ANNUAL REPORT 2019: Annual Board Report 2019
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2019
President: Marles Kerns
Vice President: Camille Lapierre
Treasurer: Cecilia Mryglod
Secretary: Aileen Tran Mapletoft
Education: Mandy Fahr
Competency/Continuing Education: Corey Schultz
Insurance/Intergovernmental Affairs: Jordan Smith
Public Relations/Membership: Tim Rutley
Research: Dr. Donelda Gowan
Complaints and Investigation: Erin Sobkow
|Mar 2019||Annual Report 2018|
|Mar 2018||Annual Report 2017|
|Mar 2017||Annual Report 2016|
|Mar 2016||Annual Report 2015|
|Mar 2015||Annual Report 2014|
|Mar 2014||Annual Report 2013|
|Feb 2013||Annual Report 2012|
|Feb 2012||Annual Report 2011|
|Aug 2011||Volume 5 Number 3|
|May 2011||Volume 5 Number 2|
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Online via Zoom
The MTAS Board of Directors are pleased to invite you to our 54th AGM, held for the very first time via a virtual platform. We understand that this is all new, yet we are excited that this format will give us the potential to reach every single one of our members from across the province and beyond.
The proposed agenda will deal strictly with the business aspect of our organization as required by the Non-profit Corporations Act, therefore no bylaw amendments or other debatable questions will be proposed. Are we experts at this? No, but we will provide clear guidelines in our welcoming statement and proceed to a successful and productive meeting with great participation from MTAS members who have always stepped up for our association in previous AGM’s.
We look forward to hosting you virtually and continuing to serve you in the upcoming year.
Camille Lapierre, interim President, MTAS
"We exist to encourage and enhance the art, science and practice of massage therapy by maintaining a high standard of massage therapy; by establishing and maintaining the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan, Inc. as a leading health professional association; by promoting health profession through education, accountability, communication and advocacy, and financial stability."
Plan to attend the 54th AGM at 7pm on Wednesday, July 8th via Zoom.
Register online here: https://www.saskmassagetherapy.com/index.php?page=1187
Registration closes at midnight on July 7th.
President – Marles L. Kerns
This last year has been a busy one since our last AGM. Legislation and restructuring at a Board and organizational level have been the primary focus.
Achieving legislation for regulation of massage therapy continues to be a challenge in our province; however, I believe we are finally at a point where it will proceed, but it is unfortunately at the governments pace. At the conclusion of 2018 we made some great strides in forward momentum by inviting the NHPC to Saskatoon to reopen discussions regarding draft legislation in order to focus on finding common ground; we did this far easier than I think any of us were prepared for. As a collective we contacted the Government of Saskatchewan to commence discussions and had a meeting in March with the Ministry of Health Partnership and Workforce Planning Branch Executive Director, Duane Mombourquette and Senior Policy Analyst, Rebecca Bayliss to review the draft for clarifications and to plan the next steps required in order to proceed. The government requested a consultation scanning various healthcare agencies and professionals (chiropractic, doctors, nurses, etc.) regarding regulating massage therapy within our province. This consultation was met with overwhelming support for our profession. One more hurdle was concluded.
We thought that this was going to be our green light to proceed but another hurdle was presented. The government wanted more hard evidence that the Massage Therapists within our province were in favor of regulation. We responded with the results from the survey that we collected in the summer of 2018 as well as the resent results from the more recent poll January 21, 2020 that over 41% of our membership responded in favour of legislation. We now believe that we have fully complied with all requirements that the government needs to move forward. However, we have been advised that there will likely be another delay due to the upcoming election that is occurring this fall. There will be new structure within the Saskatchewan Government, maybe not in leadership but at the Ministry level and we need to wait until the dust settles to determine if there is a change within the Ministry of Health. We are optimistic that the government will move forward in the spring of 2021.
As a collective, the MTAS, NHPCA, and CMMOTA recognized the importance to brainstorm ways to increase transparency, to encourage open discussion, and to slow and reverse the perpetuation of misinformation surrounding legislation within our own memberships. We agreed that a membership and general public focused campaign would be beneficial. You will have noticed, all correspondence to the Government regarding Legislation has been from all three Associations that the Government identified as stakeholders. We have attended government meetings together as a united group, and most recently held an open information session with our memberships that was accessible to attend in person or by webinar to allow a collective forum to address and discuss all things legislation. (The online webinar can be found on our website members only section).
What Are Some of the Benefits for You and Your Patient with Legislation?
Labour mobility as per the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Once Saskatchewan becomes a regulated province; you, as a member of the college in good standing, will be allowed to apply to the college (regulatory body) in other legislated provinces. You will not need to challenge another college entry to practice exam; but will need to meet the requirements within that province and write a jurisprudence exam that usually focuses on law, ethics, and professionalism.
Regulation will officially bring massage therapy into the healthcare fold with all members of the college having standardized basic competencies and requirements that is expected of all regulated healthcare professionals. This will unify us as a group and make us a stronger player within healthcare not only provincially but secure even stronger ties nationally and internationally.
Legislation will remove the requirement to collect and submit GST for your treatment. This is less administrative paperwork for you as a practitioner and a financial savings for your patient. GST exemption, like legislation, is a process. Currently there is an initiative petitioning the government for GST exemption for regulated provinces, please refer to: www.rmtact.ca for more information and to sign up and give your support.
What Is Unknown About Legislation?
The transition process cannot be defined at this time; this is the responsibility of the Transitional Council. The Transitional Council will be based in Saskatchewan, the councils mandate will be to spearhead a process that is fair and of equal opportunity for all current Massage Therapists to transition into the College.
The Transitional Council will be struck once Legislation is passed.
We, as a collective (MTAS, NHPC, and CMMOTA) have recommended that the transitional council design the transitional process to take 2-3 years and all therapists requesting entry into the College will undergo a prior learning assessment.
The purpose of a Prior Learning Assessment is to evaluate educational credentials, through benchmarks that may include continuing education completed, years of practice experience, minimum competencies as determined by the Transition council and referenced to the Inter-jurisdictional Competencies and Performance Indicators (IJPC) as determined by FOMTRAC (regulated Provinces).
What Legislation Will Not Do for You:
- Legislation will not determine your business hours.
- Legislation will not determine your workspace or location.
- Legislation and Regulation will not determine your rates charged.
Strategic Planning was held last June and facilitated by Dennis Chubb with VADIS Consulting Group. His mentorship was useful, and it forced us to be uncomfortable at times and question how and what we need to do as a membership and organization to continue to move forward. We know that regulation will change and/or omit some large responsibilities within the MTAS (ex: the exam and complaints and discipline). This is what led to the reevaluation and restructuring of your Board of Directors. Our focus is to streamline operations and have board positions specific to our organizational needs currently and moving forward.
Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance
In September Lori Green and I attended the CMTA meetings in Halifax, NS. These meetings are always informative and beneficial to learn from the successes and challenges that associations in other provinces face. It is a great platform to have discussions and share ideas and resources to further develop relationships for collaboration nationally in areas like research, continuing education, and progressing massage therapy in the field of heath care in a national setting.
Harris & Greenaway
MTAS continues to work with Harris Greenaway Communications and Mash Media as we move forward with our bid for legislation. We see the value in expanding our presence in the world of social media as a platform to share information and promote our profession within our province.
In conclusion, a personal note and introducing a new president.
I have always been a person who likes to be involved in things that I am passionate about. Many years ago, I asked my friend to nominate me to be on the MTAS Board of Directors, from that point on there has been no looking back. I always knew that I would become the President; but in all honesty, I had no idea that we would be talking so much about politics, and I thought I wouldn’t have a lot to do , as we just talk about massaging people. Was I wrong! The experiences and knowledge that I have gained through this process has been beyond what I would have ever imagined. I have learned leadership, consensus, governance, policy writing, and Government relations and so much more.
This AGM concludes my 9th year on the MTAS Board of Directors, and the 3rd as your President. I recognize that change is sometimes what is needed to help propel things forward, and I believe that we will see great things from our incoming President Camille Lapierre. I will not be stepping off the board completely; I will spend this next year as the Past President to offer support and consult, as I believe that this next year is a very crucial one. I very strongly believe that we will receive Legislation in the Spring session for 2021 (I hope that I didn’t just jinx us!)!
I thank our Executive Director Lori Green and our Membership Services Manager Jayne Little for their support, vision, and dedication to our organization and profession. I am grateful to have had such a diverse and passionate team in the MTAS Board of Directors, it is a pleasure working and learning from each one of you. To the membership; it has been an honour representing you, our Association, and our profession in this time of great change. Have a wonderful year!
Marles L. Kerns, RMT, B.A.
Vice-president/Human Resources - Camille Lapierre
Hello fellow MTAS members and a warm welcome to all new members,
This has been my third year as your vice-president. I am Camille Lapierre, RMT and proud member of MTAS for 22 years. Serving our MTAS members on the Board is a pleasure and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the best of my abilities. I am in a mostly full-time home-based practice and a volunteer Board member for 7 years.
The opportunity for new tasks arose to go along with the main task assigned to me this year which was to coordinate the Executive Director evaluation. The Google form format was updated and again well received. The MTAS Board continues overall to greatly appreciate and value our Executive Director Lori Green’s dedication to our profession. Lori has been consistent in meeting and exceeding our expectations.
In collaboration with Lori Green, we created an HR workshop for our January face to face meeting to help do a little introspect of our Board’s functionality as a whole as well as the individual chairs. The main objectives were to work toward being an efficient, responsible and accountable organization.
Our president Marles Kerns-Dyck, Lori Green and I went full steam ahead following last year’s AGM in preparing the 2019-2020 MTAS Strategic Plan. Many hours were spent preparing and we greatly appreciated our consultant, Dennis Chubb, from Vadis Consulting Group, for his help laying out the framework. With the results of the survey sent out following the AGM and numerous hours in committee and Board meetings, we are pleased to present the membership with this infographic of the identified criteria for all MTAS programs and activities.
The MTAS Executive established a meeting schedule for the year to again continue with our efforts toward MTAS being an efficient and well-oiled machine.
It continues to be an honour and to work alongside this amazing team. A sincere thank you to all members for your tremendous support toward the initiatives MTAS has brought forth this year.
Camille Lapierre, RMT
Education - Mandy Fahr
Hello fellow MTAS members,
For those who may or may not know, my name is Mandy Fahr. I’ve been a practicing member of MTAS since 2010 and the Education chairperson on the MTAS Board of Directors for the past 6 years.
This past June, the Board of Directors met for our strategic planning session to create directives that would set the tone for the upcoming year and beyond. The meetings were extremely productive and by the end we all had a clear idea of the direction we were going. With Legislation in the foreseeable future, this caused us to look at how MTAS is currently structured. We discussed the need to restructure the BOD in order to move forward. The discussion included transitioning the Education portfolio over to Operations. Over the course of the year the discussions continued, to which the BOD agreed unanimously that transitioning Education to Operations was in the best interest of MTAS. This has officially been my last year on the BOD.
I would like to thank you, the membership, for choosing me to sit on the BOD for the past 6 years. It has been an honour and a great experience to be involved with the inner workings of our association.
I would also like to thank my fellow board members, past and present, who I have learned so much from. The past 6 years have been beyond exceptional.
Thank you to Lori and Jayne in Operations. Our association is only better because of the work you two do for us. None of your hard work goes unnoticed.
Although I will not be sitting on the BOD moving forward, I am looking forward to continuing to be an involved member of MTAS in a different capacity.
Mandy Fahr, RMT
Member Qualifying Examination/Chief Examiner - Mieka Dueckman
Hello members, and a special shout out to our newest members who joined last year.
Let’s recap our 2019 membership qualifying exam year. A total of 32 candidates participated in our exam last year and of those, 19 mastered. Compared to previous years, these numbers are a bit lower, however still maintaining a 60% success rate. Congratulations to all who recently passed, and good luck to you as you start your career as a registered massage therapist in Saskatchewan.
As usual, we held 3 sittings for our exam, all in which were in Saskatoon. The two smaller sittings (January and August) were held at the MTAS office while June was at a local hotel.
As our quest for legislation continues, we are constantly working to improve our exam, to ensure we are testing to the national standard. This has presented an interesting challenge, as the schools in the province are not nationally accredited and have different approaches to massage therapy in general. In keeping with our goal of improvement, in October, we held a round table meeting with the leaders of four schools - three from Saskatchewan and one from Alberta), with the aim of learning more about specifically what and how they teach. The outcome of this meeting was very positive on all levels. We now have a better understanding of how we can accommodate candidates from all schools without compromising our exam and the national standards.
Over the last couple years we have been working closely with a software developer to produce a comprehensive computer program for the management and development of our written exam question database. I am happy to say we are close to having this software completed. When finished, we will have a program that is entirely unique to MTAS and our exam, and which will allow us to manage the written exam process from question development through to producing statistical reports after an exam sitting. We have amassed a great deal of historical data and statistics from previous exams, which will be useful to help guide further improvements in our exam.
I am extremely fortunate to have an exam team that is committed to the exam and its process. Thank you to all of you for giving your time and energy to ensure that we uphold professional standards for massage therapy.
Mieka Dueckman, RMT
Insurance & Intergovernmental Affairs - Jordan Smith
Greetings fellow MTAS members,
For the new members and those attending for the first time, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jordan Smith and I have been an MTAS member since 2011 and a member of the Board of Directors for the past 6 years.
As we embark on another year, I wish to take this opportunity to remind everyone and those new members that SGI and WCB are on a per treatment basis and not per 30 minutes. We continue to work closely with both organizations to ensure that even their front line staff do not use the terminology of “30 minute treatments”. I also wish to remind everyone that both WCB and SGI income is GST exempt. SGI GST exempt # is 107864258, while WCB GST exempt # is 107864258RT0014.
Through meeting and countless volunteer hours, our focus continues to be Regulation. With legislation in the foreseeable future, this caused us to look at how MTAS is currently structured. As such we decided to move the Insurance and Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio to our Executive Director, Lori Green. Throughout the years Lori's contributing role to not only our organization, but other massage therapy alliance/organizations she helps with, we as a Board felt the best fit would be to have this aspect shifted to Lori due to her strong relationships with the Insurance providers.
I wish to thank you, the membership and my colleagues on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years. It has been a pleasure being involved through the Board to help further not only massage therapy here in Saskatchewan on a provincial level but to be a front-liner for my patients as well.
Thank you to Lori and Jayne, your tireless work ethics and hours of volunteer work are so incredibly appreciated.
I look forward to seeing MTAS into the future as we continue to work towards the common goal of regulation for massage therapy in Saskatchewan.
Respectfully submitted and written,
Jordan R. Smith RMT
Competency/Continuing Education - Corey Schultz
This has been my first year as your continuing education director and has been a whirlwind of learning how to work with a Board and figuring out my role on it. Everyone on the Board has been very supportive and helping me learn what is going on.
We have reviewed 110 courses, analyzing them for everything from course content, research validity, and instructor competency. The vast majority have received at bare minimum partial credits. As I have been on the committee for two years I am familiar with this process, but it is definitely different being in the lead position on the committee. I have to thank my great committee members for being patient with me as I learn this position.
We have looked to changing a few policies to make things easier for members to gain credits, such as allowing for more literature reviews per window and looking at the frequency with which a member can take a course during one con-ed window.
We have also heard some people have been confused or unsure of our review process, so we will be taking steps to rectify this. As a Board we have come up with an idea and will be presenting this at the AGM.
I would like to thank the committee - Jordan Smith, Lara Brierley and Bob Lidington, the Executive for helping me along, (especially Aileen Tran Mapletoft for giving me a few pointers here and there) and our wonderful staff members for all the work they do in making sure everything goes smoothly.
Corey Schultz, RMT
Public Relations - Tim Rutley
Good morning to my fellow Board members and MTAS members!
It is hard to believe that the 2019 year has come and gone. I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring! Over the past year I have done 2 presentations in our Saskatchewan massage schools. We will be going to our newest school (Axiom College) for a presentation in March coming up which is exciting. With each presentation I have notice more of an interest in students wanting and excited to join our Association! With 27 new members joining MTAS after mastering the MQE exam in 2019.
I have been focused on providing perks and benefits to our members through our Affinity Program. We have identified that there is still a lot to be done in getting more Provincially diverse sponsors; we will be focusing on these areas. This isn’t an easy task! I would love if we could have a member on the Affinity committee from each community. As a member in your community you know what is there, plus you have connections with local businesses and can advocate for your practice.
We are growing this program gradually and I am proud of our work in this area.
- Body-fuel Organics (Regina)- 10% off In store/online,(MTAS10)
- Core 8 Pro
- Dusyk and Barlow
- Freshii (Midtown location)
- GoodLife Fitness
- Harden and Huyse Chocolates- starting at 10% off chocolates (the more we use the more our discount goes up)
- Highland Sports(verbal at cost(tier system)they haven’t completed the contract)
- Jenn Vibert- 15% off comprehensive online coaching, 15% off one time program design and 10% additional services (marco calc, meal plan counselling, and nutrition boot-camps
- MindZplay Solutions
- Nina Lane Wellness- 15% off first consultation and 10% off products
- Popeyes Supplements (all Saskatoon locations) - 10% off plus phone orders
- Saje - 20% off bring in your business licence/member card
Currently we are working on getting 3 more added to the program from the areas or Regina, PA and Moose Jaw.
Thank you to being so patient with us as we work hard for you!
I encourage you to extend your support of this program and MTAS continues to welcome new suggestions to make this list grow. They will all be shown in the members-only section on our website. We are just waiting on business to send us heir logos and a write up about them!
This committee is all about Public Relations and creating an atmosphere of community within the MTAS membership. Do not hesitate to contact me with your ideas and support for the committee.
That is all I have to report on at this time!
Tim Rutley RMT, SMT(cc)
Membership report - MTAS office
Total # of members as of Oct 31, 2019: 857
Members removed on Oct 31, 2019: 30
New members Nov 1, 2018 to Oct 31, 2019: 32
Current members: 838
8 x CPR/SFA classes: November 18, December 9, January 20, March 16, April 28, August 11, September 21, Oct 26.
Cadaver lab: March 23, 2019 (the other two were outside of the fiscal year – September 2018 and November 2019).
Lunch and learns:
Michael Burgess – January 16
LaCapitale – January 23
Nina Lane – April 30
Legal Shield – September 18
Geoffrey Bove and Susan Chapelle, Evidence-informed Massage Therapy – April 12/13 - cancelled due to insufficient registrations
Eric Purves – Chronic Pain Management – May 4/5
Dr. Donelda Gowan: World Congress on Pain Highlights – December 11
Upgraded autumn 2019.
Added functionality – online renewal and credit card payment, members can upload documents direct to files.
Improved access and design – therapist side and public side, different information on each.
New information added for members only – webinars, legislation.
Added e-transfer payments by popular request.
Thank you to our volunteers:
AGM: Carmen Bartko, Evelyne Tucker-Lloyd, Denise Olson, Shirdelah Espiritu, Karen Demmans, Wynne Nicholson.
Media/Marketing/PR: Shalla Riemer, Gus Giannoutsos, Cynthia Martin, Carter Anderson, Monty Churchman, Jordan Fiala, Robert Kilmer, Aileen Tran Mapletoft
Complaints and Investigation: Tammy Tincher, Christine Sanders
Discipline: Sherry Strachan, Kendi Shewchuk, Shannon Neubauer
Competency/Con-Ed: Lara Brierley, Bob Lidington, Jordan Smith
Examiners: Lindsey Bean, Jordan Smith, Camille Lapierre, Dalyce Oja, Tim Rutley, Jennifer Douglas, Jordan Fiala, Wanda George, Lynne Granberg, Amanda Setre, Donna Waselyshen, Judy Osmachenko, Shannon Edmonds, Natalie Cargan, Danielle Third, Rebecca Baerg, Carey Gerlinsky.
Office Maintenance: Doug Burgess, Brandon Little
Complaints and Investigation - Erin Sobkow
MTAS had another busy year with this portfolio. We had a total of eighteen (18) inquiries about complaints: seven (7) complaints were officially filed, five (5) complaints were not registered as they would not sign a complaint form, and six (6) were not MTAS members, so therefore we had no authority. All were investigated and two cases went onto Discipline. Lori continues to field questions frequently to the public and to our therapists wondering if someone has been breaching bylaws or acting inappropriately. The MTAS Bylaws is the document that governs our members code of conduct and professional behaviour. Please ensure that you are working within these standards. In the event of a criminal action, the complainant is highly encouraged to report immediately to the police.
This year brought an end to a highly publicized criminal case against one of our massage therapists. The trial was attended regularly by the Executive Director, and it was tough to comprehend this behaviour and for Lori to listen to the victims' testimony. MTAS (Lori Green) also was asked to appear with a community impact statement conveying the consequences of this individual’s actions for the massage therapy profession and also to answer particular questions from the Judge. This case has ended with incarceration, and as per our bylaws and recommendation from MTAS legal counsel, we will be seeking compensation for the legal and administrative costs of this case.
The majority of Complaints and Investigation cases involved Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics Bylaw contraventions as well as unprofessional behaviour regarding Insurance claims. My committee will assess the situation and can often mediate the concern between the complainant and RMT or recommend further education in areas of professionalism, social media etiquette or reimbursement of treatment fees.
A directive that the committee has undertaken (with guidance from the Board) is compiling resources for courses that can be taken online for a minimal cost. For example, courses on professionalism or appropriate social media banter.
We have written up a draft Jurisprudence examination for our members and we are working to finalize it by the end of this year. This will be an excellent tool for therapists to write to remind them of MTAS bylaws and the responsiblity that comes with being a RMT; an educated healthcare professional.
It is still a concern that without Legislation and Regulation, disciplined (removed) or suspended members can still continue to work and even join other Associations without worry. This is disconcerting to MTAS.
This committee is difficult for committee members, and for me, as it deals with our peers which can be challenging. There are significant criteria that we must not stray from. This year two (2) of the complaints were sent to the Discipline committee which required legal counsel and one (1) required the hiring of a Special Investigator (a former police officer) to assist in the process.
The Board determined that in order to ensure the Board and their committees are working to full capacity and compliance, that all Committees and Board members will go through some on-boarding with Lori Green to clarify their responsibilities. The Complaints Committee was the first committee to pilot this process.
I am thankful for Tammy Tincher, who joined me this year in mitigating complaints. Tammy has been extremely helpful in giving insight and using her professional experience to help make decisions on three (3) of the cases. Christine Sander will be joining us on this committee as well, once her on-boarding is completed. With the ease of using networking tools such as “Go to Meeting,” it has been very cost effective for us to meet online to talk.
I would like to give a generous thank-you to our Discipline Committee of Sherry Strachan and Kendi Shewchuck who had to follow through on the tough work that that Committee encountered on two (2) complaints this past year.
I enjoy meeting and working with this MTAS Board, Lori Green and Jayne Little who all uphold professional standards for our Association. I am so proud to be an MTAS member and am honoud to sit on the Board as a representative for all of our members.
Research - Donelda Gowan
Dear MTAS Members,
Please accept my warm welcome to new members and sincerest regards to all current colleagues.
My name is Donelda Gowan and I am the MTAS Research Chair, a position that I am looking forward to continuing to serve. I graduated from the Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy in Sutton Ontario in 1987 and soon after joined the organization that would become MTAS and began practice in Saskatoon. I have conducted massage therapy research as part of my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Psychology, my Master of Science degree in Epidemiology, and my PhD in Population Health Sciences. As well as my role on the MTAS Board, I am the Associate Director of the Centre for Integrative Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and the Chair-Elect of the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research (INCAM). I’m proud to be part of a provincial Massage Therapy Board with strong national influence, committed to ceaseless striving for the positive development of the profession of massage therapy
Research infused discussions, initiatives and products developed by the MTAS Board over the last year continue to foster a culture that engenders the trust and respect of the public, of policy-makers like insurers and politicians, and from other health care providers and practitioners with whom we collaborate through referrals for care or as part of multi-modal care teams.
At the last AGM we, as the membership in attendance at the meeting, discussed research related issues and the Board has continued to try to best manage our time and efforts in meeting research-related needs at the level of individual members and for the organization’s leadership. All year long we have continued the discussion, aiming to provide aid and solutions while preparing on-going planning for the future.
As was discussed at the 2019 AGM we continue to address the known challenges of incorporating research evidence into our clinical decisions as RMTs, into our media branding of who we are and the value we offer, and into our inter-governmental and interdisciplinary relationship-building. We continue to acknowledge our professional accountability to accurately favour positions that have more supporting evidence over positions that have less supporting evidence. This is the essence of evidence-based practice: that we allow ourselves to be guided by information gleaned not only from our experience, not only from what clients or patient prefer, but also by systematically-derived information from the rigorous methods of both qualitative and quantitative research.
MTAS has, in the past year, carried on in examining and sheparding the unfolding of a continually developing relevant body of knowledge; knowing that this is the standard of the definition of a profession: that which has a specialized knowledge base. Through exploring research findings, we continue to embrace our individual and collective evolution as we learn and unlearn in order to improve our understanding and our work as therapists, leaders, and collaborators. We are willing to feel the discomfort so many of us endure in accepting new information that contradicts what we have been taught or what we believe to be true.
As I related at the last AGM, my understanding and my work is necessarily impacted from research-based knowledge. Selected examples for me could include a new understanding from science about what pain is and isn’t, the actual effects of manually manipulating living tissue on basic substances like lactic acid and circulation of blood, the impact of self-compassion on health care provider well-being and in turn the impact on patient care, the use of massage therapy in addictions treatments, for trauma care, and as a bridging therapy to empower and promote active self-care. The clinical, educational, and research implications of advancing knowledge continues to be exciting!
The two continuing goals of the MTAS Research Chair in the past year were:
- To promote research engagement between the MTAS organization and researchers through a) funding research projects and b) facilitating individual members participation in research projects, research-related learning opportunities, and evidence-based practice.
- To advance and foster knowledge transfer or translation (KT). As a reminder, KT is, “the umbrella term for all of the activities involved in moving research from the laboratory, the research journal, and the academic conference into the hands of people and organizations who can put it to practical use”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_translation)
With respect to the first goal, two projects supported by MTAS have reached completion. The study titled: "Role of Individualized Intervention(s) on Quality of Life and Adherence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Premenopausal Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer: MyChoice Study” has been completed and we will receive a final report.
The second study final report on “Effects of Swedish massage on quality of life, sleep, stress, fatigue and biological markers levels in recently treated patients with breast cancer” has been disseminated to MTAS members with a presentation in the MTAS office.
With respect to initiatives to meet the second goal, notable activities include a summary report, webinar and oral presentation. Fellow Board member Aileen Tran Mapletoft and I recorded an interview with Eric Purves, RMT, MSc, titled "Massage Therapy and the Clinical Management of Pain”. The webinar can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MTASaskatchewan/videos/1022011354812817/
I also participated in a panel presentation for the Integrative Health seminar at the U of S regarding massage therapy-relevant knowledge gained from attendance at the Pain Society of Alberta conference. It is hoped that there is value in the identification of massage therapy as a viable component of multi-modal pain care and that there is value in the recognition of MTAS as the organization participating in inter-disciplinary research, education and practice. In addition to oral presentations, text materials based on acquired research-based knowledge have been prepared and submitted to the Board. These materials will be further used for distributed learning resources for MTAS members in line with the core competencies required of the RMT.
Specifically, research-based knowledge impacts these competencies:
Professional Practice 1.1 1.1h utilize medical terminology, 1.2q recognize the role of MT within healthcare, 1.2r establish and maintain professional collaboration, 1.2s utilize research and professional literature, 1.2t maintain currency with developments in the profession
Communication 1.2 Professionalism 1.3 Therapeutic Relationship, 2. Assessment, 3. Treatment 3.1 Treatment Principles
Our basic practice competencies require that we demonstrate ability to “incorporate relevant assessment data, research evidence, and clinical experience into development of a patient / client centred treatment plan”
And, of course, research-based knowledge serves to correct and deepen our foundational knowledge:
Massage therapy relies heavily on application of principles of the physical, biological, health, social and behavioural sciences. Massage therapists require a strong foundational knowledge base common to all licensed health care professionals in Canada, and a more specialized foundational knowledge base related to the structure, function and inter‐relationships of the body systems and their response to manipulation.
In the past year I have enjoyed the engagement of members with questions related to practice-based research, the thoughtful immersion of the Board and staff in research-related activities and plans, and invitations for participation in interdisciplinary activities such as the Canadian Pain Task Force Western Regional Workshop at Pain Society of Alberta Annual Conference.
Donelda Gowan, RMT, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD
Executive Director - Lori Green
It is amazing how fast 12 months can go by when you are enjoying your work environment and engaged in the work you do.
The world of Massage Therapy in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada continues to evolve into a bonafide health care profession in which all of you can share pride.
The Board kicked off this year with a hard evaluation of the structure and priorities of the Association through facilitated strategic planning sessions. Through the guidance of Mr. Dennis Chubb (Vadis Consulting), Marles Kerns, Camille Lapierre, and myself gave up several Tuesday evenings in preparing documents, environments internal and external scans, reviewing policies, and preparing evaluation tools for the Board to consider in leading MTAS through the next five years.
It was determined that the Association could well be facing the possibility of achieving the goal of becoming the sixth legislated Province in Canada, and with that, MTAS will need to be ready to seamlessly create a new structure of advocacy, support, and leadership for the Membership.
As we edge slowly toward Legislation, questions needed to be answered, such as does the current structure fit with the new and Legislated Association? Are the Board and Administrative staff ready to prepare the membership to move into a Legislated environment?
The gains and losses as we move forward are equally challenging, and it is time to be prepared. Priorities were discussed, Board structure and the need to create positions needed, not to fill the current positions we have, leadership and the development of digital communication with advancement in technology, directives to the Administration that will involve change, online and electronic banking securities and education, social media, website, podcast, collaboration, research, branding, marketing, collaboration, and BREATHE.
We have begun transitioning into the future through this Strategic Plan. We are not streamlining these decisions into action and operations. We have already been tested with making tough choices when faced with what is comfortable vs. what is best for the Association policy and governance changes. The Board has put in an extra amount of time attending meetings, as well as many hours preparing for these commitments. This is outside of the work that each Board member puts into the Committee work. The Board had 9 Board meetings, 1 AGM, 7 Executive meetings, and too many committee meetings to mention. This is more than double the 2017-2018 workload.
Here at the office the priorities have changed from all things being Legislation to communication and to develop opportunities for education and advocacy to the membership. Jayne and I have added some operational changes at the office, Insurance and Membership has moved into the functional workload, and the electronic and online payment structure has caused us to further educate ourselves in the financial demands of our accounting system.
I have continued to be involved at the National Level with the Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance as the Vice Chair and attended the National face-to-face meeting in Halifax with President Marles Kerns. I also continue to be the chair of the CMTA Insurance Committee, which enables me to attend the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) meeting annually in Canada.
Legislation continues to be a large portion of my work at the office, and as mentioned, MTAS, NHPC, CMMOTA (Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Association, formerly the Remedial Massage Therapy Association of Alberta) have come together to work with the initial hurdle of having Legislation called in the Province. All associates were somewhat surprised when after successful meetings with the Government, we again found ourselves being asked for further information from individual Massage Therapists from the Associations. We put forward two surveys and requests of you our members to tell the Government your position on Legislation and we thank all of you who have helped with this initiative. The Board and myself see Legislation now in the hands of you, the members, and the Government to bring forward to fruition. We have done the work and now the Legislators will need to take action. We, of course, will continue to provide education and updates on the status of Legislation. The Strategic Plan has named communication with the membership as one of the main priorities to that end.
The MTAS website www.saskmassagetherapy.com has added a YouTube feature for the public and members, online payment options for membership renewals and workshops, more resources regarding Legislation on the “members only” side, and populating more information as we move forward.
We have also been adding information and updates on the Facebook page. Thank you to the many supporters who have added your wisdom and your profile to the "Proud to be an MTAS Member" on our MTAS videos. If you are interested in sharing your MTAS story, please contact me at the office. The MTAS Facebook page has proven to be an excellent marketing tool for our Association. We try to monitor the page and often will use this as a way of seeing where and how we should clarify issues for the membership. However, for all OFFICIAL MTAS information on MTAS policies or positions, please go to our website or contact the office.
We continue to host brown Bag lunches in the MTAS office on learning opportunities for our membership mainly in business courses. With the new technology of presenting webinars, we have had our first online brown bag lunch and will try to offer all of them in webinar format in this next year.
We continue to work on a one and one with our members when necessary and advocate on their behalf in areas of benefit and receipt problems, to complaints, investigation and business discussions. We encourage engagement at every level of MTAS.
I continue to learn from all of you, and particularly from the Board of Directors who continue to educate me on the subject of Therapeutic Massage as well as the practitioner and research. I applaud each and every one of them, for the quick response on my 24-hour notice calls, and their tireless commitment to the Association. I am sad to say goodbye to Marles Kerns as President but am happy to have her continue to work as consultant and mentor to the Board as past president and can’t wait to work with a new President. Special thank you and goodbye, for now, goes to Jordan Smith and Mandy Fahr, I appreciate all of your services to the Board and this office, I continue to look forward to working with you on committees.
Of course, I know that all of you know how invaluable Jayne is to the Association and to myself in the office. The ever determined and organizational skills that Jayne possesses continues to receive rave reviews by all of the course facilitators, outside contractors, and contacts that she deals with n the office on a daily basis.
Thank you, Jayne, thank you Board of Directors, and thank you MTAS membership for your support.
“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted."
CMTA - Lori Green
We continue to support and work with the Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance. www.crmta.ca. Marles Kerns and I attended the face-to-face meeting in Halifax this Fall. I continue to hold the position of Vice-chair of the CMTA and Insurance Chair representing the CMTA at the CLHIA (Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association) annually in May.
The top priorities of the CMTA in this fiscal year have been:
With Prince Edward Island becoming the fifth province to regulate the Massage Therapy Profession has created a path to officially work towards GST/HSK exemption from RMT services in Canada. This, of course, involves extensive dedication, effort and strategic advocacy to achieve this objective.
The CMTA has employed H&K Consulting (Toronto/Ottowa) to assist in reaching this goal. All RMT’s and MT’s are invited to join the RMT/ACT https://www.rmtact.ca/ to participate in this action.
Transition into an Association.
Through Strategic Planning discussions in 2018 and reviewing the current status of the CMTA, it was determined unanimously that the CMTA transition into an Association rather than Alliance. The Governance structure of an Association will allow the table to be more accountable to objectives and bylaws, as well as create full adherence to statements and actions determined at the National level.
The CMTA continues to be an active group of Massage Associations that adhere to the PCPI principles and we continue to work through current trends and situations that affect the Profession Nationally. E.g., Restrictions to practice for Massage Therapy Students, Medically Necessary and Clinically Indicated Services and Massage Therapy.
National Insurance Conference (CLHIA).
Our presence at the CLHIA meetings each year and providing sessions almost annually have allowed us to answer questions regarding the legitimacy of therapeutic Massage as well as discuss the issue of National Standards, Legislation across Canada and what is considered a legitimate service when clients submit receipts to the provider. Massage Therapy benefits continue to be one of the top benefits used through the plans, which has created more examination on the treatment receipts and the providers who sign them. Greenshields has not been an advocate of Massage Therapy and the cost of these services to plans. Their position is widely known throughout the industry and Massage Associations. CMTA and provinces continue to work to prove the legitimacy of therapeutic massage validity to be considered health care under ALL benefit plans.