New WONCA SIGs announce their convenors

Two new WONCA Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have announced their convenors. Also the Spice Route Movement for Young Doctors in the South Asia region has a new chair. Find out more about them!

SIG on Adolescent and Young Adult Care co-convenors

Maria Veronica Svetaz (USA)

Maria Veronica Svetaz MD is Assistant Professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Minnesota. From Argentina originally, she came to the University of Minnesota in 1996 to join the Division of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program for a two-year fellowship where she is now a faculty member.

She was a member of the National team that drafted the 2002 "Consensus Statement on Health Care Transitions for Young Adults with Special Needs," (published in Pediatrics, 2002). She has been the creator and Medical Director of Aqui Para Ti/Here for You youth development program since its beginning in 2002. This program has received multiple US awards, given its Family Centred approach to adolescence. She has been a constant advocate in issues related to Health Equity and Immigrants' rights.

Her research interests include working with bilingual youth, chronic illness and youth, issues around parenting that youth, educating practitioners to better work with minority youth, and how to advance health equity. She is currently the chair of the US based Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) 's National Diversity Committee.

Pierre-Paul Tellier (Canada)

Pierre-Paul Tellier MD, is an associate professor in Family Medicine at McGill University, in Montreal. After working for two years, Dr Tellier went to New York City to do a Fellowship in Adolescent Health at Bellevue Hospital with Adele Hoffman, a pioneer of the discipline in the United States of America.

He is involved in education, at the School of Medicine and School of Nursing at McGill University, faculty development and continuing professional development locally, nationally and internationally. His current research interests include, Family Medicine identity development, medical student empathy and HPV epidemiology. In 2016, he was commissioned to author an article entitled “The impact on mental and physical health of human rights as they relate to gender and minority adolescent and emerging adults” for the International Journal of Human Rights and Health, which was launched at the House of Commons in London, England. He also was the guest editor of a special edition of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry on gender minority youth.

His longest community involvement has been with Head and Hands an organization offering services to young people between the ages of 14 to 25. As a result, he was awarded the Montreal Centraide Solidaire Citizen Engagement Award, and most recently the Sovereign Medal for Volunteers.

Read more about Pierre-Paul, featured doctor for June 2019

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SIG on LGBTQ Health co-convenors

Rafik Taibjee (UK)

Dr Rafik Taibjee is a family physician (GP) in the practice where he is a partner, serving 9,000 patients in South London, UK, and is a Fellow of the RCGP. He was chair of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists for a number of years, and is passionate about LGBT Issues. He has authored e-learning and book chapters on the subject and created national e-learning packages. He is also a former chair of the British Medical association Equality Committee, working to improve health inequalities. . He has sat on the Trans* Clinical Reference Group for NHS England, and more recently worked with colleagues to try and establish sexual orientation monitoring into NHS primary care in the UK. He is the Training Programme Director for GP Training at King’s College Hospital, London, and trains GPs and medical students in his practice.

Rafik is a Specialty Advisor for the Care Quality Commission, the regulator for General Practice in the UK, involved in practice inspections. He is passionate about collaboration and improving quality, and has chaired the GP federation of 23 practices in Merton. He has delivered presentations on LGBT topics at Wonca conferences, and has been involved in the VdGM and Hippocrates Exchange Programmes. He has an interest in Research in Clinical Practice and has a Masters in Public Health from King’s College London.

Julien Artigny (France)

Dr Julien Artigny is a general practitioner (GP) working in Toulouse in the south of France. He is involved in the CMG (French College of General Practice) as a member of the International Delegation.

He is an LGBT advocate and was co-chair of the “Educational committee” in a regional LGBT association, providing school interventions regarding LGBTphobia. He is working with GP residents as thesis director on LGBT health issues.

Passionate about General Practice and international collaboration, he is the WONCA Europe representative in the Organizational Equity Committee of WONCA World. He is also the Policy Officer of the Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM), European Young Doctors Movement of WONCA and chair of Saint-Exupery Network, French association promoting international opportunities for GPs.

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The Spice Route - South Asia Young Doctors

Sankha Randenikumara (Sri Lanka)

Sankha is also the current national chair of the Spice Route in Sri Lanka and is a state doctor and family physician. He is a council member of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice and the regional chair of the WONCA Working Party on the Environment and a council member and honorary secretary of the ‘Palliative and End of Life Care Task Force’ of Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA).

Sankha graduated from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and started his career as the Medical Officer-in-charge in a rural hospital in the southern province of Sri Lanka. He was conferred Southern Provincial Health Awards consecutively for two years in 2016 and 2017 for the upliftment of primary care services to the public by his hospital within a short period of time. With these achievements Sankha was selected as the youngest member to the expert committee appointed in 2017 to formulate a proposal on ‘Re-organization of Primary Healthcare in Sri Lanka’ for the World Bank country project which was launched recently.

Sankha earned his MCGP qualification in 2018 and he is an enthusiastic member of the College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka. His research interests include primary care rural practice, NCD and archaeology.

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