Best Evidence Webinar: Learning from Polypharmacy Risk Reduction Through Team-Based Care in Northeastern BC

Best Evidence Webinar: Learning from Polypharmacy Risk Reduction Through Team-Based Care in Northeastern BC

This live webinar has already taken place. You can now view the video recording. Scroll down for links to additional resources

DATE: February 9th, 2022

TIME: 12:00 – 13:00 Pacific Time PST [UTC -7 Convert to your local time]

WHERE: Offered online using the Zoom platform.

CME CREDITS: MainPro+/MOC Section 1 credits: 1.0You must attend the webinar and complete the evaluation in order to receive your certificate.


  • Discuss how we got started with the project
  • Define the project purpose and explore what made it unique
  • Review project achievements
  • Identify what worked well, and what we might do differently next time
  • Apply case presentations
  • Consider how to sustain this work, and next steps

For more details about the Polypharmacy Risk Reduction project in Northeastern BC you may wish to read this excellent “Physician spotlight” published in Northern Health Stories:

Physician spotlight: Dr. Charles Helm: Team-based medication review project helps keep Northeastern BC seniors healthy


Sydney Saunders is a pharmacist with Northern Health in Dawson Creek, BC, splitting her time between primary care, acute care and most recently long-term care work. Since developing this position over the past two years, she has integrated into medical clinics within her community to complete medication assessments and provide recommendations and support to providers in a co-located practice model. She works to optimize patients’ medication therapy, simplify regimens, manage drug interactions and side effects and enhance patients’ understanding of their medications. She practices in a team-based, patient-centred fashion and strives to keep patients happy, healthy, and thriving in their community.


Dr. Charles Helm has worked as a family physician in a small, remote British Columbia community for almost 30 years. He has an interest in addressing problems associated with polypharmacy through team-based care, and has organized annual conferences on this topic in northeastern BC. Now semi-retired, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in palaeontology at Nelson Mandela University, and researches and publishes on BC’s dinosaur, avian and crocodile tracks for the Tumbler Ridge Museum. He leads the “Health in Geoparks” project for the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.


Charleigh Rudy is currently the South Peace Division Coordinator and Practice Support Coach, where there is a strong focus on partnership, meeting the unique needs of each community through a primary care network lens, and enhancing patient care through foundational Team-Based Care work. I am a Registered Nurse and I have had the opportunity to work in various settings across the health sector including Emergency Nursing, Primary Care Nursing, and Oncology Nursing in addition to teaching the Practical Nursing Program at our local College.


Christy Demeter has had the honor of being the first contracted PCN Nurse Practitioner in Northern Health. Graduating from Athabasca University in 2019, she has been growing her practice at one of the family medical clinics in Dawson Creek since February 2020. Starting her practice from the ground up has given Christy the opportunity to integrate the Polypharmacy project into daily practice while reviewing the charts of new patients, analyzing “why” patients are on the medications they are on, and how best we can optimize their regimens. We are in the works of creating a PCN network for Dawson Creek and surrounding communities, and this project has been a great first step in demonstrating how multidisciplinary collaboration can provide amazing opportunities to continue to improve healthcare for our patients.


Charissa Tonnesen graduated from UBC with a BSc (Pharm) in 1999 and is now studying at UBC again to earn her PharmD. She is an independent pharmacy owner and manager in Tumbler Ridge, BC. and has been practicing there for more than 20 years. In her spare time, she enjoys karate, hiking, cross country skiing and playing guitar. She thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of trying to address Polypharmacy in her patients in Tumbler Ridge.




Additional Resources suggested by webinar participants

Polypharmacy Risk Reduction | Shared Care:

Therapeutics Initiative’s letter on deprescribing PPIs:

BC Health Gateway site – you can see your prescription medications and medical visits back to 1995:

Evidence for statins in people over 70:

Shared Care Polypharmacy Risk Reduction webinars:

Tackling Polypharmacy by Deprescribing:

Potentially Inappropriate Medication Prescribed to Seniors:

An examination of three prescribing cascades in a cohort of older adults with dementia:

Potentially Inappropriate Drug Duplication in a Cohort of Older Adults with Dementia:

Antipsychotic Drug Dispensations in Older Adults, Including Continuation After a Fall-Related Hospitalization: Identifying Adherence to Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Potentially Inappropriate Prescriptions Criteria Using the Nova Scotia Seniors’ Pharmacare Program and Canadian Institute for Health’s Discharge Databases:

Pharmacists in Primary Care Network (PCN) Program:

  • Robert Vander Stichele
    Posted at 22:55h, 10 February Reply

    Thank you for posting your experience with local medication review.

    We run a similar project in Belgium, Europe, with somewhat more IT support in nursing homes, which could be interesting for scaling purposes.

    Wauters M, Elseviers M, Vander Stichele R, Dilles T, Thienpont G, Christiaens T. Efficacy, feasibility and acceptability of the OptiMEDs tool for multidisciplinary medication review in nursing homes. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2021 Jul-Aug;95 (PDF on request).

    • Tom Perry MD, FRCPC
      Posted at 13:44h, 11 February Reply

      Thank you, Dr. Vander Stichele (Clinical Pharmacology Research Unit, Ghent University, Belgium), for this interesting resource. The Belgian project includes specific observations for adverse effects recorded by long-term care home (nursing home) nurses and pharmacist/physician interactions. Those without library access to the article may request it directly from:

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