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YOUR DNS Government Relations Demystified Get involved in defining the future at the 2018 annual conference By BARB JOHNSON Staff writer T he formal education session at Doctors Nova Scotia’s 2018 annual conference will centre on the association’s new government relations strategy. Through a presentation and panel discussion, physicians will gain a general understand- ing of government relations and, more specifically, the association’s approach to advo- cacy and lobbying. Government relations (GR) is the process of influenc- ing public and government policy at all levels: municipal, provincial, federal and global. It involves the advocacy of an interest that is affected by the decisions of government leaders. Government relations can often have a negative connota- tion, but it is an important part of our democratic system. At its core, GR is an edu- cational process mixed with advocacy. It includes: educat- ing business and industry leaders about the governmental process; educating elected offi- cials about the issues impor- tant to their constituencies; and educating governmental and business leaders, as well as the public, about the potential consequences of legislation. Well-informed representa- tives make better policy and legislative decisions than uninformed representatives. Physicians can play an impor- tant role in educating their colleagues, members of the public, elected officials and government officials about health-care issues. Attend the AGM to learn the dos and don’ts of GR and how to influence the health- care system. After this session, participants will understand the best approaches for work- ing with the government and the risks and benefits of each method. Board election: Vote today! Voting in the Board election runs from March 12 to April 6. Watch your inbox for details. The candidates:   GP outside Halifax Tiffany O’Donnell (Indian Brook) Amanda MacDonald (Windsor) Gary Ernest (Liverpool)   r Regist y e toda nference o nnual c for the a nference2018. sco at dn eventbri Specialist outside Halifax Todd Stoddart (Bridgewater) Saraswati Sivakumar (Sydney)   Kelly Dakin Hache was elected by acclamation to the “Specialist inside Halifax” seat.   Cindy Marshall was elected by acclamation to the “GP inside Halifax” seat.   All seats are for three-year terms. If re-elected, board members may serve two consecutive three-year terms. Election results will be announced on April 9.   To learn more about the candidates, election process and voting information, visit > About us > Board of Directors > Election   For more information, contact: Sonia Abi-Ajab Executive assistant to the President & CEO 902-481-4900 1-800-563-3427 ext. 4900