Message From Tony Clement, Minister Of Health Spinal Health Week, Canada

12 May 2007

This week is Spinal Health Week in Canada. As the warm summer weather approaches and people become more physically active, it is an appropriate time to raise awareness of good spinal health practices.

This February, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Parliamentary Secretary Steven Fletcher and I, announced that Canada's New Government has invested $30 million in the Spinal Cord Injury Translational Research Network. Led by the Rick Hansen Foundation, this national network will help translate innovative research discoveries into better care, treatment and quality of life for the more than 40,000 Canadians living with spinal cord injuries. The Network is a partnership of over 50 acute care facilities, rehabilitation centres and laboratories drawn from every Canadian province. The Network aims to accelerate progress towards a cure - a fitting goal as we mark the 20th anniversary of the Man in Motion World Tour, when Rick Hansen showed Canadians that anything is possible.

While advances in curative medicine play an important role in improving the lives of Canadians with spinal cord injuries, there are also actions that each individual can take to improve their spinal health. Caring for your spine and learning to strengthen and protect your back are as important as caring for your eyes or heart.

As we mark Spinal Health week, I encourage Canadians to take this opportunity to educate themselves about good spinal health practices. Please visit Injury Prevention to find out how to prevent back injuries.

Tony Clement
Minister of Health
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