Annual Loop and Loop Jr. report release
This year marks the fourth year since the launch of Loop and one year since the launch of Loop Jr. The online platforms provide a variety of digital services to the Fall Prevention Community of Practice (CoP); Loop has been a key resource for practitioners, program planners, researchers, policy makers and others who have an interest and work in the area of fall prevention.
Each year the bilingual online communities of practice platforms are evaluated to better understand the participation of members and their needs. Over the last year the platforms saw a 26% growth in membership and increased engagement between members on discussion boards. See the details here.
Centre for Effective Practice and ONF collaborate to develop new concussion tool
Although 150,000 Ontario experience it, 1 in 2 Canadians have little or no knowledge about concussion. Concussion is complex but it is manageable in a primary care setting. This is why ONF, in partnership with the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP), developed the Diagnosing and Managing Concussion Tool.
Primary care providers can use this tool to diagnose and manage concussion in adult patients (18+). Divided into four sections, the tool includes steps for a tailored management and recovery plan with the patient and various resources for monitoring and follow-up visits.
Program Director, Judy Gargaro and Dr. David Greenberg led a podium presentation at the Ontario College of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly conference to promote use of the tool and other concussion resources. Lookout for the Winter 2020 issue of NeuroMatters where we will outline the development process and implementation strategy of the concussion tool!
ONF welcomes Shameeza Allard
Knowledge Coordinator – Prevention
Shameeza plays a key role in supporting the annual Fall Prevention Month campaign, and the Communities of Practice, Loop and Loop Junior within the Prevention program.
Shameeza is a health advocate with an educational background in Kinesiology and Public Health and a range of professional experiences in academia, government, and community organizations. She is passionate about advancing population health and creating supportive domains to improve the quality of health care.
ONF welcomes Gazal Kukreja
Program Coordinator – Acquired Brain Injury
As Program Coordinator for the Acquired Brain Injury program, Gazal is focused on improving the care of individuals who have sustained a brain injury through implementation projects that support the application of research to practice. She is also responsible for Stakeholder Engagement in collaboration with the Ontario Brain Injury Association, further developing the Brain Injury Speaks stakeholder engagement network for survivors of brain injury, their caregivers and family members.
Gazal’s educational background in Neurocognitive Rehabilitation and Kinesiology lends a unique skillset and perspective to this role. She has been active in a variety of community service initiatives and has presented to MPPs at Queen’s Park. As a mental health advocate and personal trainer, Gazal has a holistic approach to brain injury rehabilitation.
Rowan’s Law Day
The last Wednesday of September is designated as Rowan’s Law Day in honour of Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa who died from a condition known as second impact syndrome. Rowan is believed to have experienced three concussions over a six-day period while playing rugby. After her passing her father, Gordon Stringer, policy makers and stakeholders including ONF CEO, Kent Bassett-Spiers formed an Advisory Committee to establish legislature to regulate concussion protocol for children and youth in sport. Since the passing of the law, the committee has morphed into a Working Group that collaborates to guide the implementation of best-practice in concussion education.
This year several activities are taking place across Ontario in commemoration of Rowan’s legacy. Members of the Rowan’s Law Working Group joined Hon. Minister Lisa MacLeod in Ottawa where she announced a $105, 000 one-time investment to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to fund local concussion symposiums.
Stakeholders, health care practitioners and community leaders met at Sunnybrook for the second annual Rowan’s Law Day: Clinical and Community Concussion Update. Acquired Brain Injury Program Director, Judy Gargaro provided updates on the new Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion and other concussion management implementation activities.
New Living Pediatric Concussion Guideline receives provincial recognition
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) issued the first Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion earlier this fall and has seen significant uptake since its release. The guideline, targeted at healthcare providers, offers a series of recommendations to help children and adolescents get back to their everyday life.
This is the first ONF clinical practice guideline to be available in a fully digital version, ensuring it will be quickly available to those who can use it. Clinicians are provided with 22 tools and a broad range of recommendations in the 14 domains covered in the guideline. The new guideline replaces one originally published by ONF in 2014.
An expert panel facilitated and funded by ONF and led by Dr. Nick Reed (Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto and Adjunct Scientist, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital,) and Dr. Roger Zemek (Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute and Professor, University of Ottawa) included more than 50 experts in childhood and adolescent concussion from Canada and the United States. Expert panel members represented various clinical disciplines such as physicians, nurses, diagnosticians, rehabilitation specialists, etc.
Why a living guideline?
A living guideline is developed and maintained in an interactive digital format through a continual process of review, evaluation and revision by a group of clinical experts. The ONF Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion will be updated as research supporting change in clinical practice becomes available. Practically, this means the guideline or parts of it could be updated as often as every few months.
The release of the new living guideline garnered significant media attention between local and provincial news publications.