Supporting Physician Well-Being Regionally 

Doctors Manitoba works in close collaboration with regional partners to improve physician health and wellness at the organizational and system level.

Physician well-being is a shared responsibility and evidence suggests targeting the organizational level will yield the most success.

From late 2019 to early 2023, with the generous support of Scotiabank, CMA, and MD Financial Management, Doctors Manitoba established and coordinated community of practice pilots with physicians, physician champions, and senior leaders in Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA), Northern Health Region (NHR), and Prairie Mountain Health (PMH).

In each region, the groups worked together to identify causes and solutions to burnout using local physician experiences and evidence from the literature. Using collaborative processes, the groups then assessed and prioritized potential solutions to develop achievable and locally meaningful action plans.

Each of the three regions now has a Physician Health & Wellness Action Plan they are in the process of implementing. To ensure implementation continues to be collaborative and guided by local physician voices, each region has agreed to integrate a Physician Health and Wellness Committee into their existing infrastructure.

Based on positive project evaluation results for this model, as well as lessons learned, Doctors Manitoba continues to support the three current regions and has expanded the model to Southern Health – Santé Sud (SH-SS). This model will continue to expand to other areas where possible.

For more information on action plan implementation, opportunities to get involved, or the model, contact Jennifer MacDonald, Physician Health Program and Policy Specialist, at jmacdonald@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca. Doctors Manitoba thanks the following funders for making the original work possible.

Scotiabank, MD Financial Management and the Canadian Medical Association proudly support the Physician Health & Wellness Community of Practice Project, one of several initiatives that comprise our 10year, $115 million commitment to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada.

The Community of Practice Model

The physician health work with regions uses an adapted Community of Practice model. The main adaptation is the development and implementation of achievable action plans. The initial pilot project also included a robust process and outcome evaluation. 

Domain: The area of shared inquiry is physician health and wellness and the systemic and organizational factors that support or impede it. 

Community Members: Physicians (including a Physician Champion), senior health authority leaders (e.g., CMO, CEO), other stakeholders such as hospital or clinic administrators, Doctors Manitoba staff, and others that the community members feel are integral to success of the pilot. 

Practice: Community needs assessment and gap analysis, education and training, development and prioritization of achievable action plans, resources identified and secured, additional stakeholders brought in if needed. Implementation of community specific initiatives. 

Continuous Improvement: Includes reflection on processes (e.g., engagement approaches and results) and formal outcome measures. 

Adapted from: Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner,)

Physician Champion Bios
Dr. Louw Greyling, Physician Champion, Physician Health and Wellness Community of Practice, SH-SS

Dr. Louw Greyling. MBChB, MD, CCFP received his medical training at the University Of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2006. He has practiced for the past 13 years at the Dr. C.W Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler, Manitoba, where he initiated a wellness infrastructure to support physicians and all clinicians and staff

His focus is on family medicine, occupational medicine, interpretation and reporting of ECGs, exercise stress tests and cardiac rehabilitation.

As a champion for the Physician Health and Wellness Community of Practice, he hopes to enhance his knowledge and experience in physician wellness, and understand its current state in the southern region, while collaborating with other local leaders to develop effective interventions to reduce physician burnout, ultimately enhancing the quality of patient care, our foremost priority.

Dr. Greyling was also part of the team that originated a successful local cardiac rehabilitation program, and he now serves as medical director of the program.

In his free time, Dr. Greyling practices the martial art jiu jitsu, and enjoys riding his adventure motorcycle, trap shooting, and spending time with his wife, who is also a family physician, their three children ages five, nine and 12 and the family’s two dogs.

Dr. Chukwuma Abara, Chair, Physician Health and Wellness Committee, NHR

Dr. Abara is a highly skilled clinician, dynamic physician leader, and clinical teacher at the University of Manitoba, with an interest in physician health and wellness. He is the Medical Director for Primary Care Clinics at the NRHA for Thompson, Gillam, Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids. He is passionate about addressing health inequities and improving access to medical care for minority and racialized groups in Northern communities. Dr. Abara earned his medical degree at the University of Calabar, Cross River State Nigeria in 2008. Before taking on the role as Medical Lead at the Ancilla Hospital Ihitte, Ezinihitte Mbaise, he completed a one-year internship at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. As Medical Lead at the Ancilla Hospital, Ihitte Dr. Abara collaborated with the Hand Maids of the Holy Child Jesus to organize a series a free medical outreach programs for the community. During his time as Medical Lead, the hospital bed capacity was expanded to better serve the community. Dr. Abara is a proud husband and a father of two children.

Dr. Stacey Kitz, Chair, Physician Health and Wellness Committee, PMH

Dr. Stacey Kitz, MD, CCFP(EM) FCFP studied at the University of Manitoba (2005), and specialized in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Queen’s (2008). She has worked in the Emergency Department at Brandon Regional Health Centre since 2008. She is part of the CPD committee for CAEP as well as the rural and remote section at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians.Becoming the chair for the Physician Health and Wellness Committee in Prairie Mountain Health was important to Dr. Kitz as she was part of the community of practice since its inception as a pilot project, witnessing first hand how it brought together a community of like-minded physicians looking to improve the health and wellness of their colleagues in PMH. Further, it is a committee that has been able to develop evidence-based action items that can address some of the proverbial pebbles in the shoes of the physicians in the region. She believes in the mission and said she is thrilled to be given the opportunity to chair the group in the implementation phase of the project. Dr. Kitz has a longstanding interest in medical education and was the inaugural site lead for Brandon’s CCFP(EM) program, a position she held for several years before handing it off to a graduate of the program. She has also served as co-chief of the Brandon ER and was the regional ER Covid lead during the pandemic. She loves to travel and be outdoors, and can often be found at the cabin, going for walks and bike rides with her children or planning her next trip. Dr. Kitz is happily married to an amazing husband and together they have a soccer-loving son and twin daughters who love to play music and dance.

IERHA Committee Chair — Position Open

To indicate your interest, please contact Dr. Charles Penner, IERHA CMO