Ottawa, Ontario, le 27 mai 2009
1. Call to Order by the President and Appointment of
Secretary for the
Colin Soskolne called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm and welcomed everyone to the general meeting.
2. Presentation of the Slate of Officers for 2009-2011
Loraine Marrett presented the new Board of Directors to the membership (Appendix 1 – List of Board of Directors). The Roles and Responsibilities of the Board Members have been revised and are available.
3. Report of the Treasurer
Paul Villeneuve presented the change in operations from May 2007, discussed the appointment of auditors, provided information on financial years ending April 20, 2008 and 2009. The Willow Group has been retained to assist the operations of the CSEB and have been of great assistance to the Society. The Willow Group has helped track memberships, bookkeeping, strategic planning, website development, meeting and teleconference organization, purchasing and other operational activities.
Ottawa-based auditors, Parker Prins Lebano Chartered Accountants have been retained and the 2008-9 audited report is forthcoming. We have also purchased liability insurance.
Sources of revenue have included the student conference and biennial conference, membership dues, job postings. The main expenses have been the management services, the website operations, newsletter, e-bulletin, audit, insurance, office expenses.
The audited balance sheet as of April 30, 2008 was presented. The CSEB had a surplus of $116,000 at the beginning of the 2008-9 fiscal year. The revenues for FYE April 30, 2009 have been $29,000. The expenses for this same fiscal year have been $65,754.55 which resulted in a deficit of $36,743.79 thus far. Our current balance is $81,000.
In summary, we ran a deficit for 2008-9 fiscal year. However, many of the expenses this past year were one time expenses and a surplus from the 2009 conference is expected.
The Board is exploring opportunities for obtaining funding including expanding membership, conducting workshops, and funding support from agencies such as PHAC, Health Canada. The goal will be to be less reliant on conference revenues and achieve revenues to offset the management fees.
A suggestion was made to obtain funding from CIHR for conferences from MBD (IPPH). Suggestion was made to use an outside contractor for the website. However, it was felt that this outsourcing was not necessary and that next year the expenses would not be equally high for the website.
Membership numbers have increased to 260 members, but ideally should be around 500- 600. Another major effort will be to increase the membership numbers.
Suggestion was made to use short form contracts from the government as a revenue generation method.
Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report: Philippa Holowaty,
seconded by Loraine
4. Appointment of Auditors
Motion to accept the auditors: Lynn McIntyre, seconded by Philippa Holowaty.
a) Report of the President –
Colin Soskolne reported that partnerships have been established with the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario, the Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association, Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Biostatistics Section of the Statistical Society of Canada.
The Board chose the Willow Group in the fall 2007, and this management company was formally retained as of January 2008. Colin acknowledged the success of the regional student conference at Brock University (Darren Brenner and Marina Stegne) and the national student conference at Ottawa University (Thy Din and Habeeb Majeed).
The CSEB Board recognized the efforts of James Gomes, Monica Bienefeld and Nicholas (Nick) Birkett for their successful organization of the CSEB/APHEO conference that achieved an attendance of 380 individuals. Colin also acknowledged the contributions of Joanna Oliver, Philippa Holowaty and Jason Garay for their assistance in establishing the collaboration with APHEO.
Colin also highlighted some of the other achievements of the Board during this past two years (Appendix 2 – President’s Report). Colin also recognized the Willow Group for their efforts in helping to rejuvenate the Society.
Colin has suggested that each existing CSEB member should seek to recruit one new member during the next month.
Two strategic planning retreats have been held during these past two years. Another achievement was to establish two new CSEB Awards with the first Geoffrey R Howe Distinguished Career Award being awarded to Dr Anthony B Miller at this conference; and the CSEB Distinguished Service Award this year to Richard Gallagher.
A goal is to revise the bylaws to be aligned with the new roles and responsibilities during the next 18 months that will be presented for approval at the next conference in Montreal in 2011.
Student conference organizers are being sought for the 2011 CSEB conference. The 2010 student conference will be held at Queen’s University. The suggestion is that these conferences should be national in scope, annually.
6. Reports from the Board – none others were presented.
7. Votes of thanks to the Members-at-Large who are leaving the Board (John Spinelli, Katie MacIsaac, Minh Do) and to Linda Dodds as the Newsletter Editor. Votes of thanks to James Gomes, Monica Bienefeld and Nick Birkett. Colin Soskolne was thanked by Philippa Holowaty and the rest of the membership. Nominations committee members were also recognized as was Susan Jaglal.
8. Other Business
The new governance structure was presented by Philippa Holowaty with a recognition of the decision to create three new committees: one for membership, one for conferences and workshops and, one for communications. Membership benefits would include discounts for products that are commonly used for members. Suggestion was made to increase promotion of the conference with new students since many do not know that the Society exists. It would be beneficial to have a flyer that is given to all students at their orientation. Another suggestion was to create specialty workshops and webinars in specific sub-specialties. A student coordinator at each university could work with the Student Representative (Darren Brenner) to disseminate information. It was equally suggested that CSEB membership could be increased by recruiting non-professors who are working as epidemiologists. We should also consider giving free membership for one or two months to students so they can see what the benefits of membership are. Another suggestion was to remind members to join when they sign up for the conference. News bulletins should be sent out for hot topics – this communication device is happening, but has not been received by some of the members.
9. Canadian Journal
of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Joel Warsh of Queen’s University presented the idea of a new journal to the membership. Alison Macpherson of York University had volunteered to be the co-Editor-in-Chief of this new journal, along with Hala Tamim, also at York University. They have previous experience in editorships. Alison presented her vision for the journal to address the need to publish high quality student papers and methodological papers. It was particularly emphasized that several papers are not published because there is no appropriate journal for Canadian papers. Website has been created, the structure is in place. A request was made for a member from CSEB to be part of the editorial board.
This will be an Open Access journal, following the Open Medicine structure, to be used. John Hoey has been recruited to work with the editorial board. The submission fees will be low to encourage submission of journal articles. Questions were raised regarding the specifics of how the journal publication was going to be operationalized including the desktop publishing, translation costs. Suggestion was made to distribute a one-page flyer to the membership.
Colin Soskolne adjourned the meeting at 6:40 p.m. Philippa moved that the meeting should be adjourned and Rebecca Fuhrer seconded the motion. Approved.