Attitude and action: A winning combination
As the old year ends and a new one begins, a smile spreads over my face as I reflect on CAPA milestones this quarter. The most recent and symbolic achievement is the creation of our new and independent website at www.arthritispatient.ca.
CAPA being a virtual organization, our website is its heart. Many people made this dream possible, and I will take this opportunity to thank a few members for their outstanding contributions. As far back as 2003, Colleen Maloney and Anne Dooley envisioned a day when CAPA would have a stand-alone, independent website. Their perseverance made this vision a reality. Contracting with The Wire, a privately held Internet Service provider and website developer, work began on the web site in August 2008. The frame, approved by the Steering Committee in 2007, was pulled from the shelf, dusted off and put into service. Throughout the fall months, design ideas were exchanged, modified, reviewed again, and implemented. Gary Doer contributed during the initial stages of development but reluctantly left the team to undergo joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation in late September. During the month of December, Colleen and Anne scrutinized every aspect of the site and learned the mechanics of publishing and editing. Thank you to Jonathan Blumberg and Gabriela Abrudan of The Wire for translating our vision into a website that is esthetically beautiful, bilingual and a pleasure to navigate. Thank you, too, to Schering-Plough. Schering-Plough believed in our vision and supported the development of the website with an unrestricted grant. Last but not least I would like to thank The Arthritis Society for hosting CAPA on their website during the creation of our own. I encourage you to explore www.arthritispatient.ca and submit comments or take the guided tour provided by Colleen and Anne.
Fall was full of good news. In September the Canadian Institutes of Health Research advised us that CAPA’s submission to the 2008 NGO Outreach Initiative was selected for funding. The award allocated was $10,000, and will provide CAPA with the means to distribute current research facts and evidence directly to people with arthritis through a dedicated portal on our new web site. The research contained within the portal will be written in lay language to enable average readers to understand it fully and derive benefits to improve the quality of their lives. This special section will be divided into categories reflecting specific areas of interest thus enabling all users to easily access the information that interests them most. Watch our website in the coming months for the new portal and, if you are feeling creative, submit a name for this new addition to our site through the “comment” option below.
October’s news touched our hearts. It carried the announcement that former CAPA Vice-President, Jean Légaré, was to receive special recognition: Jean was awarded an honourary doctorate in Philosophy from Laval University in Quebec City in November. Jean’s speech brought tears to my eyes when he spoke about his experience living with arthritis. Volunteering has its own rewards, but Laval University’s recognition of volunteer work and especially Jean’s work over the years for people with arthritis, demonstrates the value placed on volunteer advocacy. Through honouring Jean, Laval honoured all who volunteer to improve the lives for people with arthritis. Jean shares his speech with us in this issue of Voices.
Overall, it has been a good year for CAPA. Hat’s off to all those who made it possible.