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The Co-operators gives nod to St. Joseph's new Acquired Brain Injury Centre

May 9, 2011

GUELPH, ON, May 9 /CNW/ - St. Joseph's Health Centre has opened Guelph's only centre for survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI) thanks in part to a generous $100,000 donation from The Co-operators.

"As an insurer of more than a million vehicles in Canada, we see first-hand the devastation that traumatic brain injuries cause, and we also see what is possible in terms of rehabilitation," said Doug McLellan, Vice-President of Audit Services at The Co-operators and a member of the board of the St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation. "We're pleased to be able to support such a first-rate facility right here in our hometown of Guelph."

Traumatic brain injury is more common in Canada than breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury combined. Estimates put the direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injury at more than $3 billion annually.  Brain injury is the leading killer and disabler of Canadians under the age of 40. In a national survey, 66% of brain injury survivors living in the community reported an ongoing need for assistance with some activities of daily living, while 75% said they were no longer able to work.

In the time it takes to slip and fall, a person's life can change forever. A brain injury can have a devastating impact on a person's independence, and on the lives of his or her family. Employment, schooling, friendships - even families - can end as survivors cope with the multitude of physical, emotional, behavioural and mental consequences of a brain injury.

Many communities lack services to help this vulnerable population but St. Joseph's ABI Adult Day Program has been operating in Guelph for more than decade. Using a social/recreational model it helps men and women develop the independence-supporting life-skills and coping strategies they need to adapt to their changed circumstance and live productive, fulfilled lives in their communities.

"We're thrilled that The Cooperators stepped forward to help us provide this vital community service," says Marianne Walker, President, St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph. "It's great to see this kind of visionary collaboration between St. Joseph's and a generous community partner like The Co-operators. We are deeply grateful for their generosity."

About St. Joseph's Health Centre:

St. Joseph's Health Centre is the city's only specialty hospital offering continuing complex care, and rehabilitation and Guelph's first choice for residential long-term care.  The Centre's Community Outreach Day Programs are recognized as being among the best in Canada. St. Joseph's also provides outpatient clinics which include physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, rheumatology, physiatry, and bone densitometry.

About The Co-operators:

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #2 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. For more information visit

For further information:

Barbara Macrae
St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation
519-824-6000 ext. 4405
          Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators


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