Monday, April 17, 2017

--#PureNorthS’EnergyFoundation----------If the use of public dollars to fund a junk science health program had happened under the Tories there would be blood in the water. But because this dispersion of public dollars happened under the NDP folks we have only silence. Why?


#PureNorthS’EnergyFoundation--$14.2 milion dollars down the drain--where are the deliverables for our tax dollars?
Why is there no review of these expenditures and the decision making tree at Alberta Health by the Auditor General of Alberta?
These decisions to waste our tax dollars is inexplicable to me. The decision to provide information to a foundation seems to have bypassed the normal mechanisms that control the dispensation of information and if these mechanisms were evaded I want to know why.
Who is in charge of these decisions?
What went on so that first $10 million dollars was given in a lump sum payment to a foundation doing what I consider to be dubious science of no possible benefit to the vulnerable population that was used as the subject pool?
What happened to this subject pool in terms of the consequences of being used as guinea pigs?
What exactly was given to the guinea pigs?
Where is Alberta Health in terms of regulation of this sort of experimental testing?
Why was there no ethical oversight?
What about the data generated from the guinea pigs?
What the heck is going on in Alberta?
Why is it so hard for citizens to get the information we ask for but yet when an oil man asks for the data it is given to his foundation?
Do you need to be part of the elite to get information in Alberta?

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If the use of public dollars to fund a junk science health program had happened under the Tories there would be blood in the water. But because this dispersion of public dollars happened under the NDP folks we have only silence.
Why?


Just the release of patient information to this group is a problem that needs query by citizens. No one is asking tough questions of the NDP folks and we need to be holding them accountable. Very poor performance by the folks at Alberta Health. While junk science health programs are funded with hopefully no alternative health medicine being funded with the $4.2 million dollar payout to Pure North S'Energy Foundation---we have real science ignored and underfunded at in the case of the tumour bank that has had it's work diminished due to funding constraints. It's one rule for the elite and one  for the non-elite I guess.  The tumour bank serves all of us in providing samples to researchers who will need ongoing samples for work. This is major important work and yet the folks in charge of the money decide  this work is expendable.  But apparently while this work is expendable junk science health work deserves $10 million dollars and then an additional $4.2 million dollars. Just unbelievable.




Alberta 'tumour bank' reducing staff and service after loss of funding


FIRST POSTED: SUNDAY, MAY 01, 2016 05:45 PM MDT | UPDATED: MONDAY, MAY 02, 2016 08:48 AM MDT
Cross Cancer Institute in EdmontonCross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. (Larry Wong photo)
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A medical research service that collects and freezes tumours removed from cancer patients is facing questions about its future after losing its main funding source.
The Alberta Cancer Research Biobank, more commonly known as the “tumour bank,” has stopped taking new samples and laid off five staff members after seeing its budget cut by more than half.
The remaining budget is being used to maintain the current collection of 1.5 million tumours and fluids, which are split between storage facilities in Edmonton and Calgary.
“The model we are going to operate on with the bank is going to be a little bit different,” said Dr. Matt Parliament, senior medical director with CancerControl Alberta. “It will be a little bit leaner and it will not continue to grow as it has in the past.”
Established in 2001, the service has been largely funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which has been providing annual grants of about $2 million in recent years. Earlier this year, the foundation informed Alberta Health Services it would not be renewing the contributions, leaving the health authority to shoulder the costs.
A spokeswoman for the foundation did not provide an exact reason for the move, but said funding decisions are often based on the ability to raise philanthropic support, and an evaluation of priorities to drive improved care for patients.
Parliament said AHS decided it couldn’t replace all the funding that was lost but wanted to at least maintain access to the “incredible resource” that had already been built. He said the biobank’s samples, which are all from Alberta patients, and can last indefinitely because they are stored in liquid nitrogen at temperatures around -80 C.
Edmonton’s storage site is at the Cross Cancer Institute, while Calgary’s part of the collection will be moved shortly to the Richmond Road Treatment Centre.
“Researchers can take those samples out of the bank and do experiments to look into the inner workings of the cancer cells,” Parliament said. “They might do DNA sequencing or look at mutations of cancer, to basically broaden the knowledge of cancer.”
The repository is used by about two dozen researchers each year, who must pay fees to access the samples, he said.
Lab technicians accounted for most of the layoffs, four of which were in Edmonton and one in Calgary.
Parliament said additional job losses were planned for Calgary, but staff there managed to find other positions. He said the same may happen in Edmonton, as AHS is trying to find new jobs for the people affected.
The cuts at the biobank are somewhat ill-timed, occurring the same month Mayor Don Iveson announced ambitions to make Edmonton a bigger hub of medical research, innovation and technology.
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Cancer research isn't as important because it is about ordinary citizens. In contrast alternative medicine with dubious results and possible adverse outcomes gets the money. Way to go Alberta Health! Somehow the people's party is still funding the elite just like the PCs did.


Julie Ali feeling sleepy.
Just now
I got through younger boy's tax return. I had to remember how to do the education credits and such like but it is done. I will simply review it before I go on to do my taxes.
Drinking my chicken noodle soup I contemplate life.
It's possible to give the problem of taxes to someone else.
Instead every year I do them by myself. There is sometimes a calculation error and the tax folks have to fix the income tax return sums.
But at least I am still attempting.
It is useful to see the money trail. We give a lot of money to government. Where are the deliverables? So far I don't see them.
Might be better to have a pruned down government and less taxes. Might be better for us to use the money we save from taxes on our own families. Might be time for the government to show us the performance for the major sums of cash forked out by ordinary citizens who work hard for this money. We're not the elite. But we support the elite.
In my mind this can't continue. Alberta is spending like mad on the elite and the elite's whims. We are tired of it. We got rid of the PCs for this junk. But this junk still continues. Why?
Because folks don't know.
Here is another example of the elite using our cash to fund dubious science projects.
CBC INVESTIGATES
Friends of Medicare calls for investigation of Alberta deputy minister's ties to private health foundation
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman refuses to answer questions about potential conflict of interest
By Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell, CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2017 6:00 AM MT Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017 6:00 AM MT
Sandra Azocar of the Friends of Medicare is calling for an investigation of ties between Alberta health’s deputy minister and a private health foundation.
Sandra Azocar of the Friends of Medicare is calling for an investigation of ties between Alberta health’s deputy minister and a private health foundation. (Rick Bremness/CBC)
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Photo of Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell
Charles Rusnell, Jennie Russell
Investigative reporters
Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell are reporters with CBC Investigates, the award-winning investigative unit of CBC Edmonton. Their journalism in the public interest is widely credited with forcing accountability, transparency and democratic change in Alberta. Send tips in confidence to cbcinvestigates@cbc.ca. @charlesrusnell @jennierussell_
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Alberta government did not act on warnings about private alternative health program
Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman needs to order an investigation into whether deputy minister Carl Amrhein's relationship with a private health foundation influenced the ministry's decision to give the foundation a multi-million-dollar grant, says a health advocacy group.
Friends of Medicare executive director Sandra Azocar called for the investigation after a CBC News investigation revealed Amrhein had personally endorsed, and participated in, an unproven alternative health program offered by the Calgary-based Pure North S'Energy Foundation.
Alberta government did not act on warnings about private alternative health program
In October 2016, Amrhein signed, on behalf of the ministry, a $4.2-million grant agreement with the foundation for a nurse-practitioner-led clinic. Hoffman has insisted the clinic will not be offering any alternative health treatments.
"I think there are so many levels of wrong with this situation and this relationship," Azocar said.
"I definitely think there has to be some kind of an inquiry or an investigation as to how effectively the deputy minister is currently doing his job, and where we look at his ability to continue in an impartial kind of role around potential conflicts of interest," Azocar said.
Alberta Health deputy minister's relationship with private foundation 'not professional': expert
Amrhein has declined interview requests from CBC News. In a statement provided Tuesday, an Alberta Health spokesperson said Amrhein "fully disclosed" his relationship with Pure North when he became deputy minister in August 2015.
Relationship reported to ethics commissioner
Alberta's ethics commissioner, Marguerite Trussler, told CBC News that Amrhein disclosed his participation in the Pure North program. She also said Amrhein told her "recently" that the decision to grant Pure North funding was made by Hoffman and he merely signed off in his role as deputy minister.
Hoffman has refused to answer questions about what, if anything, Amrhein disclosed to her about his relationship with Pure North and Markin.
Wildrose accountability critic Nathan Cooper said Hoffman has a duty to be transparent.
"The health minister needs to answer this question," Cooper said. "It is a very reasonable question that Albertans should be able to know, whether or not this particular individual disclosed what certainly could be seen as a conflict of interest to the minister, prior to making some significant decisions on funding within her department."
Nathan Cooper
Wildrose accountability critic Nathan Cooper says the health minister’s refusal to address the issue is troubling. (Alberta legislature)
Azocar said she finds it troubling that Hoffman is unwilling to answer basic questions relating to the integrity of her ministry.
"I think that sometimes silence says a lot more than actual words," Azocar said. "Albertans need to know that they can trust their leadership, that they can trust whoever is in charge of making decisions for the greater good of Albertans.
"And this situation, I think, kind of highlights the fact that in this case, there are a lot of things that have not been done perhaps in the best way that could have been done," she added.
Documents reveal relationship
Documents obtained by CBC News through freedom of information revealed a years-long relationship between Amrhein, Pure North and its founder, multi-millionaire Calgary philanthropist Allan Markin.
The documents show that in July 2014, Amrhein, while provost at the University of Alberta, wrote a letter of support for Pure North and Markin, who is a major donor to the university.
Carl Amrhein
Deputy health minister Carl Amrhein participated in Pure North S’Energy Foundation’s alternative health program. (CBC)
Internal Alberta Health documents show Pure North used Amrhein's letter in September 2014, and again in December 2014, to bolster funding requests to the Progressive Conservative government.
The documents show that after Amrhein became deputy minister of health, he continued his relationship with Pure North and Markin. In fact, emails show Amrhein participated in Pure North's unproven health program, which features high doses of vitamin D.
'I think there are so many levels of wrong with this situation and this relationship.'
- Sandra Azocar, Friends of Medicare executive director
Amrhein also communicated directly, on several occasions, with Markin and Pure North executive director Wendy Paramchuk. The documents show Amrhein also directed ministry staff to research and respond to Pure North requests for health policy changes that would directly benefit Pure North, such as making vitamin D a registered drug.
None of the policy changes were implemented, although the documents reveal senior ministry officials expended significant resources researching them and dealing directly with Markin.
Earlier this month, CBC News reported that in December 2013, Alberta Health gave Pure North a $10-million grant to expand an existing alternative health program — against the advice of senior ministry officials who said the program was not adequately supported by science, it could not prove the health and economic benefits it claimed, and could cause adverse effects.
INTERACTIVE: How the Alberta government allowed a private foundation to offer an unproven 'experimental' health program to its citizens
The inexplicable blindness of Sarah Hoffman to the role of Carl Amrhein in the Pure North S'Energy Foundation Grant is very strange. Usually she is pretty politically astute but maybe the Amrhein is a blind spot.
The lack of inquiry into the role of the Amrhein indicates at least to me that the NDP government, like the PC government before it fails to use public dollars in a productive fashion and instead funds inappropriate uses of our cash.
This is not acceptable. While we can fire failed performance in politicians in the next election it's hard to remove bureaucrats without investigation.
I agree with the Friends of Medicare that the Amrhein needs to be reviewed not only for this case but his overall performance. What exactly does he do at Alberta Health? Why is he in this role when his background is in geography? Are there no health professionals who would be a better fit in this ministry?
Friends of Medicare calls for investigation of Alberta deputy minister's ties to private health foundation
Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman needs to order an investigation into whether deputy minister Carl Amrhein’s relationship with a private health foundation…
CBC.CA
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Julie Ali shared a memory.
Just now ·
While two tier health care was being reviewed what about the funding to private business that seems to be under the radar of the public? Why did the folks at Alberta Health hand over $10 million dollars to the the Calgary-based Pure North S'Energy Foundation for an unproven junk science health program that used patient information? If this is a health program surely then this does not meet the criteria for release of patient information for a research study?
The release of $10 million dollars by the Tories and then the funding of this company to the additional cost of $4.2 million dollars is a failure in job performance in my opinion of the folks at Alberta Health. The public trusts that money we pay as taxes will be used in the public interest. Was this money used in the public interest? Was this money provided to prop up a business that was provided unproven health services for no apparent deliverables? Why was Alberta Health supporting this business when citizens were used as guinea pigs for possibly deleterious end results? Who has the liability for these possible poor health outcomes suffered by a population of vulnerable citizens?
1 Year Ago
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Julie Ali
April 14, 2016 ·
CBC News
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Two tier health care in Alberta finally being reviewed.
Alberta Health auditing Calgary clinic that allegedly prioritized fee-paying patients
Two doctors who were fired from a private health clinic in Calgary say the clinic pressured physicians to give preferential treatment to fee-paying patients and…
CBC.CA
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Julie Ali


Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman needs to order an investigation into whether deputy minister Carl Amrhein’s relationship with a private health foundation…
CBC.CA

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