End Falls, This Fall Conference
In late September, Fall Prevention experts including ONF’s Fall Prevention Project Coordinator, Mariel Ang and health care providers from across the province gathered in Muskoka for the annual End Falls, This Fall conference. Hosted by the Simcoe Muskoka Integrated Fall Strategy, the conference was purposed to support the systematic approach to fall prevention efforts. Keynote speaker Dr. Al Salmoni established the conference theme “It takes a village to prevent a fall”, to drive the notion that we all have a role to play in fall prevention.
ONF was privileged to have a booth at the conference to share initiatives and resources related to Fall Prevention Month and the Loop platform. In the interest of collaboration and aligning efforts, ONF was able to bridge a connection with The Canadian Deprescribing Network, after an engaging presentation by Dr. Amanda Gardhouse on new Deprescribing initiatives around algorithms for medications that affect falls. ONF will be hosting a webinar on February 13, 2019 in partnership with the Canadian Deprescribing Network, “A Team Approach to Deprescribing and Preventing Medication Related to Falls” focusing on ways health care providers can play a role in deprescribing.
Dr. Jennifer Campos from Toronto Rehab presented their Challenging Environment Assessment Lab (CEAL) research that simulates everyday challenges. The ONF prevention team has partnered with researcher Tilak Dutta from CEAL’s Winter Lab on their work analyzing the risk of falls on ice; this study informed a webinar hosted by the Loop Fall Prevention CoP.
The End Falls, This Fall 2018 conference provided great insight into the continuum of fall prevention initiatives from research to implementation. ONF was a proud contributor and participant of the annual conference and looks forward to the knowledge sharing that continues to emerge from the partnerships sustained during these expert meetings.
More than 1,000 researchers, health care professionals and those living with neurotrauma from around the world gathered in Toronto to explore and share information about the most recent developments in the diagnosis, care and treatment for acquired brain and spinal cord injuries at Neurotrauma 2018. The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation through its partnership with the Rick Hansen Institute was a major sponsor and participant in this conference.
ONF Senior Program Director Acquired Brain Injury Corinne Kagan and SCI Program Director Tara Jeji along with Barry Munro (Chief Development Officer, Canadian Spinal Research Organization) participated in a panel discussion, sharing their perspectives on behalf of those who live with acquired brain and spinal cord injury.
International Federation on Ageing
The International Federation on Ageing Annual Conference brought more than 1,200 participants from around the world together in Toronto in August. While not a focus for the conference itself, falls, fall prevention and related topics could be found across the three-day program. The International Federation on Ageing is an international non-governmental organization with a membership that includes government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, industry, and individuals in 70 countries. The ONF Prevention efforts are aligned to two of the major IFA areas of work: Age- friendly Environments and Towards Health Ageing. The ONF was one of the collaborating organizations. Prevention Program Director Hélène Gagné and Program Co-ordinator Mariel Ang participated in a pre-conference workshop that reviewed integrated approaches to health and social services for older adults.
Forum on Spinal Cord Injury and Brain Regeneration
The University of Ottawa hosted a five-day event in October, for Brain Health Awareness Week that brought together researchers and others involved in or care about advances in neuroscience research and the treatment.
Presentations and panel discussions covered a wide range of brain health and spinal cord injury issues and were open to the public. “Bridging the Translational Divide: From Spinal Mechanisms to Potential New Therapeutic Approaches”, a panel discussion included ONF’s Dr. Tara Jeji as well as researcher Dr. Eve Tsai (featured in in the fall 2017 edition of NeuroMatters) discussed the latest developments in SCI and brain regeneration and specifically pain in spinal cord injury. “I call my presentation ‘Hope, Pain, Grit'” says Tara, who speaks from personal experience as well as her work as the SCI Program Director at ONF.
The annual meeting of the growing North American-wide conference, Working2Walk, centered around creating opportunities for input and advocacy on issues that matter to those living with spinal cord injury (SCI). Working2Walk seeks to find cures for paralysis, recognize the leadership and voice of those with SCI, identify ways to influence meaningful research and improve co-operation between organizations serving and supporting those with SCI. This year’s meeting was held in Vancouver in late October. The meeting was well attended with 200+ participants including ONF’s SCI Program Director Tara Jeji.. “The meeting truly delivered on the agenda,” says Tara. “The update on Spinal Cord Epidural Electrical Stimulation proved to be engaging and helpful in bringing out ideas and new directions.”
North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium
The North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (NASCIC) held its second annual meeting in Vancouver in late October, following the Working2Walk meetings. NASCIC founders initiated the discussion about the need for a consortium at an informal gathering two years ago. At its inaugural meeting last fall a formal governance structure and charter were approved with membership officially opening in January 2018. Barry Munro, founding member and Chief Development Officer of ONF (partner Canadian Spinal Research Organization, CSRO), has been re-elected as Treasurer.