Aboriginal health care initiative gets $75,000 boost from CIBC



    
    Continuing to close the health care gap between Aboriginals and other
    Canadians
    

    TORONTO, June 30 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) announced today a new
$75,000 pledge to Saint Elizabeth Health Care (SEHC) Foundation to support
SEHC's Aboriginal health care initiative, delivered through its 24/7
interactive web-based program, @YourSide Colleague(R). This brings the total
CIBC commitment to this initiative to $125,000 since 2006.
    This Aboriginal health initiative assists First Nations communities to
identify and respond to local needs in a flexible and cost-effective way, for
long-term results. By building local capacity, the program is enabling First
Nations people to receive more care and services, close to home, in their
culture and in their communities.
    "@YourSide Colleague offers around-the-clock access to a virtual network
of peers and experts, as well as self-directed learning modules in areas such
as cancer care, diabetes care, wound care, and palliative care. All that is
needed is a computer, access to the Internet, and a username and password,"
said Sue Williams, Chair of the SEHC Foundation.
    "CIBC has a long history of contributing to organizations that promote
the health and well-being of all Canadians," said Christina Kramer, CIBC's
Executive Vice-President of Retail Markets. "We are pleased to make this
donation that will promote a higher level of health care for Aboriginals in
their communities across Canada."
    "We are grateful to CIBC for their continued support of this
cost-effective method of improving health care delivery for First Nations
communities in Canada," said Williams.
    "The health status of First Nations and Inuit people in Canada, measured
by life expectancy and other indicators, historically has been much worse than
that of other Canadians," said Williams. "Many factors contribute to this,
including income and access to education, housing and health care services.
First Nations communities also suffer from a shortage of health care
professionals. Few doctors and nurses actually live within the community and
those who do, only stay for an average of 18 months. In addition to being
geographically isolated, health care workers in rural and remote communities
report a profound sense of professional isolation from their colleagues."
    According to SEHC Foundation, this online service reduces costs
associated with orienting new staff and provides ongoing clinical education
and skills development. First Nations in Manitoba, British Columbia and
Saskatchewan have identified it as an effective vehicle to support local
capacity and First Nation-driven health programs and services. For example,
following the launch of a new Cancer Care course in 2009, a pre-test revealed
that 85% of registrants had no prior education or training in cancer
prevention, education and care, yet 77% provided weekly care to community
members with cancer.
    To-date, millions of dollars have been contributed to support the
development and expansion of this proven solution in First Nations and Inuit
communities. As a result of the generosity of companies like CIBC, today more
than 500 health care providers in over 200 First Nations communities and
organizations have 24/7 access to the program.

    About Saint Elizabeth Health Care

    Saint Elizabeth Health Care has been an active participant in the
development and delivery of community health care since 1908. Today, an
award-winning organization and not-for-profit charitable leader, Saint
Elizabeth Health Care employs nearly 4,000 multidisciplinary staff, shares its
knowledge nationally and internationally through consultation, knowledge
exchange products and services, and delivers 3.3 million home-care visits a
year. The SEHC Foundation was established in 1997 and is dedicated to raising
funds to advance knowledge and charitable initiatives related to home and
community health care. It is especially interested in identifying and funding
gaps in community care, which led to this Aboriginal health care initiative.

    About CIBC

    CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our
employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities
through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee
commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run
for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing
in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In
2008, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to
charitable and non-profit initiatives. Of this, more than $27 million was
invested in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To
learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas





For further information:

For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications
and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458, doug.maybee@cibc.com


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