The Social Pediatrics Program

The Social Pediatrics Program is an interdisciplinary collective of clinicians at the UBC Department of Pediatrics and BC Children’s Hospital. The team works collaboratively with community partners to provide anti-oppressive, relational, trauma-informed and culturally safe care in place-based settings. All team members bring an awareness of the structural, systemic and social determinants that underpin health inequity across our communities, including careful reflection on our legacy of colonial trauma against Indigenous peoples and its impact on generational health and well-being. We commit deeply to an anti-racist, intersectional care lens, and participate in an iterative learning process including acknowledgement and growth from mistakes.

The flagship clinical program of the team is the Responsive, Intersectoral, Child and Community Health Education and Research (RICHER) Program. The program, founded formally in 2006, delivers place-based, low-barrier enhanced primary care for children, youth and families led by the Nurse Practitioner team. We also provide pediatric and sub-specialty consultative services throughout Vancouver’s inner city neighbourhoods, which we respectfully acknowledge are situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

This includes partnered care with organizations including RayCam Co-operative Centre, Sheway, Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), Kilala Lelum Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative, and the Vancouver School Board Tier 1 Schools.

Social Pediatrics team members have developed quaternary-level expertise across a breadth of relevant health topics and are regular speakers at national and international conferences. These fields include:

• Enhanced primary care for children and families
• Relational, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed care practices
• Developmental impacts of trauma/environmental adversity
• Pediatric and adolescent addictions
• Marginalized and street-based youth

Social Pediatrics team members are actively engaged with research. Many faculty are registered investigators with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), across themes and research teams. The primary academic focus is community-based participatory research (CBPR) in partnership with community members and organizations. The team has a particularly strong track record of securing funding through the Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund, which has supported important studies on child and youth rights, vaccine awareness in marginalized communities, and formalizing community-oriented research and advocacy projects.

Faculty are also active in a breadth of mixed-methods, ethnographic, arts-based, implementation science, administrative data-based, and cross-sectional research. Quality improvement projects are also conducted.

Team members also lead surveillance studies on pediatric and adolescent substance use through the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP).

Social Pediatrics team members are engaged in education across multiple levels of curricula.

We are proud that a Social Pediatrics Faculty Member (Jassemi) is the Interim Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Postgraduate (Residency) program at UBC. The team runs an education committee consisting of faculty leads (Sotindjo and Jassemi) and resident representatives. All Vancouver-based residents rotate through the clinical programs for 2 weeks in their second year, and 4-week electives are offered for UBC and out-of-province trainees.

The RICHER Program also hosts interdisciplinary educational opportunities, and is a regular rotation for Nurse Practitioner students, and welcomes residents from family practice and public health.

Undergraduate and medical students regularly join social pediatrics faculty to participate in research, quality improvement, and advocacy projects.

The social pediatrics team has committed to deepening our path towards anti-racism, equity and reconciliation by holding a monthly Anti-Oppression education rounds since mid-2021. We also host a quarterly education session that is open to community partners; past topics have included the impacts of racism on development and mental health, completing Disability Tax Credit Forms, and improving community supporting for families experiencing marginalization due to substance use and poverty.

The RICHER team provides front-line mental and physical health services in a place-based, relational context, including the following frontline clinical programs:

• Daily nurse practitioner-led family primary care in a clinic co-located in subsidized housing complex (“the Townhouse”)
• Daily pediatric specialist consulting care in the Townhouse clinic (general pediatrics, adolescent health and medicine, developmental pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry)
• Monthly sub-specialist consulting care in the Townhouse clinic (dermatology, ophthalmology)
• Weekly outreach (primary care and consulting care) to 6 community elementary schools and 2 community secondary schools in partnership with the Vancouver School Board
• Weekly outreach to community early child care and education programs (RayCam and YWCA)
• Twice-weekly pediatric consulting care at the Sheway Pregnancy Outreach Program
• Weekly pediatric consulting care at the Kilala Lelum Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative

The social pediatrics team has been recognized for its work with various accolades, including:
• UBC John F McCreary Prize for Interprofessional Team Work (2018)

Community partnership and outreach are essential components of the social pediatrics program. RICHER hosts a weekly community meeting on Thursday mornings with an open invitation for all community members to attend and share concerns.

The Social Pediatrics team has fostered meaningful ongoing relationships with a breadth of community organizations, including:

• RayCam Co-operative Centre
• YWCA Crabtree Corner
• Sheway
• Vancouver School Board
• Urban Native Youth Association
• Kilala Lelum Urban indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative
• REACH Community Health Centre
• Vancouver Coastal Health
• Dan’s Legacy
• Keeping Families Together
• Raincity Housing
• Parents Advocating Collectively for Kin (PACK)

Matthew Carwana, MD, MPH, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Clea Bland, BA, BScN, MN-NP, NP (F) (Primary Care)
Myles Blank, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry)
Emily Fisher, MD, FRCPC (Developmental Pediatrics)
Jane Gardiner, MD, FRCSC (Ophthalmology)
Angella Griffith, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Denise Hanson, MN, NP (Ped) (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)
Sara Jassemi, MD, FRCPC (Adolescent Health and Medicine)
Kris Kang, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Samara Laskin, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Aldrich Leung, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry)
Christine Loock, MD, FRCPC, FAAP (Developmental Pediatrics)
Annie Lu, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics and Endocrinology)
Kelly Luu, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Gwyn McIntosh, MN, NP (F) (Primary Care)
Eva Moore, MD, MPH, FAAP (Adolescent Health and Medicine)
Kristina Pikksalu, BA, BScN, MScN, NP (F) (Primary Care)
Wingfield Rehmus, MD, MPH, FAAD (Dermatology)
Anamaria Richardson, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)
Gurpreet (Preety) Salh, MD, FRCPC (Developmental Pediatrics)
Tatiana Sotindjo, MD, FRCPC (Adolescent Health and Medicine)
Grace Yu, MD, FRCPC (General Pediatrics)

Emeritus and Affiliate Faculty:
Adele Diamond, PhD, FRSC (Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience)
Judy Lynam, PhD, RN (UBC School of Nursing)
Lorine Scott, MN-NP, NP(F) (Primary Care)
Curran Warf, MD (Adolescent Health and Medicine)
Dzung Vo, MD (Adolescent Health and Medicine)

Mandy Dhanda, Booking Clerk

Research Staff:
Britt Udall, Research Coordinator

Affiliate Doctoral Students:
Alysha McFadden (UBC School of Nursing)
Rabia Mir (UBC Interdisciplinary Studies)
Lisa Ritland (UBC School of Population and Public Health)