In the News...2016-17

Oct. 25, 2016

CFUW Orillia recently welcomed Nancy Moon to share her story of flying with her husband in a four seater Cessna around Hudson Bay in 2012. Their new passion of flying was the result of giving her husband the gift of flying lessons for his 50th birthday, and 18 months later they owned a plane of their own. With him as the pilot and she as his assistant, photographer, and occasional “inflight mechanic”, they joined the Brampton Flying Club where they met other small plane enthusiasts and began looking for others who might be interested in flying to the North Pole. Three couples from Washington D.C. expressed interest, but only flying to Iqaluit, as places further north have only gravel runways which are a risk to a plane's propeller, tires, etc. Also, fuel supplies need to be pre-arranged, as everything in Nunavut Territory arrives by barge or air. With another couple joining the Moons to travel the entire distance around Hudson Bay, and risk gravel strip landing, there were now 5 planes ready to go.

 

On July 1, 2012, Canada Day, the planes left Charlevoix, Quebec and flew their first leg to Labrador City, twin town of Wabush in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador followed by the next leg to Ivujivik in Nunavik Territory in Northern Quebec, where there is a paved airstrip. Here the community of 700-800 people live on streets which have no grid pattern due to being built on permafrost. Nunavut Territory is the size of western Europe and has 4 official languages-English, French, Inuktitut, and Inuinnaqtun. In July, it is 12C and in January it is -23C. It has the youngest population in Canada, where the group visited a school, an Anglican Cathedral with a Narwhal tusk cross and pews that resemble local sleds. There is also a local hospital with 36 beds, a legislature building with a mace carved from a narwhal tusk resting in the hands of a male and female figure representing gender equality, with a 2 1/12 carat diamond from the local Jericho diamond mine. Since there are no political parties, the premier is chosen from elected members and 11 elders.

 

Leaving Iqaluit, the group went on to Pangnirtung on Baffin Island which is 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, flying over Cumberland Sound and seeing pack ice, whales, fjords, and glaciers. In Pangnirtung there is only I mile of road, and the kids play along the shore jumping on ice floes, with the sky still light at 10 pm. Beautiful art studios display weaving and carving of serpentine rock where the artisans carefully carve the stone to release its spirit, followed by hours of polishing it. When the American planes headed home, the two remaining planes headed for Cape Dorset on the southern tip of  Baffin Island where no aviation fuel was available and the planes were required to carry their own fuel in jerry cans. A pleasant day was spent watching the local people enjoying picnics and watching a barge bring in next year's supplies. On to Rankin Inlet on the northeastern part of Hudson Bay, the group met a local man who had won the May 24 fishing contest by burrowing through 9 feet of ice. Churchill, Manitoba which was south and the start of the tree line was the next destination and is well known for incredible birdwatching (the Arctic Loon), nuisance polar bears and the "Polar Bear Jail", whales calving, and the remains of a 1753 British Fort, Fort Prince of Wales, which surrendered to the French without a shot. The twelve day adventure came to an end when the other couple headed west and the Moons flew back to Brampton, stopping in Geraldton.

 

Nancy also discussed some tense moments flying on another trip, when a nose wheel was retracted, and her "inflight mechanic" skills came into play. While her husband was piloting the plane, she used a screwdriver to open the reservoir in order to funnel in enough oil so that the wheels came down and they landed safely. They plan to return to the Arctic soon. With the beautiful photos and the maps provided, her presentation was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

Nov. 22, 2016

CFUW Orillia was very honoured recently to have Dr. Kevin Young of the Senior Care Centre at Orillia's Leacock Centre, as guest speaker. Dr. Young is a geriatrician. There are only 175 in Canada, and it is a sub specialty of geriatric medicine. Beginning with a PHD in Immunology and Organ Transplant, followed by his Medical Degree and training in General Internal Medicine, Dr.Young chose to specialize for 2 more years of geriatric medicine. Originally recruited by Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital, he was happy to return to Orillia where his mother and siblings live. In the North Simcoe area, where there are the same number of seniors as children, there are 14 paediatricians and 2 geriatricians. Function is the cornerstone of assessment for geriatricians - not what diseases the patient has, but how they are functioning in total. Other social issues to be considered are a unique viewpoint, complexity, multi-morbidity, and competing health priorities. The goal is to reduce the burden of disability by direct treatment of reversible conditions and management of multiple complex issues. The kinds of problems facing elderly patients are cognitive changes, depression, falls, mobility issues, incontinence, responsive behavior, interaction of multiple medications, pain, care-giver burden, elder abuse, substance abuse, and malnutrition. These problems often co-exist with cardiac dysfunction, diabetes, and kidney disease, along with vision and hearing loss. The role of the geriatrician is to help the patient navigate through these numerous challenges by work in Hospitals, ICU, and consultations in the ER for acute care of the elderly, as well as Day Hospitals and Community Clinics, telemedicine (video linkage), and home calls.

 

Dr.Young pointed out that baby boomers are generally living longer with the likelihood of developing more diseases as they age.The target population for care are frail seniors where health, dignity, and independence are at risk. The working definition of frailty includes unintended weight loss, exhaustion, muscle weakness, slowness when walking, and low levels of activity. These factors correlate with a risk of illness, hospital stays, and death. About 10% of frail seniors live alone in our community. The Canadian Clinical Frailty Scale is from 1-9, with below 5, usually functioning OK, 6 needing increasing supports, 7-help with everything - dressing, bathing, and eating, 8-approaching death, 9-terminally ill. The Seniors of the 4-6 scale are the ones that the Geriatricians are trying to reach. By doing a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment of their frailty, their biomedical, psycho-social, functional factors, and environmental needs can be determined. This patient-centered, inter-professional, collaborative practice model involves every health-care field - MD, speech therapist, recreational therapist, chiropodist, dietitian, dentist, and pharmacist. Many interventions are non- pharmacological, as drugs often have side-effects, and a prescribing cascade of drugs can be problematic. Better choices are exercise, social stimulation, and caregiver education, training, and support. North Simcoe currently has 2 full time geriatricians, 2 geriatric psychiatrists, and 2 elderly care family physicians. Programs that are available, include the Regional Fall Prevention, Outreach, Behavioral Support (Waypoint), Day Programs, Exercise, and Acute Care of the elderly in the hospital. Waypoint is the lead agency for Regional Specialized Geriatric Service where the strategy for a local team in each sub-region, can be provided by specialists. Dr. Young affirmed that challenges still exist, such as not having enough trained health care professionals, inefficiency, and the need of more funding through OHIP.

 

The Seniors Care Clinic is on the ground floor of the Leacock Care Center and the collaboration of multiple organizations has led to its creation. Community volunteers, materials donated at cost, and free professional advice, has made it truly a clinic for the Community by the Community, where it provides comprehensive geriatric assessment and training for family physicians, medical residents, and exercise programs. Dr. Young's vision of the future is to expand all volunteer opportunities to those with an open heart and desire to help. We need to spread the word, raise awareness, and recognize the burdens of vulnerable seniors and families. We can make our MPP aware of the importance of clinics, invest in our own health, get a power of attorney, and contribute to the Alzheimer Society. Dr.Young emphasized that staying as healthy as possible and not having to be in a nursing home is an important goal for everyone.

Jan. 24, 2017

CFUW Orillia welcomed lawyer Cindy Clarke, partner of Borden, Ladner, and Gervais, Canada's largest law firm, as guest speaker at their recent meeting. Winner of the 2014 Lexology Client Choice Award as exclusive winner in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Category in Canada, Cindy was also named in November 2015 by the Women's Executive Network (WXN) as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Her topic "No Regrets: Life as a Partner and Leader in Big Law" was based on an article on the internet which was about two high profile women who have views with more similarities than differences in the challenges facing women who work. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Ted Talk wrote a book with a "Lean In" philosophy which states that males have the assumption that women can do both work and home, whereas the female assumption is that women cannot do both. Sandberg believes that women should "stay in the game, go for it, and make choices when needed." By increasing the number of women in leadership roles, the status and benefits for all women will benefit. Anne-Marie Slaughter was Hillary Clinton's top policy advisor when she was Secretary of State, and her philosophy is "Lean Out" as she affirms that women cannot do both-work and home. Society must change and the structure of the workplace needs to include workplace flexibility, accessible child care, and parental leave policies. Many of today's working women have no choices-they are barely able to hang onto what they have. Cindy explained that her presentation was focused on women who have choices.

 

Being a partner in BLG, Canada's largest law firm with 5 offices across Canada, Cindy has a strong leadership role with 200 lawyers who report to her. She attributes her success early in her career to finding innovative, creative solutions to challenges which needed to be addressed. Cindy pointed out that although women account for 60% of Law School graduates, only 20% of partnerships are held by females. At BLG, nationally there is 1 female to 5 males, and in many law firms, women depart more frequently than men. Cindy expressed the need to keep women in the firm and gave advice to young women going into business, "Find your voice and stand up for what you believe in. Use your voice and have confidence in what you do." Cindy expressed gratitude for having workplace and colleague security and gratitude to her husband and 3 children who provide a supportive secure home life. Without these elements, "she would be unable to do this job she loves."

Feb. 28, 2017

Linda Goodall, Executive Director of The Lighthouse Shelter, was recent guest speaker of CFUW Orillia. Introduced by Charlene Taylor, Linda explained that The Lighthouse is a soup kitchen and shelter, and a Christian organization serving those of any faith. The Lighthouse is a metaphor for light in a storm and the safety and hope of the harbour, in real life, provides safety in a crisis, meets basic physical needs, and renews spiritual hope and wellness. Originally a youth drop-in centre 25 years ago at 48 Peter St. S., it became predominantly a men's shelter and kitchen 15 years ago, with 14 bunk beds. Many clients often suffer from physical and mental illnesses, crisis situations, and addiction. Ages can range from 16-84 years old, and unfortunately the facility is inaccessible to those with physical disabilities. In 2015, there were 1500 stays, and in 2016, 3300 stays. As there is a shortage of suitable housing in Orillia, some clients have been on the affordable housing list for 7 years. Approximately 17,000 meals per year are served out of a small kitchen to clients, including women and children. People are welcome to drop in from 9:30-12:00 with lunch beginning to be served at 11:30 am.

 

Building Hope is a project underway, chaired by Glenn Wagner, to build a better facility to meet emergency and transitional needs of men, women, youth, and children. Land has been purchased at 75 Queen St. with a $400,000 loan from the City of Orillia. After zoning is established, planning for a Shelter and Community Food Centre will include 20 beds for men, 10 beds for women, 20 beds for youth, and 2 family units, partnering with CMHA, 20 safe beds program, OPP safe bed, and short term transitional housing-a gateway to housing. In partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Simcoe County and others, construction will begin in 2019 and open its doors in 2020. A "Hub Facility" is the goal, using the Homeless Hub Model to promote overall wellness for individuals and families in a centralized location.

 

Linda acknowledged the many supportive fundraising community events, e.g. Golf Tournaments held with Jubilee House, Ride for Refuge, Polar Bear Dip, and The Coldest Night of the Year which has generated approximately $96K. She also explained that the community can help by making donations of socks, clothing, boots, men's underwear, hats, mitts, food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, volunteers, and food items. "Meat the Need" is a program started in 2014 to encourage a supply of donated meat for healthy meals. 24 hour staff make dropping off donations at The Lighthouse easy.

April 25, 2017

Brian Denney, CEO of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, was recent guest speaker of CFUW Orillia. Introduced by Paddy Taylor, Mr Denney explained that Conservation Authorities were legislated in 1946 by the Province to administer numerous watersheds of the Toronto region, stretching from Uxbridge to Caledon, the Oak ridge Moraine, to Mississauga and Ajax. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel wreaked unexpected havoc in Ontario, washing out streets, bridges, homes, and trailers as well as killing 81 people. In 1957, the four Toronto area authorities merged into the single Metro Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and were given full legal authority to purchase and expropriate lands for conservation. Legislation was also passed by the Provincial government making floodplains illegal. In 1997, Metro Toronto was abolished and Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) emerged meeting the needs of this vast area. Today, TRCA owns more than 40,000 acres of land in the Toronto region, employs more than 475 full time employees and coordinates more than 3000 volunteers each year. With decades of practical experience in protecting the environment, educating young people, and being involved with communities, TRCA works with governments, businesses, and individuals to build a greener, cleaner, and healthier place to live. Climate Change and rapidly expanding city regions require a vision for a new kind of community—The Living City, where people can lead healthy productive lives as part of nature’s beauty and diversity. Built on a natural foundation of healthy rivers and shorelines, greenspace, biodiversity, and sustainable communities, the TRCA administers these lands for flood control, recreation, education, watershed preservation activities, and drinking water source protection. Some conservation sites, which Mr. Denney alluded to, are Albion Hills and the Kortright Centre for Conservation, which are open to the public for recreational use; Black Creek Pioneer Village which preserves several 1800’s –era buildings in a pioneer setting, and offers experiential and hands on learning for all ages, as well as the Toronto Zoo, Humber Bay Park, Milne Park and the Black Creek Community Farm. In 2008, Mr. Denney received “The Green Building Advocate Award” and affirmed that since 2005, Green Building has resulted in energy savings, reduction of greenhouse gases, water saving, recycling of garbage, waste exchange, and the reduction of urban heat. With the reality of climate change, he encouraged local groups to lobby for changes that adaptive management needs to make to maintain environmental health with human well being. Our local Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority works to preserve and restore the ecological health of our watershed and provide us with outdoor recreation and the enjoyment and appreciation of nature. We all need to work together to protect these precious areas.

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