Executive Director's Report

Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director of the AMA

Download the Reports to the AGM (PDF, 85 pages)

This past year has been one of transition.

A significant case in point was the move from full on COVID measures to less restrictive approaches in how the organization operates. The first in-person Representative Forum in over two years was held just a few months ago. AMA staff are now starting to move from a full out-of-office stance to more of a hybrid environment including work from both home and office. Committees, in many ways the lifeblood of the AMA, continue to operate almost exclusively through virtual means and I expect this to continue. COVID has not changed our commitment to physicians, but it continues to change how we work to fulfil that commitment.

Also in transition is our approach to advocacy. While promoting timely access to quality care has always been a primary focus, a renewed emphasis was brought to the issue due to COVID and what we have termed the “COVID care deficit.” The AMA played an important role in bringing attention to the challenges, working with physician leaders in the Joint Physician Advocacy Committee and section-led initiatives on adult and pediatric mental health, emergency departments and rural health care to name just three. The contribution of thousands of Albertans, through PatientsFirst.ca and albertapatients.ca, is a critical piece of this advocacy.

The venues for representing physicians have been evolving both in number and complexity. This includes efforts to negotiate a provincial-level agreement and several other tables involving staff and physician leaders. Many of these efforts are summarized in these pages, including laboratory physician discussions both with AHS and community lab providers; AHS discussions involving radiology services, cancer care, stipends and other issues; promoting virtual care; academic medicine and the work of the AMA AMHSP Council.

One of the more positive transitions was regarding our relationship with Alberta Health. There was a beginning to the rebuilding of the relationship that had been put under extreme stress and that did not meet the needs of Albertans. There is a long way to go, but I do want to recognize the efforts of Alberta Health to turn this around. It is critical that it continue as physician leadership and expertise is essential in dealing with the health care system challenges. These include many issues the AMA has championed over the years:

  • A medical home for each Albertan within an integrated health care system
  • Attraction and retention of physicians
  • Supports for provider health and healthy workplaces
  • Innovations in care delivery, including virtual care

The last few years have reminded Albertans of our reliance on the dedication and professionalism of physicians. The contribution and support of many of these leaders to the AMA is greatly appreciated.

I also want to recognize the time, effort, and dedication of my fellow AMA staff members. Physicians have been well served by these truly talented individuals.

- Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director
Alberta Medical Association

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.