January 2022
From the Primary Care Alliance
If there is a crucial lesson to be taken from the pandemic, it’s that the ability for health care professionals to adapt to rapid change is more critical than ever. As we enter another year in the fight against COVID-19, we’ve proven, as physicians and teams, that we can persevere through uncertainty, while still improving care for our patients. 

However, the pandemic has also spotlighted a long-held need for whole-system change. Alberta’s health care system is faced with multiple challenges that require a concerted bold response. We need to take a long hard look at the working conditions and supports for primary care providers, and we need to do it urgently. 

New White Paper on Health Neighbourhood

The Primary Care Alliance has published a white paper on transforming primary and community-based care entitled, The Integrated Health Neighbourhood of the Future. To meet the health needs of the future, a transformational change to the structure of the health system and the way in which services are designed and delivered is vital. 

In this white paper, the PCA seeks to work with partners and stakeholders to challenge the status quo. It proposes significant changes to ensure a system that is primary and community-based care oriented, population health driven, seamlessly integrated, team centred, and technology and innovation supported. One that is focused on – and accountable to – values and outcomes of importance to patients. 

It is time to push through the political, institutional and professional barriers and work together to change and create a system that benefits all Albertans. The goal of this endeavor is to start conversations around critical issues that require transparent discussion and bold solutions.

I encourage you to read the white paper. Within the pages I suspect everyone can find something they like, as well as something that makes them uncomfortable. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on the proposed ideas and possible solutions; let’s open the conversation. Email

Take care,

Dr. Brad Bahler
Primary Care Alliance

New webinar on updated Virtual Fee Codes

AMA Health Economics and virtual care physician leaders recently hosted a webinar that reviewed policy and progress to date in advancing changes to virtual health service codes, the latest changes in Virtual Care billing codes and practical applications of updated codes and modifiers.

A recording is available at the link below.

Other webinars, including previous Omicron Updates, COVID Talks for Docs, and several general interest topics are also

Understanding symptom management in cirrhosis care - Study results

Liver cirrhosis is a leading cause of morbidity and premature mortality, and gaps in care transitions contribute to high rates of hospitalization, re-admissions, and costs of care.
A recent study by the Cirrhosis Care Alberta Program and EnACt* looked at how family physicians approached their role in caring for someone living with cirrhosis, and whether they would incorporate palliative care into their practice.

Read the
summary document or access the full report at the link below.

*EnACt - Enhancing Alberta Primary Care Research Networks and the AMA Accelerating Change Transformation Team

Connecting providers regarding their patient's mental health
The pandemic is impacting the mental health of many Albertans. For patients, whose family physician is participating in Community Information Integration and the Central Patient Attachment Registry (CII/CPAR), basic event information about patient emergency department visits or hospitalizations is shared with their family physician. And the family physician is contributing information that acute care can see in Alberta Netcare.

Read more about two family physicians whose patients are benefiting from the two-way exchange of information between community EMRs and Alberta Netcare via CII/CPAR.
Recognizing excellence - the ACFP celebrates its 2021 recipients

The ACFP would like to congratulate Dr. A. Ekanem, Dr. D. Garg, Dr. E. Greyvenstein, and Dr. M. Spady as the 2021 recipients for the Recognition of Excellence.

Thank you for your incredible efforts!

Read more at the link below about these amazing physicians and how you can nominate a peer for their outstanding contributions.

COVID-19 Resources 

COVID-19 Essential Links

Questions? Email phc@ahs.ca.

New COVID-19 drug products (Palovid, Sotrovimab)
These drugs have been authorized for early treatment of COVID. For information as well as a list of contraindicating conditions and medications, please visit the
Paxlovid page and the Sotrovimab page on the Health Canada website. In addition, the University of Liverpool offers a drug interaction checkerProtocols are being developed for distribution and for more information go to primary care guidance. Further details on Paxlovid and Sotrovimab are available at ahs.ca/covidopt.
No-cost PPE orders for primary care
Please ensure you carefully read the
PPE Ordering Document. If you are a member of a PCN, your hub is coordinating and combining all clinic orders into one biweekly order and will distribute your PPE when it is received. Questions? Email phc@ahs.ca.

KN95 masking updates
Please note that KN95 masks, N95 respirators, and a well-fitting procedure/surgical mask are all considered safe practice for continuous masking. A seal-tested KN95 mask is a safe and reasonable alternative for a fit-tested N95 respirator: use a well-fitting procedure/surgical mask if neither are available. Do NOT double-mask in any combination as there is an increased risk of self-contamination. Check out the
latest masking updates. Questions? Email phc@ahs.ca
Learn about chronic pain and substance use - the CMN Event List is OUT
The Collaborative Mentorship Network for Chronic Pain & Addiction (CMN) has officially opened all free monthly virtual collaboration forums to non-CMN members.
Check out the full list of topics and speakers from January to June
here, and make sure to register!
Your chance to win back your virtual family medicine summit registration ends TONIGHT!
Register for the ACFP’s Virtual Family Medicine Summit by 11:59 p.m. MT tonight
(Jan. 31)
for your chance to win back your registration!
Early bird pricing is still in effect!
For conference details and to register visit:

Alberta Medical Association
12230 106 Ave NW, Edmonton AB  T5N 3Z1
T 780.482.2626 | TF 1.800.272.9680
F 780.482.5445


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