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President's Report - Dr. Mark Rapoport

03 Nov 2014 9:44 AM | CAGP (Administrator)

Dear Colleagues, 

As I write this report, intense last-minute preparations are currently being made for this year’s National Review Course and Annual Scientific Meeting. This feeling of intensity has actually been quite consistent during this second year of my role as President. Since our last AGM, when our new bylaws were approved, the staff at Secretariat Central has taken over all operations of the CAGP, gracefully weathering the transition from TOCorp and well-supporting our major initiatives and strategic planning. At our September 2013 meeting, the board approved this transition, which has been quite successful. For this second year of my term, apart from supporting the transition of the staff, I have ensured that we make our privacy policy transparent, prompt advances in our fundraising and marketing strategies, board orientation, board training and board succession planning. We held a Strategic Planning Session in the winter, and have made plans to enhance and transform our major initiatives to maintain their relevance in an evolving landscape. 

Volunteerism at the CAGP has boomed this year. Three non-board members assumed major volunteer leadership positions on behalf of the CAGP:

o Dr. Andrea Iaboni is chairing a new Research Committee with the focus on fostering the development of geriatric psychiatry research in

Canada . She will host the first in-person meeting of this committee at the 2014 ASM, and has already built an e-network of CAGP members engaged in research at

o  Dr. Andrew Wiens, who was Co-chair of the National Review Course for the first two years, has taken over my position as Chair and has assembled an excellent program. In addition to our returning faculty, we will be welcoming Drs. Maggie Gibson, George Heckman, Lesley Wiesenfeld, Sanjeev Sockalingham and Charles Reynolds III. Plans are underway, partnering with the Canadian Geriatrics Society (CGS), to host the 2015 event in

Montreal in April (with the CGS Scientific Meeting, rather than in the fall with the CAGP Scientific Meeting). Many practising psychiatrists will have completed the Royal College Examination by this winter, and as such, the course will take on a focus of continuing education more than examination preparation.

o  Dr. Tim Lau has chaired a subcommittee of the communications group focusing on developing e-resources for the CAGP website. We look forward to seeing an enhanced website in the 2014-5 year that will include helpful and up-to-date resources and references.

In addition, numerous other members have supported the activities of the board. Dr. Marlene Smart, former long-standing board Treasurer, has continued to provide support to the Finance and Awards Committees. Dr. Cathy Shea, former Education Chair of the CAGP, has provided valuable support and guidance to the trainee strategy initiatives. Dr. Marie-France Rivard, CAGP past-President, represented the CAGP at the Canadian Psychiatric Association’s Advocacy Day on Parliament Hill this spring. The invited faculty members of the ASM, National Review Course and Online Study Group work countless hours with the most modest of honorarium to provide a detailed and helpful educational experience, and clinicians and scientists who have submitted symposia, workshops, papers and posters to our ASM have, in the spirit of volunteerism, agreed to strengthen our scientific program substantially.

The major champions and volunteers of the CAGP, however, are our board members, and there are many accomplishments of this dedicated group to acknowledge in this annual report. I will select a few highlights, but it is important to know that the board members have been volunteering on various committees in addition to the monthly board meetings, with much work in-between. I was thrilled, furthermore, that the board accepted my encouragement for all board members to get involved with surveying the membership for the Strategic Planning Session and with sponsorship. Sincere gratitude goes to all.

o Dr. Daniel Blumberger, in his first year on the board, assumed a major leadership position as Chair of the Annual Scientific Meeting. He has worked closely with the new executive director of the CCSMH, Bonnie Schroeder, to assemble what promises to be a highly successful program highlighting innovations in seniors’ mental health care. Keynotes and plenaries will include sessions from Drs. David Goldbloom, Eric Lenze and Joel Sadavoy. Dr. Blumberger will be exploring an accelerated academic- and sponsorship-planning timeline to begin implementing for our next ASM in 

Vancouver on September 30, 2015.

o Dr. Mark Bosma, also in his first full year on the board, has assumed the position of Chair of the Membership Committee, with the support of our other two new board members, Drs. Nancy Vasil and Maria Di Tomasso. The group was charged with actualizing the changes to member categories that were approved in the new bylaws, and this year has shown excellent membership growth, particularly in our trainees. Although Dr. Di Tomasso has stepped down from the board after her first year, she was very helpful in weighing in on strategic issues pertinent to the board, and has helped ensure continued

Quebec representation after her departure. Best wishes for a successful year ahead, Maria.

o  Our trainee strategy Committee, chaired by Dr. Marla Davidson with MIT Dr. Holly Dornan, has been extraordinarily active. Bursaries have been awarded, an enhanced educational, vocational and social program for trainees has been developed for the ASM, and geriatric psychiatry has taken a leading role in the National Geriatric Interest Group for Canadian medical students. Dr. Dornan will be leaving the board after serving two terms. She has been actively involved in both the trainee strategy and the board. Holly, best wishes on your transition to independent practice this coming year.

o  Dr. Corrine Fischer will also be departing the board after a successful two years leading the Communications Committee. Regional updates, the new CAGP logo, and streamlining the processes for the e-newsletter and other communications have been the focus of her active work on the board, and she has kindly agreed to provide continuity on the communications portfolio after her board tenure. A fond farewell, Corinne, and many thanks.

o  Dr. Barry Campbell has served a two-year term as board Treasurer, helping clarify issues pertaining to board governance and oversight, financial reporting and planning. He has kindly agreed to serve a third year as Treasurer with the goal of training the Treasurer Elect.

o  Dr. Carol Ward has assumed an active role in two portfolios on the board this year. She has taken on the role of Secretary at the board meetings, ensuring that the meeting minutes are accurate and posted online, as well as for the second year, chairing our Awards Committee. You can see from her report that this committee has been actively looking at the terms of reference of the awards, and some changes are proposed for future years. She is also investigating the role of the CAGP in the ongoing “Choosing Wisely Campaign.”

o  Dr. Soham Rej, MIT board member, paved the way for our Strategic Planning Session by creating a survey strategy in which board members approached members in their area to ascertain their wishes for the future of the CAGP. He has also supported the trainee strategy, and has conducted research into the facilitators and barriers of geriatric psychiatry career tracks for residents in Canada.

o   Dr. Kiran Rabheru, our immediate past-President, has served as Nominations Chair and the Chair of the Partnership Committee. He attended the CAMIMH Champions of Mental Health Gala, which was generously paid for by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, in order to ensure a voice for geriatric psychiatry at this important event. 

o   Dr. Dallas Seitz, CAGP Vice President, took a leadership role with the advocacy committee. He has represented the CAGP at the CMA forum and supported Dr. Frank Molnar of the CGS in raising a motion to address workforce-related issues in health care of the elderly. He also served as Co-chair of the Online Study Group for its second year, was faculty for two modules, will be faculty for two sessions at this month’s National Review Course, and has agreed to represent the CAGP at the 2015 Canadian Geriatrics Society meeting.

o  Dr. David Conn, CAGP past-President, continues to serve in an ex-officio position on the board, providing both mentorship and a liaison to the activities of the Canadian Coalition of Seniors’ Mental Health, a group that is actively pursuing exciting new activities in the realm of knowledge translation.

Our Strategic Planning Session in February identified two major new initiatives. An Advocacy Committee was struck to focus on the professional sustainability and growth of the practice of geriatric psychiatry in Canada, and a Partnership Committee was struck with the goal of advancing the political, research, professional development and financial interests of the CAGP through formal partnerships with key stakeholder organizations. More information about this session appears in the April 2014 e-newsletter available on our website. Preliminary work has begun on these initiatives, but work needs to be done first to ensure that funds are available. A major theme of the Strategic Planning Session this September will be on assessing revenue streams and fundraising/sponsorship for these critical new initiatives.

Hearty congratulations go to our Geriatric Psychiatry Training Award recipient, Dr. Nadeesha Fernando, and the CAGP Resident awardees Dr. Majda Ines Souci and Dr. Paul Blackburn. I am deeply honored to have received the CAGP award for outstanding contributions in geriatric psychiatry. I am thrilled to be in the company of Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy who will receive the CAGP Regional Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry Award this year as well.

I have to thank the board members who have worked with me since I started with the CAGP, and in particular Dr. David Conn who encouraged me to join the board in 2006, Dr. Kiran Rabheru who helped me transition into the role of president, Drs. Melissa Andrew and Cathy Shea for persisting in creating a new subspecialty in Canada, Drs. Dallas Seitz and Andrew Wiens for providing the support and encouragement as Co-chairs of the National Review Course and Online Study Group. Thank you as well to my bosses, mentors, colleagues and residents at University of Toronto and Sunnybrook who have supported and encouraged me in this position, and of course to Steven, Ben, Rowan and Noah who have allowed me to be away at board meetings and conferences, and keep me smiling.

Many thanks must be given to the sponsors of our CCSMH-CAGP Break sponsor: University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry, and our supporters Magstim and Caversham Book Sellers. Also, a sincere thank you to Maria Kardaris, Andrea Smith, Denise Craine, Laurel Honeyford and Dora Iskander – all of whom have worked hard to ensure a seamless-as-possible transition and a highly successful year.   

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Rapoport, MD, FRCPC
CAGP President

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