The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) Heralds the Leitch Report as a Step Toward Healthier Children and Youth



    OTTAWA, March 26 /CNW/ - Ms. Elaine Orrbine, President and Chief
Executive Office of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres
(CAPHC) today welcomed the release of "Reaching for the Top: A Report by the
Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth", commissioned by the Government of
Canada to provide recommendations on how to help improve the health and
wellness of Canada's children and youth.
    "On behalf of our member organizations, CAPHC would like to express our
appreciation to the Government of Canada, in particular to Canada's Minister
of Health, The Honourable Tony Clement, for acknowledging the need to better
understand the challenges and risks threatening the health and well being of
our children and youth," said Ms. Orrbine. "We would also like to acknowledge
and express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Kellie Leitch for implementing this
Pan-Canadian consultation that engaged so many children, youth, parents and
professionals from multiple sectors and jurisdictions."
    As stated in Dr. Leitch's report, CAPHC endorses the principle that
investing in the health of Canada's children and youth is as essential to our
growth as a nation as investing in infrastructure.
    CAPHC fully endorses a focused and targeted national strategy for
children and youth. This strategy should be built on the three fundamental
pillars outlined in this report. These pillars directly address significant
morbidity and mortality within the child and youth population throughout
Canada.
    Ms. Orrbine said, "Unintentional injury, mental illness, and chronic
complex health disease pose multiple challenges and risks that are seriously
threatening the health and well-being of our children - our country's future.
These challenges require our attention as a nation committed to securing a
healthy future."
    The report also recommends that healthcare stakeholders, caregivers and
parents focus and build multiple national strategies within the following
three child and youth health areas - Injury Prevention and Safety; Mental
Health and Chronic Illness; and Obesity and Health Lifestyles. CAPHC supports
these recommendations and believes that focusing attention in these key areas
has the potential to make a significant difference in improving the health and
well-being of children and youth.
    Dr. Leitch endorses a focused and targeted approach to addressing these
issues, building new models of collaboration and innovation with a strong
focus on knowledge sharing across disciplines and sectors. CAPHC firmly
supports this recommendation as well.
    While Dr. Leitch's report appropriately recognizes the many successful
national programs and our nation's longstanding commitment to improving the
health and well being of our children and youth, the report also concludes
that some consolidation is required within existing programs and resources to
focus on the three priority areas.
    A key theme throughout the report emphasizes the need to evaluate,
benchmark and measure ourselves against the best in the world, so that Canada
can become the best in the world. Many of the recommended strategies within
this report are based on successful models that have had significant impact on
the health and well-being of children and youth in other OECD nations.
    Within a targeted national strategy (across three pillars - Injury
Prevention and Safety; Mental Illness and Mental Health; and Chronic Complex
Conditions including Childhood Disabilities), the report also recommends a
focus on:

    
    -   setting national child and youth population health standards;
    -   collaboration and networking opportunities among NGOs, industry,
        governments and families;
    -   encouraging research and knowledge translation; and
    -   supporting social marketing activities to promote healthy behaviors
        and activities.
    

    Finally, CAPHC endorses the creation of a National Office of Child and
Youth Health that can address current and emerging child and youth health
issues. Similar models have been successfully implemented in other OECD
countries and CAPHC recognizes this element as an excellent and achievable
first step. The National Office of Child and Youth Health will address the
needs of all children and youth, while emphasizing the vulnerabilities of
marginalized populations (i.e. our First Nations, Inuit and Metis
populations).

    About CAPHC

    CAPHC was established in 2001 through a transformative process of
organizational renewal of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Hospitals.
This watershed activity was undertaken to respond to member needs arising from
emerging healthcare challenges and the shifting landscape of child and youth
health service delivery in Canada - child healthcare organizations were
undergoing fundamental structural changes.
    Today CAPHC is a forty-two member organization representing
multidisciplinary health professionals that provide health services for
children, youth and their families within: quaternary and tertiary health
centres; community health centres; rehabilitation centres; and home care
provider agencies nationwide.
    All children's hospitals and their respective Children's Hospital
Foundations in Canada are members of CAPHC, thereby providing linkages to
clinical care, education and research. A complete list of CAPHC member
organizations is posted on CAPHC's web site - www.caphc.org.
    CAPHC's mandate is to effect system-wide change in the delivery of health
services to children and youth across Canada. CAPHC focuses on initiatives
that have national and broad relevance, and at the same time are practical and
actionable at the point of service delivery.





For further information:

For further information: For media enquiries please contact - Elaine
Orrbine, President and CEO, (613) 447-1256, eorrbine@caphc.org or Michele
Lahey, Chair, CAPHC, Board of Directors, (780) 407-1671, mlahey@cha.ab.ca

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PAEDIATRIC HEALTH CENTRES

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