Summer Greetings from the Council of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta! The past few months have been a busy time for us. In June, we welcomed three new members to Council. Jacky Chow is a Calgary-based physiotherapist known for his work helping to establish and teach at the Calgary Campus of the University of Alberta Physical Therapy Program. Melissa Merritt, also based in Calgary, is a physiotherapy with over 15 years of service on the professional conduct committee as well as extensive clinical and health management experience. Cindy Park is our newest public member. Hailing from Grande Prairie, Cindy brings a background in finance and community engagement.
We said goodbye to council members Christina van der Lugt and Simon Cooke as their terms expired. Christina and Simon brought unique and thoughtful perspectives to our meetings and they will be missed. On behalf of Council, I thank them for their time and energy over the past few years as we worked through issues such as the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s response to the pandemic, the cancellation of the clinical component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination, and recent amendments to the Health Professions Act.
In May and June, council member Grant Fedoruk and myself worked with Halford Consulting to advertise, select, and recommend members for appointment by Council to the steering committee for the new Physiotherapy Association in Alberta. Over the next few months, Geoff Schneider, Ahmad Qayyum, Janelle Van Heeren, Prajakta Shirolkar, Colleen Kuntze, and Geoff Bostick will undertake the process of launching the new professional association with an anticipated official separation from the College on January 1, 2022. We are hopeful this new organization will continue to strengthen the voice of physiotherapy in our province.
This summer also saw the creation and first meetings of the Advisory Committee on Discrimination, Oppression and Inequity. In response to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s statement regarding discrimination, oppression and inequity, the committee will endeavor to provide a non-regulatory perspective on the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s practice standards and organizational processes through a lens of anti-discrimination, anti-oppression and inequity. This year’s College-Selected Activity is another action the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta has taken to educate registrants how privilege and oppression can affect access to healthcare and patient experiences.
Finally, and perhaps most eagerly anticipated (by some of us), Council has met twice this summer via distance technology to begin crafting the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s strategic plan. We’ve been re-evaluating our mission, vision, and future organizational priorities with a focus on excellence in regulation. This process is still in progress and registrants should expect to see the final product in the fall.
This year, perhaps more than any time before, I feel the truth of Heraclitus’ famous quote: “Change is the only constant.” Uncertainty promises to be an enduring companion as 2021 progresses. On behalf of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's Council, I wish you a relaxing August and a smooth return to work and school this autumn.