Evaluation and Expectation
In mid-November the CAPA Steering Committee held its Face-to-Face Annual Meeting in Toronto. Simone Hughes from Red Deer was warmly welcomed as the new Steering Committee member from Alberta, and we're delighted she's joined us. She takes over the term of Cheyne Parkinson who stepped down because of family illness.
The Annual Meeting is the one time during the year that we are able to get together to review the events, activities, achievements and disappointments of the past year, and to put together a realistic strategic plan for the next. It's a reality check of our performance and expectations. It's also the only time we can all get together as individuals. This is important. Although we're spread across the country, we work closely and strategically together in a spirit of trust to achieve our goals.
CAPA has strategic objectives that broadly define what we do. During our annual meeting, we typically identify our strategic priorities, and each CAPA committee develops a strategic plan to achieve them. We worked hard to get through our jam-packed agenda and accomplish our planning for 2007. Included during our two days of meetings was a recap of CAPA activities in 2006, strategic planning for 2007, and a general discussion with The Arthritis Society about its advocacy plans for the future .
The outcome of our meetings included:
the stark realization of the incredible amount of productive work done by CAPA in 2006 to represent the arthritis patients’ perspective
the identification of the following strategic priorities for our activities in 2007:
- To raise awareness about arthritis and to ensure timely and uniform access to appropriate medications, health professionals and services,
- To ensure a meaningful voice in arthritis research at decision making levels, and to increase CAPA involvement in policy planning and development,
- To be a source of information for adults and children with arthritis and their support communities to assist them in obtaining access to care and reimbursement, and other services they require to cope with or prevent disability, deformity and pain.
- the receipt of a request by The Arthritis Society to revisit its ongoing relationship with CAPA with a view to realigning some or all of our advocacy activities. These conversations with The Arthritis Society are ongoing.
We worked hard, but we had some fun too. This year, to illustrate the fact that we wear many hats as members, partners and collaborators with numerous arthritis related organizations, we all brought a hat to wear to dinner. Mary Kim, Ontario, was the hands down winner! Check out that head gear!
CAPA is a grass-roots, patient-driven, self-governing, national advocacy organization funded through a Memorandum of Understanding with The Arthritis Society. Because of this forward-thinking support on the part of The Arthritis Society, arthritis patients have been able to sit at decision making tables at all policy making levels to help inform the decisions that directly effect the health of people living with arthritis. Ours is the clear patient's perspective and the patient's voice. Since we began in 2001, extraordinary gains have been made in recognizing the value of patient knowledge and experience, and in 2006 we again expanded our areas of successful involvement.
In 2007 we will continue projects we have begun, and expect to add the development of effective arthritis election messaging that will be critical for federal and provincial races. Arthritis awareness – and Arthritis 101 Breakfast Workshops for our elected officials - remain priorities. CAPA is effective because we partner and collaborate, and form alliances and coalitions, with many individuals and organizations in our formal and informal networks to achieve our mutual goals. CAPA, with our distinct patient perspective, works well together with many other organizations. Our collective voice is strong, our message is clear, and we are being heard .
Best wishes for a joy-filled Holiday, and a healthy and pain-free 2007!
Access to Medications
Chair: Linda Wilhelm,
Co-Chair: Colleen Maloney
Access to Health Services
Chair: Colleen Maloney,
Co-Chairs: Mary Kim, Corrie Billedeau and Colleen Murray
Member Outreach and Education
Chair: Colleen Maloney
Chair: Laurie Proulx
Co-Chair: Corrie Billedeau
Parliamentary Relations and Elections
Chair: Mary Kim,
Co-Chair: Laurie Proulx
Research Issues Committee
Chair: Anne Dooley
Co-Chair: Louise Bergeron
Chair: Anne Dooley
Co-Chair: Louise Bergeron Editor: Colleen Maloney
Chair: Colleen Murray
Chair: Marcel Ruest
Co-Chair: Linda Wilhelm
Chair: Anne Dooley
Co-Chairs: Colleen Maloney and Linda Wilhelm