Archive: CAN's Legacy

Since its inception in 1998, a key mandate for CAN has been to bring together the arthritis research community in Canada to encourage collaboration and thereby accelerate innovation.  Of equal prime importance was training of the next generation of highly qualified personnel.  With Management Funding from the NCE until March 31, 2014, CAN’s focus now has been on Knowledge Transfer activities to sustain and celebrate its most successful programs.  Below is a list a CAN’s legacies to date.  For a list of ongoing activities, please click here.

1. The Arthritis Society/CAN Training Program

The Training Program is one of CAN’s great successes and has resulted in the creation of a critical mass of new arthritis researchers who are trained in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, consumer-oriented approach to research and knowledgeable of the importance of applying new knowledge and innovations toward socioeconomic benefit. The program has very much been a partner activity with generous financial contribution in particular from the Arthritis Society (TAS).  In preparation for CAN’s wind-down CAN and TAS’ roles are now reversed and TAS has assumed operational responsibilities and CAN continues to provide financial support until March 31, 2014.  For more information, please visit http://www.arthritis.ca.

2. Research

a. Administrative Data in Rheumatic Disease Research and Surveillance
With funding from CAN, a team of arthritis researchers are developing an interactive web site to house administrative health data to monitor rheumatic disease prevalence, burden, and adverse events.  In the interim, more information on the tool can be found here.

b. Paediatric Rheumatology Optimized Platforms for Experimental Research (PROPER)
Keyplayers in Paediatric rheumatology across Canada worked together to develop the PROPER project.  Its aim is to provide a centralized platform that houses resources and best practices developed by the paediatric rheumatology community in Canada.  For more information please visit http://www.properproject.ca.

c. Centre for Skeletal Biology
With funding from CAN, the Centre for Skeletal Biology has developed resources dedicated to arthritis for disseminating standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a catalogue of available mouse and cell culture models and reagents for arthritis, osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases. The platform maximizes arthritis researchers' access to skeletal and organ phenotyping expertise unique to Canada.  For more information, please visit http://aubinlab.weebly.com/.

3. Organizations

a. The Arthritis Alliance of Canada
In 2002, CAN and its partners asked the question: “Why arthritis, a disease that could potentially have a significant impact on Canada’s workforce and economy, continued to go unnoticed in government, the medical community and among Canadians at large?” They recognized that in order to increase awareness and to address gaps in research and care, all stakeholders in arthritis must work together to develop one strong voice.  This was the beginning of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC, the Alliance).

Over the past few years, interest level and activities have increased dramatically. Within the past year, the Alliance reached two significant milestones. The first was the publication of the The Impact of Arthritis: Today and Over the Next 30 Years that reports on the impact and burden of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in Canada.  The second was the launch of the Joint Action on Arthritis: A Framework to Improve Arthritis Prevention and Care in Canada (the Framework) in September 2012.  Within two months of the launch of the Framework the Alliance was already advancing on one of its major objectives– garnering support from government.  Both provincial and federal governments have shown interest in the Alliance’s cause and leaders of the Alliance have been presenting the arthritis case.  As a founding member, CAN will continue to support the Alliance, to help ensure the success of the organization beyond CAN’s years as one of its legacies left for the benefit of Canada.

b. Canadian Rheumatology Research Consortium
The Canadian Rheumatology Research Consortium (CRRC), with the support of CAN, was established to fill the need for a centralized service to coordinate clinical trials in arthritis. It is the first national clinical trials research program of its kind in arthritis. For more information, please visit www.rheumtrials.ca.

4. Consumers

Since the beginning, CAN’s Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) has played a vital role in CAN’s growth from sitting on the Board to acting as consultants and collaborators in arthritis research projects.  As CAN prepares to wind-down, CAC has been identifying mechanisms to continue to share its wealth of knowledge and expertise gained from its 14-year partnership with CAN, beyond March 31, 2014.  CAC will be bringing its know-how and will be officially merging with the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance.  CAC has also developed the Highly Qualified Consumers database as a resource for scientists interested in consumer participation.

5. Publications

a. Life with Arthritis in Canada : A Personal and Public Health Challenge. 2010. Public Health Agency of Canada

b. Canadian Arthritis Funding Landscape Review. 2011.  Alliance for the Canadian Arthritis Program.

c. The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today and Over the Next 30 Years. 2011.  Arthritis Alliance of Canada

d. Joint Action on Arthritis: A Framework to Improve Arthritis Prevention and Care in Canada.  2012. Arthritis Alliance of Canada