Duration3 Years
Funding Details
Year 1: Project TitleUBC CARES: Computer Assisted Reproductive health Education for Students: A community needs-based, inter-professional, student-driven collaboration to enhance family planning medical education
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2010/2011
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorWendy Norman
Year 1: Funded Amount35,127
Year 1: Team Members

Wendy V. Norman, Clinical Professor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
Flora Teng, Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Tara Cessford, Student, Faculty of Medicine
Punam Haywars, Student, Midwifery
Evelyn Kwok, Student, Medicine
Meghan McKeever, Student, Faculty of Medicine
Saraswathi Vedam, Director, Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine
Bernie Garrett, Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs, School of Nursing
Brian Fitzsimmons, Clinical Instructor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine / Medical Director, Options for Sexual Health BC

Year 1: Summary

In Canada, the age of first intercourse for both males and females is 16.5 years old, less than 50% of males and females use condoms, the rate of sexually transmitted infections is rising, and unintended pregnancies account for 50% of all pregnancies. Globally over 200 million women desire access to family planning and education, but are unable to obtain it. It is well known that education has the power to mitigate these startling trends, yet ONLY THREE HOURS of the UBC medical curriculum is spent on family planning. If we are to prepare our students to be responsible global citizens and health professionals, family planning knowledge is essential.

Medical and midwifery students have noted this lack of education and expressed a strong desire for more family planning in their curriculum. They have taken it upon themselves to create and attend extra-curricular sessions to gain this knowledge, but more needs to be provided. Our proposal will take the first step in rectifying this significant educational gap by creating comprehensive web-based educational modules on family planning topics.

We have commitments from the three schools (nursing, midwifery and medicine) to incorporate the modules into curriculum. As well a process is in place to share the modules with medical schools across Canada. As the first of its kind, UBC CARES is pioneering the way in Canadian Family Planning education.

Year 2: Project TitleVIP-CARES: Virtual Interprofessional Patients as Contraception and Abortion Resources for Education of Students: A community needs-based, multidisciplinary, student-driven collaboration to use Virtual Patient Technology for enhancement of family planning education in the schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Midwifery and Medicine
Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2011/2012
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorWendy Norman
Year 2: Funded Amount57,017
Year 2: Team Members

Wendy V. Norman, Clinical Professor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
Christopher Ng, Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Evelyn Kwok, Student, Faculty of Medicine
Alixandra Bacon, Student, Midwifery
Judith Soon, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Sarah Foster, Student, Faculty of Medicine
Frank Leung, Student, Pharmacy
Sandra Cortina, Student, School of Nursing
Leanne Currie, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Unjali Malhotra, Clinical Instructor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine

Year 2: Summary

This Expanded Year Two proposal builds on the strong foundation of our success with the Year One pilot phase, addressing challenges met and incorporating enhanced features supporting the UBC Place and Promise plan.

The VIP-CARES proposal unites the:

  • lifelong advantages of exposure as undergraduate students to working in a truly inter-professional project with
  • value to participating students, and students throughout their faculties, of the creation and sharing of cutting edge ‘Virtual Patient” learning technology.(see definition in Methods section bottom of this page)

We bring together students from nursing, midwifery, pharmacy and medicine to create content, with technology and computer science-based students to manage the human-computer-interactions, creating Virtual Patient case-based teaching modules for use in teaching undergraduate health professionals at UBC and universities across Canada.

Furthermore, a key component of this project is the extensive community consultations between UBC
multidisciplinary students, Alumni and Community professionals in each of the disciplines. These consultations provide students with exposure to both realistic, relevant cases as well as professional role models while demonstrating that collaborations strengthen academic, community, and hospital partnerships in health education,

Year 3: Project YearYear 3
Year 3: Funding Year2012/2013
Year 3: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 3: Principal InvestigatorWendy Norman
Year 3: Funded Amount86,031
Year 3: Team Members

Wendy V. Norman, Clinical Professor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
Christopher Ng, Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine
Evelyn Kwok, Student, Medicine
Juliette Link, Student, Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Charlotte Tang, Post-Doctoral, Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Kellogg Booth, Professor, Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Saraswathi Vedam, Director, Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine
Leanne Currie, Associate Professor, Nursing
Judith Soon, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Uniali Malhotra, Clinical Instructor, Family Practice
Lauren Bissonnette, Student, Pharmacy

Year 3: Summary

This Year Three proposal builds on the strong foundation of our success in the first two years. Our Year One project garnered recognition from The Health Council of Canada, awarding our student team first place in the national contest to identify “the Health Innovation with the most promise to improve the health of Canadians”. The five Virtual Patient (VP) cases created are currently being used as core curricula by health professional programs at UBC and universities across Canada. The Third Year of the VIP-CARES project will round out a complete set of 12 VP case learning tools for family planning curricula in UBC medicine, nursing, midwifery and pharmacy programs. Year Three project interdisciplinary health professional student team will engage community consultations with UBC Alumni, and incorporate sensitivity training on issues inherent in multi-cultural and Aboriginal heritage settings. This exciting student-driven project offers health science and computer science students the lifelong advantages of working in a truly interprofessional project as health professional students.