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CAMH News: New Constituency Council

We are very excited to announce that at last week’s Constituency Members’ meeting we finalized the details of a new and enhanced Constituency Council.  As well, there was an important amendment to the organization's by-laws, endorsed by the Constituency Membership.

The Constituency Membership was created at the time of the formation of CAMH, in 1998, as CAMH’s corporate membership.  The Membership has met twice a year, every year, since the beginning.  The group has been a great resource for the organization to discuss developments at the hospital, share information and resources with local communities, and to guide the work of CAMH as we brought together the four founding organizations into one. 

​​After 15 years, the time had come to update the mandate, roles and responsibilities of the Constituency.  This was the focus of discussion at the Constituency members meeting last December 2012.

Starting in January 2013, a dedicated working group of 15 Constituency Members started meeting on a regular basis to lay out a new mandate for the Constituency, including improvements to our communications, expectations of membership, a focus on regional representation and the make-up of the group. 

With last week’s endorsement of the new model, we are very proud that the new Constituency Council will be even better than before!  We’ve made enhancements in several areas, including:

  • A dedicated web-portal to keep members up to date
  • A semi-annual newsletter created by and for members
  • Clearly defined expectations for participation
  • Input  into the evaluation of the CEO and President
  • Input into the hospitals’ outcome measurement, through the CAMH Scorecard
  • Additional representation on the Council, including Aboriginal and First Nations Providers, Child and Youth Mental Health, Forensics, and Geriatric care, and
  • Better and on-going communication with the Board of Trustees, including direct sharing of information, Trustee attendance at Council meetings, and an opportunity to make a formal annual presentation to the Board.

 

It was really encouraging that the majority of the improvements were brought forward by the Working Group, and the collaborative and constructive process is surely a sign of good things to come.

These enhancements to the role of the Constituency coincided with the related decision regarding CAMH’s corporate membership made at Thursday’s Annual General Meeting.  The membership voted to approve a by-law amendment which changed the legal definition of the corporate membership, to bring it in line with best practice, where the Board of Trustees will also act as the Corporate Membership.  This change, along with the enhancements made to the role of the Constituency is an important development for overall governance of the organization going forward.   

At CAMH, we are really looking forward to a robust, engaged, and active Constituency Council, and know they will continue to play an invaluable role for the organization.

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