winter 2013

Online Only e d u c a t i o n
‘That’s our focus’


Memorial forms community alliance to address drug addiction



L to R: Dr. Lisa Bishop, Craig Malone, Chris Singleton, Dr. Stephen Darcy and Dr. Cheri Bethune

A community challenge requires a community solution. That’s the approach a St. John’s community alliance has taken to address the issue of drug abuse and addiction among youth.

By David Penney

A community challenge requires a community solution. That’s the approach a St. John’s community alliance has taken to address the issue of drug abuse and addiction among youth.

Dr. Lisa Bishop of the School of Pharmacy and Dr. Stephen Darcy of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial are the lead investigators on a project that has fuelled the development of the community alliance. Dr. Lisa Bishop also works as a pharmacist in the community clinic.

“About a year and a half ago we began to see young adults, people in their 20s, getting diagnosed with a variety of mental health issues,” she said. “This would often be accompanied by substance use. Not seeing these individuals in our clinic until they reached adulthood, we thought it might be possible that they were self-medicating, which could be avoided with appropriate medical intervention and social supports at a younger age.”

From there Dr. Bishop and Dr. Darcy, along with a number of other clinicians, proposed some exploratory studies with an end goal of using that information to develop a support program. Those discussions were accompanied by engaging the local community board and an open meeting with community members and stakeholders. The community-based participatory research (CBPR) plan evolved from there. Dr. Darcy is also a family physician at a clinic.

“The start was to constitute a formal community alliance between the community board, the school system and the university, which is a unique approach to addressing substance abuse and addiction,” said Dr. Darcy. “True CBPR means that all decisions are made jointly with community representatives and all ideas are vetted through the community board. This will only work with the insight from those who live with these issues every day.”

The information gathering and public education aspects of the project continue. The alliance recently presented at the Community-University Expo in Corner Brook to network with others in the field and also set up a booth at a local folk festival this past summer to engage the community and give more visibility to the project. These are just a few examples of the community engagement techniques the alliance plan to include in the development of a wellness support and engagement template that can be applied to any community or group.

However, as the research and outreach efforts progress, patient needs in the present remind the team that this project is an important one for the community.

“Working in the clinic, you are reminded on a daily basis of how significant this is,” said Dr. Bishop. “To see the people and families who are suffering with mental health or addiction issues and recognizing that with more support or early intervention it might have been prevented – that keeps all of us motivated. We have a tremendous team of clinicians, researchers and community members who are behind this. It does take a community to raise a child and that’s our focus.”



Site Map | DisclaimerCredits | Webmaster
© Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA)




MDLink to primary care

Patient Blood Management: A patient oriented approach to best-practice in Transfusion Medicine

New concussion guidelines released, new CMA CME on concussions

Make sure your investment portfolio is tax efficient

NLCHI launches HEALTHe NL Viewer

End-of-life issues dominate CMA debate, an Integrated Palliative Approach to Care launched

From Peer to Peer

Exciting new changes to Memorial University’s MD program

When the odds aren’t in your favour

National Physician Survey Flags a Lack of Patient Care Resources and Workforce Planning

Action on bike helmet legislation needed in time for 2014 season

Discipline of Family Medicine an integral part of primary care in Newfoundland and Labrador

Former NLMA President passes away

CMA members have access to $395 clinical tool

Decorations, presents and the tax man

MUN Med Gateway

CMA updates return-to-work policy

de Souza Institute expands curriculum to all health care professionals that treat cancer patients

‘That’s our focus’

Chronic Disorders Network Core launches new web portal

‘First of their kind’ Food addiction and the development of human obesity

Doctors in the News

In Memoriam

Clinical Practice
CMA News
Common Revolt Against Paperwork (C.R.A.P.)
Doctors in the News
Executive Director's Message
General Council
Government Relations
Health Administration
Health Policy
Health Promotion
Health Technology
In Memoriam
Information Technology
Job Action
Physician Wellness
Practice Management
Primary Care Renewal
Resident's Corner
NLPDP Behind the Scenes - Winter 2014 (PDF)
Winter 2013
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2012
Fall 2012
Summer 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2011
Fall 2011
Summer 2011
Spring 2011
Winter 2010-11
Fall 2010
Summer 2010
Spring 2010
Winter 2009
Fall 2009
Summer 2009
Spring 2009
Winter 2008
Fall 2008
Summer 2008
Spring 2008
Winter 2007
Fall 2007
Summer 2007
Spring 2007
Winter 2006
Fall 2006
Summer 2006
Spring 2006
Winter 2005
Fall 2005
Summer 2005
Spring 2005
Winter 2004
Fall 2004
Summer 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 2003
Fall 2003
Summer 2003
Spring 2003
Fall/Winter 2002
A connected group or series; a bond, a connection.

Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.