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2015: Focus On Communication Health
and Aging
Canada's population is aging; communication health services across the country must be prepared to meet increased demands. Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) knows that many of our members and associates work with seniors and play a crucial role in improving quality-of-life for Canada’s older population. In 2015, SAC will be increasing its focus on communication health and aging, in part by drawing public attention to the important role communication health professionals have in seniors' health care. 

For Speech and Hearing Month this May, we’re starting a new campaign to encourage seniors to be proactive when it comes to their communication health. The campaign slogan, “Caring about communication health. It starts with you,” will be featured on the new materials we are developing to help educate seniors and their loved ones about communication health issues they may face as they get older. We've developed an informative brochure geared towards older adults, as well as a poster aimed at raising awareness about tinnitus. We'll also continue to promote many of our other great resources for older audiences, such as our highly popular "Joy" poster from 2014.

Throughout May we'll take to social media to encourage members of the public, policy-makers and other health-care professionals to download and share our resources. Finally, we are establishing relationships with publications that are geared towards older audiences as part of our efforts to promote your work with seniors to the general public.
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In This Issue

2015: Focus On Communication Health and Aging

Federal Election 2015

Parliamentary Awareness Breakfast

Spotlight on SAC Collaborations:

Pan-Canadian Alliance

Health Action Lobby

Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force

Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century

Group of Seven

World Congress of Audiology
Federal Election 2015
2015 is a federal election year in Canada, which presents SAC with an ideal opportunity to encourage current and future policy-makers to prioritize communication health. Although we are still waiting to find out exactly when the election will be held, SAC is in the midst of implementing a proactive strategy, which includes:

Non-partisan advocacy kit: SAC is preparing a grassroots advocacy kit to assist our members and associates in their advocacy efforts with their own prospective Members of Parliament. 

Letters to outgoing MPs: In February 2015, SAC will send letters to outgoing MPs whose portfolios address health-related issues to remind them of the importance of communication health as they consider their options for running for re-election.

Stay tuned for more information about SAC's plans for the federal election. 
Parliamentary Awareness Breakfast
On the morning of Tuesday, February 17, 2015, CEO Joanne Charlebois attended a non-partisan Parliamentary Awareness Breakfast hosted by the Canadian Society of Association Executives. The breakfast enabled attendees to engage with Members of Parliament about the role and function of associations in the development of public policy. The event began with a panel discussion, during which MPs answered pre-selected questions from the attendees, and concluded with a 10-minute Q&A. SAC was pleased with the opportunity to help parliamentarians recognize the value of professional associations as resources for information and knowledge. 
Spotlight on SAC Collaborations
SAC works with many partners, allies and collaborators to advocate on behalf of our members and associates. Keep reading to find out more about our partnerships with the Pan-Canadian Alliance, the Health Action Lobby, the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force, the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century, the Group of Seven and the World Congress of Audiology 2016.

Pan-Canadian Alliance (PCA)

Although our new governance structure means SAC now has a competency-based Board of Directors, we remain committed to regional issues through our involvement with the PCA, a collaborative alliance of provincial and territorial professional associations and SAC. The PCA serves in an information-sharing capacity and ensures that SAC remains informed and on top of provincial and territorial issues that affect members and associates across the country. 

The PCA is continuing its work on wait times benchmarks, recognizing the need to inform professionals and the public about the value, role, function and benefit of wait times benchmarks. Part of this project includes adapting the Benchmark Wait Times for Speech Sound Disorders document for the general public. SAC will publish an article on Communiqué in the coming months that will address the next steps of this project. 

Health Action Lobby (HEAL)

HEAL is a coalition of national health and consumer associations and organizations dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada's health-care system, representing more than half a million providers and consumers. SAC and other HEAL members have formed a special working group to address common issues with the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program across health professions. The Assembly of First Nations is also part of this working group. 

Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force (CIHTF)

The CIHTF is a national group of leaders and experts in matters related to early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI). CIHTF was formed to promote, support and advocate for comprehensive and universal EHDI programs in all Canadian provinces and territories, as well as to serve as an EHDI information resource. The group is a joint effort between SAC and the Canadian Academy of Audiology. 

In February, the Elks of Canada, who have a long-standing partnership with SAC, arranged and attended a meeting with Honourable Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Health. The meeting was to address the province's need to improve EHDI services as a result of Saskatchewan’s “Insufficient” grade on the CIHTF's national EHDI report card. Two CIHTF audiologists were present, as were Melissa and Zoe Brown, a Saskatchewan mother and daughter who experienced significant delays with the identification of Zoe's hearing loss. The Elks presented Minister Duncan with a petition containing 1937 signatures calling for province-wide access to quality EHDI services. 
Left to right: Maurice Koszman, President, Saskatchewan Elks Association; June Tarr, 2nd Vice-President, Saskatchewan Elks Association; Agnes Fuchs, Charities Co-ordinator, Elks of Canada; Dr. Charlotte Douglas, Senior Clinical Audiologist/Pediatric Audiologist; Dr. Debbie Davis, audiologist; Dr. Lynne Brewster, Program Head SPARC, Pediatric Coordinator, Saskatchewan Cochlear Implant Program; Melissa Brown, mother and educator; Zoe Brown, Melissa's daughter; Hon. Dustin Duncan, Minister of Health

Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21)

CCPH21 is a national network of non-profit organizations, professional associations, health charities and academic researchers whose common goal is to improve and sustain the health of Canadians. The main purpose of the CCPH21 is to advocate for public policy that ensures adequate public health functions are in place. CCPH21 also advocates for the availability of information regarding health protection and promotion, as well as prevention of disease and injury. The coalition recognizes that public health is a pan-Canadian responsibility requiring national leadership with a cooperative approach across sectors and jurisdictions; through our involvement with CCPH21, SAC is ideally positioned to dialogue with other like-minded organizations who have a shared interest in public health policy.

Group of Seven (G7)

The G7's mission is to promote the full range of health services necessary to meet the health-care needs of all Canadians. The collaboration works together to enable the health professions to enhance the Canadian health-care system. Members include SAC, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists,  the Canadian Association of Social Workersthe Canadian Pharmacists Association, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Canadian Psychological Association and Dietitians of Canada. In addition to strengthening our association's political influence, SAC's membership in the G7 allows policy-makers and other health-centered associations to recognize our members' and associates' contributions to Canadian health care.

World Congress of Audiology (WCA) 2016 

The WCA 2016 is scheduled for September 18-22, 2016 in Vancouver, BC. The WCA is being jointly hosted by SAC and the Canadian Academy of Audiology on behalf of the International Society of Audiology.

This international conference will bring together clinicians and researchers from all over the world. Topics will be cutting-edge and of both clinical and academic relevance. WCA 2016 will be an opportunity to meet and discuss issues of importance with colleagues from many different countries. For more information, visit the WCA 2016 website
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