Dear NPAA members-
With more than 1 Million Albertans lacking access to a dedicated primary care provider, fueling an already overburdened healthcare system, there has never been a more critical need for Albertans to have unrestricted access to NPs. In response, over the past 2 months, we have significantly increased our lobbying and advocacy efforts. We engaged media platforms through a CBC interview, and Op-Ed publications as well as re-messaging of both sources in both AMA and national news publications. Thank you to our communications committee – Daris Klemmer, Charley McMahon, and Lucie Lapierre for keeping membership up to date with this work.
As well, we have integrated a grassroots approach presenting to 12 out of the total 61 MLAs, several of whom have provided a letter of support to the government to adopt our proposal. We have met with 3 of the 5 Regional Municipality Association Districts. Thank you to our past president, Elizabeth Cooper, for recently meeting with 1 of these districts which resulted in a formal resolution to the government in support of independent NP reimbursement.
We have met with the ministry of health, including Minister Copping again, to re-educate and emphasize the critical need for NP integration across Alberta. Additionally, we have met with 4 of the UCP leadership candidates – all of whom have endorsed their support for NP mainstream integration into primary care as autonomous, independent providers.
We have partnered with our national organization (NPAC) to expand the awareness and offering of a realistic reimbursement model for NPs in community care settings. This has also been well received and letters to provincial Ministries of Health as well as to the Federal Government, including the new Chief of Nursing -Dr. Chapman, are being provided in support of our independent NP reimbursement model. Finally, we have organized a meeting with the AMA on Sept 29/22. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss NPAA/AMA collaborative primary care models. It is our intention to align on matters that improve access to care through the offering of the full complement of autonomous, independent practitioners – both NPs and family physicians.
1. Although the Ministry of Health is in support of a plan to integrate NPs into independent practice, the scope of the work they are proposing is in no way aligned with meeting the needs of Alberta, nor offering a realistic, nor sustainable model of independent practice for NPs. The focus of the government under Minister Copping remains small-scale – pilot with a rural-based delivery focus. Our position is that, with over 30 % of Albertans without a primary care provider (PCP), restricting access to one of the 2 legislated PCPs is irresponsible and unjustified. With close to 80% of our population residing in or around urban centres, full integration of NPs across the province is necessary to address and reverse our widening access gaps – gaps that continue to strain all aspects of our healthcare system, putting Albertans at risk on a daily basis. We have a plan to support immediate, realistic and sustainable improvements to accessing community-based healthcare services across our geographical areas through mainstream access to independent NP care. We will continue to message this to all stakeholders.
2. The AMA has a contract on the table with Alberta Health. Details of this contract have not been shared, but it appears likely physicians will accept it as it provides increased fee code reimbursement, and “re-establishes their leadership position in health”. We are meeting with them after the contract is voted on to see how they view the role of NPs. This meeting will inform our future work with the AMA and government.
3. We are adding a digital advocacy campaign effective this week. We are using this platform to significantly improve our broadcasting of NP work/education and to broadcast the importance of integrating NPs to full scope across our healthcare landscape to address our healthcare crisis. This will also improve our ability to reach other NPs across the province and improve membership.
4. Previously signed agreements by the NPAA executive to support AUNP with legal costs, expenses and staff salaries, we have been placed in a strained financial position. We are looking into ways to address this so we can continue to properly support initiatives aligned with our advocacy and education activities. This financial position has made it necessary to cancel the annual Conference. The conference has not been, in the past, a financial boost to our association. We have been left without funds to cover the upfront costs of this activity. We are working to support a more realistic and fiscally responsible approach to networking with members and disseminating education and research.
5. The education committee has been very active over the summer, hosting 5 in-person, sponsored educational events. We are planning to expand the delivery of these events to offer virtual dinners as well as twin meetings between Edmonton and Calgary.
6. We are currently operating both an advocacy website https://www.npaadvocacy.ca/ and the NPAA website. We are seeking support to redesign the main site. If anyone has skills as a webmaster, please reach out to help us improve this resource.
7. Membership Director – Call for Nominations. We will put out a call for a new Director of Membership this week. The role will help us to both maintain our active membership list, support fundraising activities, and connect directly with members about concerns, goals and issues to bring feedback to the board. Voting on this position will occur at a special meeting of the membership to be held Oct 15/22.
7. We appreciate there are questions about the roles and relationships between the NPAA and AUNP. As the professional voice of Nurse Practitioners in Alberta, we have aligned as a board to ensure that stakeholders across Alberta, including key policy and decision-makers, are well aware of who we are, what we offer, and why NPs are a critical link in addressing and reversing the healthcare crisis. The new UCP leadership election is on October 6/22. The results of this vote will impact our profession. We will be holding a special membership meeting on October 15/22 to provide updates accordingly. This will also provide everyone with an opportunity to provide feedback about what is important to you so we can make NPAA more responsive to the needs of our membership.
8. We will need to revise some of our bylaws. If you are interested in participating in this working group, please reach out to our secretary at email@example.com
Board Member Updates
NPAA bylaws required that the board follow a specific process that allowed vacant board positions to be filled. Your NPAA board is below:
- President – Dr. Susan Prendergast
- Vice President/Director of Independent Practice: Karen Parker
- Secretary – Jennifer Danielson
- Treasurer – Corinne O’Neill
- Director of Communications – Noreen Antonishyn
- Director of Rural Primary Care – Jennifer Mador
- Director of Education – Mohamed El-Hussein
- Director at Large – Zahraa Bhimji
- Director of Membership (New)- Vacant