Dr. Stein’s Partial Leave of Absence

I have decided to take a partial sabbatical from Monday Sept 4th until the end of 2017 (with the possibility of an extension if needed).  I am taking this time to attend to my own health and life – to walk the walk of pacing and self care.

During this time,

  • I will continue with all the groups currently underway and may start new PEG, Curing Persistent Pain and Sleep groups as current groups finish.
  • I will continue to study and read the literature. I may publish news letters if important events occur.

During this time,

  • You will need to rely on your family physician and other providers for medication renewals and ongoing needs.
  • I will not schedule any individual appointments or assessments.
  • I will not refill prescriptions, fill out disability forms, order tests or make referrals.
  • I will not take new referrals except for the groups mentioned above.
  • I will not respond to emails or phone calls from patients except those relating to the groups or regarding follow up on investigations or consultations requested by me prior to Sept 4th.

Support while I am on leave

  • If your family physician requests support, I will book a phone call with them to discuss your care or disability needs.
  • The office will be open approximately one day per week to respond to administrative requests such as forwarding information to other providers.
  • Requests from third parties such as insurance companies will be forwarded to the physician of your choice and the company will be advised that I am unavailable.
  • Legal requests will be responded to.

 Preparation

  • If you want me to contact your family physician or write them a letter updating them about your health prior to Sept 4th please discuss with me in person prior to my leave.
  • I will ensure that everyone currently on the appointment wait list and those who need an appointment to plan for the leave are seen in person prior to Sept 4th.
  • If you are using triplicate prescriptions please talk to your family physician requesting coverage while I am away since I cannot give you a 4 month prescription.
  • If you do not have or lose your family physician please go to the AHS web page on how to find a doctor: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/Page13253.aspx

Thank you to those of you who have already supported my decision.

Ellie Stein


Alberta Healthy Living Program pilots a course on ME/CFS

The Alberta Healthy Living Program offers free, province wide, patient education on a wide variety of topics of interests to readers of this newsletter including chronic pain, pacing, sleep, diet, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and mood.

A group of hard working expert patients has developed a creative, engaging 2 hour session which will run in Calgary in the fall 2017/winter 2018.

We need patients to join us online on Monday May 22nd to provide feedback as we do a run-through of the course.
To join us on May 22nd, contact Dr. Stein by email or phone.

We need Calgary based facilitators (teachers) for this course.
If you have teaching and/or presentation skills and are interested please contact Dr. Stein for more information. You will receive training and practice and will always have a teaching partner.

Thank You to the new Canadian non-profit Action CIND who provided web access for our meetings and developed some short video clips for the course https://www.facebook.com/ActionCIND/

Thank You to the ME Society of Edmonton who is supporting this program with honoraria for the expert patient facilitators.

Click here for the schedule of upcoming programs through the Alberta Healthy Living Program

We hope the course will be well received and will grow to other areas of the province.  Please mention the course to your health care professional.


Disability Support in Canada – Learn more on June 16th, 2017

FREE Educational Event/Webinar on CPP-D, Provincial disability and private insurance

 Sponsored by the National ME/FM Action Network mefmaction.com

  • Webcast by Mike Finch of Self Connection Books
  • Moderated by Dr. Ellie Stein, Calgary physician
  • All interested in learning about disability supports welcome (not illness specific)
Date: Friday June 16th 2017 at 1 – 4:30 pm Mountain Daylight Time
Location: Cardel Theatre – 180 Quarry Park Blvd S.E. Calgary, AB
To register for this free event go to: www.selfconnection.ca/stein

This event will be recorded and will be freely available on the website of the ME/FM Action Network after the event.

If you want to pose questions to the speakers you must attend either in person in Calgary or by web on June 16th.

Click here for a pdf notice.  Please forward  to anyone who may be interested to attend.

If you have a question for one of the speakers please forward them to me well before the date so that I can forward  to the speaker in question.   http://eleanorsteinmd.ca//downloads/2279/

Speakers: All of the speakers are volunteering their time to participate in this educational forum.
We are very thankful to them for the opportunity to learn more about applying for and appealing disability supports.

CPP-D: Kris Johnson (speaking by web from Ottawa)

Kris is the Director General of the CPP-Disability Directorate within Employment and Social Development Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/disability/benefits.html

AISH: Dale Beesely (speaking by web from Edmonton)

Dale is the Statutory Director for the AISH program and Acting Executive Director of Financial Supports within the newly created Alberta Ministry of Community and Social Services. https://www.alberta.ca/aish.aspx

Do I Have a Case? James Ludwar (in person)

James Ludwar is a benefits and disability lawyer in Calgary who serves Alberta and Saskatchewan. James founded Ludwar Law in 2012 and has represented many individuals with ME/CFS and FM. http://www.yourdisabilitylawyer.ca/lawyer

Employment and Disability: Hugh Scher (speaking by web from Toronto)

Hugh has extensive experience in employment, human rights and disability insurance matters.  He has been involved in some of the most important disability decisions for ME/CFS in Canada. His firm, Scher Law, has offices in Toronto and Ottawa.  http://www.lostjobs.ca/

Patient Advocate: John Wodak (by web from Edmonton)

Over the past 20+ years John has has provided advice and/or assistance to more than 700 individuals applying for CPP-D and/or AISH.  He is a co-author of a Guide to CPP-D applications and appeals, available for downloading on the National ME/FM Action Network’s website. www.mefmaction.com


We are now open for out of town referrals

After taking over 2 years to clear the backlog of referrals, we are making progress and are welcoming new referrals from out of town clients. Please see the October 2016 Newsletter for details.  The waitlist for Calgary and area referrals remains closed.  People who have attended the psychoeducational group are being offered assessments before we open to new referrals.

There is a lot to be excited about in terms of new research and treatment ideas.  After returning from the IACFS/ME conference in Fort Lauderdale, I will work to translate what I have learned at conferences over the past few months to present at various groups and maybe at an education meeting. 


Clinical Practice Guidelines for ME/CFS

This CPG was drafted by an expert committee of Towards Optimal Practice (TOP).  TOP is a collaboration of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and the Alberta Medical Association.  Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) helps Alberta physicians and the teams with whom they work implement evidence-based practices to enhance the care of their patients http://www.topalbertadoctors.org/home/  

I served as the content expert on the committee.  We also had one scientist/researcher, one patient advocate, one psychologist and 3 family physicians on the committee.  All the committee members have extensive knowledge of and experience with individuals with ME/CFS.  We had access to a professional librarian to access all of the literature needed and a professional guidelines facilitator to draft the guidelines. It was a positive experience with everyone agreeing on the importance of the task and having an understanding of the unmet needs of individuals with ME/CFS.  I am very proud of the guidelines.

My hope is that these guidelines will be promoted and used across jurisdictions in Canada and abroad. All family physicians in Alberta were sent an email about these guidelines. Please discuss them with your doctor.

“Identification and symptom management of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

TOP’s new Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) responds to the need for greater awareness that Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, chronic, debilitating physical condition that can be identified and successfully managed in the primary care setting.

The CPG aims to equip clinicians with the necessary knowledge and tools to identify and provide symptom management while empowering the patient by acknowledging the legitimacy of the condition and respecting the patient’s lived experience.”

To view both the CPG and summary document click here.

To view all TOP CPGs and/or subscribe for updates click here.


Registration Open for May 11th International Awareness Day Webinar

2016 International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Webinar: Wednesday May 11th  6:30 – 8:30 pm Mountain Daylight Time
Dr. Michael Moskowitz MD MPH – Featured in “The Brain’s Way of Healing” by Dr. Norman Doidge
Neuroplastic Transformation: Using Neuroplasticity to Cure Persistent Pain

Event Flyer –  Please email or post  2016 IAD Webinar Notice

As it becomes persistent, pain changes from a symptom to a disease.  This change is caused by changes in the pain processing centers in the brain. The changes in the brain cause changes in the rest of the body leading to a vicious circle.  Since the disease of pain is a neuroplastic process in the brain and not due to tissue injury, it is reversible.  Attend this webinar and learn how.

Dr. Moskowitz is Board Certified in both Psychiatry and Pain Medicine. He served as a member of the Examination Council for the American Board of Pain Medicine from 2006-2010.  He has been an Assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis since 2006. Dr. Moskowitz and Dr. Marla Golden have been working together since 2008 to develop a practical therapy which utilizes our brain’s ability to change itself (neuroplasticity) to cure persistent pain. They have published a manual outlining their approach complemented by animations and additional information on their website: www.neuroplastix.com

In this webinar Dr. Moskowitz will explain how and why Neuroplastic Transformation works.
The objective is to return the body and brain to normal function (not to live with pain).

Location: In person at Self Connection Books in Calgary, Canada or online
Dr. Stein and Psychologist Michelle Deslile from the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre will be in house as discussants.

Cost: $20 ($10 for low income)

Registration: http://www.selfconnection.ca/moskowitz


Registration Open for March 19th Diet and Lifestyle Webinar

Registration is now open  –  Webinar: Diet and Activity for optimal health in ME/CFS and FM

Date: Saturday March 19th, 2016

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm MST (Mountain Standard Time) 

Speakers:

Rory Hornstein Registered Dietician: Use gut bugs to be healthy and lose weight.
Cory Fagan BPE(Hons), MSc: Use heart rate and exercise test results to plan daily activities.

Location: Join in person at Self Connection Books or On Line

Self Connection Books is at:#125, 4611 Bowness Road NW,  Calgary, Alberta
Phone: 403.284.1486  Toll Free: 866.735.3457

Cost: $15.00/ $7.50 low income (to register as low income please call the office for the coupon code)

For Full Details and to Register go to: http://selfconnection.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1081&Itemid=13

Rory Hornstein Registered Dietician: Using gut bugs to be healthy and lose weight.
Ever wondered how you could have managed to put on weight over the years despite dieting the entire time? Turns out our gut bugs may be creating oversized guts. This session will explain how microbes influence how we eat, what we eat, how we get energy from our food, protect our immune system, help us harvest calories and produce key vitamins and nutrients. Rory Hornstein will explore what we can do to cultivate and enrich the critters in our gut on the path to better health. 

Cory Fagan BPE(Hons), MSc: Recommendations for physical activity and recovery with ME/CFS and FM
Cory and I have been working together for a few years offering the Stephens Protocol 2 day exercise testing. Cory will share what he is finding and how the results in individuals with ME/CFS compare to healthy individuals that he works with at his training facility TCR Sport Lab in Calgary.

  • His topics include: “you are not faking, something is off”. Physiological data to support ME/CFS. 
  • Using heart rate and exercise test results to “train” optimally.
  • Using cryotherapy to improve recovery from activity.

New Manual Prices

Due to increased cost of production the cost for my manual “Let Your Light Shine Through: Strategies for Living with ME/CFS, FM and MCS” has increased slightly.  All prices are in Canadian dollars.  We have a new shipment of both the B&W and Color coil bound manuals.

Download – $20
CD – $22 + shipping
Black and White coil paper manual – $29 + shipping
Color coil paper manual with tabs – $38 + shipping


Three Events Upcoming – Mark Your Calendars

In the February 2016 Newsletter just posted on the Newsletter page, two upcoming events are noted.  A third has just been confirmed.

Saturday March 19, 2016 – Webinar on the topic of diet and activity in ME/CFS and FM with Kinesiologist Cory Fagan and Registered Dietitian Rory Hornstein.  This presentation addresses the challenge of staying fit and maintaining a health weight for people with significant energy limitations. Full registration details will be posted soon – the cost will be $15/$7.50 for low income.  You can participant in person at Self Connection Books in Calgary or by real time audio/video internet connection.  Registration will also give you access to past webinars organized by me on the Self Connection Books website.

Wednesday May 11, 2016 for International Awareness Day – Webinar on the topic of neuroplasticity and its uses in mood, persistent pain and overall wellness.  Registration details will be posted as soon as speakers and topics are confirmed.

June 11/12, 2016 – Weekend Energy Retreat  – This is an exciting new venture capitalizing on the increasing expertise developing in Calgary to assist individuals with ME/CFS and FM.

Small group, practical experience with 4 local experts over 2 days – We will meet for 3 hours/day on each of Saturday and Sunday.  We hope we have found a balance between enough content to attract out of towners who don’t otherwise have the access to this expertise while accommodating our energy limits.  You will leave this with concrete self management steps you can take to improve your health and quality of life.

Cory Fagan – Kinesiologist –  Develop an individualized activity plan.
Gord McMorland – Rehabilitation Chiropractor – Spine 101 – how to sit, stand and walk safely and effectively.
Heather Campbell – Registered Massage therapist and Stott Pilates Instructor – Core strength and Breathing.
Rory Hornstein – Dietitian – Special diet friendly, easy to prepare snacks.

Registration details will be posted when available.