Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perspective on many things – our health and health care system first off, but also the world we live in. 

At the CMA, we believe it’s important to stand up for the change we want to see in our profession and in our society. Earlier this week, we issued a public statement condemning racism, intolerance, exclusion, violence and discrimination, and outlining our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in medicine and beyond. We will continue to be a strong voice for inclusion along with our membership and so many of our partners. 

Supporting physician-led innovation

This pandemic has disrupted our health care system and we know physicians are hard at work developing solutions. Today, I’m pleased to see Joule launch a COVID innovation grant program, which will provide up to $1 million in funding to help scale up members’ ideas and innovations to address the pandemic. 

If you’re working on a project in one of the below areas – or know someone who is, please visit the Joule site to find out more. Initiatives are each eligible for up to $200,000 in funding.

  • Addressing the social determinants of health and improving health equity for vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic
  • Improving access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Supporting and protecting the physical and mental health and well-being of front-line health care workers

Advocacy update: Fiscal stabilization

We continue our advocacy to address the financial impacts of the pandemic on physicians. This week, we responded to a Finance Canada consultation on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, focusing on the need to resolve the technical, administrative barriers preventing some physicians from being eligible.

I continue to speak with federal representatives to highlight these important concerns and to share the recommendations outlined in our fiscal stabilization brief. In addition, our recommendations for federal measures for front-line health care workers have received strong support from the stakeholder community; most recently, they were endorsed by 35 member groups of HEAL, a coalition of national health organizations.

New member resources

  • Organizational psychologist Michael West shares his advice on compassionate leadership models and how they can help organizations overcome some of the hurdles they’re facing as a result of COVID-19.

  • For medical students and residents: We’ve published a summary of information on the impacts of COVID-19 on your studies and training, including updates from FMRAC, the CFPC and the Royal College on examinations and licensing.

Funding for youth mental health

As part of their funding efforts to support physicians and vulnerable communities during the pandemic, the CMA Foundation has most recently announced $250,000 to expand access to virtual youth mental health services through Jack.org.

As a reminder, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or suggestions. Our Member Service Centre can be reached at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

With respect and solidarity,
Dr. Sandy Buchman


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