Maple Ridge GP Dr. Ravi Vanukuru has received the Division Member Excellence Award for 2021. (Jackie Amsden, Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge GP Dr. Ravi Vanukuru has received the Division Member Excellence Award for 2021. (Jackie Amsden, Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice/Special to The News)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge doctor honoured for outstanding improvements to local health care

Wednesday, May 19, is BC Family Doctor Day

A leading physician who has improved the quality of patient care in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has been awarded the Ridge Meadows Division Member Excellence Award for 2021.

Dr. Ravi Vanukuru was honoured with the award mid-May for the many projects he has worked on, including a referral project he led in gastroenterology and urology that has created innovative system improvements, like reduced patient wait times.

He has also supported other physicians to lead panel management and quality improvement projects.

The Division Member Excellence Award is an annual award given to a member that has made a significant impact in the medical community by leading and supporting patient care improvement projects.

“The division recognized my role in in the Shared Care Referral Improvement Project,” explained Dr. Vanukuru.

“I was the lead for the general practitioners. Dr Deepu George, gastroenterologist, was the lead specialist,” he explained.

The project that concluded in 2021, and brought together the referral process from both sides – general practitioners and specialists.

“It involved recognizing and overcoming the challenges as well as professional education. It was well received, and I believe it laid foundations for future projects,” he said.

In addition to the Referral Improvement Project, Dr. Vanukuru was the division representative for the Practice Support Program – a program funded by Doctors of BC and the BC Government that provides a range of activities and supports to help physicians and medical office assistants build and enhance their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is also a member of the Long-Term Care Initiative, and under the leadership of Dr. Martin Milewsky, helped to look after about 400 patients in four long-term care homes in Maple Ridge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the initial phase of the COVID 19 pandemic we were looking after the patients mainly through telemedicine. But at times we had to go into the care homes with a full personal protective equipment, PPE, and all precautions,” said Dr. Vanukuru, as there were numerous outbreaks during that time.

RELATED: New program to help seniors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows postpone frailty

“I was looking after my colleague’s patients during the initial severe lock down phase,” he explained.

He was the GP lead in the 2016 Physician Education Initiative and he was also involved in mentoring international medical graduates who started their practice in Maple Ridge.

Vanukuru also brought with him lessons he learned while working as a GP in the United Kingdom and shared them with the Patient Medical Home and Patient Care Network.

From 2013-17 Vanukuru had a practice in Pitt Meadows. Currently he is working as a full-service family physician in Maple Ridge, and as a part-time hospitalist at Ridge Meadows Hospital.

Dr. Vanukuru received his award in time for BC Family Doctor Day on May 19 – an annual day to recognize the work of more than 6,000 family doctors who practise in communities across the province.

READ MORE: Ridge doctors recognized with health award for work with at-risk youth

It is a national day of recognition that coincides with World Family Doctor Day, the international day of celebration set by the World Organization of Family Doctors.

The theme this year is Building the Future with Family Doctors.

In honour of BC Family Doctor Day the BC College of Family Physicians is running a thank-you card campaign. They are asking anyone who feels they have an amazing family doctor to let the college know and they will send a digital thank you card to your doctor on your behalf.

To participate go to survey.alchemer-ca.com/s3/50104716/2021-Family-Doctor-Day-thank-you-note.


Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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