Monday, November 19, 2012

Canadian Health Magazine and BestLifeRewarded Announce Collaboration to Incentivize Canadians to Get Engaged in Healthy Activities

TORONTO, November 19, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - BestLifeRewarded® and Canadian Health magazine are pleased to announce their collaboration to drive engagement in healthy living by rewarding Canadians for reading, rating and sharing Canadian Health magazine articles on

Canadian Health magazine is published by CMA Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association and has a mandate to provide Canadians with useful health and wellness information. This includes health promotion, disease prevention and disease management to assist Canadians with taking better care of their own health care needs. is an innovative wellness incentive program providing Canadians with the opportunity to earn rewards for engaging in healthy activities. It is the first program to address wellness while "incentivizing" people to take small steps toward healthier living. BestLifeRewarded members collect points for reporting about their healthy activities, learning more about their health, participating in assessments and for using tracking tools. Points earned can be redeemed for 200+ reward items.

Steve Ball, Vice-President of the CMA Media and Publisher of Canadian Health magazine said,

"We are excited about the opportunity to reward Canadians for reading and sharing Canadian Health articles. We are collaborating with the BestLifeRewarded team to expand our digital presence while advancing personal ownership for health. It's a real win-win opportunity."

"Canadian Health magazine is the leading consumer health publication in Canada.", said Susanne Cookson, co-founder of Cookson James Loyalty Inc. "We are thrilled to partner with Canadian Health magazine to drive awareness about the key health issues facing Canadians today. The quality of Canadian Health magazine articles is unparalleled and we love the practical tips that support the busy lifestyles of BestLifeRewarded members."

Visit or ("Feature" section) today to read the latest articles and earn healthy rewards for a healthier you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ornge Improves Patient Relations Process

TORONTO, November 13, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ornge, Ontario's provider of air ambulance and related services, is introducing new measures to better connect with its patients.

"Patients are at the centre of everything we do at Ornge, and we are committed to communicating with them openly and transparently," said Ron McKerlie, Interim President and CEO of Ornge. "If our service does not meet a patient's expectations, they will have a way to express their concerns and to receive a response."

The improvements include a more accessible patient relations section on the Ornge website and a streamlined complaints process that is easier for patients and their families to navigate, including:

...Acknowledging inquiries within 1-2 business days
...Providing a timeline and contact information to patients
...Contacting the patient with the findings to provide clarification and resolution

If a patient or family member has concerns, questions or general feedback about a transport, they can visit the new patients' section of the website to find details of our patient relations process. They can also contact Denise Polgar, Ornge's recently appointed Patient Advocate, who acts as a liaison with patients and families, helps resolve concerns about patient care and service, and advocates for operational improvements based on the Ornge Declaration of Patient Values. The new section of the website also includes results of Ornge's patient satisfaction surveys.

Ornge takes concerns about the transport experience seriously and welcomes the opportunity to work with families to address complaints and to resolve issues. Every complaint about patient care and service delivered by Ornge is shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, which can launch an independent investigation.

These measures build on recent improvements to enhance the quality of service for Ontario patients. In September, Ornge was granted clearance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority to fly its helicopters into U.S. airspace. Ornge also recently announced a new scheduled flight service for advanced care patients in the Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie corridor and introduced a new conflict of interest policy.


Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Health Council of Canada weighs in on drug safety in Canada

OTTAWA, November 7, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today the Health Council of Canada is appearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to make recommendations on the post-approval monitoring of prescription pharmaceuticals in Canada.

Health Council representatives include Dr. Ingrid Sketris, Councillor and pharmacist, and John G. Abbott, CEO.

"We're pleased to see the Senate Committee tackle this important issue" said Abbott. "We hope our input can contribute to a better understanding of the need for improved vigilance to protect Canadians once medications are in the marketplace."

The committee will be discussing issues such as (but not limited to) the process to approve prescription drugs, the post-approval monitoring of these drugs, and unintended consequences or adverse reactions associated with prescription drugs. In 2010, the Health Council issued a discussion paper on drug safety called, Keeping an Eye on Prescription Drugs: Keeping Canadians Safe. The paper showed that the number of people exposed to unsafe drugs has been increasing, and that Canadians are often not aware of the risks associated with certain prescription drugs.

"Because drugs are approved based on pre-marketing clinical trials with selected populations and relatively short durations, it is extremely important to continue monitoring to determine the benefit/risk balance after a drug becomes available for sale," said Sketris. "We need to develop a better, more efficient and open way to ensure better patient safety."

The Health Council's paper found that Health Canada has limited authority to deal with post market safety issues. They cannot require companies to conduct post market studies after the product has been approved unless significant new safety issues have been identified. And although they have the authority to order drugs to be withdrawn from the market, they rarely exercise this power or tend to do so slowly. Recent media reports show this to be a continuing issue.

The Health Council paper made a number of recommendations to improve post-market monitoring of drugs in Canada. These will be the subject of discussion at today's senate hearing.

About the Health Council of Canada

Created by the 2003 First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal, the Health Council of Canada is an independent national agency that reports on the progress of health care renewal. The Council provides a system-wide perspective on health care reform in Canada, and disseminates information on leading practices and innovation across the country. The Councillors are appointed by the participating provincial and territorial governments and the Government of Canada.