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SABC 2019 Annual General Meeting and Conference Highlights

On Saturday October 5th in a conference room at the POCO Inn and Suites, 74 attendees began the day with the Annual General Meeting, followed by conference presentations on a variety of topics by excellent speakers. 

The day concluded with a Tai Chi demonstration and an opportunity for both scleroderma patients and their supporters to discuss via separate group sessions, topics of common interest.

Dr. Mark Harrison and Tiasha Burch introduced and provided an update to their research study, Identifying Patient’s Preferences When Considering Stem Cell Transplant as a Treatment Option for Scleroderma.

Dr. Sarvee Moosavi explained the many GI issues experienced by scleroderma patients, describing diagnostic testing and treatments commonly used in her esophageal motility laboratory and practice at St. Paul’s hospital.

Dr. James Dunne and Kevin Keen provided their annual update for the SABC-sponsored Scleroderma Research Genome Project.

Dr. Trey Petty presented his topic of Dental Treatment for Scleroderma Patients, providing invaluable patient advice on the best methods to ensure optimal oral care at home and at dental office visits.

Eight medical student guests joined us this year from UBC again with enthusiastic participation in the day’s program, including mutually beneficial interaction with scleroderma patients.

The Gurmej Kaur Dhanda Memorial Scleroderma Community Service Award was presented to Dianne McPhee.  Dianne is a scleroderma patient and has been part of the Scleroderma Association of BC since 1993.  She has been on the Board of Directors for many years and has served in various leadership roles and in 2017 initiated the very successful practice of inviting UBC students to attend our annual conference.

The Gurmej Kaur Dhanda Memorial Scholarship Award was presented to UBC fourth year medical student Veronika Boyeva. Veronika originally attended SABC’s AGM as a first year student and eventually went on to become a member on the SABC Board of Directors, now beginning her second year with the board.

These two awards were established and are sustained by Dr. Dhar Dhanda, his wife Harv and their two daughters Kiran and Meera.  The awards were created in 2008 in memory of Dhar’s mother, Gurmej Kaur Dhanda, who passed away in 2000 from the effects of scleroderma.