Who Needs to be Transparent?


There is much discussion around the need for transparency in the healthcare sector, with patient advocacy groups being a strong voice in this discussion. However, what about their own transparency?

“Pharmaceutical companies gave at least $116 million to patient advocacy groups in a single year, reveals a new database logging 12,000 donations from large publicly traded drugmakers to such organizations….

The database, called “Pre$cription for Power,” shows that donations to patient advocacy groups tallied for 2015 — the most recent full year in which documents required by the Internal Revenue Service were available — dwarfed the total amount the companies spent on federal lobbying. The 14 companies that contributed $116 million to patient advocacy groups reported only about $63 million in lobbying activities that same year.

Click here to read the full article.

Paramedic and Seniors on the Move

When an on-duty paramedic walks into a building, it is typically to provide medical care and services to someone. However, when the paramedic is Adam Loria and the facility is the Whitehorn Village, something else may be occurring.

Click here to read the full story.

Out in the Streets

Dr. Jeff Turnbull gets a hug from Shelley, a client, after she gave him a Christmas card, at the Temporary Enhanced Shelter Program at the Shepherds of Good Hope in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (Photograph by Justin Tang)


Have you heard of Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull? If not, reading the following will give you a sense of who he is and the important work he is doing.

“At 9:30 a.m. on a bitingly cold early-winter morning, Jeffrey Turnbull is preparing to head out on rounds. From a second-floor window in the ramshackle offices of Ottawa Inner City Health, the Peace Tower is visible in the distance, but Turnbull gestures out over the nearer, nondescript rooftops of Lowertown, describing the long-established homeless shelters there—and the new supervised injection clinic—that he’s about to visit.

A few minutes later, he’s parking his SUV outside the Shepherds of Good Hope, a shelter and soup kitchen, leading a small team that includes a mental health nurse into what they just call “the trailer.” It’s a former construction trailer set up recently behind “the Sheps,” fitted out as a cramped but orderly space where drug addicts can inject themselves with health care workers standing by.

Even on this weekday morning, it’s busy. About 130 addicts used the trailer the previous day. Turnbull has a brief meeting with staff there, then strides next door to a clinic for homeless women…” Click here to read the full article from the Macleans.ca.

Health Canada Is Seeking Your Input

Health Canada is modernizing its approach to disclosing clinical information on drugs and medical devices to support advances in medical science and help improve patient care. Today, Health Canada published draft regulations in Canada Gazette l that propose to make clinical information in drug and medical device submissions publicly available after the Department has completed its regulatory review process.

Click here to continue reading.

What is empathy?


The paramedics who were driving a dying woman to the hospital took a detour, and in so doing fulfilled her final wish.

“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”

Click here to read this heartwarming story.

Connecting Through Conversation

For many individuals, their goal is quality of life rather than medically extended longevity.  This is especially true for frail seniors.  Unfortunately, there can be a disconnect between what the senior desires, the actions taken and ultimately the healthcare provided.  As a means of addressing this disconnect, a new study is being conducted in Canada that aims to evaluate ways to improve care planning conversations.  As Dr. John You, project lead for the project states, “Advance care planning can have a significant impact on the patient experience and the family experience….They deserve to have their voices heard.”​  Click here to read more about this study.

Over-the-counter meds are no problem, right?

Do you know the side effects of acetaminophen – Tylenol? What about the side effects of Aspirin?

Many of us take over-the-counter medication on a regular basis. Due in part to the fact that these medications are available without prescription and are taken so freely and frequently, it is not uncommon for their side effects to be ignored and/or indeed unknown to us. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge can have serious consequences. For example, in a 2006 FDA report, approximately 46,000 emergency room visits/year were related to acetaminophen overdoses.

In a recent online article found on huffingtonpost.ca, some popular medications and their side effects are identified. If you have not already read it, you may wish to do so. As Stephanie Hallett, the article’s author states, “Potentially serious side effects for popular medications are more common than you may think.”

The Cost of Speaking Up?


Oft times, patients and families are hesitant to express their complaints and concerns relating to a particular care facility. The source of this hesitation can be from a deep sense of fear – the fear of retaliation. While in most cases no negative repercussions result when a complaint or concern is raised, such is not the case in a long-term care facility in Ontario, Canada.

According to a retired hospital nurse and daughter of a resident at the care facility, she is no longer able to stay in her mother’s room while her mother is being cared for by the staff. The reason for this restriction is because of the complaints the daughter made about the substandard care and dangerous hygiene practices she witnessed. “You complain and this is the price you pay.” What does this say about the facility’s view of family presence?

Click here to read the full story.

The Health of All

Is there a connection between time spent in nature and one’s health and wellbeing? According to many people, spending time outdoors, whether that be sitting quietly bird watching or walking in a park, has a positive effect on how they feel mentally, emotionally and physically.

If spending time in nature is something you would like to do more of this summer, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is currently seeking volunteers.

We invite Canadians of all ages to join us in caring for Canada’s natural places. People can help monitor migratory birds, conduct butterfly surveys, protect nesting habitat for turtles, plant native trees and flowers, build or enhance trails and boardwalks, conduct shoreline cleanups, remove invasive species, build nest boxes and more. Everyone can play an important role in caring for the environment by signing up for one of our Conservation Volunteers events, and by encouraging their friends, family and co-workers to join them in volunteering for nature.

Volunteering for NCC is not only a way to benefit your own health but nature’s health as well. Click here to find out more.