President’s Report – AGM – Board – August 2016

It is hard to believe that another year has gone by!

We started the year by welcoming Evelyn Lehman to the position of Secretary. Evelyn took over from Liz Guiver who had done a great job over the last few years, and slotted herself into the team effortlessly. Despite her other commitments, she has managed to serve the Board most efficiently and willingly. Later in the year, we welcomed Dr Chellam Kirubakaran as Publicity Officer, a role that Dr Stephen Aseervatham had continued in, even after taking on the position of Vice-President. With Dr Chellam? s associations with the CMC alumni, it is hoped that closer ties can be drawn between the Alumni and the FOV.

CMC Council meeting Jan 2016
Once again I was privileged to represent the AVB at the CMC Council meeting in Vellore on Jan 22nd and 23rd 2016. It was good to see some familiar faces among the Mission Hospital representatives and those from the international FOV, all of whom were represented apart from Sweden.
Dr MC Mathew once again did an excellent job of chairing the Council meeting. The 2 days as on previous occasions were tightly packed with reports and events. Updates with regard to CMCH were 1. Plans for the Kannigapurum campus had been submitted to the authorities in Chennai, but delays were expected because of the flooding that had occurred in Chennai at the end of last year. It was still hoped that they would turn the sod in April 2016 2. Chittoor campus– Out-patient clinics were continuing as previously. The opening of the in-patient facility of 120 beds took place during the Council meeting and thanks to video link we were all able to partake in the ceremony
3 Age of retirement for medical staff–after much debate that had apparently been going on for years, this was increased to 65 years for all medical staff at CMCH.
4. The financial position of the institution was stable and they continued to spend 15% of income on free treatment.
5. The 10-year consultation which was last held in 2010 was scheduled for June 2016 as most of the goals of the previous consultation had been met.
6. Commissioning of 2 staff buses was carried out. The hope is that this would reduce traffic congestion on the roads and help with parking problems in the hospital campus 7. The official opening of the Nurses’ Hostel in the campus adjoining the College of Nursing was carried out in a beautiful ceremony. This move out of the hospital campus makes available much needed space there.
8. The Jawadhi Hills project was heavily promoted by CHAD and the Directorate with the international FOV representatives and a couple of Australian visitors being taken there for a day prior to the Council meeting. In addition, on the first night of Council a dinner meeting was held for the international FOV and once again the Jawadhi Hills project was discussed. Accommodation for the medical and nursing staff at the site of the hospital appears to be high on the priority list and funds for the children’s educational programmes would be always welcomed.

Prior to the Council meeting, I was pleased to visit RUHSA for the first time. Dr Rita Isaac, current Head, very kindly showed me around their new OP block which was nearing completion and since has been opened. Their small scale animal farms and worm farms were most interesting. I was also able to visit their Elderly Day Centres, of which they have 6, and limited only by lack of funds. FOV UK strongly support this work.
As always it was a pleasure to re-establish contact with the international FOV representatives. With recent changes on the UK Board, it is likely that there will be more collaboration between the various international groups.

We have continued these as they serve a very useful purpose of keeping the Board executive and State groups in touch officially during the year. I am aware that problems have been experienced with our on-line donation system, and I am hopeful that this will be rectified in the not too distant future.

State FOV groups
The established ones in Qld, NSW, Victoria and South Australia continue to function well. The Tasmanian FOV is regrouping under their new chairman, Dr Sasanka Dhara. NSW also has a new chairman, Robyn Bradley, and I wish them both well. Our hopes for a Western Australian FOV are currently set on young Lovely Sona Charles, who has been in Australia for about 18/12. Some of the groundwork there has already been done by our previous contact, Dr Renu John, and we hope to see the fruit of their labours in the not too distant future.

The Board Executive
My sincere thanks to Vice-President, Dr Stephen Aseervatham, whose dedication and knowledge of the inner workings of CMCH has been invaluable, Secretary, Evelyn Lehman, who has proven her efficiency time and time again this year, Treasurer, Richard Caitens, for faithfully looking after our finances year after year and Dr Chellam Kirubakaran, who has only recently taken over as Publicity officer.
It would be remiss of me if I did not extend my sincere thanks to Hugh Skeil in the Development office at Vellore. He keeps the lines of communication between CMCH and the FOV open always, with most queries being answered within 24 hrs!!

Last but not least, I wish to thank the NSW FOV for organising this meeting and the State FOV for their support. I look forward to continuing as President into this final year.

Dr Bella George

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