Ottawa, Ontario – September 6, 2018 – The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), in partnership with the CMA Foundation, is thrilled to announce the 14 recipients of the inaugural Healthy Canadians Grants, a program designed to support grassroots health-related initiatives across the country. This year's recipients are all delivering programs and services to improve seniors' wellness in Canada, one of the CMA's key priorities.
"Whether they're delivering healthy meals or helping reduce isolation and loneliness, these local initiatives are true examples of what we need to do to help improve the lives of our seniors. The CMA, in collaboration with the CMA Foundation, is thrilled to play a role in supporting these services," says Dr. Gigi Osler, CMA president.
The 2018 Healthy Canadians Grants recipients are:
- DIVERSEcity: DIVERSEcity's mission is to strengthen and build diverse communities. They will use their grant to create an intergenerational cooking program where newcomer seniors will run community kitchens for other newcomer seniors and youth to help teach them about healthy and low-cost meal preparation in their language of origin.
- Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House: Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House plays a leadership role in building healthy and engaged neighbourhoods, connecting people and strengthening their capacity to create change. The grant will be used to establish a small social enterprise where seniors who need extra income will be employed to prepare soups that will be delivered to other seniors who lack the resources to shop for and prepare their own nutritious meals.
- Pilgrims Hospice Society: Pilgrims Hospice Society offers compassionate care for individuals living with a terminal illness, enhancing dignity and quality of life, until the end of life. They will use their grant to support seniors with dementia through social events, pet therapy and art projects, while also providing additional support to caregivers. Extra training in dementia care is also being provided to staff and volunteers.
- SPEC Association: An organization that promotes community inclusiveness and support is partnering with their local arts council for this program. The grant will be focused on senior citizen involvement through healthy movement and exploration of art expression to reduce isolation and improve quality of life.
- Saskatoon Council on Aging Inc.: A community-based organization, they promote positive aging for seniors in Saskatoon. Their program, Saskatchewan Globe Walkers, encourages seniors to join teams that track their physical activity, with half an hour of exercise equalling one mile. The teams motivate one another to see how many times they can walk around the globe — on paper — and keep each other active and social throughout the winter months.
- St. James Assiniboia 55+ Centre: A centre that offers educational, recreational and health programs to Canadians aged 55 or older, they will use the grant to provide dental services to seniors who are otherwise unable to access them, in conjunction with University of Manitoba Dental Students and Deer Lodge Mobile Dental Clinic.
- St. Paul's United Church: St. Paul's United Church in Stirling, Ontario, will use the funds to expand their Daybreak program which offers services and activities to seniors and caregivers every Friday throughout the year. Programming focuses on therapeutic cognitive activities and connections with the local community, such as guest speakers and student volunteers. Daybreak is run by volunteer seniors who like making a difference in their communities.
- West Niagara Palliative Care Services: Accessible transportation is important for seniors to maintain a high quality of life. This program is filling a void in its small rural community, with no public transit, though a partnership with Driving Miss Daisy. Seniors can use this accessible transportation service, free of charge, to bring them to drop-in and bereavement programs, and medical appointments.
- Parrainage Civique de Vaudreuil-Soulanges: With the goal of improving quality of life for seniors in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, funds will be put towards special outings into the city and participation in art therapy classes, with services being offered in both official languages.
- Kennebecasis Valley Oasis Youth Centre: Connecting youth and seniors, the grant will be used for the Generations Walking Together Project, which pairs younger people with seniors for short walks using walking poles to provide seniors with the benefits of exercise, social interaction and sharing of knowledge and life experience.
- St. John Ambulance Council for Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island: Providing training and community services, St. John Ambulance enables Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life. Their grant will be used towards recruiting, developing and placing new therapy dog teams that provide engagement in long-term care facilities.
- Ocean View Continuing Care Centre: Using innovative technology, this organization lets residents ride a stationary bike through familiar streets with familiar sights throughout the world from the comfort of the centre itself. The grant will be used to purchase this technology and high school students will volunteer once a week to use this technology with residents and help create an inter-generational conversation.
- St. Ann's Bay Community Health Group: Isolation can be difficult for seniors – this grant will be used to create a citizen check-in system to ensure elders are not socially isolated and are safe in their homes. Seniors can also participate in the time-banking portion of this program which allows seniors to receive one hour of service for each hour they volunteer. These hours can also be donated to another senior in need.
- Sercovie: The recipient of this year's CMA President's Grant, Sercovie promotes healthy living and quality of life for Canadians aged 50 and over. Their grant will be used towards purchasing specialized equipment to prepare and deliver healthy meals to seniors in their community.
More information about the Healthy Canadians Grants program is available online.