MedicAlert didn’t start in a boardroom.
In 1953, a teenage girl named Linda Collins cut her finger badly. The hospital gave her a tetanus shot, but Linda had an allergic reaction, went into anaphylactic shock and almost died. Her terrified parents, Dr. and Mrs. Marion Collins, began attaching a note about her antitoxin allergy to her coat whenever she had to leave home.
Eventually, they had a silver ID bracelet custom-made for Linda with her medical needs engraved. As more people began discovering how rapid access to medical information could save lives, the Collins family project eventually grew into a charity; and their living room headquarters became a worldwide network.
MedicAlert Foundation Canada, a registered Canadian charity, has protected over 1 million people in Canada since 1961. It’s the only medical ID bracelet that supports Canadians with 24/7 notification of loved ones, and a special hotline for paramedics, police, and emergency responders to get access to a subscribers detailed medical profile.
Today, we are known across Canada for the distinctive medical IDs that bear our logo, but more than that, these custom engraved IDs are the gateway to a secure digital health record - the vital information first responders need to respond most effectively in a health emergency.
|To put every Canadian in a position to benefit from high-quality health information at time of need.
||A world where no one is alone in their time of need.
Collaboration - We multiply our social contribution through collaboration. We learn and innovate by listening to our members, health practitioners, first responders and other key partners. We pro-actively cooperate with all stakeholders because we know that together we can achieve more, faster.
Dedication - We are passionate about the important work we do. Integrity, initiative, professionalism and enthusiasm characterize the way we deliver our services. We take pride and satisfaction in the quality of what we do and offer.
Excellence - We were founded to save lives and are responsible for excellence in everything we do. We believe in personal accountability and confidently taking bold actions to achieve our mission.
Kindness - We are respectful, caring, considerate and friendly – striving to walk in the shoes of those we serve to make a difference every day.
Trustworthiness - We are honest, reliable and dependable. Our clients can always count on us to follow through and to achieve positive outcomes.
How We Achieve Our Mission
Through our MedicAlert programs we look to deepen our understanding of the unique needs and circumstances surrounding certain population groups or population demographics who require the MedicAlert protection. Our programs leverage new and existing partnerships to inform strategy, develop education tools and resources, and innovate program delivery mechanisms to further our mission of providing high quality health information at time of need.
As COVID-19 gripped our country in March 2020, and organizations were forced to pivot the ways in which they worked, the MedicAlert team realized the pandemic’s impacts would be significant for Canada’s vulnerable populations, frontline health care workers and first responders – those we serve and those with whom we partner.
MedicAlert staff have been second to none in navigating a fast-changing work environment, handling vast social transformation, and doing as much as possible to reduce the stress of COVID-19 for our subscribers.
Moving to a Work-From-Home Model
One year into the pandemic, every single one of us have had to significantly alter our way of life. MedicAlert adapted quickly to a work-from-home model to protect our staff and our ability to continue service un-interrupted.
We are working to make this work environment transition permanent. CEO, Leslie McGill, is in the process of securing a smaller corporate office to be used for meetings and that provide a significant savings that will be reinvested in our charitable work.
CHARITABLE PROGRAM ENHANCEMENTS
Our charitable programs are being enhanced in deep and meaningful ways that will help us to protect more Canadians. These changes will transform the very structure of the organization through technological innovations that will protect the legacy and permanence of the organization.
Health Exchange Linking Police 911 (HELP-911) Project will demonstrate the feasibility and value of providing proactive access to the MedicAlert’s Subscriber Health Information Database (SHID) to the Ottawa Police 911 Dispatch Centre.
Timely and simple access to information in a way that is easily consumable was the identified need from several focus groups MedicAlert held in December.
We have partnered with RapidSOS (a middleware emergency response platform that securely links data from 350M+ connected devices directly to emergency services and first responders), and the Ottawa Police Service.
Digital Care Plan for No Child Without
Currently, Ontario and Saskatchewan schools are mandated to maintain Care Plans for children with asthma, epilepsy, allergies and diabetes. There is no standardized approach, and many of these care plans are paper-based forms locked in a filing cabinet in the Principal’s office rendering them ineffective.
We have partnered with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association to develop a digital care plan for children in our No Child Without program. This way, teacher “first responders” will have direct access to a child’s care plan via their cell phone.
On the immediate horizon is a digital transformation project that will help us become the resilient organization we need to be future-ready. This transformation will not only allow us to improve our digital infrastructure but will also facilitate better, faster, more efficient service to subscribers, our partners and our donors.
Our Charitable Activities
Charitable programming at MedicAlert is allocated under 4 Funds including Education, No Child Without, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity in Action (IDEA) and Undesignated.
Programs funded through our Education Fund include training support for caregivers, subscribers and first responders. Our Connect Protect program is an example of our commitment to improving emergency outcomes for our subscribers. Through partnerships with first responders across the country, we provide direct access and training on the identification and use of the MedicAlert service in emergency situations.
NO CHILD WITHOUT
Offered through registered schools, the No Child Without program focuses on building self-advocacy in youth with an underlying health condition and provides children between the ages of 4 and 14 free access to MedicAlert health information services and a MedicAlert ID.
INCLUSION DIVERSITY EQUITY IN ACTION (IDEA)
The IDEA program provides subsidized equitable access to MedicAlert for individuals with limited income or who are experiencing negative impacts from social determinants of health.
Undesignated donations provide a flexible source of funding to support the advancement of our mission and our priorities. This allows the Foundation to direct resources as needed which can include charitable programming, new projects, or advancement of infrastructure and technology.
Our Performance Highlights
MedicAlert Foundation Canada is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to responsible fundraising and asset stewardship. We are governed by a Board of Directors which works in the service of long-term preservation and enhancement of the organization while maintaining our aim to protect more Canadians through the MedicAlert program.
We appreciate that knowing how we use your contribution is important for you to understand. Our aim is to direct the maximum amount of your donation to our charitable mission of protecting those with medical or cognitive conditions in an emergency. It is also essential that we care for and treat our highly qualified staff fairly and provide them with the resources they need to continue doing their outstanding work.
In 2020, charitable donations and government grants comprised 9% of MedicAlert’s total revenues, with 86% of revenue coming from subscription fees and product sales and 5% from government subsidies for COVID-19 relief. MedicAlert invested 73% of its total expenses on its charitable mission, 25% of its expenses on administration and 3% of its expenses on fundraising.
As a team, we are dedicated to the responsible management and oversight of MedicAlert’s financial resources. We strategically seek Board Members and Staff who are highly qualified and are confident that a high level of financial acumen is represented throughout the organization. This ensures we are operating in an ethical and efficient manner that will ensure the strength and permanence of MedicAlert.
The financial statements and annual report for the most recent fiscal year are available at medicalert.ca.
Our Impact Together
For 60 years, MedicAlert has provided high quality information at time of need for subscribers. With millions of data points collected and verified by our team of medically trained professionals, we continuously strive for accuracy and quality in the information we collect, manage, and convey to first responders at time of need.
Together, in 2020, MedicAlert and donors have delivered exceptional results nationwide to Canadians in need. Because of you, MedicAlert was able to provide protection and peace-of-mind for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals. Most important, together we delivered hope for the future. Here is a synopsis of some of the astounding impact we had in 2020.
In 2020, MedicAlert welcomed 8,823 new subscribers, each with their own unique needs and circumstances. Through our outreach and partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 1,706 subscribers living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their families, will have the peace of mind that should they wander, they will have MedicAlert to help bring them home safely.
Our partnership with Autism Canada has made it possible for 183 new MedicAlert subscribers living with Autism spectrum disorder and their families to have the peace of mind that should they find themselves in crisis, they will have MedicAlert to speak for them.
COVID-19 posed challenges for all. Some were especially vulnerable due to pre-existing health conditions. MedicAlert has never been more valuable, and accessibility to the service has never been more at the forefront of our operations.
We are deepening and enhancing our services for subscribers through more meaningful partnerships with first responders. Digital access to MedicAlert’s Subscriber Health information Database is made available to 53 police services across the country, with a growing number of police services interested in joining the program. Through ongoing outreach, education, and training, we are ensuring that frontline officers as well as dispatchers for 911 are trained to use all aspects of MedicAlert in an emergency.
Health Hour Live
Health Hour Live is an enlightening webinar series that brings Canada’s leading health experts together to discuss and answer health questions submitted by the public.
Our first Health Hour Live event was held in June 2020 and focused on people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and the realities COVID-19 had brought to light. Our guest panelists for the event were leading health care journalist, André Picard, and world renowned Alzheimer and dementia clinician/researcher and Director of Canada’s Krembil Research Institute, Dr. Donald Weaver. For this particular webinar, we had a total of 686 registrants.
With a wide range of topics and discussions to come, our Health Hour Live webinar series aims to provide Canadians with easy access to health information.
Membership Assistance provides much appreciated financial assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of a MedicAlert subscription. Thanks to our generous donors, MedicAlert became a reality for 2466 Canadians experiencing financial need.
No Child Without
This program, which was first launched with the support of a grant from the federal government, is now supported by generous donors and has had a positive impact on more than 45,000 children since its inception. No Child Without, which is offered through 6,000 schools across the country, ensures that children and youth between the ages of four and 14 who have a health condition receive MedicAlert protection free-of-charge. In 2020, 624 children and youth were added to the program.
Statement on Acknowledgement of Traditional Land
We would like to acknowledge this sacred land on which MedicAlert operates. It has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.
Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.