George Thomson celebrates two years as SEAMO Governing Committee Board Chair on July 1. His background in law — including stints as a judge, Deputy Minister of Justice for Canada and Executive Director at the National Judicial Institute — has brought structure and guidance to the Governing Committee process.
“I see my role on the committee as assisting voting members to make their decisions, ensuring all are well heard before they do so,” Thomson said. “I am consistently impressed with the quality of the physicians in leadership roles, and their willingness to address important policy issues that affect the future of SEAMO.”
During his tenure, Thomson’s role has expanded. He has assisted in planning retreats that focused on the governance process and the SEAMO Accountability Framework. Thomson also attends different sub-committee meetings to better understand the issues that are coming before the governing committee and to offer a non-expert perspective.
“I am the only person on the governing body who does not bring medical expertise and has no conflicts of interest and that was intentional,” he said. “It is my job to ensure SEAMO is well governed and to provide a ‘public’ perspective.”
“I see SEAMO as an important alternative funding model with a firm commitment to academic medicine and an example of what a dedicated, collective focus on high-quality clinical care, education and research can accomplish. At a time of significant health care reform, I believe SEAMO’s voice can become increasingly important within this region and that its work can help guide broader decision-making about how to support academic medicine in this province.”
Thomson is in the second year of his three-year, renewable term. The Governing Committee has recently agreed to add a Vice-Chair position on the Governing Committee this. “I see this as a valuable way to add one more ‘public’ position to the committee and to prepare for and facilitate succession."