Our mission, history and work

Ostomy Canada Society

Our Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission

Our Mission

Ostomy Canada is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to all people living with an ostomy, and their circles of support, helping them live life to the fullest through advocacy, awareness, collaboration and support.

Our Vision

Our Vision

Canada’s voice and agent of change for people living with an ostomy.

Our Values

Our Values

  • Excellence in ostomy care
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Professional accountability
  • Transparent communications
  • Operational excellence
  • Helping to Live Life to the Fullest!

    Our Work
    • Advocate with stakeholders, government and professional organization/agencies
    • Engage our network of Chapters, Peer Support Groups and Stakeholders
    • Ensure financial stability & effective jurisdiction of the Society
    • Communicate effectively through all possible channels
    • Build trusted Relationships with key partners
    About us

    Our History

    The United Ostomy Association of Canada Inc. (UOAC) became an independent entity following a meeting of representatives of Canadian Chapters in Calgary in June 1997. Prior to that time, Canadian Chapters had been affiliated with The United Ostomy Association Inc. (UOA), based in the United States. The UOA was founded in 1962 with the participation of people with ostomies who had formed informal self-help groups in both Canada and the United States. Canadian Chapters were formed in all ten provinces and were affiliated with UOA. However, by the late 1970s, it became obvious that Canadians had different needs in terms of advocacy than did Americans. Additionally, as the UOA could not issue tax receipts to Canadians, donations from Canada were declining. In 1982 the Board of Directors of UOA Inc. approved the establishment of a Canadian office, located in Hamilton, Ontario.  Since that time the office has moved several times and is now located in Mississauga, ON.

    In 1991, the United Ostomy Association of Canada applied for letters patent under the auspices of the federal Minister of Corporate and Consumer Affairs, in order to place the Association on a more businesslike footing and to improve its profile.

    Since UOAC became an independent entity, it has initiated many projects designed to support the over 150,000 Canadians who have an ostomy. In 2014, the name changed to Ostomy Canada Society Inc. (OCS). Since that time a great deal of effort from within the national network has evolved to create a national Board of Directors from individuals representing all parts of Canada. As a national Canadian charitable organization it is guided by a regulatory framework set out by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) with some provincial guidance.

    A number of support tools and resources have been created including organizational policies, procedures, Ostomy Youth Camp, a well respected Visitor Training Program and support in our work in Advocacy such as the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).  Various Committees of volunteers or “Pillars” meet to help drive the core strategies of the organization – namely, Communications/Marketing, Advocacy, Partnership Development; Outreach and Sustainability/Administration.

    Ostomy Canada Society Inc. (OCS) is funded through fees, proceeds from an annual appeal for funds, sponsorships, events, corporate and foundation donations. Funding remains a priority, as services can only be delivered if revenues are stable.

    The Board of Directors of Ostomy Canada Inc. has the enviable task to ensure that good policy, by-laws, governance and procedures help support the mission, purpose and programs of the organization.  The Board currently meets four times a year and has established a number of internal Committees (Nominating, Succession, Governance, Executive, Finance and National Advisory Committee) to provide a broad range of oversight mechanisms for OCS.

    ** Additional notes on our history are available by contacting support@ostomycanada.ca. Files have been posted on our internal Share Point and available upon request.