This page provides information on the British Columbia Financial Healthcare Professionals Society (BCFHPS), formerly known as the British Columbia Hospital Accountants’ Association (BCHAA).
FormationIn 1973, Mike Mahoney, in his role as Business Manager at BC Health Association, co-founded the BCHAA along with Dinham Drew, Heman Zwakenberg and Jim Burslem. The first Annual Provincial Meeting was held September 21, 1973 at the Capri Motor Hotel, Kelowna and had about 40 accountants attending.
Accounting NewsThe BCHAA produced a newsletter called “Accounting News” which provided updates from the various Areas meetings, Provincial meetings, Executive meetings, and other news such as “… a computerized Accounts Payable General Ledger System is being developed and will be operational before the end of the year. Any hospitals considering expanding their bookkeeping staff or changing to a bookkeeping machine should contact Phil MacAllen at B.C.H.A. to hear about the competitive price being offered…” (July 1974, Volume 1, No.2)
ConferencesOver time the BCHAA evolved and each of the geographic areas held regular meetings and the Annual Provincial meeting became a 3 day conference. Eventually a vendor fair was also added.
In addition to the annual conference the BCFHP sought representation on various committees. Over the years these committees included: CICA Local Government Affairs Sub-Committee, Funding Methodology Committee, Best Practices Committee.
EngagementIn 1990 the BCHAA submitted a brief to the Royal Commission on Health Care & Costs. This brief discussed five themes: enhancing financial management in health care facilities, long term financial planning, equipment funding, financial computer systems in BC health care facilities, and management information systems development.
In the early 1990’s a Micro Computer User Group was established. This group along with a consultant evaluated affordable PC based solutions for GL/AP and ADT/CPI and based on its findings then negotiated group rates for purchasing these systems.
FormationIn 1992 the Provincial Executive under President Eric Macdonald decided to register the BCHAA as a Society. Various names were considered including the Financial Healthcare Professionals of British Columbia, bylaws were developed and finally in March 1993 we received notification that our official name accepted by both the B.C. Ministry of Health and the Registrar was the British Columbia Financial Healthcare Professionals Society, in short B.C. Financial Healthcare Professionals (B.C.F.H.P.).
Applications for memberships were issued for the 93/94 fiscal year and response was overwhelming. There were 168 Active members and 24 Affiliate members for a total of 192. By the year 2000, even with the impact of “Regionalization”, our membership totalled 124 and in our 30th year, it stood at 88 (2001/02).
RegionalizationWith further amalgamations and the creation of the health authorities, the society became dormant until 2008. In February 2008 an AGM was held, and based on the members interest in keeping the society alive, a conference was planned for the fall of 2008 which had close to 200 participants. In 2009, even with the downturn in the economy, the fall conference had over 150 participants. The conference continued to occur each year, and over time the attendance trended upwards. In 2018 and 2019, we had 259 and 195 attendees respectively. The 2020 conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021 we held our first virtual conference, which had a record setting 338 attendees.
The 21st century has brought more change to the way healthcare is structured in British Columbia. The move towards centralized health authorities has created more complex financial issues. Increased focus on accountabilities will create opportunities for us as professionals. There is a wealth of financial knowledge within the members of the BCFHPS. We need to leverage off that collective knowledge to take us forward to meet the challenges of the next decade.
In terms of the conference format, the event industry has taken a significant shift due to COVID. In person events transitioned to virtual, and for the future, hybrid conferences with both in person and virtual options are becoming more common. BCFHPS is taking these changing trends into consideration as we plan future conferences.