Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As the days get shorter and our Canadian winter settles in across the country (yes, even Vancouver!), it is a reminder that another year is rapidly drawing to a close. 
Time flies when you are doing something you enjoy…or are very busy!  Personally, it has been a bit of both.  Reflecting back over the last quarter of 2016, the CCMG board and committees have accomplished a lot.  Please take the time to check out the College website for minutes of the Board meetings and updates on committee activities.  However, I would like mention a few highlights. 

  1.  CCMG support of Bill S-201 – An Act to Prevent Genetic Discrimination
    We provided a letter (co-signed by me, past-president Gail Graham, and E2P2 chair Julie Richer) and in response, the CCMG was called to be a witness and appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.  On November 24, Gail Graham testified on behalf of the CCMG as part of a panel along with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and transcripts of the proceedings will be available on the Committee's website
    (www.parl.gc.ca/JUST-e<http://www.parl.gc.ca/JUST-e>) within the next two weeks.  E2P2 was also asked to help the CMA draft their own letter in support of Bill S-201 and to assist them in preparing their own testimony to the House Committee.   Thanks to Julie Richer, our ties to the CMA have been forged and we look forward to future collaborations with this strong ally. 
  2.  ABMGG-CCMG Relationship Forging
    The American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) has reached out to the CCMG to learn more about our College and to look at ways we can synergize our efforts.  While the two organizations share many roles, there are also significant differences in our scopes of activities.     I met with the ABMGG CEO, Dr. Miriam Blitzer at the ASHG meeting in Vancouver.  This was followed up with a teleconference to lay the groundwork for future meetings.  On the top of our list of items to address, is to review and renew the formal agreement reciprocally recognizing the accredited training programs under each organization.  It has been over 20 years since this letter of understanding was signed.

    One of the challenges facing us is determining how our respective training programs and credentialing requirements can be aligned once the new ABMGG merged Laboratory Genetics and Genomics specialty (replacing stand-alone cytogenetics and molecular genetics/genomics routes) is implemented in 2018.  
  3.  Special Meeting of the Board    
    Taking advantage of the opportunity that many of our Directors were in Vancouver for the ASHG meeting in October, the BOD had a special face-to-face meeting which allowed us to have a focused and in-depth discussion on strategic directions for future AGMs with valuable input from our association manager, Heather Dow. [See minutes of October 18, 2016]

    In the current financial climate of ‘cost containment’ within our institutions, it is critical for our College to make attending our annual meeting attractive to our members.  Good value and relevancy are paramount.  As a small organization, we cannot compete with large scientific conferences.  We can, however, adopt a specific Canadian focus and perspective that provide relevancy to our members and aligns with the mission of our College.  We hope that several ideas, including those gathered through further member engagement will be incorporated into the 2018 meeting. 
  4.  Annual Meeting 2017 – Montreal April 30 – May 3
    And speaking of annual meetings…Looking ahead to the 2017 meeting, the Scientific Program Planning Committee is busy completing the detailed schedule (a preliminary program is posted on the website.  Please hold the dates and plan to attend. 

    Since the CCMG is meeting solo in 2017, you will notice that the meeting format will be a little different this year.  An exciting new feature of the meeting is a ‘pre-program’, all day (Sunday April 30) Trainee Workshop planned by the Training and E2P2 committees.  The focus will be on educational themes, professional tips and career mentoring, applicable to trainees in all specialty areas.   For those CCMG members serving on committees, meetings will be scheduled on Sunday and all those in attendance are invited to join the trainees for lunch to provide some additional networking opportunities.  The formal program will open at the end of the day with the presentation of the inaugural F. Clarke Fraser Award for Excellence in Mentorship and Teaching to the well-deserving, Dr. Charles Scriver.  The exciting key-note speaker is Dr. Sharon Moalem, a neurogeneticist and best-selling author.  The evening will be topped off with a welcome reception and a chance to mingle and reconnect with old friends. 
  5.  Committee turn-over   
    Thanks to all our amazing members who volunteer to channel their talents and energies into the business of the College.  The hardworking Awards and Nominations Committee, under the capable leadership of Helene Bruyere and Melanie Beaulieu Bergeron, has filled the 2017 Committee vacancies.  Remember that turn-over, for most committees, is in January.  Look for welcome information from committee chairs. 

In closing, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to wish everyone a joyful and peaceful holiday season.  

Judy Chernos

45th Annual Scientific Meeting (1976 - 2021) | May 31 – June 3 2021
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