May 2014

Putting patients first in Strategy

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Making sure that Canadian patients have safe, early access to the kind of innovative treatments that will emerge from stem cell research was the focus of the Second Health Charities Forum.

“There clearly is strong support for moving stem cell research forward safely and effectively,” says James Price, President & CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, which organized the Forum in partnership with the Health Charities Coalition of Canada.  “The health charities, which represent millions of patients, realize they have an absolutely vital role to play in making sure that patients benefit from the emergence of new stem cell based treatments and cures.”

Held April 29th in Toronto, the second Forum — a first was held in November — was part of an ongoing national dialogue to craft a strategy for advancing stem cell research and development.  Discussion centred on ensuring patients can safely access innovative therapies as they make the transition from clinical trials stage to clinical practice.

The health charities leaders agreed that their organizations are ready to play an important role in patient/public engagement for the Canadian Stem Cell Strategy & Action Plan and its ultimate implementation.

Along with input from the health charities, the final draft of the Strategy,  slated to be ready this fall,  will reflect more than nine months of expert stakeholder consultations with  stem cell researchers, business and community leaders, industry and other leaders.

Second Health Charities Forum Participants

• Bill Barrable (The Rick Hansen Institute)
• Alan Bernstein (Canadian Stem Cell Foundation)
• Sîan Bevan (Canadian Cancer Society)
• Sue DeLisle (Canadian Stem Cell Foundation)
• Sam Donaldson (Ontario Stem Cell Initiative)
• Debbie Fung (KPMG)
• Janet Hux (Canadian Diabetes Association)
• Lori Lyons (The Foundation Fighting Blindness- Canada)
• Robin Markowitz (Lymphoma Canada);
• Michael May (Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine)
• Rob Oliphant (The Asthma Society)
• Biljana (Billie) Potkonjak (Canadian Liver Foundation)
• James Price (Canadian Stem Cell Foundation)
• Carolyn Pullen (Heart and Stroke Foundation)
• Johnathan Riley (The Arthritis Society)
• Janet Rossant (Ontario Stem Cell Initiative)
• Lisa Salapatek (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada)
• Marla Spiegel (Muscular Dystrophy Canada)
• Phil Welford (Stem Cell Network)

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