Responding to Community Needs Through CPD

Faculty experts at CPD are committed to the development of meaningful education activities that have an impact on practice performance and the health of the populations served. In response to current healthcare issues such as medical assistance in dying, Syrian refugee health and the national opioid crisis innovative new programs have been created.

On June 16, 2016, the federal government passed legislation to amend Canada’s Criminal Code and establish a federal framework for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for individuals who meet pre-defined eligibility criteria. Faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry have been engaged in supporting effective discussions around patients’ end-of-life care options including medical assistance in dying. Dr. Kathleen Sheehan and Dr. Madeline Li led in the development of the first of a series of one day workshops to help clinicians respond to patient requests for MAiD, reflect on clinical and ethical challenges as well as the impact on health care providers and teams.

In response to acute patient and public health needs, Dr. Rachel Spitzer from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, led the development of a new program addressing health care issues and challenges for immigrant and refugee women new to Canada. This Interprofessional Global Refugee and Immigrant Women’s Health Course also provided practical management tools in reproductive care and addressed challenges of women in resource limited setting.

With the looming opioid crisis in Canada, CPD has been at the forefront of dissemination of best practices in safe opioid prescribing. The Safe Opioid Prescribing Program, led by Co-Directors Dr. Kate Hodgson and Dr. Abhimanyu Sud, has engaged 480 health care providers over the past 3 years. The majority of the participants are from Ontario and about 85% are family physicians. The remainder are specialists as well as nurse practitioners and addiction workers.

Lastly, The Department of Psychiatry in partnership with the Centre for Effective Practice launched an innovative program called Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes Ontario -Ontario Mental Health (ECHO-OMH) which utilizes case-based learning in a hub and spoke model through videoconferencing to build capacity in mental health across Ontario. Thus far there are 24 spokes sites with over 170 participants who have completed a 33-session curriculum.

These programs are just some examples of how CPD is addressing emerging health care issues. With our extensive networks and partners, we are in a unique position to quickly respond to emerging health care needs and are committed to providing relevant and important learning opportunities for practitioners to improve health care outcomes in all communities.