XX in Health – Canadian Women Changing Health

Our first annual list of Canadian Women Changing Healthcare brings the spotlight on women who are changing the face of healthcare yet don’t get the recognition CEO’s do. We’re doing this to support XX in Health Week 2013, an initiative that focuses attention on the lack of female representation at decision-making levels.

Working with limited resources other than the sheer force of personal will, a finely tuned sense for innovation, persuasion and unlimited enthusiasm for their mission, they transform health. It’s a profound lesson in leadership, demonstrating the courage required when risking so much of your heart for your cause.

Despite the risks, they build movements, change systems, and galvanize the spirits of those in pain and suffering. These leaders leverage the power of empathy, by acknowledging the suffering, embracing and respecting it.

I’ve been privileged to have met and learned about the work of many of these changemakers. You’ll find women who have created advocacy initiatives, changed how young healthcare professionals are being taught, built new channels for patient communication, provoked a new discourse about dying, exposed ugly truths of the lived illness experience, expressed their voice through the arts, and led expeditions 300 km north of the Arctic circle as an [...] continue the story

A Picture of Health

In 2007 a team of photographers went across Canada to document the health care delivery experience of marginalized, remote and vulnerable populations.

Their cameras uncovered the stories of “invisible minorities” – people who have barriers to health care either due to where they live or how they live. They are found on the fringes of civilization. They are living among us in the inner city. They suffer from unseen illness or systemic social barriers. These photo essays give us all an exclusive look into an experience that is very Canadian, but foreign to most of us.

The Frontline Health collection is presented in collaboration with the Canadian Public Health Association. See the first 7 photo essays from the selections below. New stories will be released every month over the next year.

 

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More Frontline Health Stories

Suddenly, Cancer is the funniest joke in NYC

So who says you can’t laugh at Cancer?

This past week, the audio recording of Tig Notaro’s comedy stand-up routine about her breast cancer diagnosis last summer turned up on Louis CK’s site for a $5 download. Here’s an excerpt of Louis’ reaction: The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there. Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying “wow. Right?”. She proved that everything is funny. And has to be. And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example. So generous.

Now New York City is about to turn Cancer into the funniest joke in town. First off-Broadway and then Columbia University will celebrate the art of laughing at cancer.

On October 19, the 2011 Canadian Comedy Award winner for Best One Person Show headlines the prestigious United Solo Theatre Festival just off-Broadway. Daniel Stolfi turns his tussle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 25 into a tour de force of dramatizations, characterizations, humiliations and exhilarations. He takes [...] continue the story

When Nurses Grieve

By Christine Jonas-Simpson June 27th, 2012

I watched the tears drop from my nurses’ eyes as they gently took my blood and when they hugged me goodbye at the end of their shifts. My sweet curly red-haired son died and was born still after his cord knotted when I was 37 and a half weeks pregnant – he was nearly 6 pounds. My nurses and family remained by my side, the specialist who induced me followed up on his day off and my family doctors cried with me at home.

I was deeply moved and comforted by my caregivers’ expressions of grief. While I was living my worst nightmare I could not help but wonder what it was like for my healthcare colleagues to grieve and bear witness to our devastating loss. As a nurse I experienced grief of my own patients as well as identified with their families’ losses – these moments transformed me.

When my son died in 2001, I could not find research on nurses’ experiences of grieving when a baby dies and how this changed them. Healthcare professional grief was and continues to be hidden and not often discussed. Given I was a nurse and a researcher, I decided [...] continue the story

Disability Horizons – A Dynamic Duo

If you love socialising, travel or adventure; then this is definitely for you!

In November 2010, two disabled guys from London, on a roadtrip in California, dreamt up a huge project they wanted to bring to the world. Imagine two lifelong friends, two electric wheelchairs, two Personal Care Assistants, a hoist and an accessible car stirring up a big cocktail of imagination and innovation, during a dream adventure.

This idea was to start an online disability lifestyle magazine like no other…

After months of working hard to turn the vision into a reality; Martyn Sibley and Srin Madipalli launched www.disabilityhorizons.com. Disability Horizons pioneers an innovative 21st century approach to disability by empowering an aspirational community to provide and share content that informs, inspires and entertains.

The Disability Horizons community is already 20,000 strong. Their readers write the articles, share their wealth of disability knowledge and progress towards their individual dreams together. Articles include personal stories on employment, sport, travel and relationships. The guys share many of their own daring escapades and have regular article contributions from high profile organisations, service providers, politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs and various opinion formers that have the power to shape and change lives.

There is a page for readers to pose [...] continue the story

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