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May 11, 2022
Allan O'Dette

Celebrating a successful AGM

Last week’s successful Annual General Meeting in Thunder Bay marks an important moment in our organization’s history, including several firsts for the OMA: the first hybrid meeting with members — with approximately 135 attending virtually, and the first of our new approach to annual AGMs rotating through the 11 OMA districts.

Thank you to all who came out to the event, asked thoughtful questions of our board directors, and participated in the OMA’s democratic processes by voting on operational motions and reports.

Certainly, a key highlight for the board and senior leadership, was the opportunity to meet District 10 leaders and hear directly from them about regional issues. Thank you to Dr. William McCready, Dr. Sarah Newbery, Dr. Anna Laakso, Dr. Stephen Viherjoki, Dr. Eric Touzin, and Dr. Andrew Affleck for your illuminating presentations about the north’s unique health-system challenges and how the OMA can bring support and solutions.

We celebrated the installation of Dr. Rose Zacharias, who is the 141st president of the OMA. Dr. Zacharias is a family physician with a hospital-based practice at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health in Penetanguishene. She has practiced as an emergency department physician, hospitalist and surgical assistant, primarily at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. Dr. Zacharias’ advocacy work has focused on physician mental health and well-being and she is involved in a number of physician wellness initiatives.

The board had the opportunity to thank Dr. Adam Kassam for the amazing job he did as president. To give you an idea of how impactful Dr. Kassam was as president, he did more than 212 media interviews, 12 media briefings, 41 MPP meetings, 10 meetings with cabinet ministers, 12 PSA townhalls, 42 “Afternoons with Adam” meetings with members, and 48 OMA engagements like town halls with physicians, stakeholders, etc. All this was accomplished during a monumental year for the OMA with the ratification of a new Physician Services Agreement against the backdrop of the pandemic. Dr. Kassam will now serve as immediate past president.

OMA Board Chair Dr. Paul Conte completed his term on the OMA Board at the AGM. Dr. Conte joined the board in 2017 and has been a major force in helping drive and shape transformative change for members. The OMA Board will elect a new chair and vice-chair at its meeting on June 22 and will be joined by new board director Dr. Sharon Bal and president-elect Dr. Andrew Park.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the OMA staff for their work in pulling together the AGM — an incredibly complex event with simultaneous in person and online live interaction and production.

My operational report to members, as well as Dr. Zacharias’s inaugural address and Dr. Kassam’s farewell speech to members, have now been posted to the website. If you have any questions about the meeting, please reach out to us at and we will get back to you promptly.