VON Canada launches new bilingual web portal for Canada's three million caregivers

    OTTAWA, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, VON Canada (Victorian Order of
Nurses) launched a groundbreaking new tool for Canada's nearly three million
caregivers: "Caregiver Connect...from Caring to Sharing/De l'entraide au
partage...aidants en réseau." This innovative bilingual web portal will
provide access to information and resources that caregivers need to care for
themselves, to provide better quality care to their family members and/or
friends, and to connect and share with other caregivers through a virtual
discussion forum.
    "VON Canada supports caregivers and provides care for families and
individuals from Newfoundland to British Columbia - we know first hand the
questions and challenges that caregivers encounter," said Dr. Judith Shamian,
President and CEO of VON Canada. "Caregivers are an essential part of the
Canadian health care system -providing over $5 billion in savings on health
care costs. But caregiving can be isolating - and one of the goals of
Caregiver Connect is to enhance autonomy, independence, and quality of life
for caregivers and for those whom they provide care. The new Caregiver Connect
portal is a one-stop shop of vital information for Canada's caregivers."
    When a caregiver visits www.caregiver-connect.ca - he or she can check
out the latest information related to a specific health condition, click on
links to Government of Canada programs, find information on working and
caregiving, legal and financial assistance and home care programs, and connect
with fellow caregivers and experts in the virtual meeting place of the
portal's caregiver communities.
    "It's important to recognize and support the role of the caregiver as
care delivery continues to move into the community," said Richard Alvarez,
President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway. "Equipping caregivers with this
valuable tool will allow them to network and uncover valuable resources to
help them provide the care their friends and loved ones need."
    The Caregiver Connect portal will provide concise, current information
for health professionals who work with Canada's caregivers and will give
caregivers access to communities of practice and online, virtual support of
their work. The portal content is designed to respond to research suggesting
that caregivers require assistance regarding how to navigate the health care
system, how to provide physical care, and how to deal with their personal
response to caregiving.
    "Caregiver Connect is an excellent example of how the innovative use of
technology and of alternate methods of care can assist clients and Canada's
health care system as a whole," said Dr. Shamian. "Our ultimate goal is to
develop and provide a comprehensive and accessible support and information
resource for caregivers in communities, hamlets, and cities across Canada."
    The Caregiver Portal project is funded, in part, through a $1 million
investment by Canada Health Infoway. VON Canada has also partnered with the
Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research (WIHIR) for
multi-disciplinary expertise and guidance, as well as assistance with health
informatics. The portal has been developed in conjunction with, and ongoing
involvement of, a national advisory committee and a content panel.
    VON Canada is dedicated to being a leader in the delivery of innovative
comprehensive health and social services and to influencing the development of
health and social policy in Canada. We are a national health organization and
registered charity offering a wide range of community health care solutions
that meet the needs of Canadians from coast to coast. VON Canada is committed
to continuous quality improvement and is accredited by Accreditation Canada.


    Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province
and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health
record projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these
secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they
need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health.
Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and
sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

For further information:

For further information: Susan Smith, Bluesky Strategy Group Inc., (613)
241-3512, c: (613) 371-0624, susan@blueskystrategygroup.com; Lisa Crawford,
Bluesky Strategy Group Inc., (613) 241-3512, c: (613) 218-2481,

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Victorian Order of Nurses (VON)

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