SAC in Action: Fall 2016
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SAC in Action: Advocacy news from SAC
Official Statement Regarding Saskatoon Health Region Cuts to Audiology and S-LP Positions
SAC took immediate action and responded to recent cuts to audiology and speech-language pathology positions by the Saskatoon Health Region. Through an Official Statement and media interviews, SAC disputed the Saskatoon Health Region’s claim that these cuts would have a "minimal impact" on patient care and urged the Saskatoon Health Region to reinstate the audiology and speech-language pathology positions immediately.

The Official Statement caught the attention of media across the Saskatoon area including, the Saskatoon StarPhoenixCTV Saskatoon, Prince Albert Daily Herald and CBC Saskatoon

This is not the first time SAC has expressed concerns regarding access to communication health services in Saskatchewan. In a letter to Saskatchewan politicians, SAC took the opportunity to highlight previous correspondence with the provincial government regarding the recent EHDI Progress Report (2016) and the need for more funding for early hearing health services.
G8 Meetings with Senior Officials
This spring, the G8 Group of Health-Care Professionals had the opportunity to meet with senior officials who direct key departments in the federal government. SAC is a member of the G8 alongside the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, the Canadian Association of Social Workers, the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Canadian Psychological Association.

These meetings were a result of the G8's letters to deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers earlier this year. The meetings focused on garnering the support of senior officials for health system innovation, and ensuring that funding through the new Health Accord is earmarked for integrated interprofessional teams delivering care and services in homes and communities across Canada.  

In these meetings, the G8 stressed, as the national voice of over 120,000 regulated health and social care providers, their willingness to be part of the healthcare funding solution through advisory teams or working groups as well as their willingness to support cabinet ministers and federal government departments in meeting the objectives of their mandate letters.
2017 Budget Submission
SAC has prepared a submission to the Standing Committee on Finance as part of the pre-Budget 2017 consultation process. The submission focuses on the importance of investment in communication health as part of the new Health Accord. It also highlights the role speech-language pathologists, audiologists and communication health assistants play in assessing and treating Canadians with speech, language, swallowing, hearing, balance and other auditory disorders.
 March of Dimes Addendum
In their recent publication, A Caregiver's Guide to Stroke Recovery, March of Dimes failed to recognize the important role speech-language pathologists play in stroke recovery. SAC is working with March of Dimes to correct this error and ensure that future copies of the publication include information on having an S-LP as part of the interprofessional team working with those recovering from a stroke. SAC will continue to advocate for the role of S-LPs in stroke recovery and in treating aphasia and dysphagia.
Federal Healthcare Partnership
In September, SAC co-hosted its annual meeting with the Federal Healthcare Partnership (FHP) in Vancouver during the World Congress of Audiology. Chantal Kealey, AuD, Aud(C), SAC’s Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants, shared SAC audiologists’ questions and concerns with the FHP, which includes Veteran Affairs Canada, Blue Cross Medavie, the Department of National Defense, the RCMP and Health Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefits program.

The Q and A has been posted on the SAC website.
Advocacy at the 33rd World Congress of Audiology
Professor Yves Joanette, PhD, FCAHS speaks at WCA2016.
Dr. Shelly Chandra from the WHO at WCA 2016
SAC was thrilled to have the opportunity to co-host the 33rd World Congress of Audiology from September 18-21 in Vancouver. In addition to bringing together audiologists from across Canada and around the world, WCA also provided a platform to discuss important global hearing health issues.

Professor Yves Joanette, PhD, FCAHS, Chair of the World Dementia Council and Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging, gave the opening keynote address at the Congress. Professor Joanette used the opportunity to bring attention to the critical global issue of dementia and also highlighted the relationship to hearing loss in seniors.

The importance of accessibility to hearing health care was also highlighted by Dr. Shelly Chandra from the World Health Organization in her WCA lecture, entitled Making hearing care accessible for all.
Official Statement Regarding Nova Scotia's Commitment to Increased Investment in S-LP services
On October 18, SAC released an Official Statement commending the government of Nova Scotia for the inclusion of speech-language pathology services in their Throne Speech. The purpose of the statement was to draw attention to the fact that a provincial Throne Speech had made specific mention of the services provided by one of our member professions. The statement also highlighted the importance of early identification of speech and language disorders and advocated for increased funding for speech-language pathologists in Nova Scotia and across Canada. SAC also wrote to the Nova Scotia Premier and Education Minister drawing their attention to the Official Statement and urging them to follow through on their commitment to increased investment is speech-language pathology services.

Note: SAC is a nonpartisan organization, therefore the Official Statement was not an endorsement of one political party over another. SAC uses Official Statements to draw attention to communication health issues across Canada.
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