2016 AGM Minutes

By   07 May, 2017
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Date(s) - 07 May, 2017
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CAAA 2016 AGM Minutes

Present: Council Members: Peggy Yu, Lowell Ask, Frank Du, Veronica Lee, Yang Su, Brad Krizan, Carmen Lawlor, Xia Cheng, Paul Hu – Registrar
Committee Chairs: Marc Raedschelders
Chair: Peggy Yu
Minutes: Lindsay Cole

  • Meeting was called to order at 1:10pm.
  • Proposed agenda approved – 1st Kyle Picard, 2nd Anthony Yong, carried.
  • Last meeting minutes read and approved – 1st Marcelle MacCallum, 2nd Constantine Karampelas, carried.
  • Opening Remarks and Reports – Peggy Yu, President

It has been a great honor and distinct privilege to serve our highly esteemed profession. This is my 3rd term and 6th year being the president of the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (the “CAAA”), which is the maximum according to the CAAA Bylaws. This is to answer many members who asked why I didn’t put my name forward for election today.

It is also an honor and privilege for the CAAA to carry out its responsibilities of self-regulation with the mandate to govern the acupuncture profession in the public interest. Over the past five years in fulfilling its mandate, the CAAA has focused on improving standards of education, competency, practice and ethical conduct.

The year of 2015 was a year with marked success again. However, maintaining our level of integrity and how to continue to improve in many areas of operation that still have deficiency has been an ongoing challenge.

The Council had seven (7) meetings in 2015, 4 in person and 3 via teleconference, to discuss and handle a wide range of issues.

The Jurisprudence Examination was finally implemented in January 2016.  Thanks to all the volunteer item writers: Yang Yang Xu, Marc, Xia, Du. With this project, we also received a formal director from AB Health, Karel, as an advisor.

Since 2013, The CAAA has been using the online Safety Examination, which was developed by BC and Ontario. As part of the CAAA safety examination, in 2015, a panel was appointed to develop a Safety Handbook based on Alberta’s specific requirements. The handbook is expected to be completed in 2016 and the written Safety Examination will be available for 2017 instead of the online exam.  Thanks to the panel members, Marc, Drs. Cheng and Du.

The Acupuncture Program Application Package has been under review, and will define all the criteria for applying programs. The draft of the revised application package is ready for consultation before it is presented to the Board for approval.

An ad hoc committee was established to develop the minimum standards for acupuncture education programs in October 2013 in order to ensure standards and competency. The project is still in progress and to be finalizing soon. Thanks to the chairperson, Lowell Ask

The Membership Services Committee has made great efforts to organize monthly continuing education courses/seminars requested by members and helped members to fulfill the continuing competence requirement of registration.

For the first time ever, Membership Services Committee has successfully organized an event for the CAAA, celebrating 5 years of self-regulation at the Edmonton Chateau Lacombe Hotel. We recognized our achievements over the past 5 years of becoming a self-regulated body in Alberta. Working towards increasing public trust and enhancing our reputation, the confidence and trust that our practice has instilled in our patients and the public has been encouraging and rewarding. We were grateful to have a few important government officials and VIP members in attendance during this event that helped to recognize and congratulate our achievements. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Zhao and Dr. Cheng Xia, who made donations to this event. Also, thanks to some members who put tremendous effort into making this event possible and successful: Andrea Hejtmanek, Fulin Wang, Constantine Karampelas, and Lindsay Cole.

Acupuncture is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Alberta was the first province in Canada to regulate acupuncture. However, TCM is not regulated yet in Alberta. Many members feel it is imperative to regulate the full scope of TCM to protect public interest and patient safety. An Ad Hoc committee was established to work towards this mandate. Thanks to Michelle Phillips for chairing this committee.

With increasing public awareness of and demand for acupuncture services, the profession has experienced a steady growth, with 693 registered acupuncturists as of 2015. Our members have helped people with various conditions, making a positive contribution to the health and wellness of Albertans.

CAAA is continuing to develop guidelines and policies, and has a steady operation team. The regulatory legislation is improving in AB tremendously.

Going forward, the acupuncture profession is willing to collaborate with other healthcare providers for the health and wellness of Albertans. To better serve and contribute in the public at large and especially to the senior community.

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Council and Committee members who made significant efforts in contributing their time and energy to uphold their duty of public protection.

  • Registrar’s Report – Paul Hu

Good afternoon, everyone,

As always, I am very pleased to see all of you and thank you all very much for your attendance! It is appreciated.

Today, there is no doubt that the most important thing is to elect the new council. It is exciting to see the unprecedented number of candidates running for council this year. Thank you all very much for your interest and commitment.

Given the number of candidates, I will not make a lengthy speech today. The Annual Report will be posted on the CAAA website for your review. But I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our council members, committee members, and volunteers for their contribution and commitment to our profession. Thanks to all our members at large for their understanding, cooperation and support. Also, thanks to my colleagues, although they are not here today, for their much valued assistance. I say almost the same thing each year, because it is something from the bottom of my heart.

As you know, some council members have reached the maximum number of terms as permitted by our Bylaws and cannot run for council again. Their contribution will not be forgotten. Today, I want to say a special thank you to Peggy for her leadership as president. In recognition of her contribution, the office ordered a plaque as a token of appreciation, which I would like to present to her today.

The second thing I want to say is I hope our members would consider volunteering their time and expertise to help our profession in moving forward. Engagement and contribution of members is critical to the success of everything we do. A Volunteer Application Form was sent to all our members with the AGM notice. I have received a few applications, but I hope more members will consider how they can contribute to our profession.  By the way, the College will provide a small honorarium to recognize your contribution.

Last but not least, we made some progress over the last few years, but we must realize that we still face many, many challenges. So no matter who will be elected to the council today, they have no other option but to do a better job in leading our profession forward.

Again, thank you all for your attendance and I wish great success in today’s election!

  • Introducing Nominees and Speech from Nominees

Janet Smith, Chair of NEC, advised that 18 eligible nominations were received, 1 withdrew – 17 are available for election. 7 positions for Council members are being voted for today. Council members associated with schools must withdraw from voting on issues relating to schools, and we require 5 council members not affiliated with schools for those votes.  Maximum of 4 council members allowed to be affiliated with schools. Speeches are allowed a maximum of 3 minutes. Candidate’s speeches were heard in the order their applications were received.

Meeting Break for Ballot casting and counting           2:45pm
Meeting resumed 3:15pm

  • Financial Report – Veronica Lee

Review of budget/actual accounts.

BFAC Internal audit was done on October 25, 2015. On October 28, 2015, BFAC internal audit report & recommendations was emailed to committee chairs & requested that 2016 budget proposals be submitted by Nov.10/15.  Every committee was on track with their budget planning. BFAC Financial review on Jan.30, 2016 & got CAAA office inline with accounting adjustments & recommendations from the accountant, as mentioned in the Oct. 28, 2016 email to Council & Committee chairs. The 2015 Year-end report from Office was reviewed. February 26, 2016 BFAC Internal audit was done for submission of final books to Accountant (at Donald Mah Professional Corp.) in completing the 2015 Financial Statement (unaudited). BFAC TOR was revised & approved earlier by Nov.2015.

In addition, CAAA will continue to provide Honorariums and reimburse reasonable travel, meal & parking expenses for all council and committee members who attend an in-person or Teleconference meetings as per Policy One in effect on Remuneration, Travel and Expense.

Speech presented on behalf of Jiulin Wang, Treasurer:

Dear Members,

Sorry I could not present these statements in person due to a business trip to China. My colleague Veronica Lee, Chair of Budget Finance and Audit Committee will report it on my behalf.

This is my last year to do the financial report for you. Thanks to every member’s efforts, we had another successful year, and we have better financial condition than our government. After passing the milestone of one million last year, our net assets are continuing to grow this year, reaching $1,226,570, an increase of 16.3%. Our net assets have reached our initial target—three years operation cost! This is a great achievement, because we need to be less worried about breaking up financially.

In order to get a better return, we put $165,052 into long-term GIC investments this year. To catch up with the current financial booking system, we changed our booking system into simple accounting software, and hired Louise to keep the booking system update timely. The new system is more compatible with the College’s Accounting Firm.

We audit the College’s expenses on a regular basis to correct any unnecessary or unreasonable spending. Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations. From the 2015 statement:

On page 2, Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $124,738 including insurance, accounting fee, national exam fee, CCP, EI and staff holiday pay; Deferred revenue means the College received member’s next year registration fee before January 1.

On page 3, we added monthly CEU income into the statements this year; We did increase legal fees ($24,518) due to more hearings this year. Overall, it is similar to last year.

With a better financial situation, we hope our MSC can do more for members in the future.

Thank you, and we still need your continued support!

Veronica opened the floor for comments or questions.

  • A member spoke up recognizing Veronica Lee’s 10 years of service in Finances, through transition period into self-governance and starting with minimal funds.
  • Question regarding revenue from exam fees – response indicated fees collected covered costs this year.

Motion for approval – 1st Michael Zhao, 2nd Margaret Kennedy, carried.

  • Membership Services Committee

Chair was unavailable to speak; Peggy Yu made a few remarks, asked if there were any questions

Fulin Wang submitted a statement as co-chair, for recording in the minutes:

In 2015, thanks for the effort from all MSC members, and particularly to Andrea and Constantine. MSC has completed monthly CEUs in the Calgary and Edmonton area, quarterly CAAA newspapers, and the position paper for CAAA promotion. Most importantly, we celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the CAAA, which received attention from local and provincial government, other health professions, and the general public. MSC also explored the possibility of direct billing, approached insurance companies and other health organizations or societies, and examined possibility of various means (radio, newspaper, on-site show) of promotion for the profession. We also discussed possibility of on-line training for members. A big challenge is while all MSC members are keen on various activities to promote the profession, how to avoid such activities that could be viewed or linked to benefit participating members and not the entire profession.

  • Registration and Program Review Committee

Chair was unavailable to speak, Peggy Yu made a few remarks, asked if there were any questions

  • Advisory Committee

3 Current Council members will advise new council as needed, as per request/appointment of new Council

  • Examination Committee Report – Lowell Ask

Lowell stepping down as Chair, available as advisor as needed.

The EC welcomed Amanda Ballas to our team this year. They just completed a successful exam cycle; the Safety retake exam had a high passing rate.

The EC worked on improving communication. We recognized rumors about the exam and encouraged candidates/schools to get first-hand information from the EC. The EC had a formal meeting with the 5 schools to answer questions and better prepare them for the Clinical Skills exams

The EC improved the Candidate Handbook giving better information about candidate errors and critical errors. The new edition of the handbook will be released earlier this year.

The importance of a practical/clinical exam is illustrated on video every exam by a small percentage of candidates who perform dangerous critical errors. This demonstrates that sometimes knowledge doesn’t transfer into hands-on application.

EC thanked item-writers for the Jurispudence Exam and the EC chose items to form the first JP exam. The new written Safety exam is in development.

Lowell thanked his team, examiners, and support staff, who make the exam possible

  • Conduct and Competency committee – Marc Raedschelders

This will be a short report. I would like to congratulate all members for the fact that since the last 2015 AGM there have not been any complaints against members that resulted in a hearing. Legal fees reported in the Financial report were a result of the previous year’s legal action.

That does not mean that we don’t have to be vigilant. As in all health care professions, we have a very serious responsibility to serve the public to the best of our knowledge and skills, and work in the best interest of our patients. We must never forget that this duty has to be our first concern, which is absolutely compatible with running a successful clinic that can provide a decent income.

I would like to take this occasion again to stress the importance of a few ethical principles:

Confidentiality: Keeping all patient information secure and not disclosing or discussing patients with others.

Respect for all patients, regardless if you like them or dislike them, regardless of their attitude towards your clinic or yourself. Always maintaining professionalism in your relationships with patients. Respect for allied health care workers. If you show respect, you earn respect.

Honesty in your communication with patients, and in billing for your services. Honesty towards yourself, knowing your own limitations: Staying within the scope of your practice and maintaining skills and improving knowledge and competency.

Even without having to deal with hearings, the Conduct and Competency Committee has kept busy with writing a new policy on patient charts and documenting information. This policy will soon be available on our website and will hopefully give you guidelines for completing your charts. The importance of good documentation of patient records has clearly shown its importance in past hearings and can’t be stressed enough. I wish you all a successful and complaint-free year as acupuncturists.

  • New Business

Floor open for discussion

  • Member question: WCB pays fees that are considered low, member asked WCB and the reply was that it is the average cost of tx in Alberta. Member requested the true cost of tx be updated and forwarded to WCB. Question of where the WCB gets its information about fees collected – answer was from their (WCB’s) own survey. Fees have increased in recent years. Other comments remind that WCB is an autonomous organization, we are invited but not required to work with.
  • Comments towards discounting tx and appropriate conduct regarding discounting tx, and maintaining the value of the profession. Further discussion on the role of the CAAA as both Association and College in governing activities, such as recommending fee structures. Peggy Yu shared insight into the transformation of the Association from being purely an association into the governing college, and the necessity of keeping the functions of a College and an Association separate. Another member commented about the process with the lawyer (who also drafted Speech and Language pathologist association setup) during the setup period – the lawyer made it very clear that fee structure negotiations must be kept separate, ex. Membership Services Committee function; it tends to be a very lengthy and time consuming effort.
  • Request for future council to address issue of some insurance only covering acupuncture performed by a MD.
  • It was recommended that these concerns and requests be sent, in a written format, to the Council/Registrar for full consideration.
  • Discussion of need to define scope of practice, and awareness of other jurisdictions defining their scopes of practice (dry needling, NADA protocol practitioners, dedicated acupuncturists, etc.) “Turf protection”
  • Election Result Announced

New Council: Lowell Ask, Don Fan, Yang Su, Boxin Wanglin, Liye (William) Zhao, Colton Oswald, Heather Thompson.

  • Closing Comments – Lowell Ask

Lowell thanked outgoing Council for your service.
Communication is imperative – please communicate your concerns to the council.

  • Meeting Adjourned 4:15pm

1st Marcelle