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Friday, January 28, 2005

  • Keystone 'break' on Monday morning
  • System tracks quality of home care
  • Jesuit speaks on God 'outdoors'
  • Notes at the end of the week
Chris Redmond

Carnaval de Québec

[Two chefs behind the array]

In June 2002, cupcakes from food services helped launch the Keystone Campaign and its slogan: "It's Our Waterloo". Two and a half years later, Keystone has reached its (first) goal. Lower down on this page is a link to the current Keystone promotion, involving chocolate "treat-a-grams" -- notice a carbohydrate theme here?

Keystone 'break' on Monday morning -- a memo from UW's president, David Johnston

It's our Waterloo -- the campus community is invited to celebrate the Keystone Campaign surpassing its $4.5 million goal at a special morning break on Monday, January 31 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the Student Life Centre Great Hall.

The Keystone Campaign, representing support from faculty, staff, and retirees from across campus including the four University colleges, is the cornerstone of our public $260 million Campaign Waterloo: Building a Talent Trust, and it sets a phenomenal example for the greater community to follow.


David Johnston

[Cookie logo] I'd like to express my sincere thanks to the many donors, volunteers, and sponsors in the campus community who are responsible for this outstanding success. As of December 2004, the Keystone Campaign has raised $4.6 million, surpassing its goal more than two years earlier than planned. Congratulations to you all! You should be very proud.

I encourage all members of the UW campus community to attend. Recognizing the importance of this initiative, I have designated the 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. period as paid work time for all UW staff and faculty to attend this special celebration. For those departments providing essential services and thus obligated to remain open during this one hour period, please try to make arrangements so that everyone has an opportunity to participate.

It's our Waterloo -- I hope to see you there!

System tracks quality of home care -- from the UW media relations office

UW, Homewood Research Institute in Guelph and the University of Michigan recently led an international group to develop a new system to monitor the quality of home care on a provincial, national and international basis.

The research was carried out as part of UW's and HRI's involvement in interRAI, a 26-country network of researchers and clinicians that develops health information systems to improve the care of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The first of two papers was published in the most recent issue of the Gerontologist. The second paper on the use of risk adjustment strategies when comparing the quality of home care in Ontario and Manitoba was recently released by the online journal BMC Health Services Research.

Called Home Care Quality Indicators, this system provides "national quality performance indicators that can measure home care quality by examining the structure, process and outcomes of care," said John Hirdes of UW's department of health studies and gerontology.

The home care assessment system of interRAI is being implemented in six Canadian provinces and territories. The Canadian Institute for Health Information has adopted the assessment as part of its Home Care Reporting System, which is currently being implemented in British Columbia.

A report on the home care study, published in the Gerontologist, showed the system can be used by home care agencies, governments and consumers to evaluate the quality of care. "It allows us to measure quality of care and it gives evidence about areas that may require improvements," Hirdes said.

For example, 32 per cent of home care clients have not received an influenza vaccination in the last two years. Although for most Home Care Quality Indicators, Ontario care clients had lower rates of possible quality problems compared with their counterparts in Michigan, Ontario clients were three times more likely to not have had their medications reviewed by a physician.In both jurisdictions, more than 70 percent of home care clients who could benefit from rehabilitation did not receive physical or occupational therapy.

The number of people receiving home care in a given jurisdiction is generally much larger than the number receiving facility-based care, to the extent that home care now represents one of the most important sectors for public health expenditure. About 22 per cent of Canadians aged 80 or older receive this type of care.

According to Brant Fries of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan, "home care serves as an important link among primary care, acute care, long-term care and mental health services. Quality improvements in home care may benefit the entire health care system."

One of the most important changes occurring in Canada's health care system is the transition from institutional to community-based care. Home care programs in every province are facing increased demands for services to replace care that was previously provided in hospitals and nursing homes. The role of home care now includes provision of acute medical care, long-term care, rehabilitation, palliative care, mental health care, health promotion and disease prevention.

Dawn Dalby of Wilfrid Laurier University, who was the lead author of the second paper on risk adjustment strategies, noted that "although there are complex methodological issues to be addressed when comparing quality across jurisdictions, the interRAI approach represents an important breakthrough for enhancing accountability in home care."

Jesuit speaks on God 'outdoors'

Jim Profit, who heads a Jesuit retreat centre and farm in Guelph, will speak at St. Jerome's University tonight on "God of the Outdoors: Healing through the Natural World". His talk starts at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall and is part of the continuing Christians Without Borders series.

"From working with peasant farmers in Jamaica, to serving as the parish priest in an Aboriginal community on Manitoulin Island, to co-ordinating an ecology project," a news release says, Profit's journey has been "an ongoing discovery of the mystery of God.

"There are many outdoor activities that one can enjoy -- be they recreational or functional -- such as sports, hiking, gardening or growing food. By acknowledging and nurturing such pursuits, Fr. Profit believes that we experience the Divine and, in so doing, help bring healing to humanity's destructive relationship with the earth.

"While Christianity acknowledges God's revelation of himself in the created, natural earth, the God of Nature is rarely celebrated or experienced within our modern-day church facilities. This is indicative of a broader spiritual disconnection from the natural world -- one that has led to the ecological crisis we are currently experiencing."

Profit returned to Guelph five years ago and is director and superior of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre. He studied agriculture, rural sociology and theology prior to his ordination in 1991. The Ignatius Centre houses Loyola House Retreat Centre, a community-shared farm that employs natural agricultural methods and is becoming a certified organic operation, the Ecology Project (an arm of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Social Justice), orchards and a system of paths and trails. The Centre has been actively opposing the proposed construction of a Wal-Mart near their centre and two cemeteries for a number of years. They recently lost their battle at the Ontario Municipal Board, but are supporting an appeal against the ruling that was recently launched by a residents' group.

His talk tonight is the annual Ignatian Lecture, endowed by the Upper Canada Province of the English-speaking Jesuits of Canada.

Coming next in the St. Jerome's series is an event that hadn't been announced earlier: Dan Bortolotti, author of the book Hope in Hell about Doctors Without Borders, will speak next Friday evening, February 4.

'Next Steps in NAFTA' lecture by Daniel Schwanen, Centre for International Governance Innovation, 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, RSVP to rsvp@cigionline.ca.

'Career Decision-Making' workshop 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

Black Knight squash tournament Saturday, Physical Activities Complex.

Alumni career planning workshop Saturday, Tatham Centre, details online.

'Pilates on the Mat' workshop sponsored by campus recreation, Saturday 10:00 to 11:30, PAC, register ext. 6340, faculty and staff welcome.

'Two Organs and Five Choirs' concert Saturday 8 p.m., First United Church, King Street. Conducted by Leonard Enns of Conrad Grebel University College; choirs include the CG chapel choir.

UW Day with the Siskins (minor hockey) organized by UW Recreation Committee, Sunday 1:30, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre.

'Longitudinal and Lifecourse Strategic Research Cluster' presentation of a research proposal by Paul Bernard, Université de Montréal, Monday 2:30, PAS room 2030; more information from John Goyder, Southwestern Ontario Research Data Centre, jgoyder@uwaterloo.ca.

Computational mathematics seminar: Marek Stastna, applied mathematics, "Three Years Among the Acronyms: A Computational Mathematics Look at Climate Modeling", Monday 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 90-minute training session Tuesday 10:00 or Thursday 2:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Notes at the end of the week

Today is payday for faculty and monthly-paid staff members -- most of the people who work at UW -- and January's pay slips, or the online equivalent, will show some differences in deductions (and the bottom line) from December's. As noted a few weeks back, there are changes in the formula for both the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums, as well as the "basic personal amount" for income tax. While there's no overall change for 2005 in the amount that employees will pay into the UW pension plan, UW as the employer is facing significantly higher costs for pensions: as of January 1, the university pays $1.65 into the plan for every $1 in premiums from staff and faculty members. That's up from $1.31 during 2004.

Computer science professor Jay Black will be the speaker this morning at the weekly "professional development seminar" for staff in information systems and technology. He'll say something about the research he has been doing while on sabbatical leave in the months since leaving his previous post as associate provost (IST) -- the boss for most of those in this morning's audience. Working with researchers at IBM, as well as graduate students in Waterloo, Black is continuing his studies of "pervasive computing" in health care, as well as something called Jabber, which is open-source software for instant messaging and, quite possibly, for pervasive computing as well. The IST seminar starts at 8:45 on Fridays in the department's seminar room in Math and Computer.

"Just wanted to let you know," writes Dean Perkins from UW's continuing education office, "we have two courses beginning next week that are confirmed. That means they are running for certain, but we do have some extra spaces." Scheduled are "The Art of Influencing Difficult People", on Thursday, and "Accounting Fundamentals for Non-Financial Managers", on two Fridays, February 4 and 11. Details are on the CE web site.

The Volunteer Action Centre for K-W and Area will hold a Volunteer Fair on Saturday (9:30 to 6:00) at Fairview Park Mall. . . . A Chinese New Year festival is scheduled for Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre. . . . "C is for Christopher's," says a note from the UW Recreation Committee (as if I didn't know that!), and its monthly dine-by-the-alphabet outing this Sunday will be to Christopher's Casual Dining. . . .

Here's a reminder: Monday, which is January 31 already, is the "final day for fee arrangements" for students who plan to stay registered for the winter term. Late fees have been accruing for a month already.

The hockey Warriors will be attracting more than their usual share of attention this weekend as they play home-and-home games against the Windsor Lancers (tonight in Windsor, Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Icefield). They swept Lakehead 4-2 and 4-1 last weekend, extending their undefeated streak to 11 games and moving themselves into second place in the OUA far west division, a spot usually reserved for highly ranked Lakehead and Western. At present Western has 25 points, Waterloo 21 and Lakehead 20. "However," writes Chris Gilbert of the athletics department, "the Warriors understand that with seven games remaining in the regular season nothing is secured." He quotes Warrior coach Karl Taylor: "This is a very exciting time for our hockey program but we have a long way to go. We have seven games left and we can't take anything for granted." Over these 11 games, the Warriors have been led by first-year netminder Curtis Darling, who currently ranks second in the CIS with an impressive 1.92 GAA and should receive consideration for CIS Rookie of the Year. He came to Waterloo from the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League. The Warriors are currently ranked #10 across Canada.

Other sports this weekend: Volleyball vs. Toronto tomorrow, women at 1 p.m., men at 3 p.m., in the PAC. Figure skating, the Laurier Invitational today. Basketball (both men and women) at Guelph tomorrow. Women's hockey at Western today, at Windsor on Sunday. Indoor hockey, tournament at York over the weekend. Nordic skiing, OUA qualifier at Carleton.


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