With Ann Durkee-MacIsaac and John Hartman

The Best Is Yet To Come

A Review of Ostomy Canada Operations and Programming in 2022

If you ask us, we think 2022 was a bit better than 2021. Would you agree? Yes, we had our ups and downs, and yet in 2022 many of us seemed to have a bit more jump in our stride. Many Chapters and Support Groups began to meet face to face or in various hybrid models; and groups used the holiday season to host parties and events – another sign that the “COVID thing” may not yet be behind us, but we are managing our lives a bit differently.

Overall Ostomy Canada Society was pleased with what we collectively achieved as we developed new programs, expanded others, and said farewell to a few things that did not make sense. We welcomed several new Board Members in September (Jackie Bloom, Janet Paquet and Stephanie Grace) and we wished others our appreciation for their contributions (Andrea Leard, Jim Fitzgerald, and Karen Bruton). Ostomy Canada’s Youth Camp was back in full swing with a few slight modifications when we hosted 32 Campers and nine volunteers to Camp Horizon in July. Step Up for Ostomy had more groups involved and yet we fell short of our financial target – a sign of the times and economic realities? Last year we launched an updated Ostomy Canada Awards Manual with key dates and changes planned for 2023 (refer to article within). Our new website continues to evolve with new features being added and refreshed content making it one of the best resources for those living with an ostomy or their circles of support. Bravery Bag Covers – free covers for children and youth gained momentum and revenue support – check it out. (www.braverybagcovers.com). And in November we announced that Ostomy Canada would be a supporter-based organization (effective April 2023) with the amount going to $25.00 – a marginal increase (that has not changed in over ten years) to cover increased expenses and maintain benefits.

A Shifting Scene In Canadian Ostomy Support Groups

Chapters and Groups continue to be challenged with shifts in demographics, succession, and overall engagement. Edmonton re-emerged as a Support Group, a new group has emerged in Chatham and Barrie South Simcoe is back on the map. With sadness we witnessed Saskatoon, Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Collingwood, Salmon Arm, and Kingston closing (and yet we will continue to offer support where we can). Setting up a group is not that difficult as Ostomy Canada has made the process much easier and streamlined. We are also investing in various social media platforms to connect digitally for those that like this channel of collaboration and support.

Some News On Ostomy Canada’s Plans for 2023

So, what is up in 2023? We will soon be rolling out our online Visitor training Program – a robust way to be certified in an individual or group setting. By leveraging different learning styles, we are confident that this resource will help us elevate our visits and impact. The Board will soon be looking at the National Advisory Council (or a new name yet to be determined) so that individuals, groups, and stakeholders have a larger voice in our future. Some of you may have noticed a recruitment and job posting for an Executive Director. The Board of Directors and the Operational Teams are sad to see John go after two years, but it is obvious that each of these volunteers have appreciated his impact, professionalism, and support. Ostomy Canada wishes him well as he leaves at the end of his contract March 31, 2023.

 Questions? John.hartman@ostomycanada.ca or ann.durkee@ostomycanada.ca  

Key Dates For 2023

Award & Recognition Dates

It’s never too early to reflect on people who have made an enormous contribution to your Chapter, Support Group and/or Ostomy Canada Society. Last year we launched a new and streamlined Awards Manual. We are pleased to let you know the 2023 Manual is now on our website along with the updated Nomination forms at www.ostomycanada.ca/our-awards/.

You can nominate an Unsung Hero (anytime) as we post these stories and pictures within our quarterly Connects Newsletter. The Chairs Award, Maple Leaf Award, and NSWOC Recognition Award are well respected and important to those that have given so much to our Mission. We encourage you to consider who in your circle may warrant such high praise and nomination. Questions? Please send it to awards@ostomycanada.ca. You can find the 2023 Awards manual and Forms at www.ostomycanada.ca/our-awards/.

Key dates for 2023 Awards & Recognition:

  • 2023 Awards Manual – available now 
  • Award Nomination Forms – available now
  • Submission Deadlines – June 15, 2023
  • Committee review – July-August 2023
  • Announcement – OCS AGM – September 2023

National Webinars Dates

Based on feedback and a growing number of participants, Ostomy Canada’s 2022 slate of webinars was a huge success. Past webinars can be seen on our website anytime. This year we are excited about recruiting a solid lineup of topics and dates. We will send out notices throughout the year. Please Register in advance at www.ostomycanada.ca/webinars/.

Key dates for 2023 Webinars:

Do you have a webinar suggestion? Please send your ideas to webinars@ostomycanada.ca.

Newsletter & Magazine

This quarterly newsletter can only happen if you send us things to share, such as stories, recipes, humour, ostomy care and management articles, Unsung Hero nominees, etc. Yes, we “borrow” pieces from some of the wonderful newsletters produced in Canada, yet we want to hear from you. If you have an idea or article, we need it FOUR WEEKS before we send it out. BTW, many people may not know that the Creative genius on Connects is Tiffany Shorson, from Calgary. John Hartman has been the “farmer or harvester” of information, yet we are looking for a new editor… interested?

Key Dates For 2023 Newsletter Submissions:

  • December 31 – for January 15, 2023, Connects
  • March 31 – for April 15, Connects
  • June 30 – for July 15, Connects
  • September 30 – for October 15, Connects

Send your information to connects@ostomycanada.ca.

Magazine Contributions Needed

The award-winning Ostomy Canada Magazine – ok, we are not sure what award, but it certainly deserves one! Lisa Gausman is the Senior Editor and loves getting contributions from you anytime. Send to lisagaus@shaw.ca.

Budgeting at Ostomy Canada

Like any good organization, you need a plan and a budget. Ostomy Canada reviews its Strategic Plan through a Committee of the Board annually. From this process, the Executive Director and the Operational Team Committees (the five core pillars of OCS) build an annual operating plan that sets our activities/road map for the year. (This was completed in December of 2022). From here, we build a budget as we head to our new fiscal year beginning April 1, 2023. So why does this matter to you? We ask every Chapter/Support Group to think about their own needs and submit (if they need support) a plan and request. It could be for something special – like an Anniversary, or meetings, or to look at something innovative. We do not fund everything – but we assess everyone based on needs, their financial picture and how we can help. This year our request will go out to Presidents and facilitators in January, with deadlines in February.

Questions? john.hartman@ostomycanada.ca or steve.maybee@ostomycanada.ca. From here, your national Board reviews its operations and sets a budget for the next fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

Block for Connects Ad: This article was originally featured in the Ostomy Canada Connects Newsletter, winter 2023 edition.

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