About Jocelyn Aspa

early 30-something. journalist. sports fan. puns. cats. mental health advocate. not taking myself seriously (most of the time)

The invisibility of chronic pain

Chronic pain: just by looking at someone, it’s not something immediately detectible and often gets misunderstood for its invisibility. But, for the one-in-five people in British Columbia who suffer from pain lasting longer than three months, it’s anything but transparent.

I sat down and spoke with Fiona Wade, whose journey with chronic pain is completely unfathomable to most of us; Dr. Brenda Lau from Change Pain to talk about what, exactly, chronic pain is and what its biggest myths and misconceptions are; and Janice Muir – a clinical nurse pain management specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital and director on board with the Pain BC society to find out what is being done to educate the public, physicians and patients on chronic pain.

Listen below:

Online medical service, EQ Virtual, working to bring accessible health care to the Downtown Eastside

EQ Virtual is working to become accessible to members of the Downtown Eastside. Photo by: Jonathan Hayward

EQ Virtual is working to become accessible to members of the Downtown Eastside. Photo by: Jonathan Hayward

Equinoxe LifeCare, a health care management company partnered with EQ Virtual, an online service allowing patients to see health care professionals through video visits, is working to become accessible for people in the Downtown Eastside.

The health care service, which is already available to the public, requires patients to have a computer or a mobile device; from there, they create their account, provide their health care card number for covered visits, describe their symptoms, and are then connected with a doctor over video chat.

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Vancouver’s bike share system may negatively impact bike rental shops

Bike share systems are popular in other large cities like this one, as pat of the NYC Bike Share Program. Photo by: Craig Ruttle

The City of Vancouver’s bike share system program has its wheels in motion to launch this summer, but some bike rental shops have concerns about how it will affect their businesses.

The program which plans to roll out in June, will start with 100 stations and 1,000 bikes and will add another 50 stations and 500 bikes by the end of the year, has been a project eight years in the making.

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BC Budget does little to help those with disabilities

Disability_symbolsTuesday’s BC Budget presentation by British Columbia finance minister Mike De Jong announced a small increase for people on disability assistance, but bus passes would no longer be free for people with disabilities.

De Jong said disability assistance will increase by $77 per month, beginning Sept. 1, 2016. Disability benefits for an individual have been frozen at $906 a month since 2007.

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Melanie Mark’s NDP MLA victory a positive step moving forward for indigenous people

The New Democratic Party coasted to a landslide of a victory in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant’s byelection on Tuesday night, making its candidate, Melanie Mark, the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. legislature.

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA for Vancouver Mount Pleasant is the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. Legislature. Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA for Vancouver Mount Pleasant is the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. Legislature. Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

Mark easily won with 5,353 votes, worth 60 per cent of the voting, while Green Party candidate Pete Fry finished second, with 2,325 votes, worth 26 per cent.

Mark, who is part Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, and Ojibway, grew up in social housing in East Vancouver and has many roots attached to it and the Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods with a history of being an activist, youth worker, volunteer and coordinator.

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Drugs for rare disorders among discussions at conference of provincial and territorial ministers of health

Discussions at the conference of provincial and territorial ministers of health began Jan. 20, 2016 with the BC Health Coalition making strides to get the province’s “public health care back on track,” including drugs for unusual diseases.

The Conference of Provincial Territorial Ministers of Health takes place Jan. 20-21 at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. Photo: Jocelyn Aspa

The Conference of Provincial Territorial
Ministers of Health takes place Jan. 20-21 at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. Photo: Jocelyn Aspa

Launched May 2015, the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD) and the Economic Club of Canada implemented a strategy that “calls for national standards for newborn screening, centres of expertise, sustainable access to treatments and dedicated funding for rare disease research.” 

In a news release, Durhane Wong-Rieger, President and CEO of CORD, said the strategy is achievable.

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New funding for cancer in B.C. will go a long way for research, says some

Christy Clark’s announcement on behalf of the province of British Columbia pledging $3 million to cancer genomics research is miracle, say some, although any time money is being donated to cancer research is a ‘fabulous deal.’

Christy Clark announced on Jan. 11, 2016 B.C.'s government funding of $3 million to the BC Cancer Foundation. Photo: flickr

Christy Clark announced on Jan. 11, 2016 B.C.’s government funding of $3 million to the BC Cancer Foundation. Photo: flickr

“The future of cancer care is personalized, leading to the best, targeted treatments for the most challenging cases – and we’ve already seen a number of success stories coming out of this program,” said Premier Clark in a press release.

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