There are many purposes of the CAGP awards program. It helps to foster and develop interest in the subspecialty of geriatric psychiatry by residents in psychiatry, promotes scholarly activity in the field by both residents and subspecialty trainees, introduces these residents to the collegiality of geriatric psychiatrists through their attendance at the ASM and recognizes those amongst us who have made significant contributions to the field of geriatric psychiatry at the regional, national and even international level
The goals of the Awards Committee are to facilitate the process of developing and refining award criteria, select award winners, establish an appropriate budget, present the names of award winners and any proposed changes to the awards to the CAGP board and encourage donations to the education fund by the CAGP membership.
This year the CAGP has awarded each of our four awards to very deserving individuals. The award categories include CAGP Outstanding Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry (Dr. Mark Rapoport), CAGP Regional Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry (Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy), the Geriatric Psychiatry Training award (Dr. Nadeesha Fernando) and the CAGP Resident (Dr. Majda Ines Souci, Dr. Paul Blackburn). This year Dr. Holly Dornan (Geriatric Psychiatry Training ward winner 2013) will be presenting at the September ASM.
2014 was a major transition for the CAGP as we began working with a new administrative organization Secretariat Central. We would like to thank the Secretariat staff for their support and patience during this transition phase. Overall things went quite smoothly. The timelines for this process were established. The award descriptions were tidied up. We have clarified deadlines, terms of the awards and acknowledgements. There is a process for notifying the membership of the awards and encouraging applicants. The reality is we have historically received very few nominations for any of the awards. Attention to this part of the process is a goal for the 2014-2015 year.
We turned our attention to the future of the awards program once we had selected the successful applicants for this year’s awards. The motivation for this reflection came from discussions that have occurred over the past couple of years and ensuring future financial viability.
There has been ongoing debate from past members as well as present about the lack of clarity between the criteria of the award for Outstanding Contributions and the Regional award. The reality is very few applications have been received over the past years for the Regional award. After at least two years of debate we have elected to no longer offer this award for these reasons. This may increase competition for the Outstanding Contributions award. We will need to review the criteria for this award given this change.
Changes have also been proposed for the Residents award. We have discussed decreasing the amount of the award in order to be able to offer potentially three as opposed to two. The proposal is to decrease the amount of each award from $2000 to $1000. This will still help to cover the expenses of the residents in travelling to and attending the ASM where they are asked to present a poster on a proposed scholarly activity in the field of geriatric psychiatry. We plan to award two Resident awards each year provided we have applications that meet criteria and have the potential to award a third if a deserving candidate applies. This is reflected in the proposed budget for 2015.
Changes to the Outstanding Contributions award have also been proposed. Historically winners of both this award and that of the Regional award received $1000. Past recipients of these awards expressed surprise at receiving a cash prize. It was their feeling that recognition by the academy and their peers was a sufficient honour. The committee has proposed changing the monetary portion of the award to covering the registration cost of the winner at the next ASM they attend.
We have not made any changes to the Training award.
This is the first year the cost of the awards will appear as a line item in the budget and a budget for 2015.
The timing of the presentation of the awards during the ASM has varied over the past couple of years. It is important for the Chair of this committee and that of the ASM planning committee to liaise regarding the scheduling of the ceremony during the ASM. This year it will be during the lunch break of the second day.
The CAGP actively solicits donations to an education fund, which helps support the cost of the awards via a direct link on its website, reminders in the electronic newsletters and paper reminders during the ASM. A goal of this year’s committee will be a discussion as to how to make this more visible.
A long-standing committee member Dr. Marlene Smart left after many years of service. We would like to thank Marlene for her participation. Her promotion of the subspecialty at the resident, fellow/trainee and colleague level contributed significantly to the success of this program.
Our group has expanded its regional representation as we welcomed Dr. Mark Bosma (Nova Scotia) to the committee.
Carol Ward, MD
Secretary and Awards Chair