As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to extend best wishes for the holiday season. I hope that for all of you, it is a time for relaxing with family and friends.
Epilepsy Durham Region had the good fortune to celebrate its 30th anniversary through 2017, a milestone celebrated throughout the year with many friends. Much of our year has been focused on ensuring the epilepsy care can be achieved in Durham Region. With good planning and team work from many in our community we have been successful in establishing partnerships with specialists to ensure you can receive appropriate care. I am extremely proud of and grateful for the hard work and commitment our community has expressed to help Chelsea and I fulfill our dedication to this initiative.
We have also responded to the increasing needs of a growing community. This has resulted in additional demands for many services, especially critical care and epilepsy monitoring unit extended care in hospital. Our resources remain extremely limited, but we have adapted and become more creative in how we can provide our services to meet these needs and continue to work extremely hard every day to balance the needs for staff and our clients.
This year marked the Ministry of Education’s release of their new policy, ““Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions”, an initiative Epilepsy Durham Region and epilepsy agencies throughout the province worked diligently to keep in the forefront of government. As of October 24th, 2017 every school board in Ontario must have a medical safety plan for children living with epilepsy. Change is sometimes difficult to achieve, but with the support, commitment, and drive of many we have accomplished a significant milestone – a legacy for our 30th anniversary.
Epilepsy Durham Region is participating in a number of provincial and national initiatives; we have the honour to serve as the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representative to the Best Medicines Coalition for Canada, ensuring that the voice of those touched by epilepsy is heard and recognized.
We continue to receive testimonials from clients and families expressing their appreciation for our care. This inspires us and encourages that we are on the right path to support them.
As I reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, I find it very helpful to put in perspective the progress we have made. The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of year, filled with festivities and gift giving. We would like to extend our special wishes for a very happy new year!