More than 300 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members took part in the association’s virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday as Dr. Katharine Smart was welcomed as the CMA’s 149th president. A pediatrician with a background in emergency medicine and rural and remote pediatrics, Dr. Smart is a past president of the Yukon Medical Association.
Throughout her career, Dr. Smart has been committed to addressing health care inequities and advocating for children and marginalized populations. In 2017, she worked with the Yukon government to launch a social pediatrics program centered on developing collaborative partnerships with community and government services to better address the needs of marginalized children. In working primarily with children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood events, she has witnessed first-hand the broad and lasting impact of these experiences on children and their development. Before moving to the Yukon, Dr. Smart was a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.
“The pandemic has showcased the power of physician-led advocacy and confirmed the gaps in our health system,” says Dr. Smart. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to meet the needs of Canadians, address the structural barriers to positive health outcomes and build a vibrant health workforce. As CMA president my hope is to lead a movement committed to building a health care system where everyone can be cared for in a timely and respectful way.”
Dr. Alika Lafontaine becomes first Indigenous president-elect
As part of the AGM, Dr. Alika Lafontaine was also confirmed as the CMA’s first Indigenous president-elect for 2022-2023. Born and raised in Treaty 4 Territory, Dr. Lafontaine has Métis, Oji-Cree and Pacific Islander ancestry and is an award-winning anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He will start his mandate as CMA president in August 2022.
Dr. Ann Collins completes her presidency
Dr. Ann Collins completes her term as CMA president having spent the year working with physicians to help shape the medical profession’s response to the pandemic, promoting equity, diversity and inclusion and being a strong advocate for physician wellness. “If I think of the light that has guided us through this dark time, it is the belief that we can and will do better, for everyone in this country. Through collaboration with the medical community, patients, Indigenous Peoples and others, we will achieve the vision we have set out of better health for all.”