Volume 4 Issue 4 • November 2021
published by ZX Media Corporation
Agriculture, Forestry & Food
Innovation is shaping Alberta’s healthy future. Alberta Innovates accelerates research and innovation in the health sector to address pressing challenges. Data-enabled technologies are advancing the development of patient-focused clinical solutions and new models of care that will form the foundation of a more affordable, accessible and high-quality healthcare system for all Albertans.
We provide opportunities and programs that support activities focused on enhancing the effectiveness of the health system, improving health outcomes and ensuring advances from research translate into technologies, tools and policies for better health.
Learn how albertainnovates.ca
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Subscribe for your free issue of Community Now! at www.communitynowmagazine.com Copyright 2019 ZX Media Corporation, Calgary Alberta Canada Community Now! Magazine Copyright 2018, published by ZX Media Corporation. Volume 4 Issue 4 | November 2021 All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and writer.
This grassroots magazine is a platform for, about and by the community.
STORY TELLER & COMMUNITY CONNECTOR: Krista Malden CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Kenzie Webber
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Take the Day and Join
4th Annual Mental Health Event Let’s Change the Narrative! December 15 2021 9:30-3pm Contemporary Calgary
Jade and Kathy Alberts
Fabian Warner & Derek Hill
Blaise the Trail Inc
#BuildingAHealthierNext, Thin Air Labs, Branch Out Foundation Cynthia Hamilton Urquhart Speaker, Author, First Responder mental health advocate, retired RCMP officer
Charmaine Hammond & Michael Mankowski BACK HOME AGAIN
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved Event Sponsors & Partners
Community Now! requests that all participants follow provincial guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, including vaccine passport, answering a self-assessment, providing a current phone number upon entry, wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, and self-isolating in accordance with AHS regulations.
Health Innovation …. Innovating in the Health Sector Creates Opportunity, Advancement, Accessibility and a Better Future for Everyone.
COMPANIES TO WATCH:
People & Plant First
Innovation That is Putting People & The Planet First!
Meet GroundUp Eco-Ventures GroundUp Eco-Ventures is a unique start-up based on the concept of circular economies, utilizing clean technology to upcycle waste streams into highly desired consumer products. GroundUp Eco-Ventures are focused on creating value from upcycling the waste streams of both the coffee and craft brewery industry with no waste stream of its own. Both of these waste streams represent a significant economical and environmental opportunity. They manufacture five products from the upcycling of SCG’s and BSG. Extracted oil from the SCG’s is sold into the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries. The grounds left over are marketed as coffee 6 // Community Now!
flour, a highly nutritious food additive for baking and other food preparation. The BSG is also converted into a flour, with lower carbs and twice the protein and fiber, making it a healthy alternative to traditional flours currently on the market. They combine their flours to create a unique browniemix high in protein and fibre, and their BSG flour is used to make a high protein pancake mix.
Q & A with Founder Shawn Leggett How did you come up with this idea? I toured a business that was using organic waste as biofuel to reduce their operating costs. What I saw was opportunity for consumer goods. I then started researching circular economies and upcycling. What I found
was all kinds of cool things happening globally that weren’t happing here yet. I then spent three years researching and testing before we opened our doors in June. What is upcycling ? Upcycling is taking something and turning it into something of higher value Sustainability is an important factor in a business model and you have created a business that is good for the environment and for health. What are the environmental benefits of your product? Organic waste contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Coffee itself contributes 340 m3 of methane for every metric tonne that goes to landfills and methane is 25x more damaging than CO2. In 2021 Canada will import 300,000 metric tonnes of coffee, that means over 100 million m3 of methane! Spent grain makes up 85% of the waste stream from brewing beer and each metric tonne of spent grain creates 513 kgs of CO2 emissions, considering we use 650,000 kgs per day of barley, that is a very big number. What are the health benefits of your product? The health benefits of our super flours are almost equal to the environmental benefits. Our Saved Grain Flour is low in Carbohydrates, high in fibre, protein, prebiotics, iron and minerals. It reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, helps with weight management, and is also anti-inflammatory. Coffee is a true power house, high in fibre and protein, it has more potassium per gram than a banana as well as maginesiuim. Spent coffee grounds also have an anti-oxidant value 500x that of vitamin C.
What was the biggest challenge you have faced starting/running this business? There have been so many I’m not sure where to start. From trying to get financing to long discussions with Alberta Health to trying to get equipment delivered, it has all been challenging. Our biggest issue now is just trying to get distribution and getting our products out to the consumer. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a business? Whatever you think you need for capital, double it! There will always be things you can’t foresee and there are costs that you won’t see coming or delays you didn’t expect so you will need additional cash. How can people and companies get involved? People can find our products at numerous locations which are listed on our website, we also have online sales and can ship Canada wide. We can’t take waste from individuals, we work with breweries and cold brew coffee producers because we have to have traceability. www.groundupev.com Community \\ 7
1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. With a cancer diagnosis, early detection means better outcomes! Syantra Inc. is a precision healthcare company changing the way diseases are detected and treated.
Q & A with Kristina Rinker, PhD, PEng Co-Founder and CSO, Syantra Inc.
Their Flagship product, Syantra DX -Breast Cancer, is a revolutionary method of detecting breast cancer. This bloodbased cancer detection assay utilizes a novel suite of biomarkers and proprietary artificial intelligence-generated algorithms to provide a positive or negative result. Syantra DX represents a new entrant into the emerging molecular diagnostic sector. Clinical studies have been in progress since 2018, and are expanding to increase access and availability over time, The ultimate goal for the test is to achieve applicability for screening in most women.
Why did you start this company? We had an opportunity to apply some of our previous research experience to the question of breast cancer detection back in 2012. That work provided very interesting outcomes, and prompted us to create an early version of the blood test that we have today. A company was the best way to move those early results toward a test that could have a larger impact, and we formed Syantra to pursue that goal.
Syantra DX Breast Cancer has been evaluated in a total of nearly 2,000 clinical samples. The most recent data being presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December shows a calculated accuracy of 92%. The company operates a clinical testing laboratory in Calgary that is accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, and is working to expand reach across North America.
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Why is health innovation so important to creating a better health system? New tools that can support effective diagnosis and treatment, as well as those that consider the health characteristics of specific groups of patients, can make the health care system more efficient and responsive to individual needs. Technologies that can facilitate access to care from home or other decentralized locations can also enable continued screening and wellness visits in the face of disruptions such as the current Covid-19 pandemic. What’s next for Syantra? We are working to expand the test as an option for screening as quickly as we can. This is being done by creating key clinical partnerships and establishing the logistics needed to get samples to the lab. 2022 will be an important year for growing the test and its use in multiple markets.
IN HONOUR OF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
When the hairgrows back Nicole Burke
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in British Columbia. In honour of this month, breast cancer survivor Nicole Burke shares her story with us and the importance of regular screening mammograms.
Known to most as Little Miss Sunshine, my usual warm smiley disposition and high energy was getting harder to maintain. Under the mask, I was getting consumed by this one constant negative thought; I was going
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(continued from page 9...) to die. For many months before diagnosis, I was having panic attacks; panic attacks that left me paralyzed in fear. Having lost both my parents unexpectedly not long before, I was told it was a form of PTSD. How I was processing grief. By all accounts, that made perfect sense. But no matter who told me it was nothing, that dangerous loop just kept repeating over and over in my head like Ground-
she tried to get my attention, all I could hear was my own voice as I rocked back and forth with my head in my lap. I have cancer. I have cancer. I have cancer? A weight lifted and the panic stopped. There was this odd sense of validation. Something made me self-check that day. Something made me get to the doctor when I otherwise would not have gone. I could only hope, that would give me a shot to beat it; that I hadn’t waited too long.
hog Day. My family started to disengage, I understood. Every night, the same nightmare, heart pounding and dripping in sweat, I would take solace on To all the ladies the couch under the safety of a blanket. Tears ﬂowing, out there. Check I asked myself, “why can’t yourself. Know I make it stop?” It’s chasing me everywhere. your body, trust Then it happened. As I was checking myself in the shower, I found a lump in my breast. For a couple of
days, I poked at it (left a bruise because I poked so much) hoping it would just go away. I tried to convince myself as others had, I must be imagining things. I grappled with going to the doctor at all. It was Christmas time, I was busy. I couldn’t process that my fear was manifesting. Did I do this? Suddenly, it was true. When you get that call from your doctor that you need to come in immediately for test results, your heart sinks. I thought mine was going to leap from my chest because it was beating so fast. You have cancer. It was surreal. I remember feeling like I had headphones on. While I understood what she said, it was all mufﬂed. As 10 // Community Now!
It was with precision that the amazing health care professionals jumped into action. I think we often take for granted how remarkable our health care system is, until we are in need. The process was slick and organized, so that the focus is on care. I always felt well informed, that I had good access to resources and everyone on “my” team, had my best interests in mind. I wasn’t just a number.
My mastectomy was scheduled for Valentine’s Day. At the time, it seemed like a bad joke, not how I would want to mark a day of romance for the rest of my years. Though now, I see it as opportunity to celebrate love, compassion, and hope. A box of chocolates that I am forever grateful for. When chemo started and I watched the orange goo ﬂowing for that ﬁrst time, it affected me more than missing my breast did. I didn’t think it would matter, “it’s only hair”, but somehow, I identiﬁed with my long blonde locks. I have one special someone who calls me ‘PBG’ – pretty blonde girl. I’d always been unwilling to cut it short, now, I had no
choice. Would I still be pretty? Would the chemo and radiation make me shrivel up like a raisin? Would I still be me? Then, the guilt. You should be thankful and grateful you’re alive, not be vain. You hear about the journey and I didn’t understand what that meant until that instant. Everyone has a different moment when it becomes their reality, and the path is forever changed. During October, we celebrate Thanksgiving and of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have so much to be thankful for. I know how lucky I am to be here to reﬂect on this. February 2022 will mark my ﬁve-year anniversary. There are moments when it feels like no time has passed. When a check-up stirs the panic that it might be back. Or when another friend, family member or colleague says they have just heard the news. Then, there are days when I feel I’ve beat the beast, like this morning when I blow-dried my hair. It’s even longer now than it was before. When I smile in the mirror, I ﬁnally realize that was what cancer could never take. My smile; that’s me. It was never about the hair. To all the ladies out there. Check yourself. Know your body, trust your gut. Get to the doctor and go for your mammograms. And if you are faced with news, have conﬁdence in the process, know that you are in great hands and you are not alone. When the hair grows back, and it will, it will all become clear. About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Regular screening mammograms can ﬁnd breast cancer early. Visit the BC Cancer Screening website for more information.
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Nimble Science aims to develop a scalable, passive access to the gut microbiome to enable broad innovation for the detection and treatment of human disease. A look into Nimble’s Technology. The SIMBATM(Small Intestine MicroBiome Aspiration Capsule) Capsule is a small ingestible capsule that can selectively sample the microbiome of the human small intestine. The capsule passively collects a fluid sample from the gastrointestinal tract to advance our understanding of the gut microbiome. Nimble is working with researchers and companies around the world to bring them access to this novel data set with a goal of supporting work that advances human and animal health.
Q & A with the Founders: Dr. Sabina Bruehlmann, Chief Operating Officer & Dr. Joseph Wang, Chief Executive Officer Why did you start this company? Nimble was born out of a recognized need that a key organ of our body was out of reach. The deepest reaches of the small intestine are home to a rich and thriving community of microorganisms that have untold impact on our health. The lack of access means we can’t effectively understand the role of this community, how to keep it healthy and how to restore it. Finding ways to enable access for researchers and companies around the world has the potential to revolutionize health care. Why is Gut Health so important? Every day, all around the world, researchers are beginning to understand the central role that our guts play in our health. Links between gut and brain health, aging, 12 // Community Now!
cardiac health and just about every organ in our body have been established. The work is impacting the way we eat, the way we diagnose and screen for diseases and more and more the way we are able to develop and test new treatments. However, despite its clear role in our health little is known about the deepest recesses of guts – the small intestine. The small intestine is host to thriving and complex group of microorganisms that support our health and that can be impacted by disease. It is the site of some of the most intricate metabolomic processes that fuel and clean our bodies, yet it remains out of reach. Finding ways to gain a better understanding of this part of our body will undoubtedly impact the future of health. Why is health innovation so important in creating a better health system? Innovation means finding new, better and more effective ways of solving problems. The key is not necessarily to add new technology to a health system through invention, but to look carefully for where the current technology is failing. At Nimble we see many cases, particularly in gut health, where patients are suffering from debilitating symptomatic conditions that are affecting their quality of life. A lack of knowledge in what is causing their condition, and deficiencies in the available screening and diagnosing capability leave these patients untreated and waiting, with repeated and costly visits to the primary care physician. Empowering a patient with better knowledge of their personal health, and how to better manage it through preventative actions like diet and exercise works to keep that patient from potentially having to access the health system at all. What’s next for Nimble? Nimble is ready to grow and we are looking to grow our partnerships and talent pool in Calgary and beyond. The best way for us to build a better understanding of the gut microbiome is for us to get connected.
The Superpower Project VIVE LA Health Revolution Blaise Hunter | Human Rights Consultant | Heroine
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”—Eckhart Tolle We live in a space where health and wellness are at the forefront of our minds. Either we are trying to be healthier, or we are striving to maintain the wellness balance. No matter where we are in the world, we all must focus on staying healthy to sustain our lives. What does healthy mean to you? The Superpower Project is about highlighting various challenges or “kryptonites” facing people and helping us neutralize their effect on us. A deadly kyrptonite facing us these days is not recognizing the impact our thoughts and emotions have on our physical health. We are a beautiful combination of mind, body, and soul yet we seem to focus just on the body. We cannot say we are “healthy” if we are only concentrating on one-third of our entire being.
A part of the health revolution I’m speaking about is seeing health as a bigger picture and taking a different approach—healing from the inside out. If we want to change the outside (our bodies), we must first change the inside (our minds). It is imperative we alter the course of our thoughts. What we think directly impacts how we feel. How we feel influences how our body reacts. How our body responds affects how we behave, and how we behave defines who we are and our life experiences. Everything is connected. We cannot laser focus on one trauma, a single symptom, or a one-time incident. We must zoom out to zoom in and look at the entire person as a whole. It all stems from our thoughts. Our life learnings spring from the thoughts we actively engage in—we are what we think. (continued on next page) Community \\ 13
(continued from page 13...) The Dis-Ease Ripple Effect • Our emotions are the reactions of the thoughts we give attention to. • What we feel, say, and express with our bodies mirror what we are thinking about. • Since emotions and the body’s reactions are triggered by the thoughts we take on, we are essentially living in a world of thought. Our thoughts shape our lives and in turn we become what we think. I have been battling a rare auto-immune disease called EGPA for over 15 years. Every single day I fight to breathe. I battle for my very life. I have had numerous bouts of pneumonia, hospital stays, ventilators, two collapsed lungs with two chest tubes, three miscarriages,
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and some near-death experiences. From the outside people think I am an extremely sick woman, but I disagree. This is where the revolution part comes into play. Our thoughts create our reality. For many years I fell victim to the toxic thoughts, and this fed the sickness. It was a vicious cycle. The illness became my identity. Even though I am doing all that I can do to stay alive and work towards being healthy, there are still parts of me that aren’t well. But this doesn’t make me sick. I had to shift my perspective and see this illness in a different light. Instead of embodying poor health, I choose a viewpoint that I am actively starving the disease daily. It takes a positive spin instead of the negative. This is the first step in transforming our own health—seeing with an optimistic filter. This mindset will tell the body to be in healthy mode even when it’s not 100 percent at ease. REVOLUTION!
I recently had a first-hand experience with this very process. Just a few weeks ago, I was in the hospital with my second lung-collapse. When we aren’t at our best or in crisis mode, we do need to be gentle with ourselves and our emotions, but this is also a time to dig deep. The intersect where wounded and warrior collide thrusts us into an alternate paradigm. Everyone knows when you walk into the emergency department at the hospital, it is the sickest or most urgent case who gets seen
that moment something profound happened. I realized where I was going with those thoughts. It felt like hundreds of lightbulbs turning on in my head. I told myself to snap out of it. I got through the triage for my survival and received the x-rays but now it’s time to shift the thoughts into positive ones. If I didn’t change the course of those thoughts, I believe within hours I would’ve manifested a worse condition. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was pure mental warfare. I haven’t worked that
first. For human’s very survival our outward expression of our illness needs to present in a serious nature in order to be treated. As I sat in a crowded triage room with a chest tube violating my lung, it was evident I was going to be waiting hours before getting through. I had a note to get immediate x-rays but that’s after initially getting registered at the desk. I didn’t know if my lung had indeed inflated or if the tube was causing me issues. I was taking in oxygen, but it burned with every breath. On the outside I looked stable, but I wasn’t sure if that was the case internally. So, I instigated a thought pattern that became my reality. I walked through a mental door and entertained the thought I was terribly ill. I embodied the sick thoughts and told the nurse the chest tube might be causing issues. Before my very eyes I became more ill, and I was placed next in the queue. As I was ushered to the next room, I received immediate x-rays and that is where the real battle began.
hard in an exceptionally long time. I repeated over and over that I was ok, and my lung was inflated. I had to tell my sick thoughts to shove off and allow healing to happened from the inside out. Then when I got out of that toxic mindset, feelings of guilt wanted to sink in because I do know better. I wanted to share this experience with you because even when we know better, that doesn’t mean we don’t fall or mess up, it just means we have the ability and self-discipline to correct ourselves. I’m not perfect. None of us are flawless. But when we can recognize when we are going off course and take action, that is an incredible superpower. Within hours the tube was pulled, and my lung bounced back. Healing happened because I became my positive thoughts. Amongst two scars from two chest tubes, I’m actually the healthiest I have ever been. I am the master of my thoughts.
Effortlessly I allowed increasingly more sick thoughts to fill my mind. I sank deeper into my chair and entertained the notion my lung was still collapsed. I was convinced the tube failed and the doctors were going to admit me. It spiraled from there. Tears welled up in my eyes and I thought, “How am I still in this place?” “Why am I so sick?” “I am right where I was five years ago with the first collapse.” In
Let’s challenge ourselves to see the big picture. Let’s flex our mental muscles and develop a strong detection system within. Let’s call ourselves out and allow for a healthy inside so we can create a healthy outside. Choose revolutionary thoughts and be a wellness warrior. For more information about the Heroine Movement visit www.blaisehunter.com
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Building a Healthier Next “Health Innovation is complex, especially when it intersects with a legacy system laden with challenges and barriers. At Thin Air Health, we combine Design and Community with Capital investment to create systemic change and healthier lives. We believe health systems don’t need to be broken and rebuilt, but set free to iterate, experiment and unlock, all while maintaining the highest scientific and ethical standards.” Thin Air Labs Thin Air Labs 3 Investment Pillars” Prevention Proactive solutions to enhance health and reduce risk of primary, secondary or tertiary health challenges. Precision Personalized Health solutions that consider the unique makeup of an individual. Pathways New ways to streamline and increase effectiveness and ease of communication, data collection and providing care. Visit https://www.thinairlabs.ca/thin-air-health to check out Thin Air Labs Health Innovation Ventures
RE/MAX IREALTY INNOVATIONS// Deloris Walker
Helping you find the perfect community. 518 9 Ave SE Calgary T2G 0S1 phone: 403.815.0429 email: email@example.com
Call today and let us find your dream home in the perfect community.
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Telling It Like It is www.PeerGuidance.ca Featuring Dr. Jordan Vollrath Founder Cherry Health
How did Cherry Health come to fruition?
What is next for Cherry Health?
It was born out of necessity. I myself am a locum doctor and felt it was ridiculous how difficult it was to find work despite the enormous ongoing physician shortage.
We’re expanding across Canada. We just hired some new team members in Ottawa and Vancouver and will be launching the network in Ontario in November. We’ll also be closing our seed round shortly but have a bit of room remaining for any interested/strategic angel investors.
Please share how the App works for the Clinics and the Doctors? The app is actually pretty simple. Clinics create a profile showing off their facility and then they post specific dates they need coverage. Then the doctors sift through all the listings across the country and filter down to find the ones they think are best. After the work term is completed the doctors leave a review for the clinics and vice versa and everyone goes on their merry way to repeat the process. The whole thing is free to use so it doesn’t cost clinics anything. Doctors are the front line to help us. Why is it that many of them do not take time off? Most often because they can’t. They would if they could but there aren’t enough substitute doctors to cover for all the established doctors and until now it was incredibly difficult to find the ones that are out there.
If you had one piece of advice for a startup or entrepreneur, what would that be? Find a good co-founder[s]. Having a strong founding team makes all the difference when launching a new product or service. www.cherry.health
Innovation in Action By seeing beyond the possible, Alberta Innovates solves some of the biggest industry challenges. We support research, the growth of business, and we help the start-up community to build new technology and drive new ideas. Putting innovation into action to build a bright future for all Albertans. The Health Innovation Platform Partnerships program seeks to build a health innovation ecosystem that is robust, coordinated, and a competitive advantage for Alberta innovators in the health industry.
Alberta Innovates is focused on putting innovation into action to create a competitive health innovation ecosystem. We are seeking to partner with like-minded organizations, in Alberta, to deliver Platforms (infrastructure, tools, and resources) to accelerate the health innovation client journey for our innovators (see diagram below). These Platform Partnerships will help Alberta’s innovators overcome the hurdles associated with developing product-market fit, ensuring business readiness, complying with regulatory requirements, and product development. Learn How https://albertainnovates.ca/
Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time” – Bill Gates
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Dealing with Aging Parents Al Del Degan
I am lucky to have had so many wonderful years with my dad, and I know that a lot of people don’t have that. 20 // Community Now!
If you have parents that have been blessed with a long life, ultimately you may end up in a situation where they can no longer take care of themselves. Even though the focus is on them, and their needs. It is also important to acknowledge the toll this can take on your mental health. In this article, I am going to touch on some of the experiences that I have had when dealing with my late mother’s end of life, and my father’s current situation of cognitive and health decline. Your experience may differ, but I suspect that my thoughts will hit close to home for some people.
Dealing with cognitive decline and hearing/vision loss One of the aspects of getting older tends to be the reduction, sometimes drastically, of cognitive function and also hearing and/or vision loss. In the last few years of my mother’s life, she began to suffer from mild dementia, which progressed further as time passed. It was difficult for her to hold a conversation because by the time she got halfway through a sentence, she forgot what she was trying to say. It was extremely difficult for her, as you might imagine. It didn’t take long for her to start refraining from conversation for fear of sounding like she was stupid. Shortly after receiving a clean bill of health from her family doctor, I popped over to her apartment one morning on my way to work to set up a new laptop for her. At first, I thought it was the crappy lighting in her apartment, but she looked quite yellow. I thought it was best to get someone else to look at her though, and after work I went by the hospital to see her. We then learned that she had stage four pancreatic cancer and there was pretty much nothing they could do. She lasted a total of six days after that, with only three of those days in a conscious state. It is very difficult having a parent, who has looked after you for much of your life, decline to a point where you need to look after them instead. My father worked construction for the majority of his life, and as a result he damaged his hearing quite badly. He also had to get vertebrae fused in his lower back as well as both knees replaced. So much for “a little hard work never hurt anyone” eh? Ya, well as it turns out, a lot of hard work will destroy you. He now has hearing aids that really don’t help that much. He was doing quite well both
physically and mentally prior to receiving his second vaccination. All he ever complained about before was his arthritis, especially in his knees. Now his health is deteriorating at an alarming rate. He was in the hospital for several weeks while they monitored his heart and the excess of fluid in his body and lungs. He now has a pile of pills that he has to take each day. He can barely walk, and spends the day watching TV and sleeping in his recliner. He wants me to come over frequently, but even though I try to, the visits are extremely frustrating. He has trouble having a conversation without drifting off, and I have to say everything loudly multiple times so he can have a chance at understanding me. It is so mentally exhausting to visit my dad now that I find myself going over because I feel that I have to, rather than I want to. It’s not his fault, of course, and it is important to imagine what it would be like if you were in his shoes.
Slow progression of decline and the stress of living arrangements My father lives with his second wife. She is a strong woman, and a natural born caregiver. Although her health is much better than my father’s, she can’t move around as easily and do all the things that she used to do. One day I had to rush over because my father was on the floor and his wife couldn’t get him back up into a chair. They live in their own home, and have stated on many occasions that they refuse to move to an extended care facility. I have never suggested that they move, but they seem to want to keep making it clear that they are not going to. The thing is, the decline doesn’t happen fast. Some days are a bit better than others, and some days are not good at all. My step mom
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(continued from page 21...) and dad are both European, with her from Austria and my father from northern Italy. They are of the mentality that when you get sick, the doctor gives you a pill and you get better. I haven’t the heart to tell my dad that he isn’t going to get better. I know that some part of him knows that, but he keeps going back to the doctor asking them to change his medication because he is convinced that it is not correct. He believes that something must be wrong with the medication because he is always tired and has trouble breathing when he lies down. The doctors say the same thing every time. “You have a problem with your heart, and your circulation is not working like it used to. Fluid is building up in your body and with fluid in your lungs, it isn’t easy to breathe, especially when you lie down.” Of course he can’t hear or understand any of that, so I have to attend all his appointments. I try to explain everything to both his wife and him after we leave the appointment, but he can’t understand what I am telling him and he just assumes that things are going to get better. Neither of them want to communicate or understand, they just want me to take care of everything. It is very, very hard to find time to work, look after your house, spend time with your wife and children, and also be at the beck and call of your aging parents.
Financial barriers to professional caregiver help I have suggested that my parents may need to have a professional caregiver come in to help look after my father. The main problem is that they are in the middle of the road, financially. They are not struggling, but they don’t have extra cash lying around. They are not at all interested in paying to have someone come
All my memories of my dad are being tarnished now. He was always so strong, healthy, and independent.
over a few times a week and help them out.. For my mom, I had Proactive Seniors help look after her for the last few years of her life. There are a lot of services available for the elderly who struggle financially. It seems that you need to be very broke, or very wealthy. The people in the middle have a very hard time. Proactive Seniors created a fund in my mom’s name to help low income seniors get the help they need. (https://proactiveseniors. ca/sunshine_fund/) They can also connect you with any other services that are available so reach out to them if you need help.
Taking care of your own mental health Through the last few years of my mother’s life, I struggled. There were times where I admitted to my wife that my mother would be a lot better off if she could just pass away in her sleep. There were immense feelings of guilt that went with that. My wife assured me
that it is completely normal, and that many people feel that way, even if they don’t admit it. I was the executor of my mother’s will as well, so there was a long period of time after her passing that I just wanted everything to be over. As expected, I have had some hard times and shed some tears for my mom since she passed. However, I am actually glad that she passed before the beginning of 2020. At least she didn’t have to deal with what we are all going through now.
high spirits. To see him now, a tiny fraction of the man he used to be, is heartbreaking. I find myself fighting to not let the new painful memories overwrite the great ones that I had with him from before.
With my dad, things are very different. The last couple years have been so much more difficult for him… for all of us. Spending time with him doesn’t have a positive side to it for me anymore. I try to be patient, understanding, and helpful as much as I can, but really
Having been through this once before with my mom, I know that in time, it will be over. I am lucky to have had so many wonderful years with my dad, and I know that a lot of people don’t have that. When you are in this type of situation, it doesn't matter what other people have or don’t have. This is something that you are going through, and you have to deal with it in your own way. Don’t beat yourself up because you have thoughts that you don’t want to admit. Don’t feel guilt because you want to live your own life. Be there, however you can,
all I want to do is leave. All my memories of my dad are being tarnished now. He was always so strong, healthy, and independent. Before when I went to see him he would tell stories of “the old country” and even though his knees hurt him badly, he was usually in
for the people that were there for you. Eventually it will be done, and you will move ahead in your own way, on your own time. One day you may need someone to help you at that difficult time at the end of your life, and you will appreciate any help you can get. Community \\ 23
Making Life Easier by Creating the Perfect Space In Life & Business Tally Construction is a 3rd generation Alberta Founded company. Kyle Tally, Founder and Director started the organization with one purpose – to bring together amazing people to create amazing things, and to leave a lasting impression. Their services include Pre-Construction, Construction Management, and General Contracting. We work closely with subcontractors using a design-build method to guarantee that your project has the right specialists on hand at all times. 24 // Community Now!
Q & A with Kyle Tally, owner of Tally Construction and CO-founder of The Seniors Solution Why did you start Tally Construction? Why did you go into business? Construction runs in my blood, as a 3rd generation Albertan Builder I have been working in construction my entire life in one form or another. Unfortunately, none of the family’s construction companies had great success, so it was always preached to me that I had to get my university education; but that I could do whatever I wanted afterwards. I tried the corporate world after University but within 4 years I was back working with my hands as a residential service plumber, then as a laborer and eventually on the business development/ project management side for a commercial general contractor/construction management company. I have never been fired, simply moved on. There were some differences that I wanted to change and as I wasn’t the owner I did not have that power; So rather than complaining and being able to do nothing about it I saved up every penny I had and started Tally Construction with around $20,000.
You are also a community advocate, can you tell us how Tally construction plays a role in the community? Growing up in various households that struggled not only with addiction but with finances I have always been one to give anything I can to help others; friends or organizations I have given away my last dollars to help. Struggling financially taught me the real value of money, good and bad. I drove alot of $500 vehicles, grew up without fancy toys, wore second hand clothes, grew up in a family environment of hardcore addiction, was around drugs, gangs, family violence, you name it and I have probably been there. The one consistent for me was Courage. Courage to know that I could do better. So we try and support organizations that help give people Courage by showing Love. We support The Calgary Womens Emergency Shelter, and I also have an Uncle who is legally blind, so we also support the CNIB Guide Dogs program.
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Get Your Free Consultation Today. We tackle a wide variety of Commercial, Industrial, and Retail Construction Projects. If you have a project in mind, simply reach out and we’ll make it happen!
tallyconstruction.com Community \\ 25
(continued from page 25...) Who inspired you? I used to look around for inspiration, even had mentors...but realized I need to be the one to inspire myself. Once I was able to change my thinking away from what do I want to what can I give, I had a revelation. I can get by without, so everything we have is a blessing and well blessings are meant to be shared. However, if I was to name some names I would say Buddah and the Dalai Lama. They have helped to show me how important humility and humbleness is. Now that Tally Construction is successful, you are growing and venturing into a new business? Can you tell us about that? Yes absolutely, The Seniors’ Solution, very close to my heart. The Seniors Solution actually started from Tally Construction, one of our older commercial clients wanted some accessibility items built and installed in his downtown penthouse and I have never felt so much appreciation. I had been struggling with internal happiness and watched a documentary on wealth and a father said to his son, if you want to be successful, “positively touch as many people as possible”, so this had been resonating with me for months.
Having 8 grandparents I was able to see a lot of different approaches to elderly care and wanted this to be my focus for positive change. So, at The Seniors Solution we are doing just that - “Being the change we want to see” . The Seniors’ Solution purpose is to start working with elderly individuals earlier on in their lives; helping develop their houses so they can stay in them long term so that they stay in the community they know and are comfortable in. Where neighbors will always keep that friendly eye open. Community is so important, I couldn’t imagine how lost I would feel being taken out of the community I lived most of my life. How lost would you feel being in a totally new environment when you are supposed to be enjoying these last years with as much inner peace as possible. So, we are now offering in-home care services and are currently working with CARF to achieve our International Accreditation so that we can then work alongside Alberta Health Services in the future. Community is so preached but when people get old they toss them in jail with people they don’t know, with workers that don’t know their culture, with patients that are all messed up, away from the people, parks and shops that have supported them their entire life.... how depressing. Safer At Home = Mental Health Improved = Better quality of life = Longevity
www.theseniorssolution.com 26 // Community Now!
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How to Build a Software Application for the E-Health Era: Insights from
Nikki Robinson Content Writer - Pixeltree
It’s an exciting time for innovation within the health and technology industries. Society’s understanding of health care has recently undergone a monumental shift and consumers are looking to harness the power of technology to revolutionize their health care management systems. From a product development mindset, there are big challenges to overcome transition a long-standing in-person process online, but there may be no better time in history for health care providers to take the leap than this very moment.
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Why Now? Social distancing requirements and business shutdowns forced many healthcare providers to adjust their in-person practices to be remote, for an indefinite amount of time. In response, many primary care providers transitioned some or all of their non-urgent processes online to accommodate social distancing mandates. In product development, we would say that the pandemic forced healthcare providers to implement a new mental model about health care management and delivery. Healthcare consumers consecutively adopted this new mental model out of necessity as there were few other options to do so during the pandemic. So why launch a health care application now?
Mental Models Mental models are individualistic understandings of concepts, structures, and beliefs that people have developed about ideological constructs throughout the course of their lifetime. For example, society has adopted the mental model that meeting with a primary care physician is an in-person appointment. Our mental models help us make decisions and determine how to navigate through the world because they are made up of our cumulate life experiences and learnings For example, If I (the user) click the ‘schedule appointment with physician’ button, I expect that I will be prompted to add the meeting to my calendar because this is what has happened historically in my experiences.
In product design, mental models help us solve challenges by informing us of what users could anticipate happening when they engage with our application. For example, the little circle at the bottom right of my screen will connect me with someone for assistance should I click it. Establishing new mental models is a difficult task to get right and if completed incorrectly, can result in a mismatched understanding between users and the system. We’ve all been frustrated by something like typing into a search bar and hitting enter, only to find out we need to actively click “submit”. Mismatched mental models create cognitive friction or mental fatigue for the user, leaving users feeling tired, incompetent, frustrated, and in worst-case scenarios, cognitively overloaded to the point they no longer wish to interact with the app at all. However, product teams will break away from designs that satisfy pre-existing mental models at times in an attempt to innovate for a better user experience on their app. For example, opting to develop a chat-based health care application in an attempt to eliminate the unpleasant experience of having to take time of the day to attend to our health either in-person or via video chat. Even if mental models line up, product adoption is still far from guaranteed. The longer a pre-existing mental model has reigned the more difficult it becomes to implement a novel one in its place. The health care industry has been presented with a unique opportunity in history to avoid
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Ensure that you’re creating a product that helps people fulfill
not complete tasks. (continued from page 29...) the cognitive friction involved in breaking old and building new mental models. The pandemic forced many users to adopt a new mental model around health management whether they were ready for the conceptual shift or not. Although they may not have altered their health management practices by choice, many people witnessed the benefits e-health can provide for creating a more holistic and accessible approach to health care management and are looking for more. So how do I get started? Below are some app development tips and tricks we have collected while designing, developing, ideating, and innovating over at the Pixeltree office that have proven themselves useful time and time again. Be sure to include these in your toolbox and you’ll be off to a great start. Happy innovating!
1. Match your system to the real world One of the key principles of user-friendly product design is designing products that maintain a match between users’ real-worlds and the system being built. This is because it’s easier to adopt a mental model that feels somewhat familiar than completely novel. Examples of this can be the use of common language when writing micro-copy or following long-standing design conventions for important workflows. For a health-specific example, you could consider using image-oriented prescription refills or a button click refill so the users don’t have to type in or search for their active prescriptions. This would be a very similar process to the one that occurs when patients look to fill their prescriptions with a pharmacist. 2. Consider the goals of your users People utilize software applications to help them achieve something. Whether it be completing a daily work task or simply alleviating boredom, users always have a goal when they open up an application. (continued on page 30)
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Congratulations to Calgary’s New Mayor
Community \\ 31
4. Make help easily accessible Healthcare applications inevitably have a wide, varied range of users. Some are born into the digital age and others aren’t, making the technoliteracy of your user groups broad. (continued from page 30...)
What would your users try to achieve by using your app? What would they want the outcome of using your app to be? How will
An easy way to ensure that no one gets lost in your app is to provide help text directly on the interface where users can easily see it. Additionally, providing more info icons and access to traditional forms of help i.e. a number they can call for customer service or
your app fit into their everyday lives?
a CTA that connects that call with one click.
Ensure that you’re creating a product that helps people fulfill their goals, not complete tasks.
5. Test, Test, Test!
3. Be cautious with where and how you automate Personal well-being and health management can be emotional processes. Patients come to their doctors for a variety of reasons and they could be coming in pain, distress, and even desperation. Unlike primary care physicians, AI has yet to perfect its bedside manner. Automation can prove beneficial for streamlining administrative processes and navigating queries accurately but it cannot yet gauge the emotional state of patients and adjust practices appropriately. Approach your automation practices with caution and only automate where and when appropriate. Perhaps you implement AI to prompt general questions at the beginning of the visit to provide physicians with some general context about their patients or employ it for appointment booking. Keep the physician-ing up to the physicians.
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One of the biggest pitfalls product teams are subject to is failing to test their product with real users. There’s no richer insight into the goals, behaviours, and mental models of your users than your users themselves. Make room in your budgets for usability testing, user interviews, and other forms of user research to ensure you’re serving the right goals of your user group. -From a product development mindset, we’re at a turning point in health care history. The internet has empowered individuals to take a greater role in their health care management and transformed a previously dichotomous patient/practitioner relationship into something that more closely resembles a patient/physician partnership. It’s important that we continue to provide tools that support these newly established mental models if we wish to continue innovating forward with the health care industry.
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Building B1, #201, 2451 Dieppe Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1
Building B1, #201, 2451 Dieppe Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind.”
— Robin Williams
“The truth is you can recover.” — Vanisha Breault “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.” — Jade Alberts
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Do you need help to get off the couch and get your body moving out your front door every day? Join one of the monthly ONLINE Wild About Nature Challenges and reach your 10,000 steps in a fun and mindful way! Let's get WILD together! learning.motivatedbynature.com
NO SUCH THING AS A BULLY We all use both bully actions and victim responses from time to time. One set of skills strengthens, solves and prevents both. The No Such Thing as a Bully System gives you the tools you need for success in any role - CEO, Administrator, Principal, Teacher, Parent, Human Being. Get inspired, Get smarter, Get better relationships. Join the movement. Register at http://nosuchthingasabully.com/nstaab-live-online 403-447-4404 • Kelly@nosuchthingasabully.com
Abridge Consulting Abridge Consulting was founded based on a simple, but not easy, goal - to get more people, more help, sooner. Abridge Consulting believes we can all learn how to be a bridge between people struggling with their mental health and getting them the support, they need and deserve. Abridge Consulting clients are organizations and teams who are ready to invest in their people, culture and bottom line. #workplacementalhealth #abridgethegap #taraisabridge Tara Adams, Abridge Consulting 403-671-9911 • firstname.lastname@example.org abridgeconsulting.ca
Our passion is helping you to feel better, improve your relationships, and thrive. Our approach will assist you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours to create balance in your life Our team at Your Counselling may be right for YOU!
WHAT WE OFFER:
• Individual and family therapy • Evening and weekend appointment times
• Competitive Rates • Direct billing to Insurance providers
Easily book online at: www.yourcounselling.ca
FabulousHealth.ca Joanne@FabulousHealth.ca Are you a woman feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to turn to wash off the “muck of life”? We can help. You can create the fabulous health and life you desire and deserve. 36 // Community Now!
Contact Us! 403-668-7561• email@example.com 602 11 AVE SW #320, Calgary AB, T2R 1J8
The Cabin Door Heather Wyard-Scott firstname.lastname@example.org thecabindoor.ca (587) 217-8499 Certified Life Coach & Energy Healer.
A world free from neurological disorders. email@example.com www.branchoutfoundation.com
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HERStory Pitch Competition 2021
As women, we are The 51 per cent How ever we only receive only 2.3% of all Venture Capital https://the51.com
HerStory Brought to you by Alberta Innovates and The51 https://the51.com/herstory HerStory is a story-telling competition that invites women and women-identifying entrepreneurs to tell a panel of champions from various industries who they are, how they came to their idea and why investing in them will bring innovation, value and impact: both to their industry and to the future of more equitable access to Canadian capital. Why HerStory? Studies have shown what women entrepreneurs and investors have known for decades: traditional pitch competitions consistently fail women. HerStory is quite literally flipping the script. By leading with narrative and encouraging a relatable, honest and intuitively woman-centred approach to information, connection and business building, we’re challenging the traditional pitch model and spurring innovation. HerStory amplifies a diversity of voices and connects modern entrepreneurs with appropriate investors, increasing the likelihood of women accessing pathways to success.
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MEET THE FOUNDER WHO QUALIFIED FOR THE HERSTORY PITCH COMPETITION
Lisa Bechamp CPA, CGA, Director of Finance Coalese Health Coalese Health is a Calgary-based software company providing primary care physicians and their patients the ability to view their electronic medical records (EMR) in a comprehensive and quick-to-understand format. Improved viewing of health data, combined with analytics that makes the information truly actionable, provides unique insights to both physicians and patients. This provides a more in-depth understanding of chronic conditions, empowers patients and thus leads to improved health outcomes.
Assel Beglinova, Co-founder & CEO Paperstack
Leanne Brownoff, Co-founder and Danielle Bragge, Co-founder VR Pathways Inc. VR Pathways Inc. is an Alberta business co-created and co-owned by Danielle Bragge and Leanne Brownoff—two entrepreneurs with a proven track record of success. VR Pathways Inc has created the VRBrain™, a unique, clinically endorsed, on-demand, mental health and wellness support app for individuals experiencing stress, anxiety, and burnout. The app also helps build mental resiliency when experiencing demanding situations.
Paperstack is a bookkeeping & tax filing platform that makes it surprisingly easy for freelancers and e-commerce sellers to pay less taxes - without having to do all mundane accounting manually. Think about it as a CPA in your pocket - but without all the fees. Community \\ 39
Juliana Pontón Caputo, Founder ICannRx, ICannRx is a technology platform in web app format that guides the clinical decision-making of healthcare practitioners (HCP) with respect to alternative medicines (including cannabis, psilocybin, over the counter medications [OTC]).
Lana Cuthbertson, Co-founder and CEO Areto Labs
Julia Clauser, Founder and CEO gldn hour gldn hour is a Canadian beverage brand that has developed the first marine collagen-infused sparkling waters in North America. Founders Julia Clauser and Jessica Dumont Nadeau leveraged their 20+ years of food retail industry experience to develop and bring to market a true product innovation focused on ingestible beauty. When people are in their 20s, their production of collagen starts to decline, causing signs of aging like wrinkles and saggy skin.
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Areto Labs is a B2B SaaS tech startup building apps to help organizations attract and retain talent based on today’s challenges of remote working, by building inclusive, productive cultures in the digital workplace. The future of work demands that we build engagement digitally, which is why Areto’s apps are deployed inside private and public digital workspaces, like Slack and Twitter, and combine machine learning and automation with behavioural science into scalable software that uses the latest corporate culture-building research to automate DEI practices, while saving leaders time and effort, and improving the employee experience.
Kayli Dale, CEO A Friendlier Company (AFC) Women-founded A Friendlier Company (AFC) is Canada’s fastest growing reusable packaging company, growing to support over 55 independent businesses in five regions across SW Ontario since launching 10 months ago. Their partnership with SkiptheDishes has allowed them to increase their reach and leverage Canada’s leading third-party food delivery platform to promote reuse.
Iana Dogel. PhD, MBA, Co-Founder and VP of Business Development TeleMag Health Solutions TeleMag Health Solutions is a start-up company focused on developing an improved rTMS device. The company was founded in January 2020 by three Canadian entrepreneurs: George Hathaway, P.E., Joe Palermo, and Iana Dogel, PhD, MBA, and is currently located in Canada (Ontario).
Dr. Hilal Gul, Founder, President and CEO MySteMBiotech, MySteMBiotech is a biotech
Dr. Bethany Deshpande, Co-founder and CEO
providing novel livestock colostrum stem cells-
industry is experiencing pressure to curb an-
SomaDetect’s mission is to provide farmers with the information they need to make the best possible milk. The company’s core technology is an in-line sensor capable of monitoring critical indicators of reproductive status, health and milk quality from individual cows.
based products for enhancing animal health as an alternative to antibiotics. The livestock tibiotic use in farm animals to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. MySteMBiotech offers a novel approach to optimize health and production of livestock using colostrum-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like cells, known to possess both antimicrobial activity and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to their regenerative potential. Community \\ 41
Kelsey Hahn, CEO and Co-Founder
Cassandra Hui, Founder/CEO
Monark is on-demand leadership training in one seamless platform, driving measurable and lasting growth through psychology and the science of leadership. By utilizing 360 assessment, micro-learning, onthe-job practice, behavioural nudges, and real peer feedback, Monark acts as a digital coach without relying on a human, making development more personalized, accessible, and effective.
Janna Hattingh, Owner/Founder Booby Food Booby Food is on a mission to help mamas never waste a drop of breastmilk. Booby Food freeze dries YOUR frozen breastmilk into a shelf stable, travel friendly powder that lasts for years. They then package your powdered breastmilk into convenient, resealable bags, perfect for on the go. Now mamas can have the convenience of powdered infant formula with the powerhouse nutrition of their own breastmilk. 42 // Community Now!
Heal Mary is a platform that connects patients and caregivers to clinical trials globally within seconds. They use machine learning to make it easier for a patient to understand and self apply into clinical trials, and help empower patients and their doctors to make decisions for the best possible health care outcome.
Angela Kouris, CEO & Founder Synergia Biotech Synergia Biotech is a clean technology company that has created the world’s only “green” natural blue. Our climate friendly blue pigment (phycocyanin) can safely replace artificial colours in the food and beverage, health and wellness, and personal care industries.
Megan Leslie, CEO and Co-founder NanoTess NanoTess is a values-based company with a vision to prevent unnecessary suffering through nanotechnology innovation.
Valentyna Maslieieva, CEO, MSc
Liz O’Connell, President and Co-Founder Arolytics Formed in 2018, Arolytics is an emissions analytics and software-based company with operations in Calgary and Halifax, Canada. With proprietary algorithms and emissions modelling, Arolytics’ products and services optimize energy sector emissions management and disclosure, saving companies on their associated measurement costs via the design and tracking of intelligent emissions management programs.
Cytinnov Biotechnologies Cell-based therapies are poised to revolutionize healthcare. Promising to cure chronic diseases and fully repair damaged tissues and organs, demand for these treatments will be tremendous—as will the costs. While the first few cell-based treatments have entered the Canadian health care market, their massive price tag is a bottleneck for the uptake of treatments by doctors, patients and the government. In some cases, the cost-of-goods alone for cell manufacturing is estimated to be in the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars per dose per patient. The cost of cell manufacturing must come down to make cell therapies accessible.
Morẹ́nikẹ́ Ẹniọlá Ọláòṣebìkan, CEO & Founder Kemet Group of Companies, Kemet solves drug shortages by predicting and producing essential medications in prefabricated onsite facilities with adaptive digital technology.
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Heather Pauls, CEO SpikeFli SpikeFli is 95% woman owned and led, and is generating REAL revenue, from REAL Enterprise and Government clients without any previous outside investment to date.
Talwinder Punni, Chief Strategy Officer
Cressida Raffin, CEO and Co-Founder Birdie Break Birdie Break is a mobile app that supports parents by helping them find, book and pay for 5-star, trusted childcare, conveniently, when they need it. Parents get peace of mind as all Birdie sitters are experienced childcare professionals who have been interviewed, have a clean criminal background check and are CPR trained. In as little as 2 hours, our parents can be on their way to a Birdie Break. Their vision is to encourage and support happy families first in Canada, then globally.
Naiad Lab Naiad Lab is a spinoff from the University of Alberta’s Advanced Human-Computer Interfaces (AHCI) (formerly the Advanced Man Machine Interface) under Dr. Pierre Boulanger. Naiad Lab connects healthcare providers with remote patients using health measurements, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), advanced data analytics, and video conferencing to rapidly satisfy patients’ healthcare concerns. MedROAD is Naiad Lab’s cost-efficient platform that uses data-analytics to remotely screen and monitor patients. It empowers clinicians to continue providing quality healthcare while keeping all parties safe and mitigating the spread of illnesses. 44 // Community Now!
Jennifer Kruidbos, MA, Founder Blawsome Blawesome is the AI and science-backed wellness technology platform that belongs to the emerging generation of people seeking wellness as a lifestyle. Blawesome is built to enhance the accessibility to health and wellness services from vetted coaches, healers and teachers.
Revathi Reddy Algae Appétit By 2050, global food production will need to increase by 70% to feed an extra 2.5 billion people, and current food systems will not be able to sustainably feed the world’s ever-growing population.
Jessica Renney, Co-Founder Mindful Athletics Mindful Athletics is a woman-founded organization that commenced operations in 2014. For the first few years, Mindful Athletics was primarily involved in providing mental health, psychological support, and guidance to several athletes, coaches, and parents in a multitude of sports. It is during this initial time-period, that the idea of creating a truly effective and impactful mental health tool was born.
Julia Slanina, Founder & CEO Treehouse Treehouse’s mission is to tackle some of the world’s most meaningful issues in healthcare, starting with building Canada’s leading care management solution for the maternal health community.
Connie Stacey, Founder and President Growing Greener Innovations, Inc. Growing Greener Innovations, Inc., is an award-winning clean energy solutions company based in Edmonton and operating since 2014. GGI designs smart batteries and battery energy storage solutions for individual, commercial and industrial customers looking to increase resiliency and reduce overall energy use and GHG emissions.
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Samantha Woods, Founder and Director
Lauren Wright, AGNP-BC, Founder & CEO
Kaizen Education Services
The Natural Nipple
Since its inception in 2013, Kaizen has become a recognized and well-respected authority on executive functioning skills, the brain-based skills that enable you to set goals, plan, and accomplish tasks. When people struggle with executive function, it significantly impacts them at home, school, and life. Kaizen has validated a significant need to educate students that are currently underserved by the traditional system by successfully creating a niche approach that has helped thousands of families.
The Natural Nipple provides parents the confidence & freedom to keep their baby healthy with seamless, stress-free breast and bottle feeding, as the only infant feeding system that is researched and designed to mimic a mother’s shape, feel, and flow. They are a dedicated team of clinicians, scientists and mamas pioneering advancements to empower breastfeeding, promote bonding and optimize wellness worldwide.
"Feminism isn't about making Maria Parysz, CEO & Co-Founder Logic AI Solutions Inc. LogicAI is a software company that uses the latest achievements in AI to build leading products.
women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." G.D. Anderson
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Calgary families need your help. Create a holiday miracle today!
MadebyMomma.org/Christmas In times of crisis, Made by Momma knows that sometimes mothers are the ones who need to be taken care of. Help make sure no family has to face crisis alone this holiday season by donating non-perishables, new unwrapped gifts, or family essentials today. Made by Momma - Volunteer-Run. Donation-Driven.
3 ways you can make a difference this Christmas Adopt-A-Momma 12 CANs till Christmas food drive
Donating a gift to Santa's Workshop
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GETS STUDENTS PERFORMING LIVE MAKES TECHNIQUE ACCESSIBLE
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MAKES TECHNIQUE ACCESSIBLE
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“It Starts With a WHISPER…” #REdefiningME • #FindinganewCOMMUNITY Episode 1: THE PLAN Written by Jill Quirk (educator and explorer)
“It starts as a whisper” ... (Jane Goodall, What happened when we all stopped). This is a story of a life mission to find JOY in everyday life. When I think about JOY, I expect it to come easily, however in the past few years I was struggling to find the JOY. I’m not sure if this loss of JOY started with a really bad concussion (I got at work in November 2019 which took months to heal) OR with all the lockdowns and teaching online (for a whole year in my case 2020-21), but something shifted in me and I was not as happy as I once was. So I knew that I needed an adventure to reset. So in 2021 we decided to make some changes. Being a teacher, I often defined myself almost entirely by my profession. When my job changed to online teaching in covid, it pushed me to rethink “what is important?”. I love teaching, and to be honest I love it so much I would work on lessons( hours at a time if I could). And when we had to shift to virtual learning, well I spent even more hours making sure my lessons were so fun and engaging, meeting all the needs of so many different learning levels. However, it was unhealthy. And I am a mother and a wife and I was giving my profession everything. And 48 // Community Now!
that was unhealthy. I think teachers want to be perfect, it is an impossible goal. So…This is a story about how I am learning to redefine my life. And to really focus on what is most important to me. And, what brings people…(me)... JOY? I cannot... “wait for things to get easier, simpler, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now. Otherwise you’ll run out of time”. (cheesy Facebook add) There is a story narrated by Jane Goodall called “What happened when we all stopped”, and it is a poetic narrative about appreciating nature and embracing a chance for rebirth, after all the covid lock downs. The story explains how our own realities can hit us ...“as gentle as sunlight as tenacious as hail…” This year, I began to think about… life after 40… (for the record I am now 42). And throughout the covid lockdown days I had a chance to reflect and think about where I was in my own mission to find JOY. What makes us truly happy? For me, it was not that I was entirely unhappy. I had a job I was good at, my family was healthy and happy, money was consistently coming in to pay the bills. However, I felt that something was missing. And I wanted to re-
adjust my brain to figure out what it was. This cannot happen with a click of the fingers. This had to become a life goal and something that I have to work at each and every day. What was becoming very obvious for myself to improve, I needed CHANGE. Change allows for new perspectives and growth. What I think I needed most was a chance to reconnect with myself and with nature. I think this missing puzzle piece for me was the lack of nature in my life. I have always wanted to live a more sustainable holistic life, connecting myself with the land. I have always wanted to grow my own produce, raise chickens and pigs, and have land to connect with. The “farm to table” life. Now this kind of life was not possible for me in Airdrie Alberta. So it was time to find a new province to call home, and expand my community. Choosing a place to live in Canada is difficult, as there are so many directions we could go! However - it came down to the fact that we chose to live close to the sea. Finding fresh seafood, having land to farm and being around beautiful surroundings... so we chose the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, with rich fertile land, stunning natural views and many joyful humans. So we planned to move to Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, mostly because it was the “friendliest town in Nova Scotia” (the Bridgetown sign says so!). Don’t overthink life. Trust that you made the right decisions and continue to grow.
Medicine Hat night 1.
Madicine Hat Famous RCMP dog
Something that was a real benefit during covid was that everything could be done remotely. Meaning buying a house across the (continued on next page)
(continued from page 49...) country was a lot easier! We were able to look at houses via Zoom, which was very convenient for us. Our realtor Kaleigh Everett (we found by clicking a button) was so helpful, driving to the potential houses and Zooming with us. However, all of a sudden, it was not just us looking for houses in Nova Scotia… it seemed that everyone was thinking the same thing… and come Springtime (2021) houses were selling so fast without conditions on sale and down payments were way over the norm. This intensity scared us a little, however, we were lucky and found a perfect spot right by the Annapolis River. It is a 200 year old house in Upper Granville. It comes with a large barn and 4 acres of land (including our own little forest filled with fruit trees) and some very fertile soil. When we put an offer in, the condition was that I had to write an essay why I wanted to move to the valley. A strange request, however I obliged and thankfully we made the cut. We purchased a house and negotiated a summer move. Finding a way to get our stuff over to Nova Scotia was a very stressful part of the move, and it ended up with us giving away a lot of things. However, material goods don’t seem as important when you're chasing a dream? Finding a company to move our stuff from Alberta to Nova Scotia was tricky with not a lot of companies having the availability or they were too expensive at the time. We had to hire a pod to get the items to Ontario. Then we were going to get a truck and my parents would drive the items from Ontario to us… however, rental truck prices soared, so we ended up hiring a moving company to bring the items from Ontario to Nova Scotia. Long story short - our stuff arrived at the end of August (let’s just say It worked out in the end). 50 // Community Now!
The plan was to drive both of our trucks across the country. One with the trailer and one solo. Being that we only had the two trucks, a trailer and a pod... we had to get rid of a lot of things...After months of selling items/ giving away items … most of our stuff was either in the pod/shipping container or in the camper… however…. There was an uncomfortable, “what do we do with this?” pile that was growing. We set a date to leave … July 20th. This date was so we would have a set goal. We organized renters for our Alberta home for the year. It was all becoming real! The pile of “miscellaneous items” was a horrible situation, and the pile seemed like a growth on our body we could not get rid of. It got to the point of “how are we going to empty our house by tomorrow?”. My kids run to the neighbours houses with .... “do you want this?”… or more like …”please can you take this…”. It’s strange how much stuff we collect over the years. Things that we just didn’t need… I’m happy to say that on July 20th we successfully left and moved out of our house. Looking back, I think having a firm “go date” really helped us achieve our goal of moving out. We drove an impressive three whole hours to the Medicine Hat WalMart that day. The thing is, I expected to cry while leaving the house we had made a home for almost 13 years, however all I felt was relief. We were leaving Airdrie Alberta and we were going to reset our lives. The Mission - Alberta to Nova Scotia It took us 11 days to get from Airdrie Alberta to Upper Granville Nova Scotia which was around 5300 kms. Before we hit the road there were months of unknowing what the borders
would be like due to the covid outbreaks. The Nova Scotia government was very cautious and just slowly opening their borders. We all got our double vaccinations (except Colton due to age) and crossed our fingers that it would all be ok. With Alberta opening up completely it was a confusing mess of what we needed for each province. Luckily the documentation that we were double vaccinated kept us feeling safe. We had no real itinerary and decided that #WalMarting across the
country (parking our trailer at WalMarts for the night) would do just fine. July 20th - Day 1 “let’s just get out of here” On Day 1 we made it to Medicine Hat WalMart which seems like a small feat, however that was the day we left our house. Only three hours of driving. I think everyone watching us packing the last of our stuff probably thought it was a little bit of a comedy act. I was running around like a crazy person, trying to do everything at once. We got up super early, however we did not end up leaving until mid afternoon. When we got to the Walmart in Medicine Hat it was dinner time and it was surprisingly a pretty fun spot with tons of other travelers coming from the east anticipating a memorable Rocky Mountains experience for the first time. I was emotionally and physically drained. Day 2 “I need to go see Indi” Heading east can be pretty tiring when you hit the prairies. So much flat land… so we decided that we needed to hit up the RCMP museum and meet the famous dog INDI (btw he has his own facebook page). The RCMP museum was really fun, with a lot of interesting history and some fun VR experiences. I had already learned all about this museum from online learning. We had the opportuni(continued on next page)
Day 2 -The Prairies
Day 2 Almost in Brandon Family shot in Kenora
(continued from page 51...) ty to hear about the history of Canada from Justin and Debbie who have a really amazing online school program that we got to be a part of. It was nice to see the museum in person. After the history lessons (and Maddie failing the police car simulator too many times) we decided that we could make it to Brandon Manitoba, (without Maddie driving!!). So we drove from Medicine Hat to Brandon in a day… 8 hours of driving through the prairies. YIKES!! At this time Manitoba had strict rules about masks, and it was so strange to come from Alberta with a “no mask policy” to Manitoba with vaccination passports already in place. We had to find some masks tucked away in our glove boxes just to go into the WalMart to get our dinner supplies. However, Brandon WalMart was great - a nice quiet place to rest our tired heads. Day 3 “NO PARKING AT WALMART” There are some towns that do not allow overnight parking of RVs and trailers at WalMarts. Kenora Ontario is one of those towns. After 5 hours of driving…we were able to get a spot in the Anicinabe RV park, which was a really beautiful campground in northern Ontario. When we arrived there was a drum circle, children jumping in the lake and the air smelled so sweet. It was a great feeling to be there. We really enjoyed the evening cooking our Alberta steak we had left over on our little BBQ. The funny thing about camping and also having all of your house items in your camper ...it was like a game of Tetris every time we stopped. The camper was packed so tight with boxes and it was so hard to move around. I laugh at how every time I needed something in a drawer or cupboard I had to move like 5 boxes every time. We really packed ourselves tight. So funny to think about it now, how much stuff was in that camper! 52 // Community Now!
Day 4 “this is the last of the WALMARTING” Around 6 hours of driving we arrived at the Thunder Bay WalMart. It was an experience we will not forget. It was raining pretty hard, so we just got a pizza for dinner (no fun cooking on our BBQ in the parking lot). The rain set the tone for the evening as ...dreary. This particular WalMart was not a place that you would say is entirely safe, however after so many hours of driving - sometimes you just cross your fingers and hope for the best. This WalMart was a dump. And it is a place where there are some inequalities that exist. Nothing horrible happened, but there were sights we can’t unsee, so it really made us rethink about choosing WalMarts for our evening campouts. Day 5 “Wild Goose Campground sounds nice!” After a mediocre sleep we decided to splurge and aim for a campground for our next stop. While heading towards highway 11 north, on our way to Geraldton there were some really memorable things that happened. First of all on Highway 1, we got to see the Terry Fox memorial. I did not think that I would just break down in tears… but I was overcome with emotion at that point. Thinking of how dedicated and hopeful Terry was at such a young age. It just blows your mind to the importance of just one person and what they can achieve! AND then got to explore an amethyst mine. For the record it was like 40 degrees when we went hunting for rocks - but we persevered and found some really amazing amethyst to take home. Sweat soaking our clothes. After around 3 hours of on and off driving we found the Wild Goose campground and were blown away by the beauty. It was a terrific spot to stop for the night with wild geese everywhere.
Day 6 “where are we headed?” Finding the Flood Landing Campground just outside Cochrane Ontario was pretty daunting because of all the gravel roads. However, the campground was amazing! The owners were in their 10th year of operation. Such a perfect spot. We even got a little rain storm to cool us off after a crazy hot day. We had a great campfire with family talk and life lessons discussed. Getting there was super interesting as there were many French settlements
Kenora at night
off highway 11 with cute towns where old men scooted around on their wheelers while going through Tim Hortons. Day 7 - “what's up with Quebec drivers?” Once we crossed over the border into Quebec something happened… The truck drivers started to drive aggressively. We thought maybe we could reach our friends house on Day 7 all the way to Shawinigan, however, that was not the case. I had to try to get us a campground with little internet/cell service and try speaking French. At first the campsite they said to us “no room”, however stating that we would park anywhere (just not wanting a WalMart) he agreed to let us park in the space behind the campground. Parc Joan, in Mont-Laurier, was owned for generations and named after his grandma who still lived there took us in for the night. That evening at Parc Joan we were absolutely exhausted. We grabbed some food at the grocery store to eat and then went to bed. That was a long day of driving around 9 hours of driving… that was too much for our exhausted brains.
Camping again!! Wild Goose gave us JOY
Day 8-10 “can’t wait to see my bestie” Sometimes when you are on road trips the closer a location is, the farther it seems. Getting to Shawinigan Quebec from Mont-Laurier seemed like it took FOREVER, however it was only three hours of driving! One of (continued on next page) Community \\ 53
(continued from page 53...) my besties moved to Quebec from Ontario to find her own JOY. They have been living in Quebec for around 15 years. There are many very cool things about Shawinigan, especially all the French pastries!! YUM! We had a great time connecting with our friends and we felt like we got some French culture as well. Day 10 “Jill - can u come find me on the exit ramp” On day 10 we left Quebec and headed for New Brunswick. People warn you that all you will see is trees on this journey through New Brunswick. And that is true… all we saw was TREES! However, we were in good spirits as we were getting so close to our final destination… BUT our trailer wheels decided that they had had enough around 6 pm. So Wayne calls and tells us to meet him at an exit 30 minutes from Woodstock at the Petro Canada exit ramp. Maddie and I were already almost in Fredericton (like 45 minutes away)... oh well. We met up at the Petro Canada and the kids were pumped because there was an awesome ice cream hut there and they got to have rootbeer floats. So two wheels popped (we had taken some gnarly roads from Quebec to New Brunswick) and we needed to find somewhere that supplied tires to get us to our final destination - which was now only 1 day of driving away! We decided to sleep on it and figure it out the next day. We slept with the lullaby of truck engines. Day 11 “We got new wheels”!! Early Saturday morning Wayne was frantic on the phone - trying to find somewhere that was open (as it was the long weekend). We were so happy to hear that Fredrickton had a shop that could help us out! We drove cautiously to the mechanic shop with wonky wheels and a few hours later our trailer was good to go! 54 // Community Now!
Day 11 continued ...“you may enter” Every hour we crept closer and closer to our new home province Nova Scotia. AND THEN we got to the entrance of the border… my heart is beating fast… and I just handed the poor border control so many documents...“here’s all my paperwork… we bought a house... we’re all double vaccinated … yes we registered online blah blah” … “go on through” he says… We met up with our realtor for the first time in Bedford just outside Halifax. Keys have never felt so important… ...and then we enter highway 101…. Over an hour later we found the exit...exit 21… Annapolis Royal/Bridgetown … we head on to highway #1…. Through cute little Bridgetown…. (oh that town looks adorable I think) And then, “wait a minute… I drove past our house… (reverse truck).... WE MADE IT”!!! And the adventure begins... And now, so much has happened since we arrived. This journey of redefining a life has not been entirely easy, but it is an adventure and it is exactly what we wanted. Over the course of the year I will be writing about where this adventure takes this family. I am unaware of what will become of this life here in Nova Scotia. But what I do know... is that we jumped in feet first and have hoped for the best! We are ready to be part of a new community here in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. We will take one step at a time and believe in our hearts that this new place will fill us with the JOY we are searching for. Stay tuned for Episode 2…
POUTINE in Quebec
Learning important phrases • Flood Landing Camp Ground
Flood Landing Campground
Wild Goose Lake
QUEBCE Oh look a moose!
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What Do I Think About On Remembrance Day David Malden Sr.
I am often asked about my thoughts about Remembrance Day. I don’t often share because everyone has a story, and many have gone through more than I could imagine. This year I thought I would share a story: after returning to Canada from a tour, a unit had arranged for families to be united with their soldiers at the terminal on the Trenton airbase. There were emotional and tear-filled reunions going on everywhere, and a friend had arranged to meet his wife and 5-year-old daughter on the grass outside the building. When his daughter sighted her dad, she broke away from her Mom and ran across the grass to her Dad. 56 // Community Now!
Two generations of O’Dell’s
As soon as this happened, the Dad started
I think of those who came home in a box or
screaming and swearing at the little girl to stop and get back.
came home irreparably changed, and I think of their friends and families.
Certainly not the reunion anyone expected.
I think of returning soldiers are suffering from some mental health issues, from depression to full-blown PTSD.
Both Dad & daughter were traumatized. You need to understand that the father had spent months soldiering in a place full of IEDs, mines & booby traps. IEDs are hard to place on pavement & sidewalks, so the ‘bad guys’ would place them in grass and foliage. So a grassy expanse was something to be feared. The dad was reacting instinctively to saving his daughter’s instinctive reaction to seeing her Dad for the first time in over six months. This I think about on Remembrance Day. For many years, and as a young man, Remembrance Day was a day to remember all of those who died serving our country and being honest, it was dress uniforms, marching through the streets and drinking with new and old comrades in a legion somewhere. During the last years, Remembrance Day has come to mean something different to me. I can’t help but think of the thousands of soldiers who returned from war with life-altering, debilitating wounds, both seen and unseen.
Diseases just as deadly as any sniper. There are failed relationships, tangled finances and legal problems, all caused or exacerbated by the effects of war. There are homeless veterans and young men & women in challenging domestic situations. Or those who are trying desperately to fit into a civilian workplace where the biggest crisis is the wrong flavour of the coffee. So, on Remembrance Day, I think of the innocents. Those caught in a fight that isn’t of their making: women, elderly and children who become causalities and are often subject to the cruelty of the evilest acts perpetuated by the evilest bastards on earth. I think of these soldiers not mentioned on memorials wall or honoured in any fashion, as they are most certainly casualties of war. I am saddened to think of what those lost, ruined, and wasted lives might have had a chance to accomplish I think of my friend and his daughter. Community \\ 57
58 // Community Now! Hello friends, as a community connector, advocate, navigator & #Emerging #Health leader: I write about #HOPE; It's sometimes easier to write & talk about the #Opposite which is hopeless; how does one walk through life feeling emptiness in their #Head, #Hands & #Heart ? Take time to #ConnectInspireAct with others in your community & contribute towards building a better, stronger more resilient society for the common good. When one feels #Purpose grow in their soul little #Pebbles of hope begin to resurface through the dirt & messiness of one's life. #BeBrave & #Patient while waiting for those feelings to grow within. It's in these transforming moments that #One begins to realize the power / wisdom to change ones world from within. When one sees that Strength comes from from the broken #Puzzle pieces of one's struggles ; its rebuilding through #Our pain, grief trauma that we learn to hear the calls for help from within our bodies. And see something we didn't see before ; its the magic of how the puzzles pieces of our struggles fit perfectly into the foundation for our strength. Over time we can #Empower others to join the movement of story telling with short messages of #Hope; As we leave behind #Halloween & thanksgiving with #October another important day is; #InternationalDayToEradicatePoverty or #IDEP for short! Please take a few moments to #Stop, reflect & recharge as you read this message. Sometimes life can be chaotic, upside down, inside out or even backwards. Also matter how complex ones day gets by sunset; the moon will arise in the #EndlessSky to watch over us through the night. I take enjoyment writing about what what means to me & in process of finding my words to share with #Others. I'm turning it into an online #Platform where one can utilize the space to #Engage with others across Canada. Watch for more info through social media & CN;Magazine. #ReachOut to us if your interested in becoming a leader who shares about Hope too. OUTREACH@INTONOVUS.CA Why do people need #hope;? We need hope in order to feel alive & when it's lost those moments of connecting with others, will be what helps ignite the flame for hope to return to our bodies, minds & soul! That's it simple... Let's #Encourage others to start talking about what those 4 little letters of h;o;p;e means to us all, maybe together we can #BridgeTheGaps in our society which contribute to others falling down, tripping & stumbling within the struggles of mental illness. #StrongerTogether Thank You Kimberly Dawn Community Bridge Build of #HOPe; @lead4changes
This piece is intended to be upside down!
We are a community instilling hope and connection in the lives of young people, exiting street life.
Change is Possible.
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Having people believe in you is so important to be able to believe in yourself.
I hope to reach all of my goals and let all my dreams come true.
I fear the perceptions of YOU as a non-street person.
When you have been away from normal society it is hard to know how to interact.
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