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UBC Rural Chair & Rural Scholars

The role of the UBC Rural Doctors’ Chair in Rural Health is to elevate the health priorities of rural, remote and First Nations communities across BC. RCCbc’s virtual health lead Dr. John Pawlovich is the current chair. His leadership ensures there is robust rural health research, as well as education and training that meets the needs of current and future rural residents and healthcare providers. 

Dr. John Pawlovich
“There are so many unintended positive consequences from this work including the project receiving a BC Aviation Council Award for innovation in 2023, which was super cool for the DTI.”
Dr. John Pawlovich


Fostering International Connections

Through Real-Time Virtual Support and the Drone Transport Initiative, we have fostered new relationships as far away as Australia and the Solomon Islands where interest has been expressed in the work and the findings of both programs. Team members travelled to Australia in 2023 and we look forward to hosting our Australian connections at the Rural Health Conference in May followed by a trip to Northern BC. 

Phase Completion

While phase one of the Drone Transport Initiative was completed, Dr. John Pawlovich in his role as UBC Faculty of Medicine Rural Chair, was honoured with the Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year award. The award, offered by the BC Aviation Council was received in October, recognizes leading air industry individual or organization that advances aviation in BC through innovative product development, new business ventures, cost saving initiatives, creating new markets, and contributing to the overall improvement and leadership of the air transportation network within BC.  

Plans for the Future

A focus for 2024 and beyond will be preparing for phase two of the Drone Transport Initiative. We look forward to working with new partners including the Prince George Airport which would serve as a critical hub in a supply chain network facilitating drone transported medical supplies and laboratory specimens collected in remote communities. Phase two will introduce a new community to program with Nadleh Whut’en joining Fraser Lake and Stella’ten First Nation.

2023/2024 Activities Report – Rural Doctors’ UBC Chair in Rural Health

As the 2023/2024 fiscal year closes, post-pandemic challenges have intensified, leading to provider burnout and a growing health resources crisis. The COVID-19 lessons and care models are crucial in tackling this issue, especially in supporting rural physicians and future healthcare providers. The UBC Chair in Rural Health focuses on three areas: Rural Research, Rural Advocacy, and Support and Mentoring.

> Read the report <

Team Members

Click on a team member to explore which other projects they have contributed to in the past year.

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