Ostomy Canada Society is thrilled to share some bits and pieces of news and updates.  

Webinars 

Did you miss our webinar “Ostomy Reversal: Reconnection & Recovery” on July 19? All webinars are recorded and posted to our YouTube channel. You can find them by visiting our website: www.ostomycanada.ca/webinars

Visitor Training Program 

The Visitor Training Program (VTP) online version went live in April. One of the most significant benefits of the online version – you can take it anywhere and anytime as long as you meet the data requirements. The new version uses video, improved graphics, voiceovers, and reflection points to help support the critical program. We have received great feedback, including that many individuals are completing the online training in a group setting. Questions? Please connect with Deb.carpentier@ostomycanada.ca or Ann.durkee@ostomycanada.ca

Regional Administrators 

Increased participation and in-person connection with our Regional Administrators. Now that it is safer to do so, our Regional Administrators have been able to attend some Chapter and Group meetings and look forward to building on this participation and connection. 

Fundraising Campaigns 

Ostomy Canada is busy preparing for our major fundraising campaigns – the Spring Appeal, which is presently ongoing, and Step Up for Ostomy, which is in the planning stages. This news will arrive on your doorstep shortly.  

Step Up For Ostomy 

This year’s date is Saturday, September 23, 2023. Save the Date, start planning your Step Up event, and most importantly, have fun and work collectively with Ostomy Canada to boost our funds to support people living with ostomies. (Note, the date was changed to avoid an early Thanksgiving in October and to fully honour Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30). The Step Up for Ostomy website (www.stepupforostomy.ca) is in full swing, where you will find everything you need to plan your event, including a new Planning Guide to help you every step of the way.  

Website Advertising Pilot 

You may see a few changes when you visit our website (www. ostomycanada.ca). At the end of June, we completed a pilot program with some of our core supporters on “website advertising.” This three-month pilot will help Ostomy Canada test the validity, traffic, and ROI of marketing our website to generate income and awareness/ support for you. We thank Inner Good, Wellwise, Hollister, Coloplast, and Convatec for supporting this pilot.  

Ostomy Youth Camp 

Our Youth Camp Program was back on for 2023, and with an almost full slate of campers at the Easter Seal’s Camp Horizon, it was highly successful. I was grateful to be invited to attend one day at camp, and I can attest to the great fun we all had. In speaking with many campers, I also learned of the transformative nature of the camp experience, trying new things, building self-confidence, and engaging with their peers. Thank you to all who make our summer camps possible, including the fantastic and dedicated volunteers and camp organizers, NSWOCs, counsellors, and donors.  

Bravery Bag Covers 

Bravery Bag Covers (www.braverybagcovers.com) continues to build traction in Canada with NSWOCCs, and in Paediatric hospitals, with interest building in the US and internationally. These covers are free – so please check out the website for more information.  

Our shared success and appreciation go out to our Board, volunteers from across Canada, Operational Committees, and partners for your continued dedication of time, commitment, and passion in fulfilling our mission.  

Ostomy Canada’s Board of Directors 

The primary role of the Board of Directors is governance. It is to lead and guide the organization through its Strategic Plan with the future in mind. The Board meets quarterly and discusses governance, succession planning, strategic planning, and finance matters. The Board continually shares and commits to best practices for good governance and holding each other accountable. 

Ostomy Canada’s Board offers support to the Executive Director and works collectively with her and her role. The Board has four Governance Committees, (1) Nominating/ Succession Planning Committee, (2) Governance Committee, (3) Strategic Plan Review Committee, and (4) Executive Committee.  

The Governance Committee is presently reviewing OCS’s By-laws. It will make recommendations, if necessary, to the Board at the AGM. They are also in the process of reviewing the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which they will amend if required to move forward in the coming year.  

Ostomy Canada Council of Advisors 

We recently replaced the National Advisory Committee with the Ostomy Canada Council of Advisors (OCCA). This new committee is a collaborative group of diverse individuals who provide insight, advice, and support on various areas of Ostomy Canada Society, ranging from governance, management, and future opportunities within OCS. It is a forum of open, transparent, and bold communication between stakeholders. Outcomes include recommendations to the Chair of the Board of Directors to support the Mission. This committee had its first meeting in the month of May. 

This article appeared in the Summer 2023 edition of the Ostomy Canada Connects newsletter

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