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Holistic Health Research

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Wouldn't it be nice if Canadians who support complementary and alternative medicines, including researchers, practitioners, and organizations, banded together to share resources and support one another?

Left: Dr. Aileen Burford-Mason and Keren Brown

Wouldn't it be nice if Canadians who support complementary and alternative medicines, including researchers, practitioners, and organizations, banded together to share resources and support one another?

For those who have put this question forward it will be of no small interest that this month the Holistic Health Research Foundation of Canada will officially open its doors. This new nationally registered charity is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to improving the health, wellness, and quality of life of all Canadians by advancing the scientific understanding of complementary and alternative therapies.

The research foundation aims to fund meaningful, innovative research of complementary and alternative therapies, natural health products, traditional medicines, physical and bioenergetic therapies, and other modalities. They also want to engage the public through creative health promotion programs-including a series of high profile, flagship public education and fundraising events. They will also mobilize discussion across sectors and among health-care disciplines working together to realize a common vision of, and shared solutions for, optimal health care delivery. In addition they will support education for health professionals and alternative therapy research and establish the foundation as a centre of excellence and a source of expert opinion on complementary and alternative therapy research.

Infrastructure

The following organizations or persons have donated seed capital and/or expertise to the foundation.

Founding partners (provided seed capital)

  • Acupuncture Foundation of Canada
  • Canadian Coalition of Herbal Association
  • Canadian Complementary Medical Association
  • Canadian Health Food Association
  • College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
  • Friends of Alternative and Complementary Therapies
  • International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine
  • Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
  • Ontario Medical Association, complementary medicine section-a special interest group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

Founding Board of Directors

  • Aileen Burford-Mason, PhD, director of scientific affairs, Acupuncture Foundation of Canada, President
  • Joel Taller, partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Chair
  • Donna Herringer, general manager, Quest Vitamins, Vice-Chair
  • David Chapman, president, Purity Life Health Products Inc., Treasurer
  • Valerie Campbell, president, Valerie Campbell and Associates
  • Suzanne Gibson, principal, Suzanne Gibson and Associates
  • Margaret Anne McHugh, executive director, Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
  • David Scleich, president, Truestar Health Inc.
  • Marja Verhoef, PhD, professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary
  • Mark Ware, MD, Pain Research Clinic, McGill
  • Deborah Worrad, registrar, College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
  • Anne Marie Wright, director of pharmacy marketing, Shoppers Drug Mart

The foundation hopes to raise funds through individual donations, corporate partnerships and sponsorships, private foundations, and, hopefully, government. For more information visit the foundation's website at holistichealthresearch.ca or contact Keren Brown, the organization's executive director at info@holistichealthresearch.ca or by telephone at 416-778-4443. Donations can be made online, by mail, or in person.

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