POABC President’s Report September 2021
At this time of year, it is typical for many to be transitioning from the excitement of summer fun to the structure and routine of autumn. Students, teachers, parents are among those that this transition can be a blessing or a bother; and the POABC will find itself as a group that ‘renews’ itself this time of year as well. We all go through ‘seasons of life’ to which can be perceived as positive or negative, just know that POABC is here to part of your professional community to support you through those changing seasons! I hope you are able to join the POABC Board and Committees in attending the Annual General Meeting this September 2021 to hear about all the updates over the weeks, months and last year.
Read further for an overview of the last year.
Through the beginning of the new year, POABC, was active in advocating to all health authorities, BC CDC and BC government Covid 19 Information Centre to ensure that P&O professionals were not left behind in the early Covid -19 vaccination process.
This was a difficult task as much of the early immunization program was led by individual health authorities which left little continuity. With the help of the Membership providing information from their own jurisdictions and additional information that was provided by the above-mentioned contacts, the hope is that those with interest in receiving this vaccine were able to find an opportunity.
With Covid- 19 still present in all regions of BC, vigilance is key and any Covid specific ideas or concerns are welcome on the POABC website forum.
Government Relations Lobbying Efforts
The Bluestone Government Relations group, including Mark Jiles and Rob Nagai, have assisted in setting up many meetings with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) from different lower mainland regions. Regions include Chilliwack, Langley and North Vancouver. POABC educated and voiced concerns to these MLA’s including funding cliffs from child to adult orthotic funding, Pharmacare funding barriers such as the deductibles and limitations that the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MSDPR) for orthotic coverage. Please see PPPR Committee report for further details.
Please visit the Committee webpages once you login to your Member profiles on the POABC website. These webpages are updated often when there is information to share with the Membership. A couple highlights include:
-Advocacy Committee has developed and released a newsletter to engage public partnerships and other related advocacy groups. By beginning to build these relationships, POABC hopes to use these opportunities for other collaborative projects.
-Leadership Committee along with the Strategic Planning Ad-hoc Committee has developed a new strategic plan for the Association. The previous strategic plan was compiled in 2015 and is set to expire Summer 2021. Any and all feedback is welcome so POABC can continue to be a voice for the general Membership.
-Public and Private Partner Relations (PPPR) Committee is in the midst of the continued negotiations with WorkSafeBC for the prosthetic contract that is set to expire in early 2022. As well as establishing a relationship with MSDPR (through Bluestone) to bring forth the orthotic fee guide and other concerns.
-Finance Committee remains diligent on balancing our books to ensure the resources to complete the above projects is available. This is a friendly reminder that general Membership dues will be increasing for the next fiscal year beginning on July 1st, 2021.
-Communications Committee continues to provide Membership with a newsletter filled with fun stories, relevant content and industry ideas. Engaging with audiences on social media (Facebook and Twitter) has been a project that can surely help get POABC’s message out there!
Facility Group Updates
From earlier this year, POABC has completed the task of reviewing, revising and approving the MOU – Version 2. This is a document that engages Facilities to come together, provide dialogue, raise concerns and generate ideas to best serve our patients throughout this province. POABC invites facility owners and managers to review the Terms of Reference for this group and to provide feedback as to how to increase productivity and collaboration amongst all provincial P&O facilities.
The POABC Board sees the expiration of terms this fall include Allan Blyt, Past President (1 year), Andrew Hoy, Vice President (2 years), Tania Chabot, Director-at-Large (2 years) and Tessa Richardson, Director-at-Large (1 year). These people have brought so much depth and discussion to POABC matters; the different perspectives, experiences, thought processes, attention to detail, bigger picture thinking – all of it has made its mark on POABC for the better! On behalf of the Board and Membership, thank you for the countless hours of volunteer time and brain power.
Lastly, POABC looks forward to another busy year but we will continue to need your help. If you feel so inclined, please consider contributing in anyway possible so your voice is heard! Contribution is not limited to volunteerism, but also include survey participation, meeting attendance when invited, forum postings, emails to Committee Chairs and the Board.
Amber Major, MSc, CO(c)