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An update from your CPSA Council President

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Council, June Messenger 2022 | Posted June 9, 2022

By CPSA Council President Stacey Strilchuk

Read time: 3 minutes

As many of you know, June marks the halfway point of my term as CPSA Council President, and I’m pleased to highlight some of the important activities and events Council has participated in over the past six months.

At the end of January, Council met with the CPSA leadership team as part of a one-day retreat, during which we focused on the five directions of CPSA’s draft updated strategic plan. We also discussed our vision for the remaining $5 million of CPSA’s building fund, which has been allocated for programming and/or research initiatives to benefit Albertans. Please know Councillors and CPSA leadership continue to be very engaged in both projects, and I want to thank Councillors Levonne Louie and Linda McFarlane for their strong leadership chairing both respective working groups. I am also pleased to advise that Council approved the 2022-2026 strategic plan at our May meeting, and regulated members and Albertans will be able to review the new strategic plan in the upcoming months.

In March, CPSA Council approved a position statement on racism and discrimination, which was released in April. The statement, along with a media release, is available on CPSA’s website. I sincerely appreciated the comments and feedback we received in response to our statement and recognize this is just the start of what will be a journey of listening and learning to ensure CPSA and Council can respond more appropriately to racism and discrimination in the healthcare system. Again, I wish to acknowledge Councillor Dr. Daisy Fung, vice-chair of the Anti-Racism Anti-Discrimination Action Advisory Committee, and Councillor Tyler White, co-chair of the Indigenous Health Advisory Circle, for their active leadership on these Committees.

On May 3, Council and CPSA leadership visited Siksika Nation as part of our commitment to increasing our awareness and knowledge about Truth and Reconciliation. Hosted by Siksika Health Services leadership, there was an abundance of cultural sharing as well as initial exploration of potential solutions for improving health outcomes for Indigenous communities. I wish to thank Chief Ouray Crowfoot and his council for welcoming CPSA and sharing their stories. I also wish to thank Siksika Health Services board chair Sam Crowfoot for his incredibly powerful presentation. More information regarding CPSA’s inaugural visit is available on the CPSA website, and I encourage you to listen to my interview with Siksika Health Services podcast host Ryan Running Rabbit, during which I discuss the importance of the visit.

On May 19, we celebrated World Family Doctor Day. First recognized in 2010, this day highlights the role and contribution of family doctors and primary care teams. In honour of World Family Doctor Day, I would like to personally recognize and acknowledge two family doctors in Alberta, the first being my own family physician, Dr. Stacey Roberts. Dr. Roberts has been my family physician for more than 20 years and our relationship is built on trust and good communication. She has always included me in the decision-making process of my care plan, while simultaneously promoting and encouraging my own self-management. The second physician I would like to recognize is Dr. Harvey Woytiuk, who, shortly after commencing his practice, became the family physician for both my grandparents. My grandmother recently passed away at the age of 92, and I would like to thank Dr. Woytiuk for the care and compassion he provided from the time my grandparents moved to St. Paul in 1972 to my grandmother’s final days before her passing in February of this year.

Lastly, on behalf of CPSA Council, I would again like to thank all our regulated members for their contributions and service to Albertans and the healthcare system. Please know that we appreciate you and wish to continue working together to ensure we provide safe, high-quality care.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer. As always, it is a privilege to serve.

2 Responses

  1. Theo Kemp says:

    I have tried to get a good answer to my question, but were not successfull up till now. I hope the forum can explain it to me.
    Me and my family were not subtly chased away from South Africa, because of our Race. European. The New Post-Apartheid Government has progressively forced reverce Apartheid into all aspects of society. To the point aggressively promoting the departure of non-African people to leave the Country.
    I’m14/15th Generation born African citizen. According to Archeology Native Black people were also late-comers to the Southern tip of Africa. The Earliest inhabitants were the Koisan-People.
    Now with every lecture at Calgary Univercity, we will always address the fact that we are standing on ground where Indigenous People also were the first to move to that land, from elsewhere. i.e. The ‘First Inhabitants’.
    I was made to feel a secondary citisen in Africa and were forced to leave, because my ancesters lost the race to be first in South Africa.
    For 20 years now, I call myself a proud African-Canadian-But mostly a Canadian.
    My question now come with every lecture-Do I have to feel I am a secondary citizen again, just because I lost the race again to inhabit this land numerically second?
    Then comes the next question-When will I be asked to leave again?
    Please explain to me that the 2 situations cannot be simmilar.
    Please forgive me, if it sounds like I’m talking about ‘Them’and’Us’ situation. Never intended!

    • Stacey Strilchuk says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Theo. I can’t speak to University lectures, as that doesn’t fall under CPSA. However, as Alberta’s medical regulator, I can share that we start every Council meeting with a territorial land acknowledgement as it shows a recognition of and respect for Indigenous Peoples who lived and continue to live on this territory, and for the land to which we are all connected. Acknowledgements are also a way to recognize the history of colonialism and the atrocities inflicted on Indigenous people. This type of acknowledgement is part of CPSA’s ongoing efforts to develop healthy and reciprocal relations with Alberta’s Indigenous communities. We believe everyone in Canada should have equal access to health care and feel a sense of belonging in our healthcare system.

      CPSA recognizes our role in reconciliation includes ensuring all aspects of a person—including their culture and identity—are considered in delivering high-quality healthcare services. Through acknowledging the traditional territory on which we live and work, we show our respect for the many First Nations, Inuit and Métis people whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

      Thank you and take care.

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