By: Yasmine Elmir
“My passion is caring for adolescents and young adults. That is what I have done most of my career,” says Dr. Tellier, family physician and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, who completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. After working for two years at the Family Medicine unit there, Dr. Tellier left Montreal to do a fellowship in Adolescent Health at Bellevue Hospital in New York City with Dr. Adele Hofmann, one of the originators of Adolescent Medicine in the United States. “During my residency, I discovered that being in Family Medicine was exactly what I wanted to do. I enjoyed working with families; working as part of a team to offer a wide range of services to each patient; the continuity; and the fact that it was based in the community and strove to meet its needs.”
Dr. Tellier has often been awarded for his work within different communities and with at-risk youth. He is the 2020 recipient of the Faculty of Medicine’s Haile T. Debas Prize, which recognizes outstanding faculty members who have worked hard to help promote diversity and create an environment of inclusivity. Dr. Tellier also won the 2020 Family Physician of the Year award from the Quebec College of Family Physicians (CFPC). The award recognizes CFPC family physician members who best exemplify the definition of a family physician, including providing exemplary care to their patients and making a significant contribution to the health and well-being of their communities or society in general. “Receiving the Family Physician of the Year award tells me I have become my television idol, Marcus Welby, a kind man who cared and helped people with various conditions, over time, no matter who they were or what their age was,” says Dr. Tellier. “How many people can say they are what they dreamed to be in life? That is what this award means to me. Silly but true.”
Dr. Tellier has recently received a $144, 420 grant from the COVID-19 Pandemic Response & Impact Grant Program (Co-RIG) for the project “LGBTQ migrant health clinic and outreach program in Montreal.” Dr. Tellier and Dr. Edward Ou Jin Lee are the two medical co-leads on the project, while Dr. Vania Jimenez is the Principal Investigator. “Dr. Jimenez invited me to attend a meeting about the project and I was completely taken with the idea, as it was an extension of my many interests, including LGBTQ health issues and community services,” explains Dr. Tellier. “I knew that the College of Family Medicine of Canada had been granted $5 million from the Canadian Medical Association for projects related to COVID-19. I saw an opportunity and persuaded the group to apply for a grant.”
The project implements the first-ever LGBTQ migrants (e.g. immigrants and refugees) and racialized community health clinic and peer navigator outreach program in Montreal. The goal is to increase access, improve continuity of care and address the health impacts of COVID-19 on this population. Integrated in a CLSC serving mostly migrants, this project brings together an interdisciplinary team of health care providers, peer navigators and LGBTQ migrant community organization, AGIR. “The grant is for a limited time, but we hope that we can demonstrate the need, with this pilot project, for this type of service, and obtain more long-term funding from other sources,” adds Dr. Tellier.
In addition to working on his new project, Dr. Tellier is the co-convener of a new special interest group on adolescent health for the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). “This group is barely two years old and we are now working at reviewing a Pocket Book on Child and Adolescent Health that was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO),” says Dr. Tellier. He is also Chair of the LGBT Committee of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine, which is working on a policy statement for the organization on promoting health and well-being of LGBTQ adolescent. With his many responsibilities, Dr. Tellier wishes to stay on the frontline of at-risk adolescent health and to be pillar for different communities in Montreal.