Category Archives: Health

NOTEBOOK: Flewellyn-Jones house could be home to a PTSD wellness centre

Interesting discussion today at City Hall around the impacts of heritage designation, and a great example of a creative compromise.

A group of seven therapists want to transform the Flewellyn-Jones house into a wellness centre, treating people with post-tramautic stress disorder (PTSD) including Canadian soldiers.

The therapist group was close to finalizing a purchase of the property from the Jones family late in 2015,  but put the deal on hold when they found out that city staff was recommending heritage designation for the 19th century stone house and adjacent apple orchard.

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Kanata gets region’s first combined Curves / Jenny Craig franchise

Barb Kerzner and Shannon Graham inside the new combined Curves-Jenny Craig location in Kanata.
Barb Kerzner and Shannon Graham inside the new combined Curves-Jenny Craig location in Kanata.

Over the past few weeks renovations have been underway at the corner of Hazeldean and Castlefrank for Curves/Jenny Craig in Kanata as owner Barb Kerzner and staff open the first combined Curves/Jenny Craig franchise in Ottawa.

Kerzner has been operating Jenny Craig at the location for a while, but says that the combined concept lets them bring together fitness, nutrition and weight loss all under one roof.  For more information, call 613-254-5704 or email

You can also like them on Facebook.


LETTER: Gaming marathon raises money for CHEO

Video games are a favourite and growing pastime for young and old alike. I’ve personally been a gamer for over 35 years now and I can’t imagine my free time without them. But what if gamers could turn our hobby into something that’s not just fun but that also does good for sick kids around the world? You may not be familiar with Extra Life but it’s exactly that! Continue reading


Qadri hosts “Keep Stittsville Healthy” event on October 24

(via Shad Qadri)

On October 24th please join me and various public health experts starting at 10:00 a.m. upstairs in the Johnny Leroux Stittsville Community Arena for the Keep Stittsville Health event.

As the Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health, I along with Ottawa Public Health have been putting together this event that focuses on health information pertaining to issues residents have brought forward to my attention. Such topics as Parenting in Ottawa, mental health, healthy eating and vaccination are included.

Some fun activities on hand:

  • Try SMOOCH the bicycle powered smoothie machine! Pedal up a delicious non-dairy concoction of fresh fruit, juice and frozen field berries using renewable human power!
  • Taste delicious samples from Ottawa Public Health Community Food Advisor who will be on site providing healthy snack food demonstrations and education on Canada’s Food Guide.
  • healthy3Phiz, Ottawa Public Health’s physical activity mascot will be on hand. Parents bring out your wee ones and join a Salsa Tots or Salsa Kids Latin Dance Fiesta!
  • Young students can grade 1 to 12 can participate in an artwork challenge to be featured in Ottawa Public Health’s 2015 Annual Report.
  • Ottawa Public Library will be on hand with reading corner for interactive story time sessions including story reading, rhymes and songs around healthy living.
  • There will be light refreshments available. I hope you will join me in keeping Stittsville healthy!

I hope you will join me in keeping Stittsville healthy!


Boil Water Advisory for King’s Park residents in Richmond

(via the City of Ottawa)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has issued a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for users of the King’s Park communal well water system in the village of Richmond. The advisory is being issued due to an equipment malfunction which has resulted in a loss of water pressure in the area.  This advisory affects approximately 215 water users and is in effect until further notice.

City staff are on location delivering notices to affected residents.

Water users in the affected area are asked to bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for all consumption purposes, including drinking, making juice, ice and infant formula, as well as for use in food preparation.

After boiling, the water should be left to cool before being used, or it should be placed in clean containers to cool in the refrigerator. Boiled water should be used when brushing teeth. Boiled water should also be used to rinse dishes after washing. Other non-consumption uses, such as showering, are safe.

If you are unable to boil water, you should consume only bottled water.  More info available here: What you should know during a boil water advisory.

This advisory will be rescinded once Ottawa Public Health is satisfied that water quality has been restored and tap water is safe to drink.  Bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute will kill the microorganisms.

Additional information is available at, or by calling 3-1-1, or Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.  You can also connect with Ottawa Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).


Karaoke for Cancer Awareness on September 26

Sue Lambe and Bill Martin, two local real estate agents with Century 21, are are hosting a fundraiser Karaoke for Cancer Awareness on Sept 26th from 8-12, upstairs at the Stittsville Legion,.

Many local area businesses have donated silent auction items, and if you or someone you know are able to donate something for the auction it would be welcomed with open arms, We will be acknowledging all our sponsors with a printed banner at the event and encourage those in attendance and online to keep you in mind when shopping for goods and services.  There will be complimentary food on site, individuals can purchase beverages from the Legion for a small cost.

You can find more info on the event’s Facebook page.



Hair Donation Ottawa gives over $126,000 to local hospitals

(Press release via CHEO Foundation and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.)

Hair Donation Ottawa, an annual, non-profit cancer research fundraiser held in April, raised $126,000 for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO and organizers present a cheque to the researchers it supports earlier today.

Continue reading


How a food blog evolved into a ready-to-eat meal service

(Above: Philip Munk and Alana Thomson. Photo by Barry Gray.)

What began as a personal online cookbook has turned into Stittsville’s new healthy meal prep service, Healthy Balance.

Alana Thomson was a personal trainer before she started focusing more on nutrition. Thomson created a food blog that soon received a large following begging her to provide them with more recipes and healthy creations. When she connected with her business partner Philip Munk, a professional chef and an amateur athlete, Healthy Balance was created. Continue reading


PHOTOS: Sacred Heart relay raises nearly $17k

Sacred Heart High School students hosted their first-ever Relay for Life fundraising event on Friday and it was a big success, raising at least $16,800 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Despite cold and windy weather, participants walked laps draped in blankets and huddled together to stay warm.

The day started off with an opening ceremony where a few survivors from the community shared their cancer stories and led the first lap around the track.

A luminary ceremony started once it got dark that had almost everyone in tears. Students shared what it was like to watch their loved ones battle cancer and in some cases die from the disease.

“It was very emotional and touching to see how many students are affected by cancer and it just goes to show how all the participants were there for the right reason: they were there to fight back, to honour the survivors and remember those who lost their battle,” wrote Grade 12 student Anna Ploeg in an email to

“By the end of the evening all participants felt close as if we were all a little family. Students approached me and thanked me for the amazing day and told me that they were for sure going to participate again next year and recruit more of their friends to join too,” wrote Ploeg.

“The relay committee and myself owe a big thank you to our corporate sponsors. To OzDome for their fantastic facility and being so incredibly accommodating, they have already promised to host Sacred’s Relay event next year! To Giant Tiger who were so willing and excited to help the cause, Giant Tiger donated a generous amount and Friendly the tiger stopped by to say hello to all the students. And finally Combat Networks who also gave a generous donation and helped sort the cans for the food banks that students brought with to the sign in tent, staff from the company stopped by several times throughout the evening and offered to help with anything that needed to get done,” wrote Ploeg.

Although the event is over, students are still collecting donations. people can still donate online.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.
Anna Ploeg speaks to Relay for Life participants.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life. Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.



CITIZEN: Stittsville mom recovering from flesh-eating disease

The Ottawa Citizen has a story about Stittsville’s Susan Brayshaw, who is recovering from flesh-eating disease:

A Stittsville mother recovering from flesh-eating disease wants nothing more than to carry her seven-week-old baby.

Susan Brayshaw, 38, ended up in the hospital with knee pain four days after she gave birth on March 22 to her son, Jackson, at home with the help of two midwives and a doula.

Doctors don’t believe the disease is linked in any way to the birth and wasn’t passed on to her baby.

“It’s hard because I can’t do the little things,” Brayshaw said Wednesday evening. “I can’t walk up and down the hall. I can’t go for a stroller walk with him.

“Everything a mother wants to do I can’t. He doesn’t know any difference, but it still hurts.”

Read the full story…

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.
Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.


Students cut teacher’s hair at Stittsville Public School

Students in Mme Reed’s Grade 4 class at Stittsville Public School managed to get away with cutting a teacher’s hair.

Students in her class raised $80 for Hair Donation Ottawa, more money than any other class in the school.  As a reward, they got to hack away sixteen inches of kindergarten teacher Liz Aitken’s hair on Wednesday, with help from Helene Hutchings of Hair Donation Ottawa. Continue reading


Residents reminded of how to safely dispose of used needles

(Press release from Ottawa Public Health.)

With warming spring temperatures, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents about how to safely dispose of used needles and other hazardous materials that may be found in their neighbourhoods.

For health and safety reasons, it is against the law to dispose of sharp objects, such as needles and syringes, in the garbage, recycling or by flushing them down the toilet. Garbage is compacted during collection, so even when placed in a puncture-proof container, needles, crack pipes or glass stems can be exposed and pose the risk of injuring someone.

There are several ways for residents to properly dispose of needles and other used hazardous materials. It’s important to treat these as contaminated and to follow important safety precautions before disposing them at these locations:

  • Putting them in a one of 65 Needle Drop Boxes located throughout the City of Ottawa.
  • Dropping them off at select pharmacies.
  • Dropping them off at Household Hazardous Waste Depots or at a retailer who accepts returns of household hazardous waste by using the City’s Waste Explorer.
  • Larger containers of non-commercial used needles can be dropped off at Ottawa Public Health locations at 100 Constellation Drive or 179 Clarence Street.

Children should never touch a discarded needle or crack pipe. If a needle or other hazardous material is found, residents can also call 3-1-1 to make arrangements to have the City pick up a needle or other hazardous material immediately.

For additional information, visit or call Ottawa Public Health Information at613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). Connect with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Tumblr.


Housing counsellor gives an objective perspective to seniors housing

Choosing a retirement home can be an emotional experience for seniors and their families. Stittsville’s Suzanne Mondoux wants to make the process of finding a senior’s residence less stressful for everybody.

Mondoux is a housing counselor with Visavie, a Quebec-based housing advisory service for seniors and their families that helps them select a retirement home. She meets with families to assess their needs, recommends a short list from over 60 accredited homes in the Ottawa area, and shows the facilities to the families.

“I’m there as an advocate, and to champion, and to make sure the right questions are asked and the right questions have been asked,” says Mondoux.

“It’s comparable to a real estate agent. As a housing counsellor, this is a very emotional journey that we take someone through. I’ve seen people cry from the adult children to the seniors themselves,” she says.

“And it’s not always a bad reason. Sometimes it’s relief that ‘finally I’m going to have someone look after me, I’m going to have acceptance’.”

There’s no charge for families to use the service. Visavie earns a commission from retirement homes that that they have a contract with.

Mondoux says there’s a wide variety of homes in Ottawa to match a wide variety of needs.

“It’s finding the geographic area, the financial needs and medical needs as a person progresses. It can range from $2,000/month to $10,000/month. Care-wise, there are differences. Some help with laundry, some don’t. Some do meds administration, some don’t. Some will have cognitive care units, some will have more of a physical care unit, some may have both,” she says.

Canada’s aging demographic is creating new challenges and opportunities for businesses, says Mondoux.

“We’re five team members plus a regional director. We are growing because the need is there. If we work together we can help the seniors in our community,” she says.

Mondoux, originally from Nova Scotia, used to work at a retirement residence as a leasing and marketing manager. She believes there is a need for more retirement residences in the Stittsville/Kanata area.

“Some have higher occupancy than others. That could be due to many things like pricing, or somebody needing a specific care that another doesn’t offer. I do think there can be more, and I think we’ll see focus to more higher-care needs because people are living longer,” she says.

You can reach Mondoux at 613-897-7069 or


Use of e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’ not permitted on City properties

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

The City of Ottawa would like to inform residents that use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” on all City properties is prohibited, including on OC Transpo buses and properties, in City parks and outdoor municipal properties and on any other City properties.

Use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” on OC Transpo buses or properties is subject to enforcement action under Section 19(2)(h) of the Transit By-law, which prohibits anyone from interfering “with the comfort or convenience of any other person.” This restriction applies to City employees as well as members of the public. Users may be subject to enforcement action, including fines of up to $5,000.

In June 2012, City Council amended the City’s Parks and Facilities By-law to broaden the definition of “smoke” or “smoking” to capture a wider array of activities. This expanded definition effectively prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” in City of Ottawa parks and on other outdoor municipal properties.

The use of e-cigarettes is also prohibited in City facilities or workplaces, by both employees and members of the public. Ottawa’s City Manager has directed that the City’s Smoke-Free Workplace Policy be revised to extend the current prohibitions on smoking to the use of e-cigarettes. Additionally, the Government of Ontario’s Bill 45, Making Healthier Choices Act2015, is currently before the Provincial Legislature and, if passed, would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed workplaces and public places.


Ottawa Public Health launches new online parenting initiative

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched a new interactive web portal today to help parents access relevant, reliable and local parenting information online.

The Parenting in Ottawa portal was developed in response to the increasing use of the web to find information, support and community resources. Research shows that a large majority of parents are using online channels to find information and to stay connected with other parents. Parenting in Ottawa is designed to cover everything from planning for a family to getting through the teenage years.

“This newly launched Parenting in Ottawa portal will complement many of the services already offered to Ottawa parents,” said Councillor Shad Qadri, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “Ottawa Public Health is a national leader in providing timely and relevant online health information to residents, and this new tool is a great addition to their toolbox.”

Parenting in Ottawa provides access to credible, evidence-based information in easy-to-navigate formats. Parents and families will learn about local community resources and events and be able to connect virtually with experts from various organizations. Furthermore, parents will also have access to the recently launched and very popular Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page; where parents can interact live with other parents and with a Public Health Nurse weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“For parents, each stage in a child’s development has new rewards, but also new challenges. We wanted to create an online space that supports all parents, is highly interactive and is easy to use,” said Sherry Nigro, Manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health. “Another of our objectives is to connect people with local community resources.”

“As a first-time mom, I’m always looking for great parenting and health-related advice. The Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page provides a reliable resource to parents in Ottawa,” said Sara Zahiri, active user of the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page. “It’s nice to have a local resource that parents can depend on to get accurate, current information on parenting issues.”

This web portal will provide access to parenting information on subjects such as:

  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • the growth and development of your child
  • mental health
  • when to worry, when not to
  • healthy eating
  • immunization
  • how to talk to your child and teen about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • how to talk to your child and teen about puberty and sexuality
  • community services for your family

For more information on pregnancy and parenting, please visit or call the OPH Information Line at 613-580-6744. You can also follow OPH on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr.


Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre proposed for West Carleton

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre wants to build a new facility at 1883 Bradley Side Road.  The City has received new proposals for a zoning by-law amendment and official plan amendment that would allow for a 30-bed facility for youth aged 13 to 21 years of age with substance abuse issues.

Bradley Side Road is just northwest of the intersection of Richardson Side Road and Huntmar Drive, backing onto the Thunderbird soccer domes and golf course. Continue reading