SCIO Community Magazine
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Spring 2019

Community Magazine Cover Spring 2019

Opening Notes: Ontario is changing

Stuart Howe
Dr. Stuart Howe | CEO, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

We’re taking our place at the table where it counts, representing our community and the need for inclusivity and equity. Here are a few examples of how we’re doing that:

  • Our Queen’s Park Day on March 18, in partnership with March of Dimes, was a positive and well-attended event, with MPPs from four key parties confirming their support of more comprehensive funding for people who rely on catheters. Our #peeforfree campaign was launched in style and has caught the attention of those who can change and improve legislation. See more at
  • We continue to engage MPPs through our extensive Ontario SCI Alliance work and through individual outreach via our Your Move, Ontario campaign. See more at and
  • We made three submissions in preparation for the 2019 Ontario budget consultations: Improving Hallway Medicine Through Better Home and Community Care Supports in Ontario; Ending Hallway Medicine through Neurotrauma Pathways; Building an Affordable and Accessible Ontario for All. Read submissions at
  • The AODA standards development committees will soon be back to work and we sit on the Health Standard, Education Standard and Employment Standard committees.
  • In March, we hosted with Ontario Telemedicine Network a Primary Care web conference on Neuropathic Pain that was certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Ontario Chapter. This is part of our strategy to engage more physicians in Ontario who can treat people with SCI.

These are just some of the ways we’re helping to amplify our community’s voice. You can use your own voice by participating in our campaigns, sharing information with your network, becoming a donor, volunteer or activist - or getting involved in our own governance. You’ll note on page nine that we’re hosting our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 19. You can attend online or in person. There’s a call for nominations to round out our Board of Directors, so why not give some thought to applying as a new board member or prompting someone you know to do so?

Stuart (right) and new Board member Omar Ha-Redeye with our #peeforfree poster at Queen’s Park Day, March 18, 2019.

SCIO’s fiscal year ended March 31 and, as always, it’s a busy time of year as we wrap up initiatives and budgets across the organization. It’s also a time to reflect on the past year’s challenges and achievements. Look for our 2018/19 Annual Report, published for our AGM, as a formal review but, in the meantime, I want to express my great thanks to everyone in our community - that’s our volunteers, staff, clients, family members, donors, partners, vendors and friends - for taking that extra step to make SCIO what it is today. The more we listen to each other, collaborate on shared goals and stay positive and committed, the more we can accomplish. I see this happening across the board - in our ability to serve more clients, partner with more like-minded organizations and engage more individuals who believe in our goals. I am very proud of SCIO and know we can continue to make this province a more inclusive and equitable place to grow, and thrive.

I thank all contributors to this issue of Community magazine and hope you enjoy it. As always, please call on me to discuss our work.

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