Provincial Chapter of Ontario IODE Concern for Children Fund
It’s All About Genes
The National Chapter of Canada IODE initiated the sale of the IODE Rose in 1973 to raise funds for a special project in commemoration of its 75th Anniversary in 1975. Thousands of roses were sold and Ontario’s share of the proceeds was over $32,000. With this fund and the continued support from the chapters and members in Ontario, the Concern for Children Fund has been able to support and encourage many programs.
Provincial Chapters were asked to determine how the children in their region could best be served by the proceeds of the rose sales. Ontario members chose to support the developing field of medical genetics as its contribution to expanding the fullness of the life for children in the province. At the Annual Meeting in 1973, the Concern for Children Fund was established with an initial donation of $1,000 from the Provincial Chapter’s “Flights program” and personal donations of members.
Some projects funded include:
Fellowships in Clinical Genetics. Outstanding Clinical Geneticists ranging from Professor and Chair Department of Ophthalmology, Department of Medical Genetics at University of Calgary, to research on genetic susceptibilities of Autism Spectrum Disorder at University of British Columbia faculty of medicine/medical genetics were supported during their schooling, and are now advancing the knowledge in these areas through tremendous research.
Genetic Counseling Clinics. Funding was provided to purchase computers and office equipment for three clinics in northern Ontario. In the early years, IODE was instrumental in establishing five clinics in the north. The value of these clinics was recognized by the Provincial Government which subsequently assumed responsibility for each of the clinics. IODE continues to provide assistance by supplying tools that enable health care workers to do their jobs efficiently. IODE members also welcome patients, offer refreshments and provide lunches for visiting doctors.
Educational Materials, Numerous organizations have had the opportunity to update and disseminate new information in a number of formats, from brochures and newsletters to videos and websites.
Aquarium, Genetics Department, North York General Hospital, Toronto. Provided for the waiting room, this aquarium entertains and distracts anxious children and their families. Because of concerns about the spread of infectious diseases, toys and other play materials can no longer be provided. The colourful fish in the aquarium have a calming effect on both patients and staff.
Retinoblastoma Pilot Study. Funding was provided for a study of a new diagnostic technique for this devastating cancer of the retina. The success of the study prompted the Ontario Government to assume funding for this new technique.
Folic Acid Supplementation Study. Folic acid taken prior to conception is instrumental in preventing spinal cord anomalies such as Spina Bifida. This study examined the public's knowledge of the need for folic acid supplementation. Funding provided 30,000 brochures entitled "Folic Acid - It's Never Too Early" which were distributed to committed physicians and public health offices.
IODE Genetics Resource Centre, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, London. Core funding was provided for the establishment of this centre which maintains:
Turner Syndrome Society of Canada. This is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1981 by a woman with Turner Syndrome. She wanted to share experience, provide information and offer support to women with Turner Syndrome and their families. The TSS also disseminates current, up-to-date, medical information to physicians and the general public. In 2009, a two year commitment was made by IODE Ontario to provide $10,000 to assist the TSS with improvements to their website, reference library and database of medical specialists. This pledge was fulfilled in 2010 through the support of our primary chapters.
Genetics is a branch of medicine that continues to be a leading contributor in the development of medical knowledge to improve the lives of adults, as well as children. Improved diagnostics and emphasis on prevention and treatment of common conditions of adult life can determine an individual’s chance of developing specific diseases in the future.
Established and funded Sudbury Genetic Clinics
Additional Clinics funding in Sudbury and Sturgeon Falls
Funded an educational video on Neural Tube Defect-Spina Bifida
Funded a video on Amniocentesis and Ultra Sound (in English & French)
Established and funded Sault Ste. Marie Genetic Clinics
Provided funding for brochures and film re: Cleft Lip and Palate
Established and funded Thunder Bay Genetic Clinics
IODE Fellowships in Clinical Genetics to Dr. Rosanna Wexburg
Established and funded Timmins Genetic Clinics
IODE Fellowships in Clinical Genetics to Dr. Ian MacDonald
Funded a video for use in Ontario’s Secondary School Biology curriculum to teach students about Genetics
Established and funded Outreach Clinics in North Bay
IODE Fellowships in Clinical Genetics to Dr. Suzanne Lewis
Provided Ontario Medical Clinic with Software for Health Professional
Provided funds for “Genetics Applications” software for Genetic centres
Undertook initial cost of the Canadian Directory of Genetic Support Groups
Funded the printing of the Genetic Newsletter “Gene Scene” 13,300 copies sent to medical professionals in Ontario
Provided funds to open the Ontario Genetic Resource Centre Childrens’ Hospital of Western Ontario, London and funded the Centre for a period of one year
Provided funds to complete the mailings of the Canadian Directory of Genetic Support Groups
Funded printing of the first update of the Canadian Directory of Genetic Support Groups
Funded printing of the second update of the Canadian Directory of Genetic Support Groups
Provided funds for an email/internet system for connecting approximately 100 Geneticists in Ontario
Funded printing of the third update of the Canadian Directory of Genetic Support Groups
Funded the printing of a Patient Handbook outlining the basics of Genetics (The Family Tree)
Funded Pilot Study of Retinoblastoma (RB), the most common eye cancer in children (two year commitment of $21,000)
Provided funds for the Educational Display Web Site at the Science North in Sudbury which hosts about 420,000 visitors per year
Funded the printing of a brochure to promote public awareness and education of Pre-Pregnancy Folic Acid Supplementation
Research Proposal in Heredity Breast Cancer ($20,000 committed).
In 2004, the remaining money ($18,875) of the committed funds for this Pilot Project were never requested, therefore the Provincial Executive Committee voted to allocate these funds to existing and new projects
Provided funds for The Ontario IODE Genetic Resource Centre London, Ontario, for a computer, scanner and printer
Funded an aquarium in the Waiting Room of the Genetic Department at the North York General Hospital, Toronto. The aquarium has numerous benefits for children visiting the clinic. It brings warmth and life, and will assist in easing the stress for the children.
Funded three publications to help children and youth understand and cope with the challenges they face with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Funding was provided to the Northern Regional Genetics Program to cover the travel, accommodations and stipend for a key note speaker of international caliber to attend their Annual General Meeting in Sudbury
Provided funds for The Provincial IODE Genetics Resource Centre London, for a new printer
A Family Resource Centre was established in the Genetic Centre at North York General Hospital, Toronto
The Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins Clinics were sent funds to upgrade their clinics
One future geneticist was sent to the American Society of Human Geneticists annual conference to meet with experienced geneticists from across the country, and to explore future research interests
Five Geneticists from across Ontario were sent to the Annual General Meeting of the Northern Regional Genetic Program
Funded the re-printing of the brochure “Folic Acid, It’s Never Too Early” 35,000 brochures were sent to medical professionals
Total expended from 1975 to 2007 was $320,000