Friday, 16 October 2015

My Blog Has a New Home

Please note that this blog has now been transferred directly to The Suburban Newspaper Website.
You can still view past entries here.

The new address  is:

Spectacular Nitro Circus hits the Bell Centre tonight

The world's greatest live action sports event hits the Bell Centre on Friday evening, October 16, with  an all-new show.

Nitro Circus Live’s latest creation takes things to another level, as the best athletes in freestyle motocross (FMX), BMX and more will unite for an all-new production.  Starring 17-time X Games medalist Travis Pastrana, the tour will feature unbelievable tricks and insane stunts, plus a whole new repertoire of daredevil fun.  Also, look out for a host of outrageous contraptions — including trikes, a tall bike, a lazy boy recliner and more — all launching from the new jet-powered Nitro Slingshot.  
To top it all off, for its latest event Nitro is going really retro, with the entire performance choreographed and styled as a 1920’s three-ring circus.  This stunning set will transport you into the past, to an eerily haunting Big Top.  This all-new theme provides the perfect backdrop for the Nitro crew’s aerial feats. 
Organizers  say to believe them when they declare you have never seen a circus like this before.
Doors open at 6:30 pm,  with the  show: 7:30 pm. Tickets range in price from $51.50 to $115.50.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

New concussion clinic at Decarie Square is a complete "management centre"

Concussions have become more common in our everyday lives and it is not only due to sports accidents. I recently went to the local fruit store where the cashier did not look to healthy. She had just been diagnosed with a concussion after smashing her head in the freezer.

For Montreal business woman Kathy Cohen this all hit home after her daughter, an excellent basketball player, suffered two concussions. When she sought assistance in the medical community she realized that there were not too many options where this could be dealt with under one roof. So she went about setting up her own operation. Neurocircuit opened quietly at the end of August at the revamped Decarie Square.  The state-of-the-art facility is located within the Kinatex Physiotherapy headquarters.
Kathy Cohen, Diane Saucier and Julia Peress
This is a complete concussion management center offering education, baseline testing, post-injury assessment, post-injury therapy and strategies to facilitate return to school, work and play. Jonathan Cohen, Kathy’s son, is a personal trainer and works with kinesiologists Diane Saucer and Julia Peress. They also work with  physiotherapists, occupational therapists and athletic therapists.
Jonathan Cohen

“We are offering a service  that has expertise, care and compassion,” says Kathy Cohen. “There is a personalized aspect to what we do.”

The team at Neurocircuit believe that proper management of concussions starts with recognition followed by immediate and decisive action. Studies show that those who understand the severity of concussions are more likely to report them. Dr. Charles Tatar, a neurologist from the University of Toronto stated that there is evidence that education about concussion leads to a reduction in the incidence of concussion and improved outcomes from concussion.

Baseline testing is used to assess an individual’s processing speed, attention span, learning ability, reaction speed, eye tracking, balance and working memory.   The results  would  be compared to pre-injury or baseline results to determine if there has been a decline in neurocognitive functioning, reaction time, balance and/or vision. In the absence of a baseline test, the post-injury results can be compared to normative data. Research has shown, however, that the “average performance” scores represented in the normative data can vary significantly thereby reducing the accuracy of the results.

An initial visit will enable the clinician to gather medical history and to gain a thorough understanding of the mechanism of injury and the severity of the symptoms. This will be followed by a series of assessments designed to identify and isolate the source of the symptoms. The assessments could include computerized neurocognitive testing, balance evaluation, strength and coordination screening, binocular vision screening, vestibular testing, a gait assessment, a generalized neurological screen and an orthopaedic assessment of secondary injuries. The various assessment tools provide objective results which will help guide treatment. The referring physician will receive a report outlining the results of the assessment.

Based on the information gathered, an individualized treatment and training plan will be developed. The clinician will design a treatment plan to target, isolate, challenge and strengthen the areas of weakness. Using state of the art assessment and treatment tools including Dynavision D2, Neurotracker, and Fitlight, the clinician will be able to train the injured person’s cognitive, visual and vestibular systems. In addition to clinical treatment, the individual will be given a home exercise program in order to expedite recovery. Progress reports will be available to referring physicians upon request.

Protocols dictate that the individual should avoid any visual or cognitive stimulation for the 48 hours following a concussion to allow his/her brain to heal. Post concussive symptoms can vary in intensity and duration. Depending on the symptoms, students may sometimes return to school with certain accommodations. Social interaction in a school environment can play a positive role in the resolution of emotional symptoms.

Once the athlete is able to complete the visual, vestibular and/or cognitive exercises symptom free, the clinician will add a physical component to the treatment sessions. Neurocircuit’s Return to Play protocols will continue to challenge the athlete. Adding visual, vestibular, reactive and decision-making components to the high intensity physical training session will help prepare the athlete for game play.  The decision to clear the athlete will be made by the treating physician. Neurocircuit will provide the medical doctor with a report with the most recent results. 

The clinic is also getting in to sports vision training, which is intended to improve the athlete’s ability to process what they see.   Many professional athletes are incorporating vision training in their weekly routines.  Studies have shown vision training will boost performance in the following sports: baseball, hockey, basketball, football, tennis, soccer, golf and martial arts.   Neurocircuit already has some elite athletes as clients.

Meanwhile, Neurocircuit will also be getting in to working with youngsters who have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

For more information call 514-739-8555 or email

Breast Cancer Action Quebec aims to provide women with a more substantive discussion

Every October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women are inundated with pink ribbons and simplistic messages of “awareness” regarding breast cancer. They are encouraged to buy PINK for “the Cure.”  But Breast Cancer Action Quebec knows that shopping won’t stop breast cancer. Their antidote is to provide women with a more substantive discussion on breast cancer. This week three women will respond to the pressing question: Where is Feminism when My Body Needs It Most?

This panel discussion on Breast Cancer and the Absence of a Feminist Analysis  will take place on Wednesday, October 14 ( 7 pm to 9 pm) at the Concordia University Downtown Library Building (1400 de Maisonneuve West,  LB-1019 -10th Floor).
Julie Michaud
As for the panelists, they will include Julie Michaud, Luisa Molino and Jennifer Beeman, Michaud is the coordinator of Concordia University’s Centre for Gender Advocacy and  a young woman facing breast cancer. She will address the importance of a feminist analysis while living the experience of the disease including assumptions she confronts from her team of health professionals. Molino is the coordinator of the pan-Canadian research project Cancer’s Margin,s affiliated with the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia  She will discuss the experience of breast cancer for women of the sexual diversity and the social construction of the disease. Beeman is the director of Breast Cancer Action Québec. She will present an overview of current feminist issues concerning breast cancer, including a wide range of tough, unanswered questions about the disease, for example the impact of social inequalities and rates of mortality.

“We at Breast Cancer Action Quebec understand deeply just how scary the words ‘breast cancer’ are for any woman,” Beeman said in one of her blogs. “But too many women are being unnecessarily treated for lesions that would never have caused problems.
Jennifer Beeman
Beeman was referring to a study on ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), traditionally considered a precursor to potentially fatal invasive breast cancer, which shows that the massive detection and treatment of DCIS does not lead to a decline in breast cancer mortality but does lead to significant overtreatment
“For women to better understand the issue of overtreatment, we need to change discussions of breast cancer from fear-mongering approaches of  ‘one in nine’ to an understanding that it is a complicated set of diseases requiring very different approaches, and in some cases, no intervention, but rather an attentive surveillance. We need a discussion on current screening programs, a re-examination of the treatment of DCIS and the development of less aggressive treatments, as well as the creation observational registries to study the evolution of these cases. We also clearly need better coordination of breast cancer research agendas so that fundamental research on tumor biology is made a priority.Individual women must be informed, prepared and encouraged to enter into these discussions with their doctors when the diagnosis of breast cancer is first raised. And finally, women in the women’s health movement must be included in these discussions to develop the tools necessary to bring about these changes.”
There is no admission charge for this event which aims to provide a forum for discussion of breast cancer that moves beyond the pink paradigm to take a deeper look at some real issues of concern. Breast Cancer Action Quebec (formerly Breast Cancer Action Montreal) has advocated for breast cancer prevention and the elimination of environmental toxins linked to the disease for 24 years. Log on to www.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Stroll for Kids events raises $110,000 for Children's Hospital

More than 400 Montrealers and 45 dedicated volunteers came together recently \for a celebratory walk at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park in Côte Saint-Luc that raised over $110,000 for a cause that is close to their hearts. A total of 100 families with young children participated in a variety of activities ranging from musical entertainment by Adam Stotland, Funky Feet, Loony Lorny and  Emmy Aronovitch, mural painting with Jordana Fleischer, musical instrument decorating, face painting and Sportball. 
After this cheque was displayed, $10,000 more was raised for the cause.
CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather and City Councillor Mitchell Brownstein were present at the event. The proceeds from this first edition of Stroll for Kids will help purchase life-saving medical equipment and fund research into childhood conditions at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

"We are thrilled to have found a way to express our gratitude for the incredible support that both our sets of twins received from the MUHC’s pediatric care division when they were born,"  stated event co-chairs  Alana Geller and Jodie Frenkiel. "Weighing in at less than five pounds each at birth, our twins spent several weeks in the NICU where they received dedicated 24-hour care. With Stroll for Kids, we hope to instill a sense of philanthropy in young Montreal families, especially in children who will have a chance to personally give back by participating in the event."

The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation supports excellence in pediatric care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. Only 10 percent of the hospital’s annual equipment and research budget is funded by the government.  The hospital relies on the community to finance the remaining 90 percent. The Children’s treats close to 200,000 sick children each year, and the need for state-of-the-art equipment, innovative research, and special programs continues to grow. 

Event sponsors included  Richter, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Amaya Gaming, Medisys, Aldo, Muse Entertainment Enterprises Inc., Dorel, Groupe Park Avenue and many others.  

"We have even greater ambitions in terms of fundraising for next year," says committee member Cristelle Basmaji.

Alan Maislin to Chair the new West-Central Montreal Health body

The Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal (West-Central Montreal Health) has chosen wisely with the appointment of noted community activist Alan Maislin as Chair of the new Board of Directors. The Board will play a key role in the extensive reform and reorganization of the public healthcare system, which took effect on April 1 when Bill 10 became law.
Alan Maislin

"With our healthcare network on the brink of an exciting, new era, it's a great honour for me to have been asked to play such a significant role in helping to shape its future," said Maislin, whom I have had the pleasure of working with on a variety of projects. "I'm extremely impressed by the outstanding qualities of my new colleagues on the Board, as well as our team of extremely qualified and dedicated healthcare professionals throughout the network. I'm certain that, together, we can make a major difference in improving the quality of health care for patients, residents and clients throughout our network."

"I am very much looking forward to working closely with our Chair, Alan Maislin, and all of the new members of the Board of Directors," said Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of West-Central Montreal Health. "These appointees, who are drawn from many walks of life, bring to our network a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of healthcare and social services delivery and administration.

“Now that the Board of Directors and the Senior Management Team are in place, I am confident that we can make even greater progress toward improving the quality of care and services by improving access, streamlining the continuum of care and eliminating the fragmentation and duplication of services."

The independent appointees underwent careful examination that enabled the Board to meet certain specific criteria – i.e., proper representation of the area served by West-Central Montreal Health, a balance between men and women, and a reflection of the socio-cultural, ethnic, linguistic and demographic makeup of the network’s healthcare users.

With this in mind, Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services, has announced the appointment of the following members to the Board of West-Central Montreal Health:

Appointed members
o Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg - President and CEO of the network
o Gail Adelson - University affiliate (McGill University)
o Dr. David Eidelman - University affiliate (McGill University)

Independent appointees
o Samuel Minzberg - Expertise in governance or ethics
o Antonio (Tony) Loffreda - Expertise in risk management, finance and accountancy 
o Allen F. Rubin - Expertise in real estate, information resources or human resources
o Ronald Waxman - Expertise in verification, performance or the management of quality
o Mordecai Yalovsky - Expertise in community organizations
o Vivian Konigsberg - Expertise in youth protection
o Alan Maislin - Chair - Expertise in rehabilitation
o Lucyna M. Lach - Expertise in rehabilitation
o Linda Fortier - Expertise in mental health
o Alyssa Yufe - Experience as a user of social services

Elected members
o Dr. Suzanne Levitz - Regional Department of General Medicine (general practitioner, Mount Sinai Hospital Centre);
o Dr. Rubin Moe Becker - Council of Physicians, Dentists and Pharmacists (physician specialist, Mount Sinai Hospital Centre, Jewish General Hospital);
o Julie Roy - Regional Committee on Pharmacy Services (pharmacist, Jewish General Hospital);
o Karen Rose Honegger - Council of Nurses (nurse consultant, Mount Sinai Hospital Centre);
o John D'Andrea - Multidisciplinary Council (social worker, CLSC Côte-des-neiges);
o Gloria Freedman - Users’ Committee (past president, CSSS Cavendish).

Maislin’s extensive experience in rehabilitation is particularly significant, since West-Central Montreal Health has grouped together three establishments that are distinguished for their rehabilitation services – Richardson Hospital, Catherine-Booth Hospital and the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre. Mr. Maislin is past president of the Board of Directors of CSSS Cavendish, which has been absorbed into West Central Montreal Health.

The Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal (West-Central Montreal Health) consists of the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre, the Jewish General Hospital, Catherine Booth Hospital, CLSC Benny Farm, CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, CLSC Métro, CLSC Parc-Extension, CLSC René-Cassin, Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Father-Dowd Residential Centre, HenriBradet Residential Centre, Info-Santé Montréal Regional Service, Jewish Eldercare Centre, MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation centre, Miriam Home and Services, Mount Sinai Hospital Centre, Richardson Hospital, StAndrew Residential Centre and St-Margaret Residential Centre. Nearly 345,000 people live in the area covered by West-Central Montreal Health, which has a staff of more than 9,000, including 400 doctors. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Former Global TV reporter Domenic Fazioli opens up about "false" charges

In this week's Suburban Newspaper, I had an exclusive interview with former Global TV reporter Domenic Fazioli whose 15 year career with the station came to a sudden halt last spring when charges now thrown out by the court were made against him.

I go way back with Domenic and thought his side of the story should finally be told.

Domenic Fazioli and his wife Patricia