2014 Annual Report

Publication issue: 

The past year marks one of the most difficult in the history of CHR, as the organization has coped with diminished financial resources and the ongoing challenge of reshaping its administration to preserve institutional goals.
With regard to finances, there were increased costs associated with the upgrading and maintenance of the Web site, as well as legal fees associated with obtaining a Certificate of Continuance. On the positive side, this certificate means that CHR’s status as a charitable organization remains secure; attendant changes to internal bylaws now align with new federal legislative requirements on not-for-profit bodies, which came into effect this year.

Equally positive has been the return on the investment in the Web site and Facebook page, which together saw an increase in the number of visitors to 70,000 over the past year. As always, the Researcher of the Month profiles, which highlight the work of Canadian scientists, is the most popular destination. Similarly, CHR’s flagship publication Future Health remains as popular as ever, which should not be surprising given what an outstanding
product it represents. What makes this unique collection of items dealing with Canadian health shine is the professional attention of Heather Pengelley, editor, and Julieta Bach, assistant editor and administrative assistant. They ably serve a loyal audience, such as students at some 800 rural schools across the country who receive copies.

Public interest in CHR’s Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research is likewise as strong as ever. Board member Kasia Majewski presented this honour at this year’s Canadian Science Writers’ Association
conference in Toronto on June 7. The winner, Paul Webster, had written a well researched article for Vancouver Magazine that explored the complex political and ethical tensions surrounding British Columbia’s PharmaNet drug database.

With regard to efforts that would secure CHR’s future, members of the Board have been actively investigating a number of possibilities. Meetings with representatives of McGill University have examined the prospect of creating some sort of academic post that would carry on the organization’s mandate while shedding some of the more expensive functions that are now being conducted. The precise shape of such a post, along with its funding, are
still being considered, but plans are under way to explore this possibility in a more formal way. Above all, the participants in this transition process are dedicated to ensuring that the essence of CHR’s mandate will be respected and preserved, regardless of the outcome. That same dedication extends to the many people and organizations who have collaborated with CHR over its considerable life, and whose input has been essential to maintaining a relevance to the various communities with an interest in Canadian health research.

More immediately, we take this opportunity to thank outgoing Board members Leslie Ballantine, Stuart MacLeod, Joel Weiner, and Louise Winn for their years of service. And all at CHR extend a special note of appreciation to past Chair Joanne Harack for her 25 years with the organization.

Tim Lougheed

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