CWHN Update

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By Madeline Boscoe

As the Canadian Women's Health Network continues to grow, I am reminded why the metaphor "grassroots" is so often used to describe the kind of work we do. We are, after all, putting down roots in an environment that has been carefully prepared by those of you actively involved in women's health issues over many years. Those years of planning and preparing the groundwork are also giving way to many exciting changes for the Network.

Starting April 1, 1998, the Network's new Coordinating Committee is in place. Many thanks to Margot Fauchon, Lise Lamontagne, Valerie Wiebe and outgoing Coordinating Committee members and a warm welcome to new members Laura Fitzpatrick, Shirley Masuda and Vera Morin. Laura has been coordinating the development of the Women's Health Network of Newfoundland and Labrador. Shirley is involved with DAWN (the Disabled Women's Network) and Vera is active with the Status of Women's Council and Metis Women's Association in the Northwest Territories.

We've also been able to renovate the Network's office, making room for new staff. Patricia Fader is the new Clearinghouse Coordinator. Patricia is a librarian by training and her job is to respond to information requests and organize the Network's resources and keep our electronic library humming. One of her first tasks is to coordinate the development of our databases on women's health issues.

We have also hired a communications coordinator, Rachel Thompson, who has already started work on the Summer newsletter as well as other projects. We have expanded our web site (if you haven't already checked it out, please do at and staff member Karen Adshead has developed our "what's hot and what's new" web site sections that can be read at a glance. Parts of this newsletter are on the CWHN web site as well, and you can find information on the latest breast implant court cases, and links to other new initiatives too.

This women's health network is an interactive medium. So remember, when you're sending a letter to the ministry of health or taking any other action on behalf of women's health, please send us a copy by mail, fax or email so that we can let others know what you're up to. Our job isn't to duplicate your work, but to make it easier for others to find out what you're doing and make our voices louder. Please keep us informed!

Thanks in part to the increasing popularity of this newsletter, our membership base and subscribers continue to grow. Please become a full-fledged member of the Canadian Women's Health Network. Membership is affordable, starting at $10. Subscribing to the newsletter doesn't automatically make you a member of the CWHN, so if you aren't sure whether you're a member or not, call Carmen Usipiuk, Administrative Services Coordinator at (204) 942-5500 or e-mail

Madeline Boscoe is the Executive Director of the Canadian Women's Health Network.