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CINA: President-Elect Questions & Responses
CINA: President-Elect Questions & Responses
This is a very demanding post at the National level requiring a major level of commitment for meetings, committee work, travel, etc. Can you please speak to how you would accommodate these demands with your current position?
Being President Elect demands a level of commitment, which I am prepared to undertake. I feel that I am in an ideal position to handle the time demands due to my current employment positions being very supportive and flexible. I currently have a contract with ARNBC which allows me to adjust my hours as needed. My acute position allows me to have some flexibility in adjusting my hours and to make my own schedule to ensure that the requirements of the job are fulfilled. As noted in my resume, I have held multiple simultaneous positions before, both for work and as a volunteer, and have been able to successfully complete all the required obligations. I am fortunate enough to have the full support of my employers, Nursing Associations I am involved with and the Union. They are aware of my running for this position. I have had conversations with the these organizations regarding travel, arranged breaks, financial supports and have had the full go ahead. I have built strong relationships with these people throughout my career, and they realize the importance of the work I am involved with, and they know that I am always able to “get the work done”.
As a side note, CINA is a National organization, and as such social media and the internet are now becoming mainstays in how people get work done. I have extensive experience in holding virtual meetings, conference calls and webinars, which is now common place, and can therefore lend to a greater flexibility when it comes to scheduling and integrating more than one job.
What would your strategy be and your direction to our Executive Director when you are advised that the organization is facing financial instability?
Finances for any organization is always a challenge. Currently we derive the majority of our finances from membership dues. If we maintain that strategy, then the only ways to increase our financial status would be by either increasing membership dues, or to increasing our membership. I believe increasing membership dues is not an option, and one of my main objectives is to look at ways to increase our membership, which I will address in the next question. However, having said that, I would propose that there is also a third option, and possibly even more… and that is to look at other creative ways to gain funds. Other associations that I have been involved with partner with other organizations and companies which contribute funds to the association as part of their partnership. Finding creative ways to partner with other organizations so that we can jointly benefit from services/resources. Looking at governmental, national and provincial organizations for funding to fulfill specific projects, can be investigated. With the connections I have created with organizations I am currently involved in, I believe I am in a good position to start investigating these potential alternative means of funding. A survey of our membership outlining our financial status and asking them for ideas on increasing or decreasing costs, which utilizes the financial experience of our members may provide valuable insight, and garner valuable interaction.
How do you plan to increase CINA’s membership?
Before we can increase CINA membership we need to identify the knowledge that the Indigenous Nurses across our nation have about our association. We could survey of our current membership regarding why they felt it was important to join, and then ask them to ask their colleagues why they are not members, may be helpful. We need to look to our organization and think “What are we offering our members for their dues? What is preventing others from joining? How can we ensure that members feel that their dues are being used wisely and that they are getting good value?” We need to ensure that we are offering a product and a service that people want, and we need to market ourselves so that others will realize the importance of who we are and what we can accomplish together. Working with the membership we can also identify if there are any barriers to joining our Association.
Again, the use of social media and the web is a great way to recruit and solicit ideas and feedback from CINA members and potential members. CINA being a National organization, we need to take advantage of technology and opportunities to reach out to as many people as possible. Through the web and social media we also have the ability to reach out to people in other countries which have a vested interest in Canada’s Indigenous population and how we are leading the way in providing Indigenous Healthcare and shaping national policy.
Describe any direct experience you have working with First Nations communities.
Throughout my career I have been intimately involved within multiple Indigenous communities. While in university I volunteered as an Indigenous mentor, working with Indigenous students to adjust to university life, navigate the healthcare system and adjust to life away from their communities. I have worked with the Conayt Friendship Center, working with Indigenous nurses on reserve and a variety of Heath topics and challenges including traditional healing medicines. I also did a semester with White Buffalo Metis Friendship Center, working mostly with high- risk members of the center. I have been a CINA member for 3 years and have learned enormous amounts from the association. I was raised in a family who was not aware of our heritage due to a number of factors, thus I was not active in the Indigenous community until I found my history and have been on a journey of discovery ever since. I have been fortunate enough to make strong connections and relationships with Indigenous nurses across the country in my dealings with various nursing associations and have worked closely with them to write policies and
position statements which directly affect Indigenous health and nursing.
You have a very busy day of meetings scheduled with CINA that involve a National FNIHB representative and two other nursing organizations. You learn that one of your team members has called in sick. How would you handle this situation?
Team members calling in sick or facing unexpected events, is not uncommon and every organization faces that challenge. Therefore I am sure that the National FNIHB representative and the other organizations will understand and make allowances for this event. As we are a team, my hope is that all team members are aware of what the other is involved in, and the major points of the presentation. Working with the team to have a united voice. I would also ensure that the member who is sick is taken care of. Ensuring that they are receiving the care needed to feel better and get on the path back to health. Each member is vital in our future and self-care is something that needs to be continuously practiced. If multiple meetings are scheduled simultaneously, then that could be a bit of a challenge. I would then approach the organizations involved, explain the situation, and see if we can possibly present at the start of the meeting so that we can step out partway through and then present at the end of the second one. All organizations face this challenge and all organizations have had to deal with this challenge, and so I am confident that a solution can be found by open dialogue with those involved.
Thank you for your time, Jessy Dame RN, BScN
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