[No abstract available for this article.] Health Canada recently announced that a contract has been awarded to supply a new computerized system to strengthen the way Health Canada monitors adverse reactions to health products. The new system will give Health Canada greater capability to detect potential safety issues and analyze data than the current Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Information System (CADRIS). In addition to being able to monitor adverse reactions over the entire life cycle of a product - an option not available under CADRIS - the new system will also have the capacity to offer electronic reporting by all manufacturers in the future, which will significantly improve the efficiency of processing these reports.

ArisGlobal LLC has been awarded the contract and is currently configuring its software to meet the Government of Canada's requirements. The system is expected to be operational by October 2007.

BC Attractive to Physicians
British Columbia attracted more doctors from within Canada and from abroad than any other province last year. According to a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), 113 physicians moved to BC from other provinces in 2005. British Columbia also had a net increase of 35 doctors from other countries.

Alberta Government Investing in Child Health
The Alberta government has committed more than $30 million in funding for seven new programs that will help put children and youth on a path to lifelong health. These initiatives include a screening program to detect conditions in newborns, programs to promote healthy weights and an award for healthy school communities.

Manitoba to Enhance Patient Safety
Manitoba is introducing legislation to enhance patient safety by allowing improved investigation of critical incidents. The Regional Health Authorities Amendment and Manitoba Evidence Amendment Act will require by law that regional health authorities, healthcare facilities and other healthcare organizations report critical incidents that can occur when patients receive healthcare services.

The legislation will apply to regional health authorities, hospitals, personal-care homes, all licensed land and air ambulances, the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, CancerCare Manitoba and Diagnostic Services Manitoba.

BC Health Officer Promotes Healthier Lifestyles Now to Reduce Future Healthcare Costs
In British Columbia, the Provincial Health Officer's 2005 annual report made a strong case for the province's commitment to a healthier, fitter population as the best way to reduce future healthcare costs and provide British Columbians with the benefits that a safe, nutritious diet can bring to their lives.

The report contains a number of recommendations, which include:

  1. Promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools
  2. Replacing unhealthy food and drinks in schools with healthy food and drinks
  3. Making physical activity mandatory up to grade 12
  4. Encouraging employers to support baby-friendly practices and provide appropriate places for mothers to breastfeed
  5. Committing government to development of a healthy eating and food security strategy
  6. Adjusting income supports to reflect the actual costs of healthy eating
  7. Investing in chronic disease prevention and management
  8. Improving housing conditions and economic and educational opportunities for Aboriginal people
  9. Promoting community planning that encourages physical activity
  10. Buying locally and supporting the local food industry.
  11. Implementing even more effective surveillance systems to detect food hazards and emerging trends and diseases
  12. Continuing to support community kitchens, community gardens and farmers' markets
  13. Maintaining policy to protect agricultural land
  14. Regulating and monitoring food industry marketing approaches more closely
  15. Labelling all genetically altered food to provide consumers with choices

The full report can be downloaded or read online at www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/pho/.

$50 Million Donation for Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital
Businessmen and philanthropists Joseph and Wolf Lebovic recently made a $50 million gift to Mount Sinai Hospital - the largest hospital donation in Canadian history. The money will be used in part to help fund the Hospital's share of a major capital redevelopment program currently being planned in partnership with the province, with the initial support of an $8 million planning and design grant. The first phase of this plan is the renewal and expansion of the world-class Women's and Infants' Health Centre of Excellence.

New International Collaboration
Toronto's SickKids Foundation has received a $2 million gift from Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, establishing the Schwartz-Reisman SickKids Exchange Program with Israel and marking a partnership that will enhance clinical and scientific exchange internationally. This partnership expands the participation of paediatric specialists from Israel training at The Hospital for Sick Children each year. Further training and development opportunities will be enhanced through sabbaticals for visiting Israeli faculty who had been fellows and visits to Israel by SickKids physicians and scientists.

New Degree Program in Regina
The University of Regina recently announced a new Bachelor of Health Studies degree offered in partnership with the faculties of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Arts, and the First Nations University of Canada - the first degree of its kind in Western Canada. It aims to provide students with an integrated understanding of the ways in which social, economic and cultural determinants of health shape individual beliefs, attitudes and practices, and how these affect the functioning of individuals.

Saskatchewan Introduces Recruitment Programs
Saskatchewan Health Minister Len Taylor recently unveiled four innovative initiatives aimed at attracting health professionals to Saskatchewan: HealthCareersinSask.ca (a provincial recruitment agency); the Saskatchewan Relocation Program; the Saskatchewan Rural, Northern and Hard-to-Recruit Program; and an expansion of clinical placement capacity.

HealthCareersinSask.ca is a no-fee healthcare recruitment website connecting health professionals with career opportunities in regional health authorities and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

The other initiatives flow from the $25 million retention and recruitment plan announced in September, and will support the provincial recruitment agency and the health regions in their recruitment efforts. Through the Saskatchewan Relocation Program and the Rural, Northern and Hard-to-Recruit Program, the government has set a target of hiring 600 new health employees to fill vacancies over the next two years - approximately 400 nurses and 200 employees from the broader health workforce. The cost for these two programs is estimated at $6 million over the next two years.

Health Canada Invests in Heart Health Strategy
Health Canada also recently announced that work will begin on the development of a new Heart Health Strategy to fight heart disease in Canada. The government announced its intention to invest $3.2 million this fiscal year to support the development of Canada's new Heart Health Strategy, and initial work on addressing hypertension and cardiovascular disease surveillance. This funding will increase to $5.2 million annually for future years. Proposals for a new strategy will be developed and presented to the Minister by a steering committee of 20 to 30 expert members, chaired by respected cardiologist Dr. Eldon Smith. Dr. Smith is currently President and Director of the Peter Lougheed Medical Research Foundation, a national initiative to support excellence in health research in Canada. In November 2008, the committee will report back to the Minister with recommendations and options for a comprehensive Heart Health Strategy.

Saskatchewan to Introduce New Province-wide Radiology System
Saskatchewan Health has announced a new radiology information system that will improve diagnostic imaging services and make diagnostic images and results available electronically to healthcare providers across the province. The Radiology Information System will link with existing hospital information systems to coordinate patient information, including X-ray, CT scan and MRI results. The multi-year project will result in a system capable of storage and digital imaging studies, and will allow health providers secure access to them throughout the province. The system will schedule patients for diagnostic imaging services, improve the utilization of diagnostic staff and equipment, and eventually link with a diagnostic imaging wait-list registry in Saskatchewan.

New Addictions Treatment Centre
In Newfoundland, a new Provincial Addictions Treatment Centre in Corner Brook will provide an enhanced treatment program, including a non-medical detox program that will provide seamless transfer from detox to treatment and will incorporate clients who are in the latter stages of detox, promoting better opportunity for rehabilitation. The physical structure of the new facility will incorporate modern and more private accommodations and will include areas for fitness, recreation, dining and group therapy. Additionally, the facility will provide office and counselling space for the 13 addictions counsellors responsible for the outpatient program in Corner Brook.

Yukon Government Signs Agreement with Capital Health to Improve Care
The Yukon Ministry of Health and Social Services recently announced an agreement in principle with Alberta's Capital Health to provide assistance to Yukon patients referred to Edmonton for medical care. The agreements will have staff in each of the three health regions follow up with Yukon patients to ensure that health services are coordinated and that supports are in place for Yukon residents who may not be familiar with the community. In addition, navigators will be able to work with Yukon healthcare providers to ensure that discharge planning and follow-up treatments are available. Staff from the regions will visit Yukon to learn about the healthcare system and get general knowledge on community profiles.

Capital Health is also providing specialized services to residents of both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The care team consists of a Medical Director, Patient Care Director and four Registered Nurses, all with experience working and living in the North, to provide support to northern patients while they are in Edmonton for medical care.

Ontario Creates Nurse Practitioner Clinic
The Ontario government is improving access to health services in northeastern Ontario by investing over $1 million to establish a nurse practitioner primary healthcare clinic. The clinic, which will have up to six nurse practitioners, will have three sites - in Sudbury, Chapleau and Dowling. Working in collaboration with family doctors and other health professionals in the area, the nurse practitioners will provide comprehensive care to about 5,000 patients in the region who do not have a family doctor.


Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Appoints Dr. Jeanette Ward As New CEO
Chair of the board of trustees for the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Sister Elizabeth M. Davis, announced the appointment of Dr. Jeanette Ward as chief executive officer, effective April 2, 2007. Dr. Ward is qualified as a medical doctor with graduate qualifications in adult education and a doctorate in behavioural sciences. As a researcher for much of her career she has published 170 articles to date in academic journals, many of which evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches to knowledge transfer and exchange - a core business of the foundation. As the director of the Division of Population Health for the South Western Sydney Area Health Service in Australia from 2001 to 2005, she managed more than 200 staff and rapidly implemented a division-wide commitment to what has always been the foundation's overriding mission - evidence-informed decision-making.

Dr. Ward came to Canada from her native Australia as the director of the University of Ottawa's Institute of Population Health, where she quickly won appointment into a prestigious Canada Research Chair in Policy Implementation in Population Health. While at the University of Ottawa she developed effective networks, including participation on national peer review panels for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. She is also on the board of the Canadian Public Health Association. More information on the foundation and Dr. Ward's detailed resume are available on the foundation's web site at www.chsrf.ca.

Dr. Sue Matthews has joined VON Canada as National Executive Director, Disease Management and Chief of Practice for Ontario. In this role, Dr. Matthews will be responsible for developing the strategy and overall directions for several of VON's new growth initiatives. She will be leading a team involved in developing Chronic Disease Management programs and building a series of programs that will allow VON to provide more services that help Canadians with Chronic Diseases.. Dr. Matthews is an experienced Nursing Leader having held a variety of positions as a staff nurse, nurse educator, manager, director of inpatient programs, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice, and most recently as Provincial Chief Nursing Officer for Ontario

St. Michael's Hospital recently announced the appointment of CEO Jeff Lozon as chair of a new not-for-profit organization established by the federal government to equalize cancer care and treatment across the nation. Known as the Canadian Partnership against Cancer, the arms-length organization will report to the federal Health Ministry and implement the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The group will have a $260-million, five-year budget to tackle inequities in care received by cancer patients in the country.

The Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation announced that Maria Barrados, President of the Public Service Commission of Canada, has been appointed chair of its 20-member Board of Directors. Barrados is well-known for her leadership, energy and professionalism in the Public Service.

Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the national association representing more than 50 research-based pharmaceutical companies in Canada, has appointed Philip Blake, President and CEO of Bayer Inc., as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Michel Bilodeau, a seasoned healthcare professional in the Canadian healthcare landscape, took over the helm as the third CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) on November 20, 2006. Mr. Bilodeau replaced Garry Cardiff, who retired after almost 20 years of service to the organization.

Dr. Lyall Higginson, from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, has been appointed the new president of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS). The CCS represents more than 1,500 professionals in the cardiovascular field. Its mission is to promote cardiovascular health and care through knowledge translation, the dissemination of research, encouragement of best practices, professional development and leadership in health policy.

Kevin Empey, Executive Vice-President of Clinical Support and Corporate Services at University Health Network (UHN), received the Hospital Leadership Award at the Who's Who in Healthcare Awards on October 23, 2006. Mr. Empey was congratulated for keeping a $1.2 billion organization within a balanced budget and for his successful creation of UHN's warehouse/logistics company to streamline purchasing and reduce storage costs at the hospital

Linda Moxey has been appointed Vice-President, Customer Care with Syneron Medical Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of medical aesthetic devices.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has appointed Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos as the new Director of the Research Institute of the MUHC. Dr. Papadopoulos has an international reputation as a scientist and a proven track record of leadership in biomedical research and administration.

The Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) is opening its first satellite office, in Edmonton, Alberta. The opening of this new office is key to strengthening the connection with northern and western Canadian clients and keeping a pulse on key regional and provincial healthcare developments. The Edmonton office will be led by Donna Hutton, a healthcare professional who has been a surveyor for CCHSA since 1992. Prior to starting her own healthcare consulting company, Hutton and Associates, Ms. Hutton was Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information has named Michael Barron as its new Chief Executive Officer. A native Newfoundlander, Mr. Barron holds a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a Master of Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Mr. Barron has 23 years experience in health information management, the last six years as the Director, Health Information Network at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, and previously as Director of Information Systems for the General Hospital Corporation in St. John's.

The Board of Directors of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Group Health Association has announced the appointment of Graham Clark to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Group Health Association, effective November 1, 2006. Mr. Clark comes to GHA from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, where he has both managed and consulted for the Health Reform Implementation Team. He has also held a variety of positions at hospitals throughout Ontario, including Executive Director of Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, Ontario.

Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), recently announced the appointment of Dr. Jane Aubin as incoming Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). This appointment is effective January 1, 2007. Dr. Aubin is Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where she directs the bone program at the Centre for Modeling Human Disease. She is also currently Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence, a national not-for-profit research consortium.