Dear friends and colleagues,
The year end task of putting words to paper to try and summarize the myriad activities, accomplishments, endeavours and triumphs of your organization is always a difficult one.
It’s probably best to start with thanks. Thank you to the CAR Board, an amazingly accomplished and diverse group of radiologists from coast to coast who have volunteered their expertise and thoughtful energy to guide our organization.
Thank you to our immediate past presidents, Dr. Willie Miller and Dr. Jacques Lévesque – and those many who came before – for leading the ongoing build of the CAR into the ever more credible, efficient and effective organization it is today.
Thank you to the present and previous CAR staff for helping a new president and CAR Board establish our strategic plan and the many goals therein, and for helping shape our working groups, advocacy efforts, educational offerings, accreditation, communications and many more projects yet to come.
Thank you to our new CEO, Nick Neuheimer, for leading the CAR in new directions while making sure our foundational structure remains secure.
Thank you to our corporate partners for helping support our Association in multiple ways.
Thank you to our many fantastic volunteers on working groups and delegations, helping with CME offerings, accreditation, CAR ASM and other initiatives; our organization could go nowhere without you.
Finally, thank you to you, the members, for continuing to believe in and to support your organization. Whether the issue is the small business tax changes, artificial intelligence, or the value of radiology, to name just a few, your Association is there to make sure your voice is heard, understood, and heeded.
Expanding advocacy initiatives
From my perspective our biggest standout effort this year has been advocacy for our members and our patients. We presented comprehensive, reasonable initiatives for the Federal Government to reengage in medical imaging infrastructure.
Members from across the country made it known to the Federal Government that physicians, many of whom are small business owners, were opposed to the unforeseen and unintended consequences of proposed tax policies for business in Canada and our patients. At the grassroots level, members used tools provided by the CAR to write letters to their MPs, and in many cases, met with them face-to-face.
At the organizational level, the CAR joined over 80 business organizations and professional associations in forming the Small Business Coalition, representing thousands of small business owners from across Canada, to present a unified voice on the issue. We were also invited to present to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance directly and we were the only specialty organization invited to present to the Senate.
CAR Day on the Hill
We held our second annual Day on the Hill in November which has grown to encompass two days of advocacy and awareness-raising about the value of radiology and the importance of imaging for patient care. Over 50 MPs and Senators attended the CAR’s reception highlighting the value of radiology. Next year, we plan to expand to a Canada-wide presentation to Federal and Provincial Legislatures.
Value of Radiology
The Value of Radiology infographic posters highlighting the essential role of radiologists in health care are now available for every member to place in every MI waiting room in the country. It is a simplified and distilled version of a report released in January 2017 by the Conference Board of Canada. The poster was a centerpiece of the reception, and will be used as a teaching tool and promotional piece for our outreach to members of Parliament and the general public, as the CAR strives to increase awareness about the pivotal role of radiologists in the healthcare system.
In closing, this has been quite the busy year. As Nick has mentioned in passing to me, this is likely the ‘end of the beginning.’ Seeds planted by efforts in advocacy, leadership, accreditation, CME, guidelines, and AI now will grow to yield fruit in the near and far future of our specialty.
Thank you for continuing this journey with us. I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.
Emil Lee, MD
Canadian Association of Radiologists