Arthritis Matters - July 2019


British Columbia

Walking on sunshine: the early summer weather brought the crowds (847 participants to be exact) to the five Walk for Arthritis locations in BC: Vancouver, Victoria, Parksville, Kelowna and Kamloops. Their dedication and commitment raised just over $104,000 in support of those affected by arthritis. The success of the events were due to a great team effort in BC: a huge thank you to all the staff and volunteers who worked so hard this year.

Biosimilars in BC: On May 27, the BC government announced the immediate expansion of the use of biosimilars within its Pharmacare program. About 20,400 British Columbians living with ankylosing spondylitis, diabetes, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis have until November 25 to work with their health-care team to transition their prescription from the biologic to the biosimilar drug. The BC government consulted with many stakeholders on this transition to biosimilars, including the Arthritis Society. Christine Basque, Executive Director, BC & Yukon, was one of the speakers at the press conference for the announcement in Victoria.




A well-known philanthropic family in Winnipeg have agreed to a three-year financial commitment to fund arthritis research in Manitoba.

Michael Paterson and Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D. were presented with the Arthritis Society’s Leader of Hope certificate in recognition for their remarkable pledge to contribute $10,000 a year for the next three years to the Arthritis Society in support the critical arthritis research project of Dr. Eric Bohm. 

Mr. Paterson has been personally impacted by arthritis and was a patient of Dr. Bohm’s in Winnipeg.

Dr.  Bohm is the recipient of an Arthritis Society three-year Strategic Operating Grant from the Arthritis Society for his research project: Randomized Controlled Trial of Staged Vs Simultaneous Bilateral that will examine staged vs simultaneous knee joint replacement for patients with osteoarthritis.

Picture here is Mia Dunn, Fund Development Manager for the Arthritis Society Prairie Region.

Picture here is Mia Dunn, Fund Development Manager for the Arthritis Society Prairie Region. Thank you to Mr. Paterson and Ms. Asper for your generous support of the Arthritis Society and osteoarthritis research.


Arthritis Society appoints new Prairie leadership - Alberta

Suzan Valenta, former Director of Philanthropy with Wellspring Calgary, an organization that provides support for cancer patients and their families, has been appointed Executive Director of the Arthritis Society, Prairie/NWT/Nunavut Region.  She assumed the role on May 13, 2019.

 Suzan has been deeply involved in the non-profit sector since 2002, most recently as a member of the Wellspring leadership team. Prior to that, she was Senior Fund Development Officer, Major Gifts, with Operation Eyesight Universal. 

“Suzan is a strong, engaging people leader and passionate mission advocate who brings a values-based approach to leadership based on the ethos that building relationships central to the cause will better the community” says Janet Yale, President and CEO of the Arthritis Society.

 “Being part of the vision and five-year strategic direction of the Arthritis Society, to focus on research, advocacy and information for those impacted by this disease fills a deep personal purpose,” says Suzan, whose own family is affected by a spectrum of inflammatory issues.

“It’s a privilege to be in a position to help advance research and solutions for those who live with this disease, and I look forward to working with and within the arthritis community.”

Picture of Suzan Valenta, former Director of Philanthropy with Wellspring Calgary

 Suzan is based in the Arthritis Society’s Calgary office in Quarry Park and will oversee operations in Alberta and NWT, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut divisions.



Jays Care Foundation growing their support for Childhood Arthritis

Although arthritis is widely considered an “old person’s disease,” up to 24,000 of those affected are children under 18. Every day, children impacted by childhood arthritis are faced with challenges that make the most menial of tasks, like tying shoes, very difficult. These challenges can inhibit a child’s ability to have a fun and exciting childhood, and limit quality life experiences.

The Arthritis Society teams up with special partners, like Jays Care Foundation, to help provide special experiences for children living with arthritis so they too can experience the joys of being a kid. The Jays Care Foundation invited the Arthritis Society and children living with arthritis to the Jays Care Clubhouse to cheer on the Toronto Blue Jays.

Children living with arthritis were also been invited to participate in the Jays Challenger Baseball Program! This program is designed to empower children & youth with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. The children and their families had a blast participating in this program.

Picture of a young girl holding a Blue Jays sign

The Jays Care Foundation is also making a difference at Camp Cambria. Camp Cambria provides a safe and secure camp experience for children and teens with arthritis and other childhood rheumatic diseases, providing them the opportunity to increase their independence, learn new things, engage in social activities and meet new friends. This year, Jays Care Foundation is equipping Camp Cambria with Toronto Blue Jays baseball equipment and games.

Thank you to Jays Care Foundation for your continued support of children living with arthritis. We are proud to partner with organizations like yours.



Photo of the event Bouchées, champagne et réseautageOn September 19th, citizens of Trois-Rivières will have the chance to enjoy an evening of champagne tastings and networking in support of the Arthritis Society during the Bouchées, champagne et réseautage event at the Boréalis Museum. The event’s honorary president is Antoine Gélinas, Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Aspasie. Tickets cost $175. For more information, contact David Bouchard at or call 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2505. You can also register at Photo credit: Gilles Joubert

Picture of George Russell Family Day for kids living with arthritis at the Hudson Yacht ClubKids affected by inflammatory arthritis as well as their families are welcomed to join our George Russell Family Day for kids living with arthritis at the Hudson Yacht Club on September 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the menu: BBQ, sailing (depending on the weather), informal networking and games. It is an opportunity to share stories, meet other families affected by juvenile arthritis and learn from one another while having fun. Free registration: for information or to reserve your spot, leave us a voicemail at 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2456 or email Karima Zeroual at Photo credit: Robert Kennell ,

Image of speaker in front of an audienceDo not miss the Rencontre sur l’arthrite (this year in French only) at the Quebec City Convention Centre on October 26th. This one-day event dedicated to arthritis features more than 20 seminars and workshops. For accessibility purposes, the Forum will be broadcast live in 8 cities across the province (Cap-aux-Meules, Chicoutimi, Gatineau, Montreal, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Sept-Îles and Sherbrooke) and webcast for people across the country. Information: Karima Zéroual –, 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2424 or Photo credit: @CosmosImage

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