Postponement of 2020 AGM and Education Conference

Statement from Clover Hemans, BScN, MD, MScQIPS, CCFP, FCFPC

President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada


Greetings to Everyone,

We certainly live in interesting times.  In one form or another, our lives have all been touched—even as we purposefully keep our physical distance. It is even more crucial at this time to create opportunities for social connectedness.

Unfortunately, I have to announce we are postponing our Annual General Meeting and Education Conference, originally scheduled for October 1 – 4, 2020, in Vancouver, BC.

This decision was a difficult one, but made out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our members and out of respect to the members of our planning committee who need to remain focused on their patients in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Charissa Patricelli, our President-elect and our AGM planning chair, and the planning committee for their tremendous work to date.  Dr. Patricelli and her team have created a dynamic, power-packed program that we hope to deliver at later date. We would also like to thank our presenters and sponsors for their understanding in this matter.  We look forward to announcing our alternate arrangements.

We will communicate alternate arrangements for our AGM and Education Conference as the details are confirmed.

FMWC members across Canada are involved in the war against Covid-19. They are on the frontlines, behind the lines creating strategy to combat this invisible enemy, in many leadership positions advocating for the safety of healthcare practitioners and the public, and they are offering themselves as healers for those of us stressed to the max and overwhelmed by the burdens we carry.

Dr. Mamta Gautam, the “Doctor’s doctor” has offered her services to all physicians as her way to assist in healing the healers.  Dr. Debra Boyce, President of the CMPA spear-headed the Call to Action Statement by the Canadian Medical Forum which noted the,

“…current unavailability and uncertainty about the appropriate use of PPE is posing significant risks to patients, their families and healthcare providers ".

This group on our behalf and those of all Canadians, called on all levels of government to curb the spread of Covid-19 by tasking them with three specific steps which were clearly spelled out.

In the public health realm, women are clearly at the forefront. We see experts such as Drs. Teresa Tam, Bonnie Henry, Deena Hinshaw, Eileen de Villa, and Janice Fitzgerald, utilizing their calm, resolute, compassionate, battle-tested, expertise to influence change in all levels of government as well as the public.

We are proud of all they do to fiercely advocate for the public good. We are proud of you.  Your efforts and sacrifices will ensure Canadians make it through this global crisis.  You and your coworkers throughout our profession are our rocks.

Your Federation recognizes that we are in uncharted waters and that you need to be available to lend your expertise to this unprecedented challenge.

You are there for us.  We will be there for you.  We are providing a signal boost to offers of support, be it offers to help with chores from our students, requests for donations, and any and all that could make this moment a little easier.

We will get through this together.  The darkest tunnels have light at the end.