2012 was a year of dynamic, positive change delivering a unified organization. We firmly built the foundation for a brighter future to serve clients with ALS in Ontario and across Canada. The Transition Board should be applauded to unanimously undertake the task of reconstructing an old model of two organizations in Ontario to build an entirely new organization. We are pleased to let you know that the Transition Board and the staff have achieved significant milestones in merging the organizations. 2012 was a successful year in better meeting the needs of clients in Ontario, funding world class ALS research in Canada and restructuring the organization while at the same time reducing our deficit to a level where in 2013 we have the goal of achieving a balanced budget.
To facilitate the integration process we created a smaller Transition Board which oversaw the changes required to provide more support to the Federation Council and dovetail the two organizations to create a more cohesive team that developed our new policies, procedures and by-laws. The Federation Council was then able to create a new partnership agreement with all the provinces that we expect to ratify before the fall allowing effortless sharing of both guidance and ideas along with aligning each province’s common needs and goals.
Throughout this year of dynamic change, the driving force unifying us all is the desire to better serve people with ALS. It’s not unusual to think of ALS, and those living with it, in terms of loss. There’s the continual loss of muscle control. The eventual loss of the ability to speak. The inevitable loss of independence. But there’s far more to people affected by ALS than meets the eye, including an indomitable spirit and the ability to never lose hope that rises above the physical challenges. Words such as strength, determination, resiliency, dignity and inspiration also come to my mind. All of us can only hope to achieve any combination of those qualities on a regular basis.
With the client focus in mind, we created the new model of an organization with a renewed spirit of cooperation, care, compassion, collaboration, controls and a Canada-wide focus to achieving a stronger, integrated organization.
Highlights of 2012 include:
- Through a heightened level of cooperation, the Federation Council developed a partnership agreement for all Provinces to partner together in a unified fashion.
- Through our advocacy work we spoke loudly and clearly on behalf of our patients and their families for compassion and care. In June, ALS Awareness month, we took to Parliament Hill and met with 42 politicians to ask for improvements to the Compassionate Care benefit.
- Through our Client Services model, we improved access to care by formalizing a permanent staffing structure to support clients in regions throughout the Province.
- Through our commitment to collaboration, we invested over $1.6 million in ALS Research. Our efforts are now ranging from bench-to-bedside, clinical trials (CALS) with and a national network of clinics assisting those with ALS.
- Through our Canada-wide focus on fundraising, we were able to gain new footing with our WALK for ALS breaking record revenue target of $3.2 million across Canada and $1.4 million in Ontario.
- Through our tremendous donor generosity revenue targets were met or exceeded for our Signature events such as the Bombardier Plane Pull and the ALS Charity Golf Classic. As well, revitalized growth in Third Party events and Planned Giving contributed to a successful year.
- Through our desire to better communicate with our stakeholders, we upgraded our website www.als.ca to reflect the new organization.
- Through our desire to eradicate the deficit, we implemented new processes and financial controls to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness.
The ALS community will continue its commitment to change the focus of this disease from loss to the new found strength and determination our patients find. Demonstrate the dignity our patients exude in the face of adversity. Show the joy they share each day with their families and friends. Document their amazing power to fully embrace life’s cherished moments.
ALS Canada will rally around the goal to give those living with ALS the best quality of life while funding researchers to find new treatments. And like any family, ALS Canada can not do it alone. Special thanks to the Federation Members, the Volunteers and Supporters of ALS Ontario, and the Research Community in Canada in 2012. Thanks to your time, dedication and commitment we were able to build the foundation for a brighter future for people with ALS. Your confidence in our work will continue our quest for better care, compassion and a cure for ALS.
Lanny McInnes, Chair Lindee David, CEO