Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

March 25, 2011 10:48 ET

Government of Canada, Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Foundation Unveil Rehabilitation Virtual Reality Laboratory

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, in conjunction with The Ottawa Hospital and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, today helped unveil the Rehabilitation Virtual Reality Laboratory, housing the CAREN system, at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.

"The CAREN system at The Ottawa Hospital is the first of its kind in Canada available for the rehabilitation of both military and civilian patients," said Minister MacKay. "The acquisition of this state-of-the-art system demonstrates our government's continued commitment of providing the best possible health care and assistance to our men and women in uniform."

This initiative is another example of CF's excellent partnership with The Ottawa Hospital that ensures ill and injured CF personnel receive excellent care when they need it the most.

"Today's CAREN System launch represents an exciting new chapter in our partnership with the Canadian Forces," said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital. "By working together, we've ensured that patients from all parts of our community, as well as the Canadian Forces, can benefit from the world-class rehabilitation care they deserve."

The installation of this system was made possible through the funding efforts of the community, which raised $500,000 for the laboratory at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital, and the CF, which contributed $1.5 million to the CAREN system. The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is proud to play a role in making this state-of-the-art tool a reality at the Hospital, said Foundation President and CEO Susan Doyle.

"The CAREN system is one of the reasons why The Ottawa Hospital has a reputation for providing world-class care, and it's only through the support of our generous donors that this is possible," said Mrs. Doyle. "When we reached out to the community to help us raise the $500,000, our donors and supporters responded, showing that they care about making a difference in the lives of patients undergoing therapy at the rehab centre."

The CAREN will facilitate exposure-based therapy for soldiers requiring physical and mental rehabilitation. The system will allow participants to become part of his or her simulated environment and to interact and modify this environment.

"The CAREN is a safe, controlled, therapeutic learning environment for CF members to challenge their abilities in physical and mental rehabilitation," said Rear Admiral Andy Smith, Chief Military Personnel. "The CAREN allows therapists and researchers to look at more accurate measures and make very technical analyses that will lead to further improving evidence-based care."

The Government of Canada continues to listen to the concerns of ill and injured CF personnel, veterans and their families. This announcement is a continuation of the Government's action to improve the care and support of our troops, veterans and the wider CF family. 

The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.2 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada, and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Web site at www.ottawahospital.on.ca

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality health care at The Ottawa Hospital and lifesaving research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website at www.ohfoundation.ca

Notes to editor / news director:

Netherlands-based MOTEK Medical is the only company in the world that builds the CAREN medical-purpose virtual reality system. The procurement of the system was announced in February 2010: http://www.ohfoundation.ca/media/releases/Archive/2010/02-11-2010_e.asp

The procurement of a CAREN system for military and civilian use at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton was announced in April 2010: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?cat=00&id=3337

For more information on the CF's rehabilitation program, please visit:
http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?cat=03&id=2881

Contact Information

  • National Defence Media Liaison Office
    1-866-377-0811
    or
    The Ottawa Hospital
    Hazel Harding
    Communications Advisor
    613-737-8460
    hharding@toh.on.ca
    or
    The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
    Tracey Tong
    Media Relations and Marketing Officer
    613-798-5555 ext. 19816
    trtong@toh.on.ca