Change-Makers honoured at BrainWave 2013, November 7 in Toronto Canadians improving brain health and wellness

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Two of Canada's champions for brain health and well-being will be honoured by the Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) at its BrainWave Gala in Toronto on November 7, 2013.

In front of an audience of 200 people (those living with brain conditions, caregivers, researchers, health care professionals, health charities and policy makers), Vancouver resident Jim Mann and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) will be presented with NHCC's Change-Maker Award for demonstrating leadership in inclusion, innovation and integration for the benefit of people living with brain conditions.

Since being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007, Jim Mann has been a tireless advocate for Canadians living with brain conditions. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alzheimer Society of  British Columbia, where he has been the public face of "Jim's Push for a Plan," the Society's latest advocacy campaign for a provincial dementia strategy. Jim also co-chaired the Public Policy Committee for the Alzheimer Society of Canada, and is a member of the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network Advisory Board. In his own community, Jim has inspired many, while serving as a support group leader for people living with dementia, public speaker and educator.

"It's truly an honour to receive the Change-Maker Award and I'm grateful for all of the work NHCC does to promote awareness of neurological conditions in Canada. Since learning about my Alzheimer's six years ago, I use every opportunity to tell people there is life beyond diagnosis. I hope this award helps people to better understand and be less fearful of this disease. We need more public conversations and encourage anyone affected by Alzheimer's disease to speak out for themselves and others," says Mann.

The OBI was established by the Government of Ontario with the mandate to enhance the province's position as a world-leading centre for brain research, commercialization, and innovation. The OBI has created an integrated approach to research which maintains focus on the individual while using basic science to drive clinical innovation. By working directly with advocacy groups and embedding them in the research process, the OBI ensures that the voices of those with brain disorders inform the direction of research programs. This approach also serves to relay important information back to the advocacy groups, individuals, and families impacted by neurological conditions.

"Events like this bring people together and it is my hope that we all continue to work together under the common goal of improving brain health. The OBI graciously accepts this award from the NHCC, which truly celebrates the collective efforts of many individuals and organizations who put people at the centre of brain-related health care. Congratulations on the terrific work being done by neurological charities, research institutes, care providers, and inspirational leaders like Mr. Jim Mann." Says Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director, OBI.

BrainWave 2013 is generously sponsored in part by Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).

About the Neurological Health Charities Canada
Established in 2008, Neurological Health Charities Canada is a coalition of 24 health charities that work together to improve the quality of life for all Canadians living with a neurological condition. The NHCC advocates for a comprehensive National Brain Strategy to support people living with chronic brain conditions through appropriately funded research and universally accessible treatments and prevention strategies.

SOURCE: Neurological Health Charities Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries, contact: 
Jacquie Micallef
Manager, Member Relations, Policy & Partnerships, NHCC
416.227.9700 ext. 3501
jacquie@mybrainmatters.ca

Michelle Wilson
Communications Lead, Ontario Brain Institute
647.872.1215
mwilson@braininstitute.ca

Rosanne Meandro
Director, Media Relations, Alzheimer Society of Canada
416-847-8920
rmeandro@alzheimer.ca

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Neurological Health Charities Canada

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