On September 29, 2011, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced the funding for the final research projects of Canada’s first-ever National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions. This national study will provide valuable information about Canadians living with conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, in nursing homes or receiving care in the community; the effects of neurological conditions on the lives of individuals and families; and the ability of health, social and community services to support them.
“We believe this study is an essential first step in developing a national approach to brain conditions – one that will leverage the enabling role of government, the action capacity of the corporate sector, and the critical support of our community and not-for-profit sectors to address the priority needs of Canadians,” says Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada President & CEO and Chair of Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC). Seventeen of the 18 research projects will include the study of Parkinson’s, providing the Parkinson’s community with crucial information to shape future policy decision-making.
Funding for the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions totals $15 million and is managed by Neurological Health Charities Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
For more information on the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, visit http://www.mybrainmatters.ca/.
(If you are interested in participating in the LINC study, a component of the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, see Studies seeking participants.)
Successful advocacy day on Parliament Hill
Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) had a successful advocacy day on Parliament Hill, in late September, holding individual meetings with more than 30 Members of Parliament and the Senate to raise awareness of ways to improve the lives of the 5.5 million Canadians living with chronic neurological conditions. Discussions centred on income security for individuals and families living with neurological conditions, measures to prevent genetic discrimination, access to care and additional support for caregivers.
Parkinson Society Canada participants included Debbie Davis, CEO of Parkinson Society Central Northern Ontario, Dennise Taylor-Gilhen, Executive Director of Parkinson Society Ottawa and Sprague Plato, a member of the Ontario Advocacy Committee.
The group specifically requested that the government resume the work of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Neurological Diseases whose report was delayed when the federal election was called in spring 2011. The request was granted. The Standing Committee on Health (HESA) has confirmed that it will take over the work of the Subcommittee beginning in December 2011. This is a huge win for both NHCC and Parkinson Society Canada.