and remind them to self-isolate and to encourage their children to do the same.
- Take to social media. Let’s get hundreds of physicians in BC out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook this week using the hashtags #stay-home #BCdocs
- Groups of physicians could connect with your local media.
- Think of other innovative ideas to get the message out: e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share them.
As physicians, we hold a privileged place of trust with our patients and the public. We have an opportunity to make a real difference, to save lives. I encourage you to do what you can to help.
For questions or comments, please e-mail email@example.com.
Kathleen Ross, MD
President, Doctors of BC
To our patients,
We are taking this unusual step to write regarding the COVID-19 virus. You will have heard the directive from our Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, to self-isolate and practice social distancing.
The time to act is now. Our province is in a state of emergency. What we do today will impact the health of British Columbians in the weeks to come. Here’s what you can do to make a difference:
- Stay home unless absolutely necessary. No dinner parties. No shopping. No sports, not even outside. Instead, have coffee with a friend online.
- Keep six feet or two metres away from everyone at all times. That’s about the width of a car, or two lengths of two arms stretched out. Call your loved ones and tell them to do the same.
- Remind young people in your life that they can get sick from this virus. More important, they can be carriers and cause a lot of harm to parents, grandparents, and other loved ones.
We can do this, but we can’t wait one more hour or one more day. Let’s save lives, together.
Dr. Brian Bressler, Dr. Yvette Leung & Dr. Greg Rosenfeld
The IBD Centre of BC
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an unpreventable, complex, chronic, relapsing and often debilitating lifelong disease that does not yet have a cure.
The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both are caused when the intestine’s immune system responds aggressively or inappropriately to intestinal matter and attacks healthy tissue inside the digestive system.
Seeing the necessity and urgency for improved delivery and management of care, a group of IBD specialists has formed a non-profit society and reached out to other stakeholders to help to improve the lives of the 25,000 British Columbian adults, youth and children struggling with IBD, by delivering province-wide efficient and effective modern care through the proposed IBD Centre of BC.
Approximately 25,000 British Columbians have IBD.
IBD is as common as Type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, and more than twice as common as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
1,500-plus new cases are diagnosed annually in BC.
25% to 50% of IBD patients relapse annually.
The peak age of IBD diagnosis is around 25, just as young adults are establishing their independence and building lives as contributing members of society.
Children (ages 1 to 16) account for 20% to 25% of the IBD population, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as early as their first year of life.
For every person diagnosed with IBD there are a host of significant others who are also affected — by the emotional toll the disease takes on a family, the economic consequences of lost work time, drug therapy not fully covered by MSP, worry and more.
IBD is a $300-million provincial economic burden, costing about $12,000/patient due to hospitalization, work/school absenteeism and treatment.
The IBD Centre of BC will provide a complete spectrum of benefits for patients, families and the public health-care agenda.
- Significantly decreased wait times to see a specialist
- Faster, more efficient diagnosis
- Improved access to specialist care
- Improved quality of care
- Reduced hospital and ER visits
- State-of-the-art diagnostic tools
- Telehealth for patients living outside the Lower Mainland
- Multidisciplinary and complementary integrated care teams
- Advanced treatments, therapeutic regimes and modalities
- Education promoting patient understanding of IBD and its long-term management
- Continuing educational outreach to health-care professionals working with IBD patients across the province
- Research from “bedside to bench and bench to bedside”
- Central biobank for clinical samples
- Repository for patient information
- Improved quality of life for patients, including fewer work/school absences and less urgent-care needs
- Reduced direct and indirect costs of IBD to patients and society
Sure, it would be good if we could find out why I got colitis and what we could do to cure it, but I think the more realistic state is that given this is not going away, what’s the best I can do under the circumstances?Read Nikita's Story
For other women with IBD, I would say to consider having a baby. You will have so much support during your pregnancy. I knew I could count on my Canadian doctor team, I never felt alone, and I am so grateful to them.Read Luciana's Story
I can reach kids who are broken because I know hurt. Sharing our pain opens the conversation.Read Jim's Story
The soccer and running is a bit of a f-you to the disease.Read Nik's Story
I have always taken the approach that if you work hard enough you can overcome anything. I had to accept that ulcerative colitis isn’t going to be like that. This is forever.Read Emily's Story
It’s like your body is turning itself inside out and all you can do is wait until it passes. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. It’s like torture.Read Oliver's Story
In my ideal world everyone would talk with each other and they would all know what I’ve been doing for my Crohn’s for the past three months.Read Sam's Story
The Young Adults with IBD Clinic at The IBD Centre of BC integrates clinical care with complementary healthcare professionals and state-of-the-art research to help adolescents and young adults transfer from a child-centred to adult-centred healthcare system, where self-advocacy and self-management skills are vital. These short videos illustrate key aspects of the transition process.
Bernard Bressler, PhD (Secretary)
Professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences and Associate Member of the Department of Orthopedics at UBC; former Vice President Research at UBC; former Vice President Research at Vancouver Coastal Health
Brian Bressler, MD, MS, FRCPC
Practicing gastroenterologist; world-recognized expert in IBD; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at The University of British Columbia’s Department of Medicine
Kulwant Chauhan, CA (Chair)
Chartered accountant; Vice President of Abacus Private Equity and the Hillcore Group, responsible for analysis for broad initiatives such as new business models, acquisition models and new debt and equity financing
Jon Festinger, Q.C. (Vice Chair)
Lawyer, strategic advisor and educator with a focus on digital media, creative freedoms, entertainment and sports; past Chair of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia
Lawrence Halparin, MD, FRCPC, CSPQ
Diplomate American Board of Gastroenterology; Clinical Professor Emeritus, UBC; Former Head Gastroenterology, Providence Health Care
MBBCh, FRCPC, FCP, AGAF
Pediatric gastroenterologist; Clinical Professor and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Pediatric IBD program at BC Children’s Hospital
Antony Kalla, B. Comm
Mortgage broker; Principal of Westbridge Mortgage Services Ltd.; expert in commercial real estate acquisition, management and repositioning
Yvette Leung, MD, FRCPC
Practicing gastroenterologist in IBD; physician lead for the Vancouver Pregnancy and IBD Clinic; Associate Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Non-profit fundraising volunteer, formerly with BC Children’s Hospital and the MS Society
Matthew Robinson CPA (Treasurer)
Senior Accountant at MNP with a focus on public company audits and NPO reviews
MD, MHSc, FRCPC, CCFP
Gastroenterologist with an advanced Fellowship in IBD; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, The University of British Columbia; member of Pacific Gastroenterology Associates at St. Paul’s Hospital with a clinical practice focus in IBD
Norma Sebestyen, B. Comm, MBA
Merck executive with extensive experience in sales, marketing, strategic planning, corporate affairs, health education, government relations, operations, and policy and patient access; board member, Providence Research Insitute and Canadian Glycomics Network
Executive Assistant to the Board
We acknowledge that we work on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish People.