Ontario Summit Will Bring Together Key Stakeholders to End Needless Work
Disability - Toronto - May 12-13, 2010

TORONTO, April 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Summit to Prevent Work Disability is an invitation-only event to be held in Toronto on May 12-13, 2010. The 150 invited attendees will begin an on-going collaborative process aimed at closing a costly gap in Ontario's social fabric that results in millions of dollars lost every year in needless work disability.

Needless work disability is lost time from work not because of the illness or injury that originally caused the disability, but due to delays in communication, lack of modified work, and system disincentives. The attendees will build a provincial action plan to address these problems, based on the framework of the 60 Summits Project.

The 60 Summits Project offers a new model for preventing needless work disability. The attendees at the Ontario Summit will represent key Ontario stakeholder groups involved when employees are ill or injured: employers, WSIB, insurers, unions, government, and healthcare. An on-going action group is expected to arise out of this Summit.

Every year thousands of people needlessly suffer employment disruption or loss in the current system of disability management in Ontario. The current model supports employees in staying off work longer than is medically required, hurting the employee's ability to regain health and return to work successfully. Too often employees who are off work on disability leave never return to employment of any kind, even though they are capable of working. Someone off work for one year has a less than 10% probability of returning to work.

Currently, when employed people are affected by illness or injury they often discover that all the professionals involved in their "case" have their own agendas, sets of information, and systems of rules and processes. The Ontario Summit will bring together leaders in the stakeholder groups to close the gaps in this fragmented model and create a unified, collaborative system, thereby leading to less needless work disability.

The steering committee coordinating this Summit is a grassroots group of volunteers from various professions, sectors and stakeholder groups. Ontario's event is the second Summit held in Canada, and the 20th Summit of the 60 Summits Project, a North American initiative. Its founder, Dr. Jennifer Christian, will keynote and facilitate the Ontario Summit.

The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, expresses his support for the Ontario Summit to Prevent Work Disability: "Our government recognizes the vital role that our partners in workplace health and safety play in creating safe and productive work environments. That is why I would like to commend all our partners in workplace health and safety for making this summit a reality."

    Endorsers of the Ontario Summit to Prevent Work Disability:

    -   Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA, Ontario)
    -   Centre for Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes
    -   Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)
    -   Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC)
    -   Ontario Medical Association Section of Occupational and Environmental
        Health (OMA)
    -   Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG)
    -   Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association (OOHNA)
    -   Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT)

    Sponsors of the Ontario Summit to Prevent Work Disability:

    Platinum Sponsor
        -  The Great-West Life Assurance Company

    Gold Sponsors
        -  Banyan Work Health Solutions
        -  Sun Life Financial

    Silver Sponsors
        -  Air Canada
        -  Manulife Financial
        -  Odyssey Health Services
        -  LifeMark Health
        -  Rogers Communications
        -  Shepell-fgi

    Bronze Sponsors
        -  AssessMed
        -  CIBC
        -  Gowan Consulting
        -  Northern Lights Canada
        -  Optimal Performance Consultants

    Friends of the Ontario Summit
        -  Ontario Federation of Labour
        -  University of Toronto

For more information, see our backgrounder at www.60summits.org/on/Ontario-Summit-Backgrounder.pdf and our website at www.60summits.org/on.


For further information: For further information: For interviews or further details, contact the steering committee co-chairs: Ann Morgan, (416) 290-3743 or Nancy Gowan, (519) 670-4520

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