The National Expert Commission’s talks with nurses and members of the public about transforming Canada’s health-care system are well underway. Since August, Commissioners have visited eight provinces and territories. In late August in Saskatchewan, co-chair Marlene Smadu and I started the formal consultations. There was a poignant moment on Day 1 when we found ourselves, along with the province’s chief nursing officer, in the Tommy Douglas building the day that NDP leader Jack Layton died.
We are privileged and grateful to have the enthusiastic partnership of YMCA Canada to host our public round tables, recruit participants, and provide venues and staff. Their experience will enable us to have face time with a wide range of Canadians who are outside the fields of nursing and health care — amazing!
Thanks also to CNA’s jurisdictional members and representatives from the associate, affiliate and emerging groups (AAE) for hosting round tables and welcoming us. AAE representatives are making a formal submission to the Commission and co-hosting a webinar on December 6th (English) and 8th (French). We encourage you to participate: visit www.cna-aiic.ca for details.
To complement the spirit of this issue’s theme — maternal and child health— co-chair Maureen McTeer and I attended the first annual meeting of the new Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN). CAPWHN members are using CNA tools and strategies to hone their policy and political skills to develop a strategic policy agenda for improving maternal and child health nationally. Well done! The specialty knowledge of nurses like these is central to modern nursing practice and Commissioners want to hear more.
We are happy to receive your ideas, innovations and research on health-care transformation. Add your voice at http://expertcommission.cna-aiic.ca. We look forward to meeting with many more of you as we continue our travels.
Michael J. Villeneuve, RN, M.Sc.
This column originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Canadian Nurse. Reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Nurses Association.