OTTAWA, ON, March 6, 2020 — On Friday afternoon, the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, MPP and Jeremy Roberts, MPP met with representatives from Parkinson Canada at its Nepean office to hear how a three-year, $637,300 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2016 has made a difference in the delivery of services for people with Parkinson’s disease. Denise Amyot, a member of OTF’s Board of Directors, was there as well to hear the group’s evaluation about the significant impact the grant has had to improve well-being for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners in those regions.
“I’m proud of the opportunities that this grant has provided to the thousands of individuals and families who have been touched by Parkinson’s,” said Lisa MacLeod, MPP for Nepean and Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “From supports for people living with Parkinson’s to the volunteers who work tirelessly to create much-needed programming, this grant has truly made a difference in communities across the province.”
With the support of this grant, Parkinson Canada hired three Community Development Coordinators, each based in the regions involved with the grant, Southwestern Ontario, parts of Eastern Ontario, and in the Thunder Bay area. Over the three-year duration, they reached 9,644 individuals with a connection to Parkinson’s and grew the number of support groups from 20 to 31 groups, increasing its reach from 2,500 to 3,000 participants. With the help of the grant, coordinators connected with local healthcare and other community services providers, and held over 200 education sessions, distributing resources on a broad variety of topics to help people with Parkinson’s and care partners live better lives. They also managed a network of over 120 volunteers in the three regions that continues to thrive and serve those with Parkinson’s.
“The work done by groups like Parkinson Canada never ceases to amaze me,” said Jeremy Roberts, MPP. “I am very happy to see the positive outcomes that have come about as a result of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.”
“Our successful results were based on Parkinson Canada’s ability to build connections using the established support group service delivery model, to improve knowledge and well-being of people with Parkinson’s and care partners. We also provide evidence-based disease-specific education resources through local education events and workshops, and by engaging with community partners through various channels to increase awareness,” said Olivier Bonnet, Managing Director for Parkinson Canada in Ontario. “There are still many opportunities to better serve the community. As the incidence of Parkinson’s is growing, coupled with the aging population, and lack of services in rural and remote areas in Ontario make it much more difficult for those to access appropriate care and treatment.”
Parkinson’s is a brain disease that touches almost every aspect of daily living, including: movement, mood, speech, ability to smell, eating and drinking, sleep, and processing cognitive information. More than 100,000 Canadians currently live with the disease, with approximately 40,000 diagnosed in Ontario. Another 25 people are diagnosed each day in this country.
About Parkinson Canada: Parkinson Canada is the definitive voice of Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease, since 1965. From diagnosis to discovery, Parkinson Canada provides education and services to support people with Parkinson’s, their families, and healthcare teams; online, by telephone and in person. Parkinson Canada advocates with federal, provincial and territorial governments on issues that matter to the Parkinson’s community in Canada. Visit online www.parkinson.ca
About Ontario Trillium Foundation: The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. Visit online www.otf.ca
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