Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On The *Really* Small Screen

(Filming at UBC in early October, 2014)

Twice this year, I did some filming for a new medical course that has been in development at the University of British Columbia called the Certificate in Collaborative Practice for Health Professionals . This new course is designed to help health care professionals strengthen communication and collaboration skills in order to enhance patient-centred care. I have been serving on an advisory committee that has been helping in the development of this certificate course, along with several of my fellow Health Mentors over the last year. The work has been both challenging and interesting. What I’ve loved best about it is that I know that the work we are doing is going to have a very positive impact on how health care is delivered in our province. 

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from the project manager that the video component of the course is finally finished and available for me to view online. While I can't show you the videos, I can share a couple screen shots!

In this module, I talk about some of the aspects of my patient experience and the impact those experiences have had. I had the opportunity to acknowledge what an amazing family doctor I have by sharing how she makes a difference in my life by the way in which she delivers care. When it comes to be patient-focused, she sets the bar exceptionally high. I am extremely lucky to have her as part of my care team.

In this second screen shot, you'll notice I've got new glasses and a new haircut. (This section was shot in early October.) In this module, I am talking about my views on leadership within my health care team. Who the health care team thinks is the leader and who the patient believes it to be can be two very different things.

I think it's so sweet how they have the little orange circle on the screen that says "Learn more about our Lelainia". It's clickable and when you click it, up comes a brief bio:

This course is currently available across British Columbia and I've been told that at some point, it may expand beyond provincial borders. I can't tell you what a tremendous privilege it's been to be a part of the team helping to develop this certificate program. I am incredibly proud of the work we have done so far, but we're not done yet! The work continues with our focus shifting to ethics. Again, very important and interesting conversations are happening. I am learning so much, even as I am lending my own thoughts and experiences to the process. 

When I was watching the finished video clips, I was getting teary just thinking about how this is going to change lives. Advocacy is something I am incredibly passionate about and it just gives me so much pleasure to be able to use my knowledge and skills in such a meaningful way.

Monday, December 08, 2014


I keep forgetting to post about being nominated for a Health Activist Hero award. I was nominated by Lisa of Damsel in a Dress fame. (Thank you Lisa! I am humbled.)

If you would like to endorse (vote for) me, I would love that-if I win, Wego Health will make a donation to the charity of my choice. Voting is open till the end of December. Just so you know, you can only vote once, so it's pretty quick and painless. To vote for me, click here

A heartfelt thank you to the 48 people who have voted for me so far. You guys ROCK!!

Additionally, the blog team of, the Canadian MS Society's blog for younger people who either have have Ms or have a loved one affected by MS has also been nominated for a Best Team Award. I've been writing for since the website's inception almost 4 years ago. If you'd like to take a moment to endorse our team, I'd really appreciate that too. 
You can vote here.

Please feel free to share this post with your networks-the more votes we get, the better the chance that we'll win and the MS Society of Canada and the Guthy-Jackson Foundation will receive donations! 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

5X5 Small Works Exhibition

So some time ago, in 2012, I submitted a piece for my friend Seth Apter's 5X5 project, which followed the publication of his first book, The Pulse of Mixed Media. 75 artists contributed work to the project in a variety of mediums.

All of the art for Seth's 5x5 project is currently on exhibit in Putnam, Connecticut at The Empty Spaces Project. Seth has posted about it in more detail here. The Empty Space Project has a blurb about the exhibit on their website, which is here. I also wanted to share that all of the art is available for purchase. To view the pieces and to purchase, click here.

In the late fall of 2012, Seth's 5x5 project was featured in the November/December issue of Somerset Studios.

My piece was part of that feature. 
Here's a closer look at the 5x5 zine I made:

This piece is also available for purchase. If you're looking for it on Seth's post, it's about 3/4 of the way down.

Congratulations Seth on this wonderful exhibit! 
Here's a peek:

(Photo Credit: Seth Apter)

Pretty darn cool!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Exciting News!!

So...I have been keeping something very exciting under wraps for just over a month now, but I can finally tell you about it. In September, I applied to be a Community Representative for the Canadian MS Society and I received an email indicating that I'd been accepted as the representative for British Columbia at the end of October. 

A Community Representative is someone who is affected by MS-either they live with MS themselves or have a family member who does. In my case, I lived with an MS diagnosis for 5 years before being re-diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). I have a number of close friends who have MS and I also have members of my family who live with or have lived with MS as well, so my ties to the MS community run deep. 

Community Representative assess MS research grant applications to ensure ease of comprehension and relevance to MS and offer valuable insight throughout the review process to ensure that research dollars are spent wisely on projects that will have a significant impact on those affected by MS. Each Community Representative spends significant volunteer hours reviewing, evaluating and recommending studies for funding by the Canadian MS Society. 

I have been assigned to the Personnel Awards Review Committee, which is responsible for reviewing Masters, Doctoral and fellowship applications that are involved in both biomedical research and clinical and population health research. This committee is made up of one chair person, ten scientific reviewers (Doctors) and four community representatives. 

Over the next month, I will be working hard on the review process and then in mid-January, I will be flying out to Toronto for a meeting to go over in detail each application our committee has reviewed. 

I am very honoured to have been selected to participate in this process and to have the opportunity to have an impact on the future of MS research in this way. I am really looking forward to working with my committee (I think it will be an excellent fit!) and am excited to learn new things. 

The Canadian MS Society will be posting profiles of each of the Community Representatives on their website soon. If you'd like to learn more about the Canadian MS Society's research program, you can do so by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December Design Sneak Peek #3

Thanks for all the great comments on yesterday's design reveal. Many Paper Artsy stamps really lend themselves to stitchery and I love finding new ways to use what I have.

 My final sneak peek for Paper Artsy for December is this:

The reveal is over here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

December Designs Sneak Peek #2

Thanks for all the kind comments on yesterday's project. Gotta love a bit of Xmas bling!
Today's Paper Artsy design sneak peek is this:

Check out Paper Artsy's blog for the whole scoop!

Monday, November 24, 2014

December Designs Sneak Peek #1

My December designs for Paper Artsy will be up on their blog this week! 
Here's a sneak peek at the first one:

Pop on over to the Paper Artsy blog to find out what it is!