Council Executive Restructure – Regulated Member Consultations

As recommended by the CMLTA strategic consultant, Council is giving consideration to the restructure of the Executive Team of Council. Leading practices dictate an alternate structure from the current model will better support a high-performance board. The proposed restructure would be reflected in Bylaw amendments and the linked CMLTA policies.

CMLTA Council is comprised of three Public Members appointed by the government and nine Regulated Members elected by the CMLTA Regulated Members. Presently, the nine elected offices are comprised of six Councilor positions and three positions occupied by the Presidential Chain (made up of the President Elect, President, and Past President). Current CMLTA practice is to annually elect two new Councilors to fulfil the required complement and a President Elect; each to a three-year term. The President Elect progresses annually from President Elect to President, and ultimately to Past President during their tenure on the Executive Team of Council. 

The proposed new Executive Team structure will still have the CMLTA Regulated Members electing new Councilors each year; however, CMLTA Regulated Members will elect three Councilors as opposed to two Councilors and a President Elect. To be clear, the authority to elect the same number of individuals to office each year will not change and this power will still reside with Regulated Members. The new structure proposes that Council appoint a President and Vice President each year from among the elected Regulated Members in the current board complement. The new Executive Team of Council will be selected by Council as a whole using a formal appointment and motion process resulting in a binding resolution of the collective Council. The primary functions of the President remain the same as in the current structure (e.g. set meeting agendas, chair meetings of Council) and the duties of the Past President become the responsibilities of the Vice President. Ultimately the new Executive Team is comprised of two individuals (President and Vice President) as opposed to three individuals (President Elect, President, and Past President).

Council supports the new Executive Team format for several reasons: historically the CMLTA does not receive nominations for the President Elect position and Council is placed in the position to appoint an individual as provided for in the Bylaws; the President Elect may be perceived as an intimidating or daunting role for volunteers without governance or leadership training; and the three year commitment in a primary leadership role (President Elect to President to Past President) may be a deterrent to some who would prefer a one or two years in a primary leadership role. In some cases, there hasn’t been an individual eager on Council to take on the President Elect role when it was not filled through the election process; however, someone has always stepped up to the plate to ensure continuity for the organization and that the privilege of self-regulation is not placed in jeopardy.

The proposed Executive Team of Council allows for the appointment of a President and Vice President each year. As Council collectively appoints these two offices, there is latitude for Council to appoint an interested and best-suited candidate for each office as it is not a natural progression from one office to the next. This means an elected Regulated Member could hold the office of President for one year, up to a maximum of six years as provided for in the current Bylaws, contingent upon Regulated Members electing this individual to a second three-year term. Furthermore, the President does not automatically transition into the Vice President office and must be appointed by the collective Council.

Council encourages you to read the CMLTA’s strategic consultant article to provide a better understanding on the role of the Executive Team, specifically the President. 

Council has a duty to consult with Regulated Members on Bylaw amendments, and as such welcomes your comments on the proposed new Executive Team for CMLTA Council. Please provide your feedback to by March 1, 2017. 

About the CMLTA

The College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Alberta (CMLTA) is the regulatory body for Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) employed in Alberta. The CMLTA protects and serves the public, patients, and our Regulated Members by setting entrance to practice requirements, creating and enforcing a Continuing Competence Program, and instituting a formal process for the adjudication of complaints of unprofessional conduct. Professional regulation is one measure to assure the public MLTs provide safe, competent, and ethical healthcare services. For an overview of the CMLTA's legislated programs and services, please view the video below.

Who We Regulate

MLTs perform laboratory analyses and provide clinicians with accurate and reliable test results upon which 85% of decisions regarding diagnosis and/or treatment are based. MLTs are employed in a variety of laboratory settings, such as hospital laboratories, public and private clinical institutions, research facilities, and as educators teaching the profession of medical laboratory science to future practitioners. MLTs are formally trained in one or more of the following specialties:

Biochemistry (Clinical Chemistry) – Biochemistry is the study of the chemical and physiochemical processes of living organisms. MLTs perform a wide variety of biochemical analyses, including those to determine cholesterol and thyroid levels, enzyme levels for heart disease, and glucose levels for the diagnosis and management of diabetes.

Biochemical Genetics (Metabolic Genetics) – Biochemical genetics involves the diagnosis and management of inborn errors of metabolism in which patients have enzymatic deficiencies which disrupt biochemical pathways involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. MLTs perform testing to detect metabolic disorders such as galactosemia, glycogen storage disease, lysosomal storage disorders, metabolic acidosis, peroxisomal disorders, and phenylketonuria.

Cytogenetics – Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomes and the diseases associated with an abnormal number or structure of chromosomes. MLTs in this discipline analyze prenatal samples, cancer cells, blood, and tissues for genetic diseases.

Molecular Genetics – MLTs who work in molecular genetics focus hereditary disorders and examining DNA and RNA for changes in the gene structure. Abnormal or altered genes are, in many ways, associated with specific conditions or diseases, such as Down Syndrome or hemophilia. Molecular techniques can identify infectious agents (like viruses and bacteria that are difficult or slow to grow in tissue cultures), and the stages of cancer and various genetic diseases.

Diagnostic Cytology – Diagnostic Cytology is the study of the origin, formation, structure, function and classification of cells. The identification of normal and cancerous cells also falls within this discipline. MLTs who work in this field are responsible for specimen preparation and staining, as well as microscopic evaluation and interpretation of patient samples. Cytology results are used in diagnosis, patient management, and treatment follow-up.

Hematology – Hematology deals with blood, blood-forming tissues, and the related cellular components. Modern-day analysis is performed primarily by automated instrumentation, with MLTs conducting the interpretation. Analysis can identify cells associated with a wide variety of blood disorders such as leukemia and anemia. Hematology also includes investigating bleeding or coagulation disorders, such as hemophilia, and monitoring patients on anticoagulant therapies.

Histology – Histology deals with the microscopic identification of cells and tissues. This science requires an understanding of the structure and composition of cells and their organization into various organs. MLTs working in histology are responsible for preparing and staining tissues for diagnostic microscopic examination. MLTs practicing histology also work with tissue biopsies and prepare frozen sections for immediate examination for patients in operating rooms.

Microbiology – Microbiology is the study of the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites that invade the body. The microbiology lab is often divided into the following subspecialties:

Bacteriology – The identification of the bacteria that cause disease in the human body. MLTs in this discipline also test the effectiveness of various antibiotics. The MLT specializing in bacteriology may also deal with public health (e.g. the potability of water or the quality of milk) or the fight against disease (e.g. the diagnosis of hospital-acquired infections or the diagnosis of communicable diseases).

Mycology – The study of fungi and fungoid diseases. Ringworm and thrush are two of the more common fungoid diseases identified by MLTs working in this field.

Parasitology – The specialty that examines and identifies parasites found on or in the human body. This includes identifying some of the most common parasites such as pinworm, roundworm, and tapeworm.

Virology – The science devoted to the study of viruses and viral diseases. The prevalence of AIDS and HIV has developed a greater public awareness of the devastating impact viruses can have on everyday life. MLTs working in this field focus on the identification and management of viral diseases.

Transfusion Science – MLTs working in transfusion science study antigens and antibodies associated with blood transfusions and certain complications of pregnancy. Roles range from determining the appropriate blood and blood products to be used in surgery for accident victims or surgery patients, to analyzing specialized blood products, such as plasma for hemophiliacs or platelets for patients with leukemia. MLTs practicing in this area must have an understanding of immunology, serology, and genetics. In larger centers, MLTs practicing transfusion science may perform tests associated with tissue and organ transplant.

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