1. If you were elected to CCO Council, what in your opinion is the most effective way to maintain and build public trust in the profession?
I think the best way to build public trust, and maintain it effectively, is through open communication. Professional members of the CCO receive an Annual Report, emails from the President, and emails requesting feedback when council is looking at modifying policies, bylaws and standards. From the public’s perspective to my knowledge, the website provides information as well as the publicly appointed Council members. Having regular communication with the public at large would help build and maintain public trust. Their confidence would improve when hearing firsthand, from an outward facing communication process, about what the College is doing to help protect their interest and in helping them gain access to competent ethical, and patient-centered chiropractic care.
I am also a big proponent of transparency in discussions, conversations, and decision making. As transparency is one of the six values of the CCO, I feel that it has a trickle-down positive effect on all involved. When the CCO is transparent in its processes, the public interest is protected, and that helps to build public trust. When the public interest is protected, the profession is seen as a valuable part of health care in Ontario. That also helps the profession gain credibility while building public trust and confidence.
If I were re-elected, I would continue to push for all decision-making processes to have open communication and transparency. This would give insight as to what work is being done on Council and the various committees at the CCO.
2. What have you learned from the COVID-19 global pandemic that you think should inform CCO’s role?
I think when the pandemic hit, all regulated health care professions, and most industries in general, needed to lean on the Ministry of Health, to guide us to follow public health priorities, and follow their guidance and directives. With things happening so rapidly, I applaud the CCO for being nimble and adaptive to ensure the profession was informed about what needed to be done in our offices to ensure we were protecting the public and the patients we treat.
The CCO then commissioned a report developed by the University of Toronto’s Accessing Centre for Expertise (ACE), titled Context Covid: Understanding the Evidence, Policy and Regulatory Implications of the Relationship between Chiropractic and Immunity. This allowed us as a Council to examine how our standards, policies, and guidelines can be updated or modified to ensure that the college is protecting the public interest, using an evidence-informed approach. Using the pandemic should enhance the CCO’s role on how our profession can navigate this topic, stay within our scope of practice, and protect the public interest all at the same time. With years of prior committee work, in addition to the most recent three years of experience as an elected council member, I have a thorough understanding of policies and procedures of council. This knowledge would inform CCO in fulfilling its role in protecting the public interest, while navigating new and emerging public health concerns that may impact our offices.
3. What do you think is the top opportunity and the top challenge facing CCO Council members in the next two years?
I think the top challenge for CCO Council is to stay on top of, and successfully navigate, the College Performance Measurement Framework (CPMF). All health regulatory colleges need to submit to the Ministry of Health about their compliance on a number of benchmarks. I think that there have been several best practices that other health regulatory colleges have shown to have done through their CPMF submissions, that could be considered at the CCO. Being proactive to the framework is more beneficial than being reactive to it. In 2023, we continue to have professional council member elections, where some other health regulatory colleges have transitioned into competency-based appointments. It would be a large undertaking, but would create not just geographical diversity, but a true professionally diverse group of Council members.
The top opportunity facing CCO Council is through collaboration with stakeholders. With patients who receive exceptional care in offices across Ontario, they can be our biggest voices in health care reform. Patients are looking for alternatives to traditional medical care, and with costs and wait times rising, they are turning to chiropractic care. The CCO can ensure that all Ontarians can seek competent, ethical, patient-centered care. The CCO must maintain its mandate but also be an ally to all other stakeholders in advancing Ontarian’s access to chiropractic care. Hearing how each organization, including the OCA, is engaging the public to help better serve our communities, would increase communication and collaboration, and still keep each organization’s mandate, and roles separate and distinct.