MaBAL (Maternity and Babies Advice Line)
MaBAL-Maternity and Newborn is one of the Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways for patient care and healthcare collaboration in rural and remote communities in BC.
The MaBAL team includes family physicians with expertise in maternal and newborn care and an understanding of the rural and cultural contexts. They are available 24/7 through Zoom and by phone to provide guidance on urgent and non-urgent pre-conception, prenatal, antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum presentations, for both moms and newborns.
Family physicians can also provide assistance in assessment and problem-solving and can rapidly facilitate access to specialist expertise from regional care centre obstetricians or provincial pediatricians.
How to access MaBAL
Support through MaBAL is available anytime, 24/7 through Zoom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a physician or nurse practitioner in rural BC and don’t have a Zoom for Healthcare account yet, fill out our online form to request a Zoom account, or visit our Zoom page for more information.
Adding MaBAL to contacts
If you signed up for a Zoom license through RCCbc, all the RTVS contacts (including MaBAL) will be added to your Zoom contacts automatically. If your Zoom account was provided by your health authority or you signed up for your own account (outside of RCCbc), you will need to add the contacts manually.
Note: It may take up to 24 hours for your contact request to be accepted, so the contact will show as “pending” until then.
If you need assistance, watch the video below. (The video shows how to add RUDi contacts, but the process is the same for MaBAL.)
Make a video consult
To start a video consultation with a MaBAL physician, go to Contacts and select MaBAL. Then, click the Meet button.
If you’re unable to connect to MaBAL via Zoom or if there is no answer right away, call the backup cell number listed for that account. Note: The backup number changes based on which physician is on call.
Toolkit and Posters
The Real-Time Virtual Support Toolkit for Healthcare Providers is aimed at helping physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses in rural, remote, and First Nations communities navigate through the RTVS pathways.
It includes a flow chart, details on how to access each pathway, Zoom instructions, frequently asked questions, bios and photos of the physicians in each RTVS team, and posters to put up in your hospital, clinic, or office.
If you just need the posters, download them separately:
Meet the MaBAL team
Meet the healthcare providers who provide the MaBAL service.
Jeanette Boyd is a family physician in Nelson, providing maternity care at Apple Tree Maternity—an interprofessional team-based care collaborative. She also provides support for neonatal, family physician, maternity, and inpatient call rotations at Kootenay Lake Hospital. In addition to being a passionate advocate for the value of comprehensive, longitudinal family medicine, Jeanette believes strongly in the role that team-based care plays in providing sustainable, high-quality, relationship-based, and culturally safe maternity care close to home. She and her husband are adjusting to an intermittently empty nest as their children fledge and explore their own passions.
Suzanne Campbell has enjoyed living and working in Vanderhoof since 2006. She enjoys providing full spectrum family medicine care in a rural community but has a particular love of obstetrics. Suzanne has appreciated being supported by a great team of local colleagues and has joined the MaBAL team to provide that same type of support to all maternity care providers in BC. While this virtual format is new for her, she is definitely excited to be able to reach out and connect in a new way. Outside of medicine, Suzanne is busy raising three children and enjoying everything that rural BC has to offer.
Magda du Plessis
Magda du Plessis is a family physician in Dawson Creek. She has a full-service family practice and has a passion for women’s health, maternity care, and aesthetics. She practices both low-risk and advanced obstetrics in rural BC and also spends time in a very busy ER. Magda has been in Dawson Creek since 2017 but qualified in South Africa and worked in the UK prior to relocating to Alberta. When not at work, she’s riding trails with her husband and two small kids or enjoying what the season has on offer.
Nicole Ebert worked as a rural generalist in Vanderhoof for over 20 years which included a lot of OB and c-section coverage. She and her husband (an FPA) raised their three children in Vanderhoof and, as the last one left for university, decided it was time to try something different. They relocated to Coldstream and have been enjoying the warm weather as they figure out what the next stage holds. In the meantime, Nicole is working with RCCbc on OSS training and CPD programs.
Dietrich Fürstenburg is a family physician currently working at UHNBC in Prince George. His special interests are emergency medicine, operative and non-operative obstetrics. Dietrich moved from South Africa to Quesnel in 2013, where he practiced as a full-service family physician prior to moving to Prince George. He has a passion for team-based obstetrical care and advancing rural obstetrical teams to function to the highest level of their scope and training.
Nancy Humber has been a rural generalist physician at Lillooet District Hospital for 23 years and works as a GP with Enhanced Surgical Skills and also supports maternity care. She has been involved in supporting and mentoring new to practice physicians and graduates of the Practice Ready assessment program as well as family practice residents. Nancy has worked collaboratively with Indigenous communities in the western Interior, both virtually and in outreach models. She is passionate about team-based care in rural settings and advocating for equity in access to high quality care in BC. Nancy is the mother of six children, always striving to find the best balance between work and medicine.
Jennifer Kask is a family physician locum who moved back to her “home base” of Campbell River in 2005. She works with a great group of family physicians/obstetricians out of the North Island Hospital (Campbell River site) and travels monthly to the northern tip of Vancouver Island to provide perinatal care closer to home. Jennifer is an NRP instructor and a quality improvement enthusiast, and she enjoys teaching residents and medical students. When not working, she enjoys sailing, hiking, canoeing, and growing foods, which her three children view with age-appropriate suspicions.
Deborah Lisoway is a family physician practicing GP obstetrics in Comox, and she is an ALARM Instructor with the SOGC. She has practiced in numerous rural communities in BC and the Yukon. Prior to moving to Comox, she had a busy shared maternity practice serving women from around the Yukon. Deborah enjoys growing food, cooking, and outdoor adventures with her husband and two young kids.
Ashnoor Nagji was trained in Family and Aboriginal Medicine at UBC, and her practice focuses on youth, marginalized populations, residential care homes, and delivering babies. She is a clinical associate professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, an associate professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and an instructor for many maternity courses locally and globally.
Ashnoor’s passion for teaching and reducing poverty is evident through her community and volunteer work in 116 countries, including teaching in Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda and being a volunteer physician in Afghanistan and Africa. After her field work in Guyana, she founded BELIEF (Becoming Educated Leaders Inspired by Exemplary Females)—a platform for women’s empowerment.
Virginia Robinson began her career working in the remote Cree community of Chisasibi, northern Quebec 25 years ago. She subsequently spent several years working in a high volume urban emergency room in Kitchener, Ontario. At one time, a keen mountaineer, she served as the physician for the Canadian Everest team in 2000. For the last 15 years, Virginia has practiced maternity and emergency medicine in Fernie and Cranbrook. She is an instructor for both the HOUSE EM and HOUSE OB courses and presently leads the Intelligent Network for POCUS project for RCCbc. Virginia enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and gardening.
Sara Sandwith is a family physician providing maternity and neonatal care at Comox Valley Hospital. She trained at McMaster University and completed residency in Newfoundland and Labrador before moving back to her beloved West Coast. When not at work, Sara is usually running in the forest somewhere.
Jaco Strydom is a full service family physician working in Terrace where he relocated from South Africa in 2004. He works in a busy family practice and also provides his services in the emergency room. His passion is obstetrics, and he has been providing primary care and cesarean section coverage for a number of years. In his free time, Jaco helps run the Northwest Therapeutic Equestrian Association, a therapy horse riding group that provides services to children and adults with developmental, physical, and psychological disabilities
Megan Taylor is a family physician in Castlegar. Originally from rural Alberta, she has lived and worked in the Kootenays for the last 12 years. She is a passionate full scope family doctor with a special love for obstetrics and women’s health. When not working, Megan likes to spend time outside, read a good book, and hang with her teenagers. She is very excited for the opportunity to be the friendly voice on the end of the phone!
Theresa Wilson is a family physician in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. She has a full-service family practice, a large proportion of which is in maternity care and pediatrics. She participates in neonatal calls supporting the community to have deliveries when there is no pediatrician available. She has always enjoyed rural and community practice, training in Chilliwack and Fernie prior to coming to the Comox Valley. Theresa has a strong interest in strengths-based and family-centered care, always striving to improve in this area.