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President's Message

1 April 2014

Greetings all,

Your UOAC board of directors met online on March 15, 2014. A great many items were discussed. One of the topics discussed was the 2016 conference. A motion was passed that the 40/60 split of the profits (40% to the chapters and 60% to UOAC) be reintroduced provided the chapter is bearing the brunt of the organizing of the conference. In an event of a loss, UOAC can assist the chapter by absorbing the loss.

I sent a letter to all chapters in Western Canada explaining the change and asked for submissions by mid April. I have received one expression of interest. The board will vote on this at our April or May meeting and I will make an announcement in the month following.

The executive committee met online on March 22, 2014 and went over the details of revenue and expenditures for the past year and projected forward for the next fiscal year. The final version will be presented to the board of directors at the April 12, 2014 online board meeting.

There is a wide selection of publication material available through the UOAC office. Highlights of several publications are outlined on our website Some items are free of charge, while others must be purchased. For pricing and to order, click the link that says Publication Order Form. Or you can click on the link that says “If you wish to order online, you may do so by visiting our store at the website listed here”. You can pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or by PayPal. We are discounting many of the publications that we have been offering for several years. These we are offering for a price of $10 plus shipping and handling. Once they are sold out, we will not be re-ordering as there are other online services such as that sells them at a better price. Titles offered during the sale: Positive Options To Living With Your Ostomy; I’d like to BUY A BOWEL, Please; Living Well With an Ostomy.

Speaking of publications, UOAC has designed a new services brochure. Thanks to Ann Ivol, Andy Manson and Lisa Gausman for the great new look. The brochure is being sent to the printers now. It is available free of charge to all chapters that would like one (or more). Please contact the UOAC office to order yours today!

Mark your calendars now – the 2nd Annual Canada Ostomy Day will be held the first Saturday in October, 2014. We extend an invitation to all chapters across Canada to join in the Stoma Stroll Awareness Walk. We created a twelve page procedure manual and have sent it to all chapter presidents. UOAC will set up the walk webpage for your city, provide you with posters, postcards and pledge sheets, provide you with a certificate of insurance, pay for approved expenses such as permits and first aid staff.

As well, we have continued with the Virtual Walk. What do I mean by a virtual walk? Well, if your chapter is not hosting a Stoma Stroll, or if you are too far away to attend, you can still do a walk in your own community. Simply go to the website: and look on the right-hand side and then click on Virtual Walk. Then click on the link that says Register Now. You can ask your friends and family to support you through email or social media, or there is a pledge form on the website that you can print out and distribute to all your sponsors. What a great way to raise awareness and much needed funds to support the great things that UOAC is planning in the next few years.

The board of directors will continue to hold monthly online meetings (usually a Saturday at 8:00 a.m. CST). Any chapter president that is interested in sitting in as an observer is welcome. Please send an email to the office to get an invitation. Our next online meeting is Saturday, May 10.

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act provides federal not-for-profit corporations with a new set of rules that are modern, flexible and better suited to the needs of today's not-for-profit sector. A special board meeting was held with chapter representatives on March 8, 2014. The Bylaws Committee will prepare revised Bylaws based on the feedback received.  This version will be presented to the Board at the April 12, 2014 board meeting, at which time the board will be asked to accept the revised bilingual version. The accepted version will be circulated to the Chapter Presidents for final comment and review.  After all members have had a chance to comment, the Bylaws Committee will draft the Special Resolution for Application for Continuance, which will include Schedule A (Articles) and Schedule B (Bylaws).  This Special Resolution will be included in the delegate's package for the AGM.  

I’ve sent a letter to all Ontario chapter presidents announcing the formation of an ad hoc committee between members of the United Ostomy Association of Canada and Ostomy Toronto to advocate for an increase in the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) Grant. To ensure we are inclusive, we encourage you to review our request with your members for feedback. In addition, if you, or any of your members, would like to be involved in the process, please contact Jim Fitzgerald , the committee chair, for more information. We have sent a letter to the Ontario Premier and Ontario Health Minister, as well as the leaders of the Ontario NDP and Progressive Conservative parties and invite Ontario chapters to do the same.


Our online petition received over 597 signatures. However, it has been brought to our attention that the Ontario Government does not recognize online petitions. They will only accept paper petitions in a certain format and they must be original copies – no photocopies or faxes. They will only accept signatures from Ontario residents.


As such, UOAC, in conjunction with the Ad Hoc committee looking into the ADP Grant, have constructed a paper petition. We have verified that it will be legal by members of the Ontario NDP party. We have distributed the petition to all major retailers of ostomy supplies in Ontario. We have set a deadline of June 1, 2014 for the petitions to be signed and then they will return the petitions to us. We have also posted the petition on the website. We ask that if you go to your ostomy supplier and they do not have a petition available, to print out and give them one.


A great many chapters are doing fund-raising to support sending youth to UOAC Ostomy Youth Camp. Ostomy Toronto members Jim Fitzgerald and Jason Boyd are embarking on a journey called “GI J's - No Guts No Glory 2 guys 2 ostomies 130 km race” by paddling a canoe for 130 km. UOAC has been involved in their fund-raising activities and have set up a fund-raising webpage at: They have set an ambitious goal of $25,000 and are already 4% of the way there! Good Luck Jim and Jason!


Speaking of Jim Fitzgerald, a great big thank you Jim for your leadership in the ADP Grant Ad Hoc committee. And, I understand that Amy Taylor- Mitropoulos is back as president of Ostomy Toronto after her surgery and recovery and she is anxious to get back into the swing of things! Amy, you have a great board of directors that can rise to the occasion when someone is not able to be at the meetings. I suspect we will be hearing more of Jim in the years to come.


Our letter to previous year campers went out last month. We have room for 70 campers, and many have graduated last year making room for many new campers. We are also looking for volunteers in the age range of 23-33ish with an ostomy or bladder extrophy to come out and support our campers. More information can be found on our website or by contacting the by phone at 1-888-969-9698 or 416-595-5452 or by e-mail at 


In this issue of the UOAConnection, we are asking you to nominate someone from your chapter for the Maple Leaf Award. The Maple Leaf Award is the most prestigious award presented by UOAC. It is awarded to a UOAC member or associate who has done outstanding volunteer service for the benefit of UOAC and its members. Any UOAC member is eligible to receive this award, with the exception of members of the Executive council. Nomination forms are also available on our website. Deadline for nominations is April 30, 2014.


We are also asking for nominations for the Enterostomal Therapist Recognition Award. The ET of the Year Award is awarded to an E.T. nurse who has supported ostomates via involvement with his/her local chapter's activities and national functions. The award also enables UOAC members to acknowledge their E.T. nurse for their support and services. Nomination forms are also available on our website. Deadline for nominations is April 30, 2014.


And as always, you can nominate someone for the Unsung Hero Award. The Unsung Hero Awards are presented to those individuals who always work behind the scenes in any successful organization. They are also dedicated to UOAC, but do not seek the limelight. In fact they prefer to do their work and give their support in an unobtrusive manner.


Past winners of these awards are listed on our website. All of these awards, plus the President`s Award, will be presented at the Awards Luncheon at the conference in St. John`s Newfoundland this summer.


I have received a special invitation from Agnes Parisloff, president of the Regina chapter, inviting my wife Donna and me to their 40th anniversary supper on May 2nd, 2014. They will also be holding a Spring Seminar the next day, May 3rd. However, Saskatoon Chapter is holding their annual fundraiser on May 3rd so will not be able to attend. Saskatoon chapter is also holding their 40th anniversary this year with the main event – a river cruise up and down the South Saskatchewan River – on June 2, 2014. Congratulations Regina and Saskatoon!


Our upcoming biennial conference will be in St. John’s Newfoundland in 2014. Dates are July 31 to August 2. Our conference administrator is Delilah Guy, conference chair is Carol Wells. The St. John’s and Gander chapters are working together to put on a great conference. We hope to see you all there and take some time to tour around the “Rock” and enjoy the unique experience that is Newfoundland. Conference and hotel registration forms are already on our website, along with links to websites that show some of the other things you can go see when you visit Newfoundland. The link is: 


Again this year we are asking for donations from individuals and chapters for raffle and auction items. And we are asking chapters for advertisements or well wishes for the program book. Janet Paquet has agreed to do the program book this year. The theme this year is “Ostomates Connect on the Rock”. Hope to see you there!


We thank you for visiting our website and hope that the information has been helpful. If you would like to contact UOAC, please address comments at and/or fill out the form in the "Contact Us" section.

Peter Folk, President
United Ostomy Association of Canada Inc.