Chapter Spotlight: Canada
The Canadian League Against Epilepsy was established in 1977 by our founding members Dr. Juhn Wada, Dr. Norman Auckland, Dr. Frederick Andermann, Dr. Warren Blume, Dr. Henry Dunn, Dr. Keith Meloff, and Dr. Allan Sherwin.
Our Mission: To enable Canadians affected by epilepsy to live a life that is not limited by their condition.
Our goal: To develop, through research, innovative therapeutic and preventative strategies to avoid the consequences of epilepsy. We also want to translate these discoveries into applicable therapies for all Canadians. Finally, we want to promote national awareness and educate all Canadians about epilepsy and its consequences in collaboration with the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance.
Highlights of recent and ongoing activities
The e-newsletter CLAE Connections continues to be published 3-4 times per year. We have introduced a ‘Rising Star’ feature to highlight the work and accomplishments of a young epileptologist.
The CLAE’s 40th anniversary Scientific Meeting was held in 2017 in Vancouver, BC, and was a great success with many of the CLAE’s founders in attendance. The 2018 meeting is being held in St. John’s, Newfoundland on September 21-23. We are pleased to announce that, due to the success of our scientific meetings and increasing attendance year over year, what has traditionally been a biennial meeting will now be an annual event!
Our committees and task forces have been hard at work this past year. The Medical Therapeutics Committee has been busy dealing with shortages of anti-seizure medications, as well as the drafting of a CLAE statement on the use of Cannabis for epilepsy. CLAE members have been surveyed recently by the Driving Task Force for their views on the two Canadian standards used by provincial Ministries of Transportation, with the intent of advocating for better driver fitness recommendations across the county.
As well, in 2017 the new Global Health Committee of the CLAE was formed with the purpose of gathering information regarding current global health initiatives in Epilepsy that Canadian health care providers are leading or participating in. The vision as we move forward will be to enhance, expand and collaborate with various partners to improve the care of those living with epilepsy around the world. The Committee recently sent a survey to all CLAE members in order to develop an understanding of current work, to plan future direction and recruit those with a passion to improve the care of those living with Epilepsy.
The following is a list of CLAE Committees and their Chairs:
- Awards Committee: Chair Dr. Francois Dubeau
- Education Committee: Chair Dr. Mark Keezer
- Fundraising Committee: Chair Dr. David Steven
- Medical Therapeutics Committee: Chair Dr. Juan-Pablo Appendino
- Nomination Committee: Chair Dr. Dang Nguyen
- Publication Committee: Chair Dr. Rajesh RamachandranNair
- Website Committee: Chair Dr. Kristin Ikeda
- Global Health Committee: Chair Ms. Laura Jurasek
- Driving Task Force: Chair Dr. Jeffrey Jirsch
Research and Trainee Support
Supporting our members and trainees in advancing epilepsy research is important to us. We are pleased to offer annual Epilepsy Post-Graduate Training Fellowship Awards and Summer Studentships to our trainee members.
We also want to make sure outstanding members and trainees are recognized for their work in the field of epilepsy. Our annual awards (most new as of 2015) include:
- Non trainee awards:
- Wilder Penfield Award for Lifetime Achievement
- Junior Investigator Award
- Award for Excellence in Research
- Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice
- Trainee publication awards (each $1,000 CDN to be used towards attending the CLAE Scientific Meeting)
- Mary Anne Lee Award
- Fellow or Post-Doc Award
- Graduate Student or Medical Student Award
- Allied Health Student Award
Submitted by Dr. Jorge Burneo, President, Canadian Canadian League Against Epilepsy
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