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Further Reading & Media
Television series broadcast in January and February 2016 describing the workshops of the My Tool Box program (in French).

The Case for Making Practice for CDSMP Guidelines
Mayo Clinic, December 14 2015

Issue Brief: Funding for Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME)
National Council on Aging [ncoa] 2015

Vaincre la douleur
L'Actualité 22 mai 2015

Deborah Radcliffe-Branch Knows Something About Pain
The Montreal Gazette, November 17th, 2014

Director Dr. Deborah Radcliffe-Branch speaks about My Tool Box's Chronic Pain Self-Management Program

CITY-TV Breakfast Television, May 7, 2014.

Understanding Chronic Pain: CTV's Mitsumi Takahashi interviews Dr. Deborah Radcliffe-Branch
CTV Montreal, Chronic Pain Week in Quebec, November 8, 2013.

Community Programs CDSMP
Center for Healthy Aging

My Tool Box demonstrates patient and healthcare system benefits
MUHC, November 9, 2011

Canadians want a health care system accountable to patients
Canadian Medical Association, August 22, 2011

The US Federal Govt awarded $27 million for Stanford Programs in all US states and territories

First oral treatment for people with MS approved in Canada
Social Media Release, March 10 2011

My Tool Box Leader Training in Abitibi-Temiscamingue
(The video is in French. Please follow this link and then click on the windows media player link to download the video)

Doing more for the disabled (Audio Interview)
Isabelle Ducharme, October 5, 2010 (please open windows media player program before clicking on this link) 

McGill Minimeds-Registration is now open  
McGill Faculty of Medecine, Fall 2010

Catalogue-Pain Management Collection
Westmount Public Library, June 3, 2010

New service at MUHC helps patients with chronic illnesses
CTV News, Paul Karwatsky reports, April 5, 2010

Support, training needed for chronically ill patients
CTV News, March 3, 2010

The My Tool Box Program
Teaches patients with chronic conditions how to take the reins
By: Rebecca Burns, February 25, 2010

Take Charge of Your Health
By Mary A. Fischer, January & February 2010

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Patient Education-Stanford University School of Medicine

Review of Findings on CDSMP Outcomes
Evidence Based Healthy Aging Program

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Letter of Support:

MS Bulletin-Kathy's Story
By: Kathy O'Connor Camozzi, Summer 2009:

The Tool Box Program and Me


In the spring of 1999, my husband, my two children, my mother and I were travelling in Ireland. This much anticipated holiday was a special treat to celebrate my 50th birthday. After a busy day walking in Dublin, I experienced a strange tingling sensation over my whole body. It was unlike anything I had felt before. It lasted about a week and I put it down to the stress of preparing for the trip and working full time. I am a social worker and at that time I was working in Home Care at our local CLSC and also had a busy private practice.


That, I was to learn, was the beginning of my journey with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The symptoms of

weakness in my left leg and great fatigue worsened and I had to leave my work at the CLSC. I just retired from my private practice last spring.


These bare facts say nothing of the emotional and physical toll the illness took over the next years. There were periods of depression and hopelessness as I imagined what the future would hold. Daily it was a struggle to learn what was physically too little, enough and too much to do. To manage fatigue I learned that I needed to nap every day for at least an hour and take some days off completely. My children were growing and I desperately wanted to preserve the normality of our lives. We were all in shock at this ominous reality that had entered our lives.


I was struggling with these realities when my neurologist’s secretary called me to tell me of a program that was starting

entitled My Tool Box. It was designed to help people with chronic illness develop practical skills to deal with their disease and it emphasized coping strategies. I was immediately interested. I was ready to look at more self management techniques and eager to meet others who were dealing with similar challenges. I launched into the program and found a wonderful and empowering resource. Let me tell you about it.


The My Tool Box program is a six week free course. It is offered in both French and English and each session is two-and-and-a-half hours long at the same time every week. Many topics are covered such as managing stress, pain and fatigue, communicating effectively with physicians, dealing with difficult emotions and relaxation techniques. I particularly liked the sessions on developing good exercise and nutrition routines. Group members are encouraged to develop an individual action plan weekly. This is a core ingredient to the program and is perhaps its most empowering aspect. Every week members report on their progress and are encouraged by the group. Now as a leader I have seen group members accomplishing goals that seemed unattainable before. We have had people with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, Muscular Dystrophy, people dealing with migraine headaches and other conditions of chronic pain and many other

chronic illnesses.


The volunteer group leaders are all dealing with chronic conditions themselves. This unique feature immediately creates an atmosphere of being at home with others who understand. How often have I heard group members express relief that they have finally found a group of like minded people who can share their experiences.


After my first My Toolbox sessions I felt new hope. The courage demonstrated by other group members and their decisions to face each new day as energetically as possible was a true inspiration to me. There is a lot of humour in the group and also mutual respect. I felt a new lease on life and hope, not so much in a cure to MS but rather what I could do for myself physically, emotionally and spiritually every day. It continues to benefit megreatly and I am very happy to continue sharing it with others. Come and join us.