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News from the Field, Spring 2008

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I Farewell to the Canadian Health Network

March 31, 2008 was the final day to access the Canadian Health Network (CHN). CHN was Canada's leading web-based source for health information by Canadians. It fell prey to budget cuts despite surplus federal government accounts.

The occasion was marked by the reading of a petition in the House of Commons asking parliament to rescind the funding cut to CHN. The petition was created by Friends of CHN and presented by the Hon. Robert Thibault, Liberal Health Critic who announced that his name was among the list of supporters.

If you go to the CHN website you will get a screen that says: "You have been redirected to the Public Health Agency of Canada: A valuable and unique source of timely, trusted and credible public health information on healthy living, disease and injury prevention." Does this sound oddly familiar? The same words were used to describe CHN and yet the PHAC site does not provide the same information. Search queries present lists of academic papers and government documents that do not provide the straightforward answers you would have found on CHN.

If you enter the PHAC site, you will see many of the same topic areas as were listed on CHN - some even include links to CHN which simply redirects you to PHAC - how sad. If you don't find what you're looking for on this new site, please send PHAC a message about it. Perhaps we can at least encourage them to update their site.

Please continue to advocate for better information. Letters to the PM, Minister of Health and others will still be noticed. We've heard that the volume of letters about CHN has been noteworthy. No need to stop now.

Any other issues on which a health promotion voice is needed? Please let Health Nexus (formerly Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse) know. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.

Signed,
Friends of CHN

[Source: Health Nexus Today, http://www.blogs.healthnexussante.ca/?p=239]

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II News Related to CHN's Closure

As the Canadian Health Network was shut down March 31, 2008, 20 Affiliates funded to provide e-resources and content to the CHN website, were also closed. Most of the 50 staff at the CHN Affiliates across the country lost their jobs. Some people were able to stay on with their host organizations in new roles, and a few, noted below, have moved to new workplaces.

  • Penney Kirby moved from being project manager with the Cancer Affiliate to the Communications and Policy division at Toronto Public Health, working on their website.
  • Pamela Feigen, previously with the Women's Health Affiliate as their information specialist, has settled into Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada as their manager of information services.
  • Deana Papagianis takes her communications and marketing experience from the Workplace Health Affiliate to the new HealthForce Ontario marketing and recruitment organization.
  • Rachel Brown has left her work on communications and information at the HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Affiliates based at the Canadian Public Health Association, to work on web resources at the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  • Health Nexus (formerly Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse) is saddened by the loss of the Health Promotion Affiliate, and especially the valued expertise of Maureen Davis, information specialist.

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III News from Active Healthy Kids Canada

[February 21, 2008] Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) is pleased to announce it has entered into strategic alliances with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute - Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (CHEO-HALO) and ParticipACTION. AHKC is focused on national leadership and advocacy to increase physical activity for children and youth where they live, learn and play. The strategic alliances with CHEO-HALO and ParticipACTION will allow AHKC to build and enhance its foundation as a credible knowledge source and to effectively disseminate evidence-informed communications across the sector.

CHEO-HALO will serve as the Strategic Research/Knowledge Partner. Dr. Mark Tremblay, who currently leads the CHEO Research Institute's Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, will serve as Chief Scientific Officer of AHKC.

As Strategic Communications partner, ParticipACTION, the national voice for physical activity and sport participation in Canada, will provide communications support for AHKC's Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth and other communications initiatives, as required.

To support its next phase of growth, AHKC has appointed:

  • Dr. Art Quinney as Chair of the Board. Dr. Quinney is Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta.
  • Michelle Brownrigg to the position of CEO. Michelle has held senior management positions with Ophea and AHKC and joins the team having recently been an independent consultant supporting the Laidlaw Foundation and Concerned Children's Advertisers.

For the complete announcement, visit http://www.activehealthykids.ca/Ophea/ActiveHealthyKids_v2/upload/AHKC-Partnership-Announcement_FINALEN-FR.pdf.

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IV  News from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange

[March 28, 2008] For the past few months, the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) has been keeping our stakeholders informed of our plans and progress toward achieving our new enhanced role as HIV/AIDS Knowledge Exchange Broker of information for the prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. April 1st will be an important milestone toward fulfilling our new role when CATIE assumes responsibility for the distribution of HIV/AIDS information formerly provided by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre (CHIC) with a special focus on HIV prevention.
 
As of April 1st, CATIE will be providing the following additional services in both English and French:

  • Online and telephone ordering of HIV/AIDS materials formerly housed by CHIC
  • New section on CATIE's website for downloadable HIV prevention resources and links to HIV-related organizations across Canada
  • Expanded 1-800 and e-mail information services covering HIV prevention

You will be able to access these new services through our website http://www.catie.ca, by e-mailing us at info@catie.ca or by calling us at 1-800-263-1638.
 
For the complete announcement, visit http://www.catie.ca/eng/AboutCATIE/Role_28-03-08.shtml.

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V  News from the Canadian Child Care Federation
 
[February 12, 2008] Last year, due to serious funding constraints, the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) made the difficult decision to reduce staff from 21 employees to eight and to undertake substantial operational cuts. Unfortunately, CCCF's situation remains critical. The basic funding model that has sustained the CCCF for many years (i.e. federally-funded projects), has faded away over the last two years as government priorities have shifted. Additionally, the fees that members pay do not sustain the operations of the organization and in order to remain solvent, the organization has been active in identifying and developing other funding sources.
 
As a result of the current situation, we engaged an independent auditor to assess our financial outlook and propose recommendations. We've chosen to accept the recommendation that CCCF adopt a "survival mode" that will sustain the organization until at least March 2009. This means:

  • terminating all employees and hiring back four full-time equivalent positions on a contract basis,
  • canceling the October 2008 Member Council meeting,
  • discontinuing phone and e-mail information services to the public, and
  • discontinuing the Child & Family Canada website.

Fund development will continue to be a priority and I will continue to lead this important work with staff. We will continue to offer "Interaction" magazine biannually and Interaction.ca on a quarterly basis, and will maintain our current address and corporate website.

Sincerely,
Don Giesbrecht, President
Canadian Child Care Federation

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VI News from Health Nexus Santé

[April 1, 2008] It's with great pleasure that I announce that effective April 1, 2008 the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse became Health Nexus -- and, in French, Nexus Santé. Please update your records with our new web and e-mail addresses. See http://www.healthnexus.ca or http://www.nexussante.ca. Health Nexus Santé will continue to help you promote health better.

All phone numbers will remain the same. E-mail addresses will be in the form of first name initial, a period and then last name at domain name. For example: c.clement@healthnexus.ca or c.clement@nexussante.ca. Since the Best Start Resource Centre is a program of Health Nexus, all staff e-mail addresses will also be changing to @healthnexus.ca. Best Start e-mail addresses (@beststart.org) will continue to work for a limited period of time during this transition.

Catherine Bryant, Communications Specialist
Health Nexus Santé

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VII News from the Nutrition Resource Centre

Jane Bellman completed her secondment as Manager of the Nutrition Resource Centre in October 2007. Jane led the NRC with passion and great wisdom and staff were sad to see her head back to her position at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (although glad to have her still connected to the NRC through her local Community Food Advisor program).

The new manager at the NRC is Cindy Scythes. Cindy joins the NRC with 18 years experience in public health, most recently at York Region Community and Health Services, and has also served on the OPHA Board in various capacities for 12 years.

The NRC is pleased to announce that Sarah Evason returned from her maternity leave in November 2007. Lesia Hucal also completed her secondment with the NRC and returned to the City of Hamilton Public Health and Community Services in January 2008.

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VIII  News from the Ontario Public Health Association

In February 2008, Anne Lessio departed the position of Manager of the Heart Health Resource Centre (HHRC) and the Towards Evidence Informed Practice (TEIP) project to become the Senior Planner for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management at the Central Local Health Integration Network.

Andrea Bodkin, a former HHRC Program Coordinator, has accepted the manager position and begins in this role on January 2, 2009 when she returns from completing her Master's degree in Australia.

In interim roles, Pam Kinzie is currently serving as Acting Co-manager of the HHRC and Dayna Albert is Acting Co-manager of the TEIP project. Beginning June 5, 2008, Shawna Scale, Acting Manager of the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, will assume the position of Manager of the HHRC and will continue in that role until the end of December 2008. In January 2009, Shawna will become Manager of Programs at OPHA.

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IX News from Ophea

Ophea's Board of Directors, are very pleased to announce that Chris Markham has been selected as the new Executive Director and CEO of Ophea.
As Acting Executive Director, and through the other positions he has held within Ophea over the last 12 years, Chris has played an instrumental role in building the capacity and reputation of Ophea. The Ophea Board is confident that under Chris' direction, Ophea will continue to provide both leadership and support in the development, implementation and promotion of effective strategies and initiatives that will support Ontario's school communities.

For the complete announcement, visit http://www.ophea.net/annitem.cfm?WNID=2146244343.

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X News from the Ontario Self-Help Network Program

[April 1, 2008] Gillian Kranias has left us to work at the Lawrence Heights Community Centre, starting April 1st. I have been asked to assume the full-time position and look forward to what the new fiscal year will bring. I also invite all the OHPRS members to connect with OSHNET and to see in what ways we might collaborate in our joint efforts to improve the health of Ontarians.
 
Thanks,
Spencer Brennan, Coordinator
Ontario Self-Help Network Program

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XI News from the Program Training and Consultation Centre

[February 8, 2008] The Program Training and Consultation Centre (PTCC) has undergone several changes over the last year. Most notably, the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) and Sudbury & District Health Unit have joined the PTCC as partner organizations, and, along with PTCC partners Cancer Care Ontario and Region of Waterloo Public Health, have hired new staff dedicated to this program. Another important change is to occur at the end of 2007-08. Josie d'Avernas, who represents one of the founding partner organizations of PTCC (Health Promotion Consulting (HPC)) has decided to pursue a new direction in her career and will be working full-time in the area of healthy aging, starting April 1, 2008.

Josie has been with PTCC since its inception in 1993 and has provided strategic direction and coordination of PTCC activities as well as ongoing leadership in the Ontario tobacco control community. She has conducted hundreds of workshops and consultations over the past 15 years. Kate Wilson, the Administrative Manager at HPC, has provided workshop coordination services and administrative support to PTCC since the beginning of the program. HPC will continue consulting in health promotion and tobacco control, but on a much smaller scale.

We are sad that Josie and Kate are leaving PTCC, and wish them all the best. We look forward to continuing to work with all our partners and stakeholders in the coming years.

Sincerely,
Caroline Silverman, Manager
Program Training and Consultation Centre

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XII News from Voices for Children

[April 1, 2008] With deep regret I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of Voices for Children to inform you that we are ceasing operations as of June 30, 2008. We reached this decision after spending the better part of a year struggling with how we might grow our resources to fulfill our objectives in a challenging philanthropic environment. We are closing while we still have sufficient resources to provide for our small staff and, most importantly, to ensure that our projects find good homes to continue their work.

Despite our small size, we have achieved significant successes. We were one of the first organizations to champion awareness of the importance of supporting early childhood development. We produced a series of reports that helped make research findings applicable for people working in fields relating to child and youth well-being and healthy development. More recently, we supported First Nations youth and community members in Northern Ontario to raise awareness about the significant challenges they face and to promote their own solutions to issues like youth suicide.
 
On behalf of all of us at VOICES, I want to thank first of all our staff and our supporters for their hard work, encouragement, support, advice and participation over the years. We should be proud of what we have accomplished together and I know that we will all continue to raise our voices to make Ontario a better place for children and youth.

Sincerely,
Lynn Eakin
President, Board of Directors

For the complete announcement, visit http://www.voicesforchildren.ca/index.htm.

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XIII Appointments Noted in Community Action Online

  • Sandra Arsenault, Executive Director, Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects, Toronto.
  • Julie Cashin-Osterm, Resource Development Coordinator, Durham Family Court Clinic, Oshawa.
  • Héléne Gosselin, Associate Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and Deputy Minister of Labour, previously Deputy Head of Service Canada.
  • Michael Howlett, President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ottawa, previously President and CEO of Canadian Diabetes Association.
  • Sukhy Jawanda, Executive Director, Parkview Children's Centre, Oakville, formerly with Jessie's Centre for Teenagers.
  • Lorraine Joynt, Clinical Director, Durham Family Court Clinic, Oshawa.
  • Janet Lambert, Executive Director, Ontario Long-term Care Association, Toronto, former President of BIOTECanada.
  • Steven McNair, President and CEO of the Arthritis Society, Toronto, previously with CIBC Wealth Management.

[Source: Community Action Online, March 20, 2008, http://www.communityaction.ca]

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XIV  People on the Move from CharityVillage

  • Kevin McCort has been named President and CEO of CARE Canada. Mr. McCort has worked with CARE for the past 15 years.
  • Toronto Green Community is pleased to announce that Paula Messina has been appointed as its new Volunteer Manager.
  • Eating Disorders of York Region is pleased to announce the appointment of Janice Morgante, formerly of Habitat for Humanity, as the new Executive Director.
  • Conrad Sauve has been named Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. Previously, he was General Manager of the organization's Quebec Zone.

For more people on the move in the not-for-profit sector, visit http://charityvillage.com/cv/news/people.html.

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XV  Dr. Sheela Basrur Receives the Order of Ontario

[April 10, 2008]  Dr. Sheela Basrur, the former Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario and a key leader in managing the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Toronto has been invested into the Order of Ontario.

Dr. Basrur received the province's highest honour from Lieutenant Governor David Onley in a special ceremony at the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, where she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

"Dr. Basrur has provided inspiring leadership in the face of heavy responsibilities and daunting expectations. She has compiled a truly remarkable record as a talented health professional, and as a committed public servant and Ontarian." - The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

"It's an incredible honour to receive the Order of Ontario. Like many others in the field of public health, I get tremendous fulfillment working to safeguard the health of the people in this province. I'm humbled at being recognized for doing work that I enjoy." - Dr. Sheela Basrur

"Dr. Basrur is a most worthy recipient for this highest honour in Ontario. Her expertise, humanity and courage make her a formidable professional and an exceptional citizen of our province." - Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.

For the complete press release, please visit http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/news/2008/n20080410.shtml.