NOFASD Australia is very pleased to welcome Dr Christine Loock, our newest International Ambassador. Dr. Loock is an internationally recognized clinician and researcher in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). She led and implemented Sheway in Vancouver’s downtown eastside to improve access to prenatal care and prevent the effects of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure impacting child development. She also led the development of the award-winning RICHER (Responsive Intersectoral Child/Community Health Education and Research) social pediatrics initiative to help families living in poverty overcome barriers to health care. Dr. Loock is an expert in the field of FASD and we are very grateful for her contributions and support.

Read more about Dr Christine Loock below, or view her profile on our ambassadors page.

 

“Every child should have a healthy start and all youth should reach their potential. Those are our end game goals.” 

– Dr. Christine Loock

 

Introduction

Dr. Christine Loock MD, FRCPC, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (UBC). A graduate of Harvard Medical School, she did her US and Canadian pediatric residency training in Seattle and Vancouver, respectively.  She is a Developmental Pediatrician at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. For over two decades, her clinical and research work has improved the recognition, treatment and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).  She is the Medical Director of the provincial Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Program at BC Children’s Hospital.

Relevant Experience/Skills

Dr. Loock has been recognized by her peers as an expert in the fields of FASD prevention and inter-professional education in Canada. Dr. Loock served on the Health Canada National Advisory Committee on FASD, and is a co-author of the first Canadian Guidelines for FASD Diagnosis (CMAJ 2005) and its recent nationally revised edition (CMAJ 2016).

Dr. Loock is also the specialist practice and education lead for the Social Pediatrics “RICHER” (responsive, interdisciplinary/intersectoral, child/community, health, education, & research) Program which has increased primary and specialized health service accessibility for vulnerable children and families (e.g., Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside).  She coordinates the SPOCK team (Specialist Physician Outreach Consultations for Kids) in which pediatricians and other specialists work under the umbrella of the BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) / Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and ensures their services are brought to the people in easy access community venues (e.g., daycares, schools, community services, and non-profit family agencies) assisting those most in need.

Dr. Loock’s current clinical and research work focuses on socially vulnerable children and youth, with special focus on those with neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep disorders, birth defects, FASD and other craniofacial conditions (e.g. cleft palate). Dr. Loock’s publications represent collaborative, multi-year studies, including our seminal publication on FASD National Guidelines for Diagnosis and ongoing interdisiplinary research involving the “RICHER” model for health care access (see publications and below).

Volunteer/Community/Other Research Activities

Dr. Loock was the co-lead investigator on a CIHR funded community-based study to study implementation of  “Social Pediatrics” (2008).  The project aim was to create a Responsive Interdisciplinary Coordinated Health [“RICH”] Model for Timely Accessible Services for At-Risk Families living in Vancouver’s inner city.  The model was conceptualized and designed in partnership with health services organizations, primary health care (PHC) and specialized services, and community-based organizations to complement existing public health and community programs. Dr. Loock was able to secure new funding for these services through partnership grants between the Ministry of Health and specialist services, targeting primary health providers who work with underserved populations.

 Professional Education and Knoweldge Translation Activities

Dr Loock was appointed by the UBC Dean of Medicine to the stategic planning committee for reforming undergraduate medical education at UBC in 1994  and was tasked with designing, developmenting and implementing the Doctor Patient and Society (DPAS) curriculm, where she served as inaugural course and theme directors for DPAS (1997- 2002) and CLEO (Canadian Legal, Ethical and Organizaion Aspects of Healthcare, 2001-2007), respectively. Since 2007,  Dr. Loock was requested to lead the Social Pediatrics Curriculum at UBC and develop partnerships nationally, to disseminate new knowledge to trainees and practicing physicians regarding the social determinants of health and the development of primary and specialist health care services to engage more effectively with socially disenfranchised families. Dr. Loock is currently responsible for overseeing the allocation of physician resources, and the integration, training and research interests of her team of physicians, medical students and residents, with the view to improve access and quality of services, with linkages between primary health care, public health and tertiary services.

Most Significant Contributions

Dr. Loock developed and is currently the Medical Director of the UBC Social Pediatrics Program at PHSA (BC Children’s and Sunny Hill Hospitals) with support from leaders from Nursing, Pediatric Ambulatory Care and Child Development.  Since 2010, Dr. Loock and her coworkers have developed the first Canadian Social Pediatrics network with clinical and academic partners across Canada to foster research, training and child and youth health care advocacy.

Dr. Loock have been recognized locally, provincially and nationally for her clinical service and academic work in education and research, and for volunteer service and advocacy work in the broader community. In 2012, Dr. Loock was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service by the Governor General of Canada. In 2018 she received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Health & Wellness category.

 

Meet NOFASD’s other national and international ambassadors

Read more NOFASD Australia blogs

 

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