Accountability Framework: here is what’s happening

In the fall and winter of 2019, the Governing Committee finalized the new Accountability Framework and established an oversight body: the Accountability Committee. In September 2020, the Accountability Committee had their initial meetings with each department head to discuss their departmental aspirational plans (DAPs) for the next three years and this work will continue through to Spring 2021. Get to know two of the eight Committee members and learn why Accountability is important to them.

Dr. Stephanie Baxter from the Department of Ophthalmology decided to get involved with the Accountability Committee after attending the SEAMO Retreat where the new Accountability Framework was discussed.  “Having been involved with that retreat and having given extensive thought about what it means to be accountable in our organization, it made me want to be more involved centrally to understand how these decisions are being made.  When the call for applications for this committee came out, I jumped on the opportunity.”

Dr. Baxter wanted to be clear about the impact the Accountability Framework would have at the departmental level. “Being a part of this committee allows me a front-row seat to better understand the importance of and the necessity for these changes.” The new Accountability Framework was necessary as it “strives to be more in line with this fundamental mission of quality patient care, education and research, allowing Departments and ultimately SEAMO members to contribute in meaningful ways that are the most attainable and desirable to them and their professional interests.”

As part of the Committee, Dr. Baxter hopes to “contribute to a team of experienced, respected colleagues who have insight into the history of SEAMO, its agreements and its objectives; who have a vision and a genuine desire to lead the whole organization to achieve its full potential.”

According to Dr. Baxter, “time will tell if this iteration of the Accountability Framework will inch us closer to what I think SEAMO is all about: physicians being paid fairly and equitably to do all of the aspects of the work they love to do - patient care, research, teaching, administration or any combination of these noble pursuits.  I remain optimistic!”

As a clinician scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Maria Velez applied to the research expertise position being requested by the newly-formed Accountability Committee in January 2020. “As a junior faculty member, this was an opportunity for me to serve in a committee external to my Department, and to offer my expertise in research. I am grateful to be part of a Department that considers research as a fundamental pillar of its academic philosophy, and I want to support other Departments, especially new clinician scientists in this path.”

For Dr. Velez, her goal as being part of the Accountability Committee is teamwork. “I want to work in collaboration with the Department Heads to align the research aspirations of their Departments with the academic mission of our organization.”

Dr. Velez outlined the future of the Accountability Committee by saying: “As a first step, we have met with the SEAMO Department Heads and heard about their department objectives for the next three years. We are working now on translating the objectives outlined by each of the Departments into the principles of the new Accountability Framework. The next steps will be to discuss with the Department heads the expected deliverables for the following years.”

The Accountability Committee oversees departmental accountability in the clinical, research and education domains and advises the Governing Committee regarding strategic metrics and departmental indicators. The responsibilities of the Committee include negotiating agreements with departments, monitoring departmental performance and providing the Governing Committee with progress reports. It is the Committee’s aim to embrace departmental asymmetry and nurture aspirational plans, leveraging the strengths of each group.

To learn more about the Committee and members, visit our website. You can check back on our website for further details about the Accountability Framework and the Committee’s ongoing work.