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NeuroMatters Fall 2020

Advancing amidst uncertainty

In Mid-March when we left the office, uncertain of the next time we would return. We had no idea by November we would be attending virtual conferences, summits, and stakeholder meetings, and yet we quickly adapted to a new normal to achieve the targeted milestones we set out to achieve.

It has been a busy fall for all three programs of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF). The Prevention Program supported another successful Fall Prevention Month campaign with this year’s theme, “Be Ready, Be Steady”. The campaign saw great reach and engagement with news media coverage and recognition from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam.

Our ABI team has led key stakeholder meetings to gain insight on the next steps of migration and update for the INESSS-ONF guideline for moderate-to-severe TBI and future updates of the newly released TBI Report Card. The guideline migration and update process is covered further in this issue. Our researcher profile highlights the work of Dr. Angela Colantonio, who has been a long-standing collaborator of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Her outstanding work in sex/gender related studies have placed Ontario on an international stage in TBI research.

In the spinal cord injury space, there has not been a dull moment; from conferences, to summits, to stakeholder meetings, we have engaged in extensive knowledge exchange with our network collaborators. In this issue you will find an update from the Ontario SCI Alliance meeting that took place in early October. You will also want to read the news updates which highlight recent publications from ONF funded researchers as well as a newly developed white paper from the North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (NASCIC) which looks at the potential impacts and risk of COVID-19 on the SCI community.

As 2020 draws to a close, I reflect on the past year and acknowledge how resilient the prevention, spinal cord and brain injury networks have been in responding to and navigating COVID-19 in the context of research, knowledge mobilization and implementation. The tenacity of our communities of researchers, clinicians, allied heath workers and program developers has proceeded in new knowledge products based on current evidence that will be brought to scale across Ontario to improve patient outcomes and reduce the impact of falls across the lifespan. The past year has been without question, a year of uncertainty; while our approach to work has shifted in many ways – the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation remains committed to its mission to prevent and reduce the prevalence fall-related injuries and improve the quality of care for individuals living with acquired brain and spinal cord injury. We have and will continue to work with the Ontario Ministry of Health to help prevent injuries and provide Ontarians with equitable access to the best care guided by evidenced-based research.

I want to extend gratitude to you, our stakeholders, partners and collaborators, who everyday help to advance this work in diverse capacities. I wish you a warm and safe holiday season.

Kent Bassett-Spiers
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