News June 6, 2024

Saskatchewan Blue Cross invests $50,000 in provincial epilepsy program

Saskatoon, Sask., June 6, 2024 – For over 32 years, Saskatchewan Blue Cross has worked with the Royal University Hospital (RUH) Foundation to advance healthcare in the province. Today, they embark on a new journey together as Saskatchewan Blue Cross invests $50,000 in the Saskatchewan Epilepsy Program at RUH.

The program provides in-patient care and support for the estimated 10,000 people in the province living with epilepsy. Funds will assist in providing an Integrated Wellness Program for Saskatchewan people living with epilepsy as well as their caregivers, offering education, social support and the removal of psychological barriers to promote healthy lifestyles while enhancing quality of life.

“This integrated wellness program is unique to Saskatchewan epilepsy patients, but it doesn’t stop with our province,” said Kelly Wilson, President and CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross. “It will hopefully become a model for others to institute programs like this as a standard of care and support services.”

The 8-to-12-week Integrated Wellness Program has patients work one-on-one with wellness and exercise experts, building and providing tools for patients to use in their daily lives while living with epilepsy. The program also looks to enhance general awareness of those living with epilepsy, including information for individuals on what to do when they see someone having a seizure.

“Understanding conditions like epilepsy and how to respond to those having a seizure expands our Health Literacy – which is our knowledge and understanding of health information and services,” said Kelly. “We are committed to investing in programs such as these as they impact community wellness on a fundamental level.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada shows that about 1 in 100 Canadians are affected by epilepsy, with an estimated 54 new cases diagnosed every day. In Saskatchewan, research shows that individuals from Indigenous communities are twice as likely to have epilepsy. Data also shows that those who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community see incidences of those with epilepsy being three times higher in transgender people than the general population.

“Royal University Hospital Foundation is extremely grateful for the generosity of Saskatchewan Blue Cross in making the Integrated Wellness Program a reality here at RUH,” RUH Foundation CEO Jennifer Molloy said. “Working together, we are enhancing the care available and the quality of life for those living with seizure disorders and epilepsy in Saskatchewan.”

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