Thursday, April 22, 2010

CPAC Program Helps Newcomers Re-enter Healthcare Field

Celebrates Graduates from RBC Sponsored Program

TORONTO – April 22nd, 2010. Immigrants with a background in healthcare were awarded Certificates of Graduation for completing a mentorship program that helped them become licensed to work as healthcare professionals in Ontario.

With funding support from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) launched a unique Mentoring for Healthcare Professionals program.  This is the first bridging program in the community that is focused specifically on helping immigrants obtain registration/licensure and work in the healthcare profession.

“As a frontline service provider, we know too well the frustrations and the barriers immigrants can face,” said Howard Shen, President of CPAC. “With encouragement from RBC, we took on the task of adding a healthcare program to our portfolio and we are very glad that we did,” continued Mr. Shen. “Not only is this an important occasion for these proud graduates, but it is also an important day for their families, their employers and of course for CPAC and our partner, RBC,” said Mr. Shen.

The occupations of the graduates at today’s ceremony include pharmacist, registered nurse, and registered practical nurse.

“I am very thankful for the help of my mentor who guided me every step of the way,” said Yanni He, a registered nurse. “I had been a nurse for several years in China before I immigrated to Canada in 2007. However, the language barrier and complicated accreditation process made my dream of working as a nurse again look impossible.”  Ms. He then learned about the CPAC program. Under the guidance of her mentor, Ping Xiao, a Registered Nurse working at Toronto Public Health, Ms. He passed the required exams in four months and is now a registered nurse in Canada.

Ms. Jennifer Tory, RBC Regional Vice President, Greater Toronto Region, also spoke at the event in support of CPAC and the program.

CPAC began the Healthcare Mentoring Program in 2007 and has served 20 immigrants including the seven graduates at today’s graduation. Intensive one-on-one mentoring not only helps participants improve professional and language skills, but also guides them through the registration/licensure process and eventually leads them to healthcare jobs. Over the years, CPAC has built a strong mentor team, representing physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, registered nurses, registered practical nurse, dental hygienists, and medical laboratory technologists.

Despite the services available to help immigrants become licensed to practice in Canada, barriers still exist for internationally trained professionals. For example, Mr. Qiupeng Zhan, a foreign trained MD with a PhD in cardiovascular research and a graduate of the CPAC program, continues to wait for a medical resident opportunity long after passing the required exams. Mr. Zhan’s story is common among immigrant professionals and CPAC encourages all healthcare stakeholders to work together to provide open access to training and jobs in the healthcare field.
About CPAC 
The Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) is a federally registered not-for-profit organization with over 25,000 members across the country.  It is one of the most active organizations providing career development and training services for immigrant professionals.  CPAC has been serving immigrant professionals since its inception in 1992.  With growing needs from the increasing immigrant healthcare professionals looking for re-entry in their original field in Canada, CPAC is committed to expanding its healthcare mentoring service to help Canada’s newcomers. 

For more information, please contact
Mr. Jason Yi
Tel: 416-298-7885 ext. 106

Performance Measurement and Pay-At-Risk || Alberta Health || 15 Apr 2010

EDMONTON – The executive contracts tabled by the Liberal Party of Alberta in the legislature this week are more than a year out of date and reflect past practices long since overhauled by the Alberta Health Services Board of Directors and the AHS Executive Team. They do not represent AHS practice today.
The contracts included both agreements signed under the authority of the former Health Regions and the interim AHS Board. The provisions for senior executives in the former regions varied by region and, where provisions existed, often varied by individual contract. These “legacy” agreements were contractual obligations that AHS inherited. AHS was legally bound to comply with these agreements until new rules were put in place.

The AHS Board recognized the need to overhaul the process of executive contract negotiation and took decisive steps last year to address concerns held by the Board and the public. The Board implemented a standardized contract for all executives, effective January 2010, which ensures clarity, consistency and best-practice governance on human resources management. In January 2010, the AHS Board established a standardized contract for all executives. Highlights of the contract template include the following:

o Severance terms standardized at up to 12 months base pay (excluding "pay at risk") and a fixed 15% of base pay (excluding "pay at risk") in lieu of benefits;
o A duty to mitigate damages by diligently seeking alternate employment – whereby severance payments cease and an amount equal to 50% of the outstanding severance is paid out;
o "Pay at risk" standardized as part of base salary but withheld until completion of annual individual performance review and receipt of an unqualified opinion of the Auditor General confirming organizational performance;
o Benefits standardized including any professional / personal allowances;
o Relocation allowances standardized including need to repay if voluntary termination occurs within first 12 months of employment;
o Standardized confidentiality and contract enforceability.

Pay-at-risk is just that: Performance measures are established at the beginning of the budget year. Pay is withheld throughout the year subject to completion of the agreed-upon objectives and measures. Payment is not made if performance measures are not met.

This follows a series of measures implemented to ensure best practice:
o In April 2009, AHS established benchmark executive salary ranges and has been using these consistently for job offers made to Vice Presidents and above;
o In September 2009, job evaluation protocols were completed for all positions of Vice President and above;
o In October 2009, based on performance measures consistent with AHS' strategic direction, the CEO established "pay at risk" for its Senior Management team (Vice President and above) at percentages consistent with the April 2009 market data;
o In November 2009, AHS responded to the Auditor General report by ensuring the SVP Human Resources reviewed all job offers at Vice President and above until a standardized contract was approved by the Board.