ASSOCIATION OF DALHOUSIE RETIREES AND PENSIONERS

THE NEWSLETTER

VOLUME 4 NUMBER 2     JULY 2005

 

Welcome to the latest issue of your ADRP Newsletter.  The Board keeps active, meeting monthly, with numerous committee chairs reporting on their activities for our Association.  President Blanche Potter is kept busy handling many issues.  Here is the most up-to-date news on the most important items right now. 

 

The first item is that I, the Editor, and all of you, just acquired a new Associate Editor for the quarterly Newsletter, Janice (Jan) Scott.  I have known Jan since 1978 when, as Head of the Department of Anesthesia, I recruited her as my Administrative Secretary.  She had spent 2 years in Continuing Medical Education prior to coming to Anesthesia and retired in 2001 with 25 years service to Dalhousie.  When I saw her name in a list of possible helpers, I called her right away and was delighted when she accepted, and I am pleased to be working with her again after all these years.  Jan succeeds Patricia Lutley who became Associate Editor last year and we wish to thank Patricia for volunteering to help us with the Newsletter.

 

SUMMER BARBEQUE.

 

 We wish to remind all ADRP members that our Summer Barbeque will be held July 14th from 12-3 pm at the Dalhousie University Club.  This event is organized by Sid Sodhi, Chair of our Social Committee and he can be reached at 902-423-0966 or ctihfx@eastlink.ca if you require further information.  The cost is $14/person and this includes one drink from the bar, and your choices from the menu include barbequed chicken, chicken tandori (East Indian) and Swedish meatballs.  Coffee, tea and soft drinks will also be available. Sid says “Please come, relax and socialize with old friends and colleagues”.  The Dalhousie Parking Authority has been advised of this event and you will be able to park on campus without fear of being ticketed or towed.

 

THE ANNUAL MEETING OF CURAC. 

 

The College and University Retirees Associations of Canada held its annual meeting in Vancouver, May 11th -13th.  The first national meeting held to organize CURAC was held at Dalhousie on May 25th – 27th, 2003, under the guidance of our President at that time, Tarun Ghose.  A constitution was adopted unanimously at that meeting.  Those attending this latest meeting were Tarun Ghose, Past-President; ADRP delegate President, Blanche Potter; alternate delegate, Alasdair Sinclair, the new CURAC Treasurer, and Paul Huber, Consultant on their bylaws.  The meeting was hosted by UBC and Simon Fraser Retiree Associations.  The local committee did an outstanding job for all the delegates from across Canada, using the Simon Fraser Centre and UBC at Robson Square as locales. One of the highlights of the CURAC meeting was the performance by the UBC Opera Ensemble at the dinner.

 

The agenda covered a range of issues of concern to existing retirees.  These included a wide range of considerations of the factors which would facilitate continuing professional life after retirement.  Not surprisingly, there was considerable thought given to the implications of the abolition of mandatory retirement.  Continuing access to university services and the right to apply for external research grants were also viewed as important issues.  One other item was a session on ‘retirement centres’ which provide space and facilities to retirees.  These may take a variety of forms at different institutions with some being departmentally based while others serve the institution as a whole.  There was also a session on housing for retirees.  This included a description of the ‘University Town’ development at UBC.  Again, there was a wide variety of models at different institutions which vary in cost, location and range of services.

 

The final session focused on ‘Whither CURAC’.  There was broad agreement that a major role for CURAC should continue to be the assembly and distribution of information about areas important to retirees.  These would include benefits, access to space and services, and policies relating to grant submissions.  CURAC was encouraged to try to identify “best practices”.  Secondly, it was agreed that CURAC should seek to increase the visibility nationally of college and university retirees and, in that way, to bring our concerns to public and political attention.  On the other hand, there was divided opinion about the extent to which CURAC should take on a direct advocacy role.  In some areas, such as lobbying national granting agencies with respect to access for retirees, CURAC could play a useful role.  Provincial advocacy should probably be left to the local level.  The incoming executive was encouraged to develop a longer term strategy for CURAC and to work on expanding its membership base.  It should also focus on supporting and encouraging the activities of local organizations.

 

The following statement which was approved at this 2005 AGM in Vancouver has been posted to the CURAC website at http://www.curac.ca and is now released for as wide a distribution as possible.

1.    Faculty and staff should continue to receive their health, dental and travel insurance benefits when they retire.  They should continue to receive any existing subsidy of the premium for these benefits when they retire.

2.    Retired faculty and staff should have a voice in the negotiation, determination and management of their benefits.

3.    Improvements or additions to health, dental and travel insurance benefits that are negotiated for faculty and staff should also apply fully to retired faculty and staff.

4.    Any reduction in benefits or increase in premiums agreed to by faculty and staff associations or unions should not apply to retirees unless retirees participate in the negotiating process and the changes are balanced by improvements in other benefits or pensions.

 

More information on the CURAC annual meeting is available on the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ADRP BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

President                     Blanche Potter           Past President           Tarunendu Ghose

1st Vice-President      Paul Huber                 

2nd - Vice President    Man Vohra

3rd Vice-President      Colin Stuttard

Secretary                    Hermann Wolf

Treasurer                    Roy George

Committee Chairs:

                                                                             Liaison                         Alasdair Sinclair

                                                                             Communication and

                                                                             Web Master                 Man Vohra

                                                                             Benefits                       Philip Welch     

Members at Large     William Charles          Social                           Sid Sodhi

                                      Diane Prosser            Complaints                 David Lewis

                                      Kate MacDonald        Membership               Blanche Potter

Robert Rodger                                      

          `                            Mary Simms               Sub-Committees of                                                                                                             Communications:

         

Sharing & Caring       Barbara Prime Walker

                  

                                                                             Newsletter

 

                                                                             Editor                           Emerson Moffitt

                                                                             Associate Editor        Jan Scott

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Communications Committee, Man Vohra, Chair

The first item I wish to report on is the editorship of the Newsletter.  I am glad to state that Jan Scott has joined as Associate Editor, to the Editor, Emerson Moffitt.  She replaces Patricia Lutley who recently resigned for personal reasons.  On behalf of the Communications Committee, I thank Patricia for her hard work and contributions to the ADRP Newsletter.  I am also very pleased that Jan has agreed to team with Emerson Moffitt.  She is an important addition to Emerson’s team.

 

As Chair of this Committee, I would like to thank both of them for their dedication and hard work in bringing out quickly the present issue of the Newsletter.

 

I would also like to thank Barbara Prime Walker, Chair of our Sharing and Caring Sub-Committee, for contacting and visiting our members who were either sick or hospitalized for various reasons, or were coping with unexpected difficult family circumstances.  I urge the membership to pass on the news about their friends and colleagues that can be shared by Barbara and other ADRP members.

 

The Communications Committee also helps to maintain a website for the ADRP.  This website is updated frequently with new information relating to various activities taking place in the Association, either locally or with CURAC nationally.  I urge the membership to visit this site often to obtain information on these activities, and provide feedback about our website, and suggestions as to how to improve it further. The ADRP website can be accessed through http//retireesandpensionersdal.ca/ (please note the change of address of our website).  The CURAC website can be accessed either directly –

http://www.curac.caor via a link provided on the ADRP website.

 

 Thanks for all your support!

 

Liaison Committee, Alasdair Sinclair, Chair

On Tuesday, June 28th, Man Vohra and I travelled to St. Francis Xavier to meet with a group of retirees and near retirees to discuss the possibility of a retirees association at that University.  The meetings were well arranged by Jim Taylor, who taught at St. F.X. for 40 years and is still 2 years from retirement.  There were seventeen in attendance and there seems to be interest in following up the idea.  After the meeting we were treated to a fine lunch and returned to Halifax.

 

Benefits Committee, Philip Welch, Chair

Travel Health Coverage

 

I would like to draw your attention to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT).  This is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1960, which provides advice to potential travellers about health risks, the geographic distribution of diseases, immunization requirements, sanitary conditions of food and water, and immunization requirements around the world.

 

They also maintain a network of English-speaking physicians around the world who have agreed to treat IAMAT members in need of medical care during their travels, for pre-arranged fees set with IAMAT.  Membership in IAMAT is open to any individual traveller without charge, though a donation is requested to help support their work.  This seems a most useful and commendable organization.  Visit their website at www.iamat.org or write, phone or fax: IAMAT, 40 Regal Road, Guelph, ON, N1K 1B5; telephone 519-836-0201; fax 519-836-3412.

 

Those ADRP members with a CIBC Visa card may find it useful to explore the Travel Health Insurance available (through the Cooperators) at 1-800-898-0392.  One of the Travel Coverage Plans offered is for 15 day repeated trips for an annual premium of $206, provided the traveller is less than 75 years of age.  No medical questionnaire is required, but health problems attributable to pre-existing conditions are not covered.

 

General Health and Dental Plan

Members of the Canadian Automobile Association might do well to explore this plan which provides for some dental, drug, vision care and extended health care, with no age limitation or requirement for medical evidence.  The individual monthly premium for those 65-69, for example, is $50-$55 (M/F).

 

Dental Coverage

A plan specifically designed for retirees has been brought to our attention, offered by Retirement Management Services Ltd.  The advantages of this plan are - no waiting, premiums not based on age, no dollar limit on covered services (with 70% coverage in the first year), and no annual deductible.  Monthly premiums are $38.56 (single) and $70.92 (couple).  A detailed information package and applications are available through the ADRP Office (494-7174).  More information can be obtained by calling 1-888-484-4448, or by writing to Retirement Management Services Ltd., #306-830 Shamrock Street, Victoria, BC, V8X 2Y1.

 

Communication from Bob Rodger, Member at Large

“Celebrating 50 Years  - “The Development of Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Cardiac Surgery at Mayo Clinic”. 

 It was fifty years ago that the first successful open-heart surgery was performed (March 22, 1955), and that took place at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Previous attempts, for patient survival, for this revolutionary procedure had been tried and failed.  Of course, there have been incredible developments since then in cardiac surgery, but the Mayo Clinic rightly decided to honour the team involved in its original breakthrough.  On May 12th, an all day program took place to honour those five pioneers; the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, two physiologists and an anesthesiology trainee, who spent 9 months in 1956 measuring all possible happenings on the second 45 patients to have whole body perfusion, with survival.  Over 400,000 open-heart operations are done now per year in the USA and approximately 1500 in Canada.

 

  That study changed the whole career of Emerson Moffitt, who then spent his whole 15 years at the Mayo Clinic, and 19 more at Dalhousie, doing cardiac anesthesia and endless studies on those patients.

 

As the only survivor of the five original team members, he was invited back to that celebration to talk about those first days, and present again the results of that first study in 1956.  He met with a number of his old buddies from 1956 to 1972, cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists retired now but also talking about those early days.  The Mayo Clinic is still the most famous institution for its work in open-heart surgery so Emerson had the trip of a lifetime, being honoured and recognized for what he did for them and the world.

 

WE HOPE TO SEE MANY OF YOU AT THE BARBEQUE ON JULY 14TH!

 

Emerson Moffitt, Editor

Jan Scott, Associate Editor