Message from the President
In March 2020, the world as we knew it shifted. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for Massage Therapists (RMTs), other health care professionals, Ontarians and the global community. Although we have all had to embrace change, COVID-19 has affected each of us in different ways and to different extents. As with all RMTs across Ontario, my own practice was immediately impacted by these changes. Like many of you, I have used this as an opportunity for self-reflection, to think about the future and what it means in this environment to maintain the health and safety of clients in our communities.
As we enter new stages within this pandemic and learn to live with COVID-19 as an active presence in our lives for the foreseeable future; we are all continuing to navigate an evolving Massage Therapy practice that looks very different than before. I want to extend my personal thanks to all RMTs who have persevered through these unprecedented challenges and who have continued to demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism in protecting the health and safety of your clients.
I was elected to be Council’s new President earlier this year and working with Council to oversee the work of the College in 2020 has brought many challenges. We watched staff move quickly and effectively to adjust to remote working, to develop new ways to engage with RMTs, the public and our stakeholders and to continue the business of regulating the profession in the public interest. We are also very proud that College staff played a role in collaborating with other Colleges and the Ministry of Health in developing guidance for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While guiding Massage Therapy practice under these conditions has been much of our focus as a College, I am very pleased that we have also continued to make progress on many other fronts; including the important work outlined in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. This progress is consistent with our vision to ensure that CMTO will be at the forefront of evolving professional regulation by inspiring trust and confidence, and advancing our three interrelated, long-term goals: Transparency, Quality and Regulatory Modernization.
I am grateful for the strong support of Council during this turbulent time, and would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new professional members who were elected to Council in January 2020: Sean Adderley, RMT, from District 1, and Anna Cantalini, RMT, from District 6 and re-elected professional member, Lesley Hargreaves, RMT, from District 9. I would also like to welcome Jay Mathers, a new Public Member, who was also appointed in 2020.
I want to offer heartfelt thanks to outgoing Council members: Public Members Jocelyn Acheson, Andrew Flint, Murthy Ghandikota, Debra Mattina and Hedy Miszuk, and RMTs Karen Sosnowski and Jennifer Da Ponte. Each of these individuals offered dedicated service in the public interest and brought their considerable knowledge, skills and experience to the role.
Finally, on behalf of Council, I want to express our sincere thanks to Lisa Tucker, RMT, who served as Council President from 2015-2019. Through her dedication, leadership and tireless commitment, Lisa guided us through a transformative period that included putting the College on its current path, including many important initiatives such as strengthening how we engage with RMTs and the public, the development of new Standards of Practice and ensuring that the College remains focused on the prevention of sexual abuse.
Much has been accomplished notwithstanding the many challenges this year, and there is still much to do as this pandemic continues to impact all of us. I am confident that RMTs across Ontario as well as College staff and Council will continue to rise to the challenge and continue to place public interest and client/patient needs at the forefront of all our decision making.
Yours in health,
Kim Westfall-Connor, RMT, President