Best Practice – Spring 2013

Prevention is Better than Procrastination
Dr. Pravin Mehta focuses on his own health to better help others
Dr. Pravin Mehta knows about
teamwork. He also knows that
to be a contributing member of
any team, you have to take care of
yourself, physically and mentally.
every day. Only a bout with
bladder cancer sidelined him
and he was only away from the
pool for seven days.
“Growing up, I always found
time for myself,” he says. Physical
fitness was an important part of
the equation. A gifted athlete,
he was Uganda’s National Junior
Champion, represented Manitoba
at the Canada Games and played
in the Wimbledon school boys
tennis championships.
He first took to swimming after
being diagnosed with debilitating
psoriatic arthritis. The water
made him buoyant and had a
soothing effect on his joints. It
wasn’t long before he stopped
taking the 20-odd pills a day he
had been on. Today, Dr. Mehta is
pain-free and “feeling better than
he did when he was 18.”
Dr. Mehta is still taking care of
himself. For the past 18 years,
he has swum for an hour a day,
Always a team player, Dr. Mehta
works hard for other physicians,
in his home province of Manitoba
and across Canada, as 2012-2013
President of Doctors Manitoba.
“It is important to get involved,”
he says. He is committed to the
health of fellow physicians.
“My father was a very wise and
healthy man,” Dr. Mehta says.
“He would tell a story about
how one can break a single
stick, but not a bunch of sticks
when they are put together.” If
Canada’s medical professionals
take care of themselves and
stick together, Dr. Mehta is
confident in their long-term
health and wellness.
After all, he is swimming proof. Q
Å Dr. Pravin Mehta believes that prevention is
better than procrastination. His road to optimal
health has included 18 consecutive years of
daily hour-long swims.
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Lt.-Col. Stéphane Grenier was
in the middle of a deployment
to Rwanda during the 1994
massacre there when he saw a
3-year old girl with her head
“split like an egg.” Stéphane
Grenier was on the front
lines during the Rwandan
genocide, travelling alongside
Gen. Roméo Dallaire.
It wasn’t this moment alone
which led Mr. Grenier towards
a long and painful journey to
recovery from PTSD; rather
it was a series of events which
led him to the brink of suicide.
Grenier shared his story at
the 3rd Annual International
Conference on Physician Health
in Montreal last fall, sponsored
Only 41% of employees feel they can acknowledge
an illness in the workplace. Grenier also cited a study
by Dr. Richard Earle of the Hans Selye Foundation,
funded by CIS, found that just 35% of people working
with a mental illness seek treatment.
by the Canadian Medical
The audience of more than 400
physicians hung on every word
as Grenier talked about his
solitary struggle with stress and
depression. He likened it to the
mental health issues that can affect
any one of us, in any workplace.
He shared some sobering statistics.
Only 41% of employees feel they
can acknowledge an illness in the
workplace. Grenier also cited a
study by Dr. Richard Earle of the
Hans Selye Foundation, funded
by CIS, found that just 35% of
people working with a mental
illness seek treatment.
“It is quite clear we have
dehumanized our workplaces,”
he said. “My goal is to re-humanize
workplaces today.”
Grenier is making huge strides
toward his goal. Since his
retirement, he has developed a
peer support program for the
Canadian Armed Forces called
Operational Stress Injury Social
Support Program.
As Mr. Grenier concluded
his emotional and engaging
presentation, the audience rose
as one, giving him a heartfelt
standing ovation showing,
without reservation that he
touched a chord in their hearts. Q
Report to the Community
“It is my honour and privilege to thank our generous and loyal donors and funders. This truly is a report
to the community. Although Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, our medical community is
indelibly connected to each other. I hear it from the dedicated professional foundation staff and I see it in my
travels – Canadian physicians continue to inspire me with their generosity and belief in our mission. You are
the foundation of what we do. Philanthropists are created one at a time, and I’m proud to see more and more
people understanding and supporting what we try to achieve every year.”
Thanks to your generosity,
we have funded projects in
the following areas in 2012:
Our Donor Community
Corporations – $80,000
Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai,
Chair, Canadian Medical Foundation
Private foundations – $702,575
Gifts from individuals – $195,828
Other – $954,745
The Canadian Physician Health Institute
A collaborative approach to supporting the health and well-being of Canada’s
medical community
The statistics may be familiar:
23%1 of physicians feel
depressed; 60% say their
workload prevents pursuit
of personal interests or
family time. Worse, 35%2 are
not aware of services available
to help them with health and
wellness issues.
“We support the physician
health programs in the
provinces and territories, so
they can provide even better
services to physicians,” says
Dr. Derek Puddester, Director
of Physician Health at the
Canadian Medical Association.
“Ultimately, healthy doctors
mean better health care for
all Canadians.”
The Canadian Physician Health
Dr. Derek Puddester joins the
Institute helps tackle these
Canadian Physician Health Institute
challenges. A national program
The Institute organizes the bias the Director, Physician Health.
created by the Canadian
annual Canadian Conference on
Medical Association and the Canadian
Physician Health and funds special projects
Medical Foundation, the Institute works with
through a twice yearly, competitive peer
and through partners to share information
review process. Funds for the competition are
and build knowledge around the issues
provided by the Canadian Medical Foundation.
related to physician mental health.
“The health and well-being of Canadian
23%1 of physicians feel depressed;
60% say their workload prevents
pursuit of personal interests or
family time. Worse, 35%2 are
not aware of services available
to help them with health and
wellness issues.
physicians is of paramount importance to
the Canadian Medical Foundation,” says
CMF Chair Ruth Collins-Nakai. “We proudly
support innovative initiatives that improve
the mental health of our colleagues.”
(To support physician health initiatives,
please contact the CMF or visit us online
at Q
2008 Canadian Physician Health study
2011 CMA e-panel
Q Physician Health and Well-being
Q Medical Education
Q Medical Outreach
To support physician health initiatives,
please contact the CMF or visit us online
Foundation welcomes four new Board
Trustees and a new President and CEO
“The strength of every charitable
organization begins with its board. A
board offers vision and direction, provides
essential skills and makes connections at
different levels,” says Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai,
Chair of the Canadian Medical Foundation.
“On behalf of the foundation, I would like to
welcome four of our newest members.”
New to the board: Dr. Amit Monga,
Mr. Jean Schnob, Dr. Geneviève Davignon
and Dr. Manon Charbonneau
Returning to serve on the board are
Dr. Victor Dirnfeld, Mrs. Michelle
Masson, Dr. Ian Warrack, Mr. Tim Smith
and Mr. Michael Gormley. Please visit for CMF Trustee bios.
Lee Gould began his tenure as President
and CEO of the Canadian Medical
Foundation earlier this year.
A seasoned professional with a vast amount
of senior leadership experience, Mr. Gould
looks forward to leading the Canadian
Medical Foundation in its growth.
“I look forward to working with my
team, the board and our partners at
MD Physician Services and the Canadian
Medical Association as we do our part to
improve the mental health and well-being
of physicians across Canada.” Q
Medical Outreach Changing Lives in Bas Limbe, Haiti
Maternal program proving successful
The final report is in from Haiti Village
Health and the Maternal Health Program in
Bas Limbe, which is supported by a Canadian
Medical Foundation (CMF) grant.
In 2012 more than 207 women formally
registered in the prenatal program which
is run in seven villages attracting women
throughout the region. The program
provided help for women at all stages of
their pregnancy.
For the past few years, the CMF has worked
with organizations like Haiti Village Health
and Team Canada Helping Hands. As we
conclude our Medical Outreach Program, we
are proud of the response from our donors
and supporters to our appeal for help. The
proof is tangible – lives are being saved as a
direct result of our Canadian donors. Q
“Indspired” to go Further
Profiling one of Canada’s up and coming physician leaders
Justin McGinnis is making a switch. He
did his medical studies at the University of
Alberta, but is now at the University of British
Columbia, a resident in the obstetrics and
gynecology program. “The transition from
medical school to residency is the perfect
time to make a move,” he says.
Since enrolling in medicine at the University
of Alberta, Justin has been on the move across
Canada, fulfilling various electives. Over the
past few years he has learned from the best
teachers and mentors in Canada’s medical
community. “I have been very fortunate
to work with phenomenal physicians and
surgeons in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary,
Winnipeg and Yellowknife as part of my
elective time,” he says.
Much of this would not have been possible
without help from the Canadian Medical
Foundation’s (CMF) Aboriginal Medical
Student Bursary Program. “I certainly would
not have had such worthwhile training
experiences without financial support,” he says.
The CMF bursary program assists students
like Justin who need a little extra to help them
get the best possible education.
“With some stress relieved from financial
pressures,” he explains, “I was able to
focus more clearly on my studies, research
endeavours, and putting together a
competitive application package for
residency positions.”
Like many other bursary recipients, Justin
appreciates the focus the CMF places on
supporting the education of Aboriginal
medical students.
“There are many barriers to health for
indigenous peoples,” he says. “One way
to address these barriers is to encourage
young indigenous leaders to pursue jobs in
health care. The aid I have received from
the CMF and Indspire (an organization that
supports indigenous education) has certainly
contributed to my success. Programs such as
these will continue to make a difference in
our local and national communities.” Q
Justin McGinnis, Medical Student Class of 2013,
University of Alberta.
Creating your Legacy with a Donor Advised Fund
Recently, a physician added philanthropy to her list of savvy investing skills. Through
the Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF), she created a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)
that supports CMF programs and services.
She initially set up the fund as part of her estate planning, specifically to realize the tax
benefits often possible with a DAF.
“When I found out I could name the CMF in my fund, I was pleased to know I would
be helping Canadian physicians now and in the future,” she says.
Putting your money to work in a charitable way through a fund with
the CMF not only saves taxes but is personally fulfilling, too.
Working with her MD Estate and Trust Advisor, this physician
was able to set up a simple, efficient mechanism to share her
wealth, since the CMF manages all the details.
Tax-deductible and unlimited room to build
Please Help
Online :
Phone : 1 888 770.7775
Mail: Fill out this form and mail to :
Canadian Medical Foundation
1870 Alta Vista Dr. Ottawa, ON K1G 6R7
Other $
Enclosed is my cheque payable to the Canadian
Medical Foundation
When you create a DAF, you control which
Canadian charitable organizations benefit from
your philanthropy. By including the CMF as a
charity of choice, your legacy lives on through the
lives of the physicians you help.
To set up a DAF, contact the CMF or your
MD Financial Advisor. Q
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EXP (mm/yy)
Where there is Smoke, there is also Teamwork,
Kindness and Professionalism
The Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) would like to formally thank the Canadian
Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for providing temporary office space and for
welcoming CMF staff into their environment.
A small fire occurred in the front lobby of the MD Physician Services building (where
CMF offices are located) on a freezing cold January morning this winter. The fire was
quickly extinguished, and all CMF donor information is safe and secure.
___________________ __________________
CMF/05/13 Charitable Registration #: 119219327RR0001
“Thanks to everyone at CMPA, we were up and running in no time,” says CMF
President and CEO Lee Gould. “CMPA has always been a solid partner of the CMF.
Thanks to CMPA, it has been business as usual.” Q