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Scleroderma Manitoba Virtual Education Conference
October 3, 2020

Scleroderma Manitoba "Looking Forward with Hope"

On Saturday, October 3, members of the Manitoba scleroderma community joined our Virtual Education conference to learn about progress in scleroderma research and implications for patients in Manitoba.

Keynote speaker Dr. Janet Pope (chair Rheumatology Department at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London ON), discussed progress that has been made in alleviating or slowing progression of scleroderma.

We learned how results from the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group, which follows a registry of approximately 3000 scleroderma patients, are being used to uncover useful trends and information for scleroderma researchers.

Dr. Pope was joined by Drs. Ada Man, David Robinson, (both of the University of Manitoba) and Sabrina Hoa (University of Montreal) for a panel discussion during which they provided their perspectives on what has been learned, what they hope to learn in the future, and what excites them about potential progress in scleroderma treatment.

Each doctor described their own research initiatives which ranged from examining the early use of immuno-suppressants to reduce lung fibrosis, to examining indicators to better predict rate of disease progression, to the benefits of multiple medications in treating scleroderma, to the role of cannabinoids in scleroderma treatment, to the possibility for pragmatic trials within a clinic to compare different treatments among patients.

Overall, the discussion was insightful, and gave us lots to hope for in the future.  

Scleroderma Manitoba thanks Drs. Pope, Man, Hoa and Robinson, for their time and openness during our conference, and for the care and support of scleroderma patients they show every day. We also want to thank Janssen for their support in holding the Education Conference.

Missed the conference? A recording of the conference is available here.

Annual General Meeting

Our annual general meeting was held virtually, during the Education conference. Attendees heard reports regarding finances, the 2019 fund-raising walk, support groups, and board membership.

Jo-Ann Lapointe McKenzie will take on the role of President, while Marion Pacy, long-time board member and president becomes Past President. Helen Goerzen remains as secretary. We welcome Lisa Thiessen to the board in the role of Treasurer. Members At Large are Jereleen Brydon (Support Group Leader), Rob McKenzie, and Linda Clark.

In addition, revised By Laws for the organization were adopted at the AGM. Thank you to Linda Clark, Rob McKenzie and Jo-Ann Lapointe McKenzie for your work in drafting the new By Laws, which are available here.

The board extends our deepest thanks to Jackie Morin (past Treasurer) and Ron Morin (Director), long-time board members for your dedication and service to the scleroderma community.