Impact Challenge participants from across Canada share their stories
September 17, 2013 (Toronto) – When Arlene Silverstein embarked on a career in kinesiology, focussing on chronic disease prevention and management, the last thing she expected was for information technology to become a central part of her work.
"Part of the reason I became interested in kinesiology was the interaction with patients and the sense that I was choosing a career that would give me the opportunity to help people," said Silverstein. "Today, I am still helping patients, but in a more innovative way, thanks to digital health."
In 2011, Silverstein joined Ontario's Osteoporosis Strategy at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, focussing on Telehealth.
"I knew little of what Telehealth encompassed at the time," Silverstein said. "But now, I'm versed on the technology and get great satisfaction from being part of a team that helps deliver care virtually to patients from remote and underserviced communities in Ontario. Digital health has had a tremendous impact on my career, which is important because I see it, along with the associated skills, as an emerging competency that will allow me to take my career into realms that I never envisioned when I became a clinician."
Silverstein, an ImagineNation Impact Challenge award recipient, is among a number of Canadians from across the country being recognized with a professional development award for sharing their stories about how digital health has impacted their careers or businesses.
Vancouver's Matthew Chow and Patricia McHugh from Gander, Newfoundland join Silverstein as recipients of the ImagineNation Impact Awards for their career stories. Toronto's Richard Norman is both an Impact Award recipient and recipient of the Emerging Professional Award.
The Business Impact Challenge, which focussed on the benefits of digital health from a business perspective, also generated entries from across Canada. Three participants, selected through a draw from among the entries, have the privilege of allocating a $2,000 donation to an accredited Canadian academic institution of their choice:
Dalhousie Medical School
William Osler Health System
Health Quality Innovation Collaborative
McMaster/William Osler Health System Family Medicine Teaching Centre
Launched on May 27, 2013, the Challenge sought entries outlining the impact of digital health on patients, careers and organizations. Patient impact award recipients and their stories are featured on the ImagineNation Challenge website.
"Advances in digital health over the past decade have helped re-shape the way patient care is delivered, resulting in better access to treatment and quality of care, as well as efficiencies," said Jennifer Zelmer, Executive Vice-President, Canada Health Infoway. "Participants in this challenge also show that being involved in this process is shaping careers and organizations across the country."
A new Impact Challenge, which will launch this fall, will seek entries from teams of health professionals who connect with their patients or their colleagues electronically to improve care.
About Canada Health Infoway
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.