oronto, ON - June 27, 2016 - On the 27th of June, over 250 people came together to celebrate the greatness in the ordinary with Self Care Catalysts’ inaugural patient summit, the Self-Care Movement, at the MaRS Discovery District. The Summit featured a diverse mix of panelists and speakers, advocating for the importance of self-care in chronic disease management.
Filomena Servidio-Italiano, Director of Education & Clinical Information for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC), kicked off the night with her own story on patient advocacy and disease prevention, followed by a few opening remarks by CEO & Founder Grace Soyao. Hilariously honest in her delivery, Margaret Trudeau wowed the crowd with her open discussion on the ups and downs of her health journey with Bipolar Disorder. The patient panel featuring patient advocates Kristin Coppens, Kirsten Schultz, and Marinette Laurneano, focused on finding balance in the everyday struggles of people living with chronic illnesses. Psycho-sexual therapist Sandra Rotholc discussed the importance of intimacy in one’s self-care practice. Moving to the professional space, “Foul Bowel” author John Bradley presented strategies for dealing with chronic conditions in the workplace. Personal insight remained a key theme to the night’s presentations with Dr. Lucinda Sykes’ discussion on the practice of mindfulness. Author, comedian, and host Robert Hawke kept the laughter going with his own presentation on the role of humour in the patient journey. The night’s festivities ended with the introduction of the SELFCAREMVMT Design Challenge.
The positive reception of the Summit affirmed the need to shift the power to the patients as expressed by CEO & Founder Grace Soyao.
“Finally, it is no longer about words and claims, it’s genuinely honouring what we’ve heard from patients - a platform to express and learn about a more holistic approach to health and disease management… self-care.”
Self Care Catalysts hopes to grow the Self-Care Movement beyond the Summit and encourage more engagement with local communities through a promotion of healthcare advocacy by patients themselves. The introduction of the Self-Care Design Challenge puts patients first to deliver a self-care program delivered through the Health Storylines platform. With patient-driven insights, Self Care Catalysts wants to establish a patient-partnership with community members in order to achieve better health outcomes. The self-care program hopes to shed light on the depth of real-world insights and learning what really matters to patients. This challenge will yield tangible self-care solutions that can integrate into the business of potential sponsors from the healthcare industry, propelling patient-generated ideas forward.