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Celebrating Innovation and Community at the 2024 Rural Health Conference

Posted June 27, 2024

Cultural Ambassadors from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

The 2024 BC Rural Health Conference (RHC) in Whistler, BC, one of RCCbc’s flagship events, was a cherished occasion to reconnect with familiar faces and dedicated practitioners in rural health. This year’s gathering brought together healthcare professionals, residents, students, and exhibitors on the traditional territories of the Sḵwx̲wú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl peoples. The event highlighted strong support and interest in the role of innovation and learning in rural healthcare. 

 

Dr. Stuart Johnston, a key organiser of the Rural Health Conference, noted that “the event is now widely recognised as a valuable meeting place for rural healthcare providers. It offers a family-friendly environment with a diverse Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme and excellent staff support. It’s just a really fun and engaging opportunity.”   

 

The RHC offers numerous CME activities specifically tailored for the rural context and experience, highlighting the unique insights and innovations that rural practice brings to the broader medical field. These activities enrich healthcare practices and enhance the culture of care in both urban and rural settings across BC. 

“This event is now widely recognised as a valuable meeting place for rural healthcare providers. It offers a family-friendly environment with a diverse Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme and excellent staff support. It’s just a really fun and engaging opportunity.”
Dr. Stuart Johnston

For RHC 2024 we welcomed 441 attendees and 43 exhibitors, creating a positive and uplifting environment for exploring, sharing, and learning. The programme was filled with innovative learning sessions and networking opportunities, facilitating new connections and strengthening existing ones. The conference program offered a diverse array of sessions and workshops designed to engage and educate healthcare professionals. The pre-conference events included hands-on training in wilderness medicine and ultrasound applications, while the main conference began with a welcome from the Sḵwx̲wú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl First Nations, rapid-fire plenary lectures, and a variety of interactive workshops. Topics ranged from emergency birth scenarios and menopause treatment to cultural safety and environmental sustainability in clinical practice. The conference also facilitated valuable networking opportunities through the Rural Locum Gathering and the BC Student, Resident & Preceptor Social, culminating in sessions on the latest developments in rural healthcare, including Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) and the benefits of psychologically safe clinical support for rural providers. Please visit our website for the full program and speaker bio’s: BC RHC 2024 Agenda – RCCbc

2024 BC Rural Health Award recipients 

The Rural Health Conference is also a moment when the RCCbc community gets to celebrate and recognise individual and collective contributions to rural healthcare through the BC Rural Health Awards. This year Dr. Svetlana Hadikin received the Resident Leadership Award, Dr. Robin Routledge was honoured with the Award of Excellence in Rural Medicine—Lifetime Achievement, and the City of Dawson Creek received the Rural BC Community Award. More details about the awards can be found here.  Please stay tuned for our call for 2025 award submissions.

 

Watch our short recap video for a look back at RHC 2024.

As we reflect on the meaningful connections and the wealth of experiences from RHC 2024, we eagerly look ahead to RHC 2025 in Prince George. Building on the momentum from Whistler, next year’s event promises to be another enriching and family-friendly gathering for rural health professionals. Mark your calendars for June 6-8, 2025, and join us in Prince George to explore innovative solutions, share knowledge, and strengthen our rural healthcare community. More details and registration information will be available soon. Stay connected and save the date for RHC 2025 in Prince George. For the latest updates, visit BC Rural Health Conference – RCCbc.

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