Halifax, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Path participant since 2010
What do you think are the most important issues facing the health of Canadians?
I think the most important issue facing the health of Canadians is access to care. As a Nova Scotian, I’m not unique in going years without a family physician. I also don’t have any choice in family physician (I would prefer a female doctor, but only male doctors are accepting patients at the one clinic I’m able to get into).
Lack of access creates a waterfall of consequences – walk in clinics are not equipped to handle chronic care, without continuity of care of engaged family physicians, an individual’s health declines to the point of needing acute or emergency care. So many chronic diseases would be more manageable and cost the system less if appropriately managed with access to nurse practitioners and family physicians.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Atlantic PATH?
I’m a scientist by training and I know that basic research and clinical research are essential for better understanding of our health. So by participating in PATH I could assist in a small way that necessary research.
Do you have any personal experience with cancer and/or other chronic diseases?
Yes. Both my parents are cancer survivors. I have lived with anaphylactic allergies and asthma all my life. As an adult I have developed moderate osteoarthritis and angioedema.
If there was one thing you could change about health care in your community, what would it be?
Provide a family physician for everyone who would like one. And provide free dental care for all.
Did you learn anything new about yourself after participating in the Atlantic PATH?
Filling out the various PATH questionnaires did bring perspective on my activity levels. When you have to stop and think about the last time you actually got up from the computer mid-day and took a walk….it was a reminder to think of my wellness.
What would you say to another Canadian who’s thinking about getting involved in Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project?
I would say we all talk about having better health care – participating in PATH [and CPTP] gives you an opportunity to actually take action and help researchers across Canada gain valuable insight into our health.