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CNA and YMCA Canada team up to learn what Canadians need from health care – News Release

Ottawa, Friday, November 4, 2011 – The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and YMCA Canada launched a series of public roundtables with kickoff events in Calgary and Toronto to give Canadians an opportunity to share their thoughts about the country’s health-care system and how it can meet their needs. The insights shared through these sessions will help inform CNA’s National Expert Commission, a nationwide consultation and research project currently exploring health-care transformation.

“Every Canadian deserves accessible, quality health care, so it is critical they be consulted when the system is to undergo significant reform,” said Judith Shamian, CNA president. “By teaming up with YMCA, CNA and the National Expert Commission are going right to the heart of communities throughout the country to learn what Canadians need from the health-care system.”

The Commission, which has a mandate to consult the public, was created to examine health-care transformation before the health-care accord expires in 2014. It is the first undertaking of its kind in the country led by nurses. Directly involved with patients, families and communities, Canada’s 266,000 registered nurses provide care across all levels of the system and work in administrative, research, policy and education roles. Therefore, they have invaluable knowledge and insights to help improve the nation’s health. The Commission will consult with a wide range of Canadians, including government representatives, health administrators and unions, economists, professionals and the general public.

“It’s in all our best interests to ensure a public debate about our health care and it’s up to all of us to participate,” said Commission co-chair Maureen McTeer. “Decisions about our health are made every day in offices far removed from the walk-in clinics, community health centres or emergency departments that Canadians rely on for their care. The Commission and Canada’s nurses will make sure Canadians’ voices are part of the debate.”

Led by the public consultation specialists at Mass LBP, groups of 20 to 25 Canadians will convene to explore a number of pressing questions including:

  1. What are the most pressing health challenges facing Canadians today?
  2. What do we need from nurses, other health professionals, governments and the public to address the challenges we’re facing?
  3. What can nurses do to have the greatest impact on the health outcomes of all Canadians?
  4. If you could make one change to improve the health of Canadians, what would it be?

“This initiative builds on the YMCA’s 160-year legacy of health promotion in Canada,” said Ida Thomas, YMCA Canada. “With 70 per cent of Canadians living in communities served by YMCAs, we are uniquely positioned to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds. By learning about the public’s priorities for health care today, we can ensure that every individual, every family, and every community in Canada will have access to the essentials needed to thrive in the future.”

Between now and the end of November, consultation events will take place at YMCA locations across the country with stops in P.E.I., Dartmouth, Moncton, Hamilton, Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver and more. For more information, visit http://expertcommission.cna-aiic.ca.

Insights collected from the public consultations will be included in the Commission’s final report. In addition to national input, the report will draw from the analysis and synthesis of existing published research as well as innovations and success stories from across the health and social systems. In June 2012, the Commission will present its final report with practical, evidence-driven recommendations that will contribute to better health, better care and better value for Canadians.

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 143,843 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

The YMCA is one of Canada’s oldest, largest and most recognizable charitable organizations. The YMCA a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community. Dedicated to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility, the YMCA ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive. Rooted in more than 1,000 communities around the country, the YMCA is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, secure and connected children, youth, families and communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca
Website: www.cna-aiic.ca

Angela de Burger, Manager, Communications
YMCA Canada
Direct: 416-645-5977
E-mail: angela_deburger@ymca.ca
Website: www.ymca.ca