Reflections of the Historian in 2006 on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the International Conference of Health Problems Related to the Chinese in North America and the 12th Anniversary of The Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Societies
1981: The Very Beginning
In 1981, the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco had the vision of organizing a Conference concentrated on the health issues related to the care of the Chinese in North America. They contacted various Chinese American and Chinese Canadian medical organizations to try to make it a conjoint effort in supporting a Conference of international stature on Health Problems Related to the Chinese in North America. Several organizations responded to the call, and they endorsed and participated at the First Conference on Health Problems Related to the Chinese, held on May 22-23, 1982, in San Francisco. The conference was attended by over 200 doctors.
1982: National Steering Committee
Following the First Conference, a National Steering Committee made up of members from seven organizations was officially formed to continue setting up guidelines and policies for future biennial conferences. It was chaired by Dr. Edward Chow, the Chairman of the First Conference. The seven organizations were:
- Chinese Hospital, San Francisco
- American Center for Chinese Medical Sciences, Virginia
- Association of Chinese Community Physicians of San Francisco
- Chinese American Medical Society, New York
- Chinese American Physicians Society of East Bay, Oakland
- Chinese Physicians Society of Southern California of Southern California, Los Angeles
- Chinese Canadian Medical Society of Ontario, Toronto (Medical Section, the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals of Ontario)
1984 & 1986: Second and Third Conferences
The Second Conference was held on August 18-19, 1984, in Los Angeles, hosted by the Chinese Physicians Society of Southern California, chaired by Dr. Huo Chen.
The Third conference was held on August 23-24, 1986, in New York City, hosted by the Chinese American Society, chaired by Dr. Hsueh-hwa Wang. The Gala dinner was at the Windows of the World, in the World Trade Center. Dr. Harry Lee was elected to the new Chair of the National Steering Committee.
1988: Fourth Conference
This was back at San Francisco, hosted by the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff of San Francisco, chaired by Dr. Collin Quock.
3 new member organizations joined the National Steering Committee: Chinese Physicians of Chinatown of Los Angeles, the Chinese Canadian Medical Society of Quebec (Montreal), and the Chinese Canadian Medical Society of British Columbia (Vancouver).
1990: Fifth Conference
The Fifth Conference marked the first time the conference was held in Canada, hosted by the Chinese Canadian Medical Society of Ontario in Toronto, chaired by Dr. John Chiu. It was one of the most successful and “representative” Conferences, being attended by 400 physians and health professionals from all corners of North America, as well as from Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand.
The success of the conference unleashed a profusion of optimism. At the concluding moment of the conference, Dr. David Chiu, the representative of CAMS, gave an impromptu pitch for the vision of federation, “which not only serves as a conduit of camaraderie, but also built a critical mass of physicians of Chinese descent to make our voice heard, our interest count, and to build a foundation for our posterity in the field of medicine in this great continent of North America.” His eloquence notwithstanding, the idea of forming a federation indeed struck a cord of common desire in every one’s mind, as it received outpouring of support and approval. Chairman Dr. John Chiu crystallized the moment and appointed Drs. David Chiu to head an Ad Hoc Steering committee, consisting of Dr. Harry Lee, Hsueh-hwa Wang, John Lee and John Chiu and to proceed with the materialization of the Federation.
1991, 1993: Ad Hoc Committee Meetings in New York City
The name of the federation was agreed upon as The Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Societies (FCMS). Preliminary constitution & Bylaws were drawn up at the meeting in 1991, and the final version of FCMS Constitution & Bylaws was approved in 1993. Dr. Chiu invited Dr. Sun Hoo Foo to join the committee. Dr. Foo designed the logo with the galloping horse emblem.
1992: Sixth Conference
This was held on June 18, 1994, in San Francisco, hosted by the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff of San Francisco, chaired by Dr. Gregory Fung.
The Chinese Community Health Care Association was a new member joining the Steering Committee.
Dr. Harry Lee took over the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the formation of the FCMS.
1994: Seventh Conference, and the Formation of the FCMS
The Seventh Conference was held on July 1-3, 1994, in New York City, hosted by the Chinese American Medical Society, chaired by Dr. David Chiu.
The Inauguration of the FCMS was held on July 2nd, at the Sheraton Hotel ballroom. Dr. Harry Lee assumed the chairmanship of the Board, and Dr. David Chiu was elected as the Inaugural President of the Federation. A festive celebration took place at the fabled Tavern in the Green in Central Park. Dr. David Chiu was recognized as the primary founder of FCMS.
1995: Transference of the Conference Stewardship
At the Board meeting on August 25 in Vancouver, the FCMS took over the function of the National Steering Committee in overseeing the Biennial Conferences. By-laws and Mission Statement were revisited.
1996: Eighth Conference
This was held on August 22-25 in Vancouver, hosted by the Chinese Canadian Medical Society of British Columbia, chaired by Dr. Terence Chang.
New Chair and President for the FCMS were Dr. David Chiu, and Dr. John Chiu respectively. Dr. Harry Lee became the Executive Director (later, the Executive Vice-President)
1997: FCMS Board Retreat
This was held in Palm Springs on February 28 – March 2. The official FCMS logo was adopted, and the visions of the future were set. Another Board meeting was also held on August 8-10 in Montreal, strengthening organizational issues.
1998: Ninth Conference
This was held on August 20-23, in Los Angeles, hosted by the Chinese Physicians for Chinatown, chaired by Dr. Tit Sang Li.
The FCMS started to produce medical educational pamphlets as of Board meeting held on January 17-18 in San Francisco. At the Board meeting on August 20 in Los Angeles, the FCMS started to develop a web site, and considered starting on or supporting some research projects. New Chair and President for the FCMS were Dr. John Chiu, and Dr. Collin Quock. Ms. Patricia Chung, a long time volunteer for the organization, became the Associate Executive Director.
1999: Formation of Advisory Council
At the Board meeting on February 20, the FCMS decided to form an Advisory Council of notable researchers and philanthropists.
The Inauguration of the Advisory Council was held in Los Angeles on June 27, coordinated by Dr. David Chiu, and chaired by Mr. David Tseng.
2000: Tenth Conference
This was held on June 30 – July 1, 2000, in San Francisco, hosted by the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff of San Francisco, chaired by Dr. Gregory Fung.
New Chair and President for the FCMS: Dr. Collin Quock and Dr. Hsueh-hwa Wang.
Board meeting of FCMS on March 10 in Vancouver, celebrated the Inauguration of the Association of Chinese Canadian Professionals of British Columbia (ACCP), and also welcomed the ACCP (BC) and Philippine Chinese American Medical Association of New York as new members.
2001: Formation of FCMS Foundation
Board Retreat February 17-18 in Los Angeles voted to support the formation of the FCMS Foundation. A Special Commemorative Booklet of 20th Anniversary of the Biennial Conferences was to be published with generous donation from the Chinese American Medical Society. The Board also met in Toronto on October 6, and attended a special one-day symposium on the Human Genome Project, hosted by the Chinese Canadian Medical Society (Ontario).
2002: Eleventh Conference
This was held on May 25-26, 2002, in New York City, hosted by the Chinese American Medical Society, chaired by Drs. Daisy Saw & John Wang. The 20th Anniversary of the Biennial Conferences was also celebrated.
New Chair and President for the FCMS: Dr. Hsueh-hwa Wang and Dr. Caroline Wang.
Board meeting was held in Vancouver on September 13-14. Issues relating to the 2004 12th Conference were discussed.
2003: Board Meetings and Teleconferences
Board meeting on April 19, in Los Angeles: new category of emeritus Board member created
Teleconferences on May 29 and June 3: status of the 2004 Conference, and change of venue
Board meeting on November 15, in San Francisco: 12th Conference to be held in San Francisco with the name change to “Health Care of the Chinese in North America”
New President for FCMS taking over from Dr. Caroline Wang in July, 2003: Dr. Sun-Hoo Foo
2004: Twelfth Conference; 10th Anniversary of the FCMS
Board meeting was held on April 24, in Toronto: to publish a 10th Anniversary Booklet on the FCMS, to be ready for the 12th Conference.
The 12th Conference was held on October 22-23, 2004, in San Francisco, hosted by the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff, chaired by Dr. Collin Quock.
New Board Chair & President: Dr. Sun-Hoo Foo & Dr. Randall Low
2005: Board Meetings
Board meeting on May 7, 2005 in Los Angeles, at the Pacific Alliance Medical Center: Initial participation of the Assoication of Chinese American Physicians (ACAP) with Dr. Bing Yu representing; the Chinese Canadian Medical Society (Ontario) President, Dr. Kenneth Fung indicated interest in hosting the 14th Conference in Toronto in 2008.
Board meeting on September 17, 2005 in Toronto, Canada, hosted by the CCMS (Ont.): Dr. Kenneth Fung was voted as an Vice-President of the FCMS; Dr. Cynthia Wong and Dr. Kenneth Fung will be helping Dr. Lawrence Ng on improving the Web site; Dr. George Ma, representative of Chinese American Medical Society of Southern California (CAMASC) and the Pacific Alliance Medical Center (PAMC) of Los Angeles was inviting American and Canadian physicians to participate in the Health program offered by the Shanghai East International Medical Center which was set up in association with the PAMC.
2006: Board Meetings and Thirteenth Conference
Board meeting was held on April 29, 2006 in Oakland, hosted by the CAPS: 14th Conference confirmed to be in Toronto in 2008, under the Conference Chairmanship of Dr. Kenneth Fung, Scientific Chairmenship of Dr. Yvonne Yau and Dr. Rose Kung, and Financial chairmanship of Dr. Cynthia Wong. A marketing and Strategic Plan for the FCMS was presented by Dr. Harry Lee.
The Thirteen Conference was held in New York City, on October 21-22, 2006, with the Conference Chairman of Dr. Pak Chung, and Program Chair of Dr. Wilson Ko, hosted by the Chinese American Medical Society.
The Conference on October 21-22, was successful in both scientifically and financially, with over 250 registrants. The scientific program was with emphasis on Cardiovascular Diseases. It was co-sponsored by Chinese American Medical Society (CAMS) and Chinese American Independent Physicians Association (CAIPA).
Randall Low and Daisy Saw took over as the Board Chair and President of the FCMS.
The official FCMS website is “fcmsdocs.org” being updated by Kenneth Fung.
2007: Long term vision for the FCMS
Dr. Harry Lee made a PowerPoint presentation on “Fund Development and Growth Plan” for the FCMS.
Dr. Victor Chang presented “Development Consensus Statement” of the Research Committee, as a prelude to research program for the FCMS.
2008: Updated Mission Statement: Fourteenth Conference held at Toronto, Canada
The Mission Statement of the FCMS now reads:
“To promote the communication and cooperation of medical societies in North America in order to advocate for the common goal of enhancing the medical care of Chinese in North America and facilitate the professional development of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Physicians”
The 14th Conference returned to Toronto, Canada, on Sept 27-28, after a gap of 18 years since the 5th Conference in 1990, which stimulated the formation of the FCMS. It was a big success with more than 300 attendees. The Conference was to be opened by the President of the University of Toronto. There was also a special lecture by the President and Vice-Chancellor of University of Hong Kong, Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui, as well as a memorial lecture in honour of Dr. Harry Lee, Founder par excellence of the FCMS. Over half of the attendees graded overall assessment of the conference as excellent, and 98% graded above average or excellent.
The new Board Chair & President are Daisy Saw and Kenneth Fung.
Dr. Harry Lee passed away in 2008. Dr. Randall Low stepped in as Executive Vice-President of FCMS.
An ongoing “Dr. Harry Lee Memorial Lecture” is established.
Dr. Randall Low was appointed as Interim Executive Vice-President of the FCMS Foundation.
2009: Board meetings in SF, NY and LA
We had our usual Board meetings in Spring and Autumn, Spring 2009 in SF, Autumn 2009 in NY, and last one in LA.
We had the bylaws revised and member organisations are no longer restricted to non-profit category.
2010: New member organizations joined; Fifthteen Conference held in Los Angeles, USA
CAIPA is admitted as a new member on April 17, 2010.
Ventura County was admitted earlier on.
FCMS joined NCAPIP and this should help our advocacy work hopefully. (Most of the executives and board members are FCMS members.)
FCMS endorsed the Hepatitis Free movement with a statement.
Randall Low organised the Harry Lee memorial lectureship dinner in SF on April 16, 2010.
Victor Chang and Collin Quock heading the research work of the FCMS, making good progress.
The Fifteenth Conference in Los Angeles on October 8-10 was a huge success with rave reviews.
The new Board Chair and President are Kenneth Fung and Tit Sang Li.
2011: New Era of Teleconference of Board Meetings
Regular Skype teleconferences were started for Board meetings in addition to face to face meeting.