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Letters to the Editor and News from the Field: Fall 2007

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A Letters

1 A Reader Response to a Letters on OHPE 504, Human Papillomavirus or HPV ( and

Dear OHPE,

I thought you would be interested in this article by members of the Canadian Women's Health Network, with colleagues, just released [August 1] from the Canadian Medical Association Journal:  Human papillomavirus, vaccines and women's health: questions and cautions by A. Lippman PhD, R. Melnychuk PhD, C. Shimmin BJ, and colleagues (August 1, 2007).

This will be part of an issue of the CMAJ that will feature other articles on HPV as well, due out August 28 at

There is also a larger policy paper available (19 pages) -- casting a critical lens on the HPV vaccine -- now available on the CWHN website: HPV, Vaccines, and Gender: Policy Considerations (

Bonne journée,

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B News from the Field

I Announcing the Registered Nurses' Foundation of Ontario Fall Fundraising Event in Honour of Dr. Sheela Basrur

The Registered Nurses' Foundation of Ontario (RNFOO) is dedicated to providing awards and scholarships for nurses in Ontario to advance their knowledge and practice. In May of each year, the RNFOO hosts its signature fundraising event: The Annual Fundraising Gala. The 2007 event was a huge success again and 41 Awards and Scholarships totaling $76,000 were given to deserving recipients. Following on the success of the 2006 inaugural "Fall Event," the Julie Hall Fund for neurosciences nursing was replenished.

There are many areas where scholarships are needed to support nurses to further their education and prepare for the future. This year, the RNFOO has decided to raise funds to support scholarships for nurses who work in the field of oncology. The 2007 Fall Event will focus on creating scholarships to support nurses to advance their knowledge in the specialty of oncology and, the RNFOO is planning to name these in honour of Dr. Sheela Basrur. RNFOO has targeted to raise $250,000 for these scholarships in order to be able to award them over the next five years and sustain them into the future.

Why oncology nursing?

Evidence shows that the incidence of cancer is increasing by 3 to 5% annually. While cancer is more prevalent in the older population, this disease affects children, adolescents, young and middle age adults as well as those over the age of 70. There are few people in Ontario who have not been affected by cancer, as family, friends or cancer survivors. Oncology nurses need advanced clinical and professional development to provide the level of care required for the complex patient populations. Moreover we recognize that there are gaps in cancer prevention, screening, care, palliation and survivorship that can be addressed by nurses; advanced expertise would better enable nurses to meet the needs now and in the future. We also need nurse researchers and educators to extend our knowledge and support evidence-based practice.

Why Dr. Basrur?

Dr. Basrur's career is well known to most in Ontario in relation to the outstanding job she did as the Medical Officer of Health in Toronto during SARS, and subsequently as the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Ontario. Dr. Basrur's work in the province enabled Ontario to propose and pass the No Smoking legislation; identified the health prevention and promotion strategies in healthy eating and exercise for children and the public; and ongoing work in relation to transforming public health. Through all of her work, she has been a strong supporter of nursing. More recently, Dr. Basrur shared her cancer experience with colleagues in health care and the public. She is a woman of tremendous courage, strength and vision. We are honoured that she agreed to allow the scholarships to be in her name.

The Event

Ryerson University generously offered the use of the Atrium in the George Vari Engineering and ComputerCentre, 245 Church Street, Toronto to host the RNFOO event acknowledging donors supporting the establishment of the Dr. Sheela Basrur Oncology Nursing Scholarships on November 20, 2007, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. In addition to Dr. Sheela Basrur, Mark Dailey of CityTV will be the Master of Ceremonies. Be sure to get your ticket to attend and meet and mingle with members of the oncology community. Please act now, we can only accommodate 150 guests and the event will be closed. Make your online donation at

Please give generously. If you have any questions, please contact the RNFOO office at (416) 426-7127.

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2 ParticipACTION Appoints Elio Antunes as Chief Operating Officer

[September 25, 2007]  ParticipACTION, the voice and champion for physical activity and active living in Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Elio Antunes as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Partnerships.

Antunes has more than 20 years experience in the physical activity sector. Prior to joining ParticipACTION, he was Executive Director of the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) where he was responsible for the steady growth and success of the organization since 1986. In 1994, Antunes founded Active Healthy Kids Canada, a national charitable organization focused on engaging children and youth in physical activity.

Elio holds a Bachelor of Physical Education degree with a minor in  Business Administration from McMaster University. He is a former recipient of the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) Young Professional Award for outstanding contribution to the physical education profession. He has two children whom he coaches and supports in their own physical activity pursuits.

ParticipACTION will be officially launching its first national public awareness campaign on October 12.

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3  News from the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse

Paola Ardiles left us late in September to go to Cancer Care Ontario, and at the same time Best Start welcomed new Information Specialist Meaghan Boston:

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to introduce myself because I am the new Bilingual Information Specialist with the Best Start Resource Centre.  My name is Meghan Boston-McCracken and I will be overseeing the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Promotion Network and writing the bi-weekly bulletin.

Please feel free to share information related to maternal, newborn, and child health, work that you are currently engaged in, strategies, research, resources, new initiatives, upcoming conferences, and your thoughts regarding current issues in the field.

To post a message to all the members of the electronic listserv, please email

To submit information for inclusion in the bulletin, please email

I look forward to engaging in discussions with you and sharing current information!

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4 News from Ophea

As you may be aware, Elio Antunes, Ophea's first Executive Director, is leaving Ophea after almost 21 years of service. Elio has been pivotal in building Ophea as a recognized leader in the health and education sector with 20 unique initiatives, 30 staff members and a multi-million dollar operating budget.  Ophea's entire staff and Board of Directors would like to thank Elio for his many years of service and his unwavering commitment to ensuring that all children and youth in Ontario will value, participate in, and make a lifelong commitment to active, healthy living.

In light of Elio's departure, Chris Markham, Ophea's Director of Operations, has agreed to assume the role of Acting Executive Director. Together with the Board, Chris will work to ensure  that Ophea's priorities are addressed and that the organization is well grounded and poised for continued growth and success.

For additional information, we encourage you to read the following two letters - one from Elio himself and the other from Ophea's Board of Directors:

Letter from Ophea's Executive Director:
Letter from Ophea's Board of Directors:

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5 News from THCU's Workplace Project

As some of you already know, I am leaving my current position at THCU's Workplace Project to go back to school this fall. I am happy to welcome Jessica Elgie, a recent graduate from Centennial College's Workplace Wellness & Health Promotion Program, who will be taking over the role of THCU's Workplace Project's assistant.

Please update your address books to reflect Jessica's information as the key contact for THCU's Workplace Project ( or, 416-978-0595). Also, if you haven't already, please take 2 minutes to sign-up to THCU's Workplace Virtual Community ( Once you create a (free) username and password, you will receive updates from THCU's Workplace Project and others working in the workplace health promotion field.
I will be continuing at THCU's Workplace Project in a much smaller role by updating the Situational Assessment Catalogue ( If you know of workplace health related situational assessments that you think should be reviewed with the possibility of inclusion in the catalogue, please contact me at

I have truly enjoyed meeting and working with (and learning from!) so many of you over the years through various meetings, conferences and webinars.

All the best,

Ali Kilbourn

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6  Health Council of Canada Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Jeanne Besner, Chair of the Health Council of Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Donald W. M. Juzwishin as Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1, 2007. Dr. Juzwishin brings 28 years of leadership and management experience to the Health Council of Canada. His background includes knowledge in health care management, policy making, education and research. Read more at

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 7 News from the Centre for Health Promotion

[excerpted from Director's Remarks, E-Info Update, Fall 2007, full issue available at]

As we move into the fall months, we need to celebrate that Ali Kilbourn from The Health Communication Unit started a Masters of Social Work, Noelle Gadon (of OHPE Bulletin fame) started a PhD in early modern literature at University of Toronto, and Mohini Athia (at the Centre) started a one year Bachelor of Education program at OISE to become a high school teacher. We are sad to see these people go but it is wonderful that they are moving on to bigger and better things. Ali's replacement as Coordinator of the Workplace Health Promotion project is Jessica Elgie and Mohini's replacement as the Financial and Administrative Assistant for the Centre is Kate Thorpe. I want to say a big thank you to both Ali and Mohini for all of their work at the Centre for Health Promotion and I would like to extend a warm welcome to Jessica and Kate.

In other big news, the Centre has been renewed as a WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Promotion for another four years. Our main partner is the Pan-American Health Organization, although we continue to have good relations with WHO-Geneva. This is a prestigious designation but it does not come with any funding. The University of Toronto is paying my full salary for a year in my role as Director of CHP as I continue to play a role as the Co-Director of the Global Health Concentration in Public Health Sciences as well as teach and supervise students in the MHSc in health promotion. Michael Goodstadt, Fellow of the Centre, is the new Director of the MHSc Health Promotion, after Blake Poland stepped down from that position after many long years of dedication and service.

Suzanne F. Jackson, Ph.D.