CHHRN HHR Series Fireside Chat: Transforming Musculoskeletal Care in Alberta

chhrn firesidecs

Transforming Musculoskeletal Care in Alberta: Moving Upstream with Collaborative Teams in Primary Care

U Alberta


Brief Description:

Every 60 seconds, someone in Alberta seeks help from the health care system for a musculoskeletal (MSK) problem.  This burden is expected to increase as Alberta’s population grows, lives longer and becomes more overweight.  Despite that the majority of patients with MSK problems do not need surgery, they wait in long queues to be assessed by a specialist  (e.g. orthopaedic surgeon, neurosurgeon).  After waiting a prolonged period of time, in some cases up to two years, they are often referred back to their primary care provider for non-surgical management.

Alberta Health Services has introduced a new provincial structure of “Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs)” created by to inform and drive research based on clinical need.  The goal is to build a sustainable health care system.  The Bone and Joint Health SCN has developed a multipronged approach to transform MSK care in Alberta.  This involves developing, implementing, evaluating and incenting collaborative team-based care that maximizes the scope of practice of participating health care providers. 


Dr. Linda J. Woodhouse PT, PhD is physiotherapist who is an Associate Professor and the Dr. David Magee Endowed Chair in Musculoskeletal Research in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta.  She co-leads the Alberta Osteoarthritis Team and is the Scientific Director of Alberta Health Services’ Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network.

Dianne Millette PT, MHSc is a physiotherapist and the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Physiotherapy Alberta – College+ Association.  Dianne works with partners such as the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network to advance physiotherapy and rehabilitation practice in new models of care.  

Who should attend:

The fireside chat will be of interest to patients, clinicians, policy makers and administrators interested in learning about developing and incenting collaborative team-based MSK care as well as dealing with some common issues in the primary care environment.

More information about this innovation:




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Health Canadacihr logo1This initiative has been generously funded by grants from Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.