In February, BC Children’s Hospital RICHER team (Responsive, Intersectoral-Interdisciplinary, Child-Community, Health, Education and Research) was presented the John F. McCreary prize for Interdisciplinary Teamwork at the UBC Health Awards.
An interprofessional and intersectoral research to practice initiative, RICHER was introduced as a Social Pediatrics model to complement, enrich and extend existing clinical services along the continuum from prevention to specialized supports to improve the health outcomes of local children and youth facing significant social and material adversities. The team’s work has helped to address access and barriers in care for vulnerable children and families in Vancouver‘s inner city schools.
The RICHER team consists of several pediatric health care practitioners from BC Children’s and UBC faculty, including Drs. Christine Loock, Judith Lynam, Eva Moore, Dzung Vo, Myles Blank, Tram Nguyen, Kelley Luu, Katrina Stockley, Grace Yu, Jane Hailey, Janet Greenman, Wingfield Rehmus and Jane Gardiner; as well as a talented and committed team of nurse practitioners: Lorine Scott (emeritus), Clea Bland, Denise Hanson, Gwyn McIntosh, Kristina Pikksalu, and soon, Tessa Diaczun. The clinicians work in partnership with social workers, youth workers, community members, public health clinicians, educators and advocates to engage children, youth and their families.
“We flourish when we work in teams, especially when working in settings where inequities in access and health outcomes have included both intrinsic and extrinsic barriers,” said Dr. Loock. “I believe that being recognized as a team is more meaningful than being recognized for individual efforts. Our RICHER conceptual model is Link In-Link Across and to address who we weren't seeing, but need to be serving."
RICHER is an important link for BC Children’s to communities within the city of Vancouver and across the province. The team has developed long standing relationships with multiple community agencies and families, which has resulted in improved training for health and social service providers so that they may learn to better respond to the needs of children and youth presenting with complex, chronic and often more invisible disabilities including Autism and FASD. RICHER has mitigated and often prevented unnecessary health care encounters through improved communication and care for those presenting to the Emergency Department with acute illness, alcohol or drug overdose, or mental health deterioration or suicidal ideation.
The John F. McCreary prize was established more than 20 years ago to recognize and promote interprofessional teamwork in the health and human service professions. The award is intended to draw attention to the vision of Dr. John McCreary, the first head of Pediatrics and later Dean of UBC Faculty of Medicine, for interprofessional collaboration and partnerships in clinical work and education, sharing the value of a team approach in meeting the health needs of British Columbians.