H-CARDD Connects - Issue 5 January 2017
News about research findings, resources and tools to improve the health care of people with developmental disabilities.

Medical Education

Over the last few issues of H-CARDD Connects, we’ve shared with you the many disparities that have been uncovered in vulnerable subpopulations of those with developmental disabilities (DD), including women, aging adults, transition age youth, as well as those with addictions and mental health issues. You’ve also learned the different ways H-CARDD has worked with researchers, clinicians, caregivers, and services users in primary and emergency care to foster solutions, like our toolkits. Over the next few issues, you will hear the stories of the people involved in these H-CARDD initiatives and get a behind the scenes look at some of the work we have done in medical education and health care advocacy. 

If you find this information helpful, please share it with friends and colleagues. For more information visit our website at www.hcardd.ca or email hcardd@camh.ca

Better Practice, Better Health

A big part of our knowledge to action projects done in primary and emergency care focused on providing education to medical staff about best practices when caring for a patient with developmental disabilities. One approach to achieving this end was the creation of the Best Practice Series, done in collaboration with researchers, clinicians and people with DD. The Best Practice Series includes videos on improving primary care, mental health care and emergency care. The videos demonstrate common practice errors followed by strategies to improve medical encounters. The videos are brief and can be watched in a group and discussed, or individually with the use of on screen teaching points. In the video below, see how the nurse improves Francie’s experience by explaining the process of drawing blood to her and her sister.

Watch video

Get to Know Me Poster Campaign

Another important part of medical education was focusing on health care provider attitudes and comfort. When we began working in health care settings we quickly learned that health care providers may only get a snapshot view of an individual, and it is often when they are very sick or even in crisis. During these opportunities, they may underappreciate or not be able to get to know all the different aspects of their patients – what they like and what they don’t like about their health care and their interests and passions beyond the health care setting. Our goal with these posters originally was to help medical staff to be more aware and feel comfortable while supporting people with DD. The poster campaign took off and evolved into a self-advocacy initiative where people with DD had an opportunity to introduce themselves to health care providers and share their feelings toward health and healthcare. 

Get Involved
Advocates showing off their new posters for the Get to Know Me campaign, Summer 2015
Do you have a question about this work?
Let us know on Twitter at @HCARDD  #askHCARDD

Other Ways to Keep Learning

Curriculum of Caring 
Curriculum of Caring offers multiple video resources to teach health care providers about how to care for patients with DD and features the stories and voices of people with DD and what they want in their health care. Read more about this initiative and view their resources.

AbleX Series from Queensland Centre for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
The XSeries Program is a free massive open online course - designed to influence, empower, and educate a wider population to improve the health and healthcare of people with intellectual disability and includes experts from around the world, including some from the H-CARDD program!

Surrey Place Centre Primary Care Tools for Providers
Surrey Place Centre and the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program have a variety of tools for primary care providers in addition to their Family Medicine Curriculum Resource. Watch this video where Dr. Bill Sullivan talks about the guidelines and tools for primary care providers.

Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Online Course
This new online course is designed by Surrey Place Centre, in collaboration with CAMH, for primary care providers. The course is CPA accredited, is self-directed, and explores the disparities in health and healthcare between those with DD and the general population as well as health needs of adults with DD. The first session will take place on February 13 - Register today!

Stay in the loop - Check out our news feed on hcardd.ca or find us online on Facebook and Twitter!

H-CARDD Conversations: Medical Education

We had the chance to catch up with Dr. Alvin Loh, Developmental Pediatrician at Surrey Place Centre and Dr. Kerry Boyd, Psychiatrist working at Bethesda, McMaster Children's Hospital, and McMaster University and lead in the Curriculum of Caring. We spoke to them about their experiences teaching and training medical students to care for patients with developmental disabilities.

"The motto from England for self-advocates with developmental disabilities is clear: “Nothing about us, without us.”  We need people with disabilities to tell their stories and to help us communicate better with them.  We need their feedback about what is helpful to them and what is not."
- Dr. Alvin Loh

"It didn’t take me long to realize how engaging these people are and how rewarding the work can be. I want to make sure that students receive good experiences and professionals are increasingly engaged in providing the kind of person centred care that people with IDD need and deserve."
- Dr. Kerry Boyd
Read the Full interview
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Email: hcardd@camh.ca