Message from the CEO
At the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation we know that access and equity of care for those who live with neurotrauma also leads to better health outcomes and greater overall efficiencies in Ontario’s health care system.
Our efforts throughout the 2018/19 business year were focused on strengthening the link between health care providers, researchers, the Spinal Cord Injury and Acquired Brain Injury communities and our government funder to align with the goals of the province’s health care system with the health care needs of those living with SCI and ABI. And that made 2018/19 a particularly busy and successful year.
In Ontario as most other jurisdictions, falls are a leading cause of neurotrauma in older adults. “Towards an Integrated, Systems-Based Approach to Fall Prevention in Ontario: An Environmental Scan of Current Interventions and Recommendations for Action,” a report prepared by the ONF Prevention Program in the fall of 2018, provided the impetus for the formation of a province-wide collaborative to raise the profile of fall prevention and provide knowledge to support health system transition. Evidence indicates that preventing falls comes at a far cheaper cost to the health system than the acute, primary and rehabilitative care costs of a fall. For older adults, preventing falls also means the ability to live independently rather than in a care situation.
ONF is the Ontario leader in bringing research into practice for the SCI and ABI communities, and working to prevent neurotrauma through collaborative, province-wide efforts. Our implementation science approach allows us to support building capacity in order to bring model health care projects to scale.
In the case of SCI, the mobility clinic model established by the primary care Centre for Family Medicine in Waterloo received a boost from ONF and partner the Rick Hansen Institute to build a network of five more clinics across the province.
For those living with ABI, new Standards for Post-Concussion Care and revised guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury offer evidence-informed processes to support health care providers working with these individuals.
At ONF we credit a large part of our success to our dedication to identifying and building strong long-term partnerships. An example from the past year was the establishment of the SCI Implementation, Evaluation and Quality Care Consortium. The Consortium emerged from complementary streams of work funded and supported by ONF: the SCI Knowledge Management Network and SCI High. The Consortium has as a goal to ensure implementation science principles guide improvements in health care and rehabilitation for people living with SCI in Ontario. Like the fall prevention Collaborative, these improvements are aligned in support of health system transformation.
ONF has establish Ontario’s leadership in bringing research into practice through the many guidelines and standards it develops and releases, particularly with respect to concussion diagnosis, treatment and care. It is not good enough to simply develop guidelines and hope they will be used by someone, somewhere in the province. ONF understands the importance of sound and ongoing support to implementation.
The ONF ABI program ONF partnered with Health Quality Ontario to create a new “living guidelines” approach which will be launched in the fall of 2019 with the release of the newest version of the evidence-informed ONF Pediatric Concussion Guidelines. Not only will implementation be supported but it will now be possible to more effectively and regularly update existing guidelines and standards.
Our achievements in 2018/19 are built on our successes over the past 20 years: paying attention to the needs by engaging those living with neurotrauma; supporting research that can be effectively moved into practice; investing in the development of models of care that can be brought to scale; and a commitment to ensure Ontario’s leadership in neurotrauma care is rooted in sound evidence and aligned to health system change.
We are very appreciative of our many partners and the provincial government for recognizing and funding ONF. We look forward to the successful completion of the final year of our current three-year plan in 2019/20.
CEO, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
Message from the Chair
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation had its Annual General Meeting June 25, its 20th such meeting. As would be expected, the members reviewed and approved the audited financial statements and discussed the achievements of the year that ended March 31, 2019. That means the meeting was like most other AGMs happening around this time of the year. But there is one thing that stands out, consistently, year-over-year from that discussion – the strong, recognized leadership of ONF in addressing neurotrauma in Ontario.
ONF is not a care provider, nor is it an organization that focuses on basic research. Rather, ONF leads the ongoing effort to understand effective neurotrauma care and treatment by supporting those who conduct research that includes input from health care providers and people living with neurotrauma. And what makes these efforts remarkable is the ONF ability to apply implementation science to move research into practice through guidelines, standards and care processes across the province.
In 2018/19 ONF moved forward a significant number of projects including the release of updated treatment guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Standards for Post-Concussion Care, support for the launch of a fully accessible primary care clinic with a focus on SCI patients, and leading in the establishment of a Collaborative to champion fall prevention strategies across the province. In each case, the outcomes of the ONF implementation effort support the government goal to transform Ontario’s health system. Most important is the ONF focus on listening to those living with neurotrauma. With more than 20 years of experience, ONF understands that health outcomes are improved when input from this community become part of the solution.
ONF does not accomplish its work in isolation. ONF has built a wide network of partners who support, contribute to and further the efforts led by the Foundation. The newly established Spinal Cord Injury Implementation, Evaluation and Quality Care Consortium is an example of ONF leadership and our ability to draw leaders from across the health care and research spectrum.
ONF also thanks it dedicated internal staff who, day after day, work tirelessly to ensure that our mission and vision moves forward. They perform at a high level of professionalism in whatever they are doing and our results are proof of the efforts that they put in.
We also would like to thank our Board of Directors, who volunteer their time. Their strong sense of governance and leadership help the organization to achieve its goals.
We are grateful for the resources provided by the provincial government to support ONF and are pleased to say that two years into our current three-year funding cycle ONF is on target both financially and programmatically. We anticipate meeting the three-year plan goals by the end of this cycle.
And finally, ONF continues to be grateful for the partners aligned with the spirit of the Mission and Vision of the Foundation including the Ontario Brain Injury Association, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and the Rick Hansen Institute. Thank you.
Lloyd M. Mogul
Interim Chair and Treasurer