From the President's Desk - March 2017
01 Mar 2017
Posted by: Dr Simon Lawson President

In the blink of an eye, we have almost completed the first quarter of 2017! It has been a frenetic start to the year and the Council has been kept extremely busy whilst making great headway with a number of significant projects. I hope that this year has started well for you and that even in these seemingly challenging times you are still able to learn, grow and develop your unique and invaluable set of skills as a Chiropractor whilst enjoying this wonderful profession and making a tangible difference to the lives of those we serve.

Next week see’s the start of the biennial WFC Assembly and Congress being held in Washington DC. CASA will be represented at the WFC Assembly by the President and Vice President and at the congress by Dr Da Silva. Apart from presenting the CASA National report which, I have also sent out for your interest, CASA has been invited to partake in a panel discussion entitled: “Staying on Track in the Face of Adversity.” The aim of the session will be to share ways in which national associations (WFC Constituent Members) dealt with challenging circumstances and what strategies they adopted to deal with them. We will be presenting our experiences from the Competition Commission submission. With Board meetings for FICS; the presentation of the Chirosport report at the FICS Assembly and a presentation on securing FICS/Chirosport attendance and participation at World Championship sporting events in South Africa, at the FICS Symposium, next week promises to be a very busy week but one which will generate great exposure for CASA and Chirosport SA on the world stage. Considering how small our profession is in South Africa, it gives me a great sense of pride to see how many of our members are involved and have leadership positions within the WFC and FICS and are constantly making significant contributions to the growth and development of Chiropractic around the globe. I look forward to sharing our experiences and giving you feedback on our return.

It has just been announced by the WFC Public Health Committee that Dr Kendrah Da Silva has been selected to serve on this committee. Kendrah was selected from applications from all the WFC Constituent Members. This is a great honour and an amazing achievement. We are excessively proud of Kendrah and wish her all the very best in this new role.

The end of last year saw the launch of our brand new membership portal. It is amazing how we managed to design and implement this portal between the CASA congress in September and 01 November 2016 – a truly remarkable feat. Inevitably, there were a few teething problems but I would like to extend a huge debt of gratitude to all of you for your patience and perseverance in helping us get this system working seamlessly. We are still ironing out small kinks but by this time next year we will have a very well oiled machine. We have in excess of 580 signed up members with a number of members still having to complete the payment process. This is already a significant improvement on the 525 members from last year with still more to come. We have also had a good response from the student’s with membership steadily growing in both institutions.

The ever popular CASA booklets are ready to print as I am writing this newsletter. Again, thank you for your patience. We have been trying to iron out any possible discrepancies between the old data base and the new geographical information submitted by yourselves on the membership portal. We needed to ensure that we had all signed up members in the booklet and needed to ensure the entries accuracy before sending it off to print. We will be distributing this year’s booklets through the branches. `You will be notified when they are ready for collection.

I must extend a very big thank you to the team behind the scenes at Head Office. Adri and Deon have been fantastic helping those members who don’t have access to computers to register on the portal and generally ensuring the relatively smooth daily running of the administration. We are constantly meeting with ProfNet and workshopping problem areas or areas we feel we can make work more efficiently. Please send us any comments or suggestions regarding your experience when dealing with Head Office and using the portal.

Membership fee payments to the branches and interest groups (PCSA and Chirosport SA) went out this week. The current membership of Paediatric Chiropractic SA is around 70 and Chirosport SA is well over 100. This is remarkable and demonstrates the effectiveness of the membership portal. It is wonderful to see such involvement and growth in our interest groups.

The next Council meeting will take place on Saturday 25 March 2017. As always, CASA members are more than welcome to attend these meetings as observers. If you do intend joinjng us, please let the Secretary General know that you intend attending so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Council has been inundated with student bursary and financial relief requests. This has prompted the Council to sit down and develop a sensible, feasible and sustainable support platform for our Chiropractic students. We are hoping to sign off on the finishing detail on 25 March 2017.

CASA has made another donation to the World Spine Care project in Botswana. It is envisioned that this will become an annual donation to the project. CASA has also expressed an interest in helping to set up an internship rotation through the clinic. There are a number of political and logistical matter which we need to address but we would like to see this project moving forward shortly.

Whilst we are on the topic of spending CASA’s “pennies”, we are very aware that we need to upgrade the website. This is going to be a big expense and we are not likely to make any decisions on this until the budget has been finalized in the coming weeks. Our June-December 2016 financials should be ready for sign off in the next couple of weeks. You may recall that we needed to run a set of 6 month financial statements in order to bring the CASA financial year into a Jan-Dec rotation. We are now into our third month of the new financial year and things seem to be running relatively smoothly.

We continue to engage with the medical aids particularly Discovery Health however, due to us being given the constant run around we are busy implementing a new strategic approach with the other big role players in the industry. If you have any queries or are having issues with your medical aid, please let us know. We are still trying to secure a meeting with COIDA. We will persevere and eventually get our meeting with them.

There have been a handful of reports released from the Competition Commission but for now we have not received any feedback. We live in hope for a favourable decision to dissolve the barriers that restrict our access to the public health system.

The World Games 2017 are being held in July, in Poland this year and Chirosport SA has 6 members who have been selected as part of this team of 32 international sports Chiropractors. This is very exciting, We wish them all the very best for a successful games and look forward to their feedback on their return

Dr Bailes and his Congress Committee have managed to put together another great conference for us down in Stellenbosch with a good spread of top international and local presenters. They are just putting the finishing touches in place before they send out the academic program. We have also managed to secure a FICS ICCSP upper and lower limb extremity course. This will run from the Monday 11 September – Thursday 14 September 2017. We will keep you posted on these developments.

Please note that you should have received a request from the AHPCSA for nominations for positions on the professional Board. Please take the time to read these documents and submit your nomination.

Yours faithfully

Dr Simon Lawson President

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