Brigit's Notes, November 2013, Letter from the Executive Director

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Dear Friends of the CWHN,

These are not easy times for non-profits and NGOs in Canada.  At the CWHN, for example, we are managing to keep our operations going despite our funding cut earlier this year, but all our staffing has been cut back significantly, and we function primarily out of our home offices and less from our long-time headquarters in Winnipeg. We are keeping fresh content on our website, making plans for another event on girls, women and alcohol, and have just started an exciting research project on the same issue. We’re sharing women’s health news and information on Facebook and Twitter (@CdnWomensHealth), and we’re returning all the calls to our phone information line.

But it’s a struggle...

We now operate at a big disadvantage without charitable status but are working with the Canada Revenue Agency to try to show that the work we do, by all comparable measures, should be considered charitable. If we are successful, we will be able to pursue different kinds of sponsorships and partnerships, and we will be able to issue tax receipts for donations made this year.  So when you receive an appeal from us (electronically) in the coming weeks, please don’t hit “delete”. Please do what you can to help us out, to keep our 20-year-old gem alive.

And now to our new website content!

Last month we ran two pieces in Network dealing with mental health issues for women. Added to this line-up this month is a “To the Point” column by Rosemary Barnes and Susan Schellenberg that asks questions about some of the after-effects of psychotropic medication. While you’re on the blog page, Lyba Spring’s informative topic this month is pelvic pain and new ways to deal with it.

In Network, British lecturer and therapist Meg Barker reviews a new book edited by Peggy Kleinplatz, “New Directions in Sex Therapy: Innovations and Alternatives”. Her review amounts to an introductory essay on the topic in itself!

Also new on our site is a series of FAQs around the theme, “What Older Women Want”. These FAQs were prepared by Cara Tannenbaum of the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and edited by our staff to align with our usual format. Topics for these extensive resources include:  Exercise for Healthy Aging, What is Urinary Incontinence?  and Memory Loss. These FAQs are aimed at  two different audiences:  the general public and health care practitioners. We’re pleased to be able to house these for Dr. Tannenbaum and her Centre. Find them on our FAQ page under "Older Women's Health."

Finally, we were very sorry to lose a former staffer and friend this past month – our long-time Finance Officer, Janice Nagazine died early in October in Winnipeg.  See our brief tribute to Janice on our website.

- Anne Rochon Ford