Over the years, SCAGO has met with and worked with various Ministers of Health including Deb Matthews and Eric Hoskins. We have also reached out to the current administration on racialized health issues.
In collaboration with the Thalassemia Foundation of Canada (TFC), SCAGO has also held Action days at Queen’s Park on March 19, 2014; April 10, 11, 2016; February 27, 2017; and March 27, 2018.
The Action days serve to raise awareness of sickle cell disease among policymakers as well as present the ASKs from the sickle cell disease community. It is worth noting that funding for the Red Blood Cell Disorders Clinic (Toronto General Hospital) was announced by Minister Eric Hoskins during the Action Day 2017
Furthermore, on March 1st 2022, through the advocacy efforts of the Ontario Hemoglobinopathy Patient Association (OHPA), the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO), and the Thalassemia Foundation of Canada (TFC), the Ministry of Health approved funding for five Hemoglobinopathy Clinics- London Health Sciences, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, The Ottawa Hospital, SickKids, and William Osler -Brampton Civic.
Current Advocacy Work–
A Psychosocial Centre/Hub for Sickle Cell Disease.
- Starting in 2014, the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario continues to advocate for provincial mental health and social support hub providing both virtual and in-person programming for individuals living with sickle-cell disease (SCD) in Ontario. Watch video here
- The need for this hub is urgent. People living with sickle cell disease have a much higher risk of mental health issues and social isolation. The number of people living with sickle cell disease in Ontario continues to grow every year, and these individuals and their families need a designated hub where they can access the specialized support and programming they need.
- The proposed hub will offer a range of supports designed for those living with sickle cell disease, including individual counselling, fitness and wellness classes, and peer-to-peer support groups. The hub will offer both in-person and virtual support, allowing patients from all across the province to easily access the resources available
- SCAGO recommends that the physical hub be located in a non-clinical setting in the Greater Toronto Area, which has Ontario’s highest proportion of individuals living with sickle cell disease who have the option to access in-person programs.