President's Letter: NLMA appoints new Medical Director, thanks Dr. Susan King for her achievements

President’s Letter: NLMA appoints new Medical Director, thanks Dr. Susan King for her achievements

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Kris Luscombe is the new Medical Director of the NLMA’s Physician Monitoring Program.

On behalf of the NLMA, I would like to thank Dr. Susan King for her significant achievements in promoting physician health and wellness in Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. King has had a tremendous impact on physician wellness as the founding Medical Director of the Monitoring Program. This month, she will conclude her term as Medical Director.

Dr. King has overseen the program since its inception in 2016, when the NLMA Physician Care Network and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of NL signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a monitoring program for physicians with substance use disorders.

In this clinical position, Dr. King was responsible for the development and implementation of all program policies and procedures, as well as providing case management and arranging support services for physician clients. Dr. King’s dedication and care to her duties as Medical Director has been integral to the program’s success.

In the fall of 2021, the NLMA began the selection process for the new Medical Director. After a thorough interview process performed by peer physicians, Dr. Luscombe has been appointed the new Medical Director.

Dr. Luscombe has extensive experience in health care leadership, including as Regional Chief of Psychiatry at Central Health, Interim Chief of Staff at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, Director of Killick Health Services in Grand Falls-Windsor, and as the Regional Physician Lead for Central Health’s Opiate Dependence Services.

As Medical Director, Dr. Luscombe will oversee the expansion of the NLMA’s Physician Monitoring Program to include the provision of services to support physical health, mental health, and neuro-degenerative disorders.

Although Dr. King is leaving the Physician Monitoring Program, we are grateful that she has agreed to continue her involvement with the NLMA to develop a new physician peer support program for our members. The following is a message from Dr. King:

“Developing our Physician Health Program has been a truly amazing journey and I am proud of the significant accomplishments. While I will continue with the program, I am delighted to hand over the reins to Dr. Kris Luscombe. Dr Luscombe is well positioned to further develop and advance the services the NLMA is able to provide for our members. I am excited by these plans and look forward to seeing them come to life!” – Dr. Susan King

As you may know, Dr. Luscombe is also the NLMA’s President-Elect, and will assume the presidency at the NLMA’s Annual General Meeting in June. The Board of Directors carefully reviewed the integrity of the selection process, as well as the management of conflict of interest issues during the year he will be President, and has developed processes to ensure integrity and professionalism.

Susan MacDonald, President