CareNow Ontario, formerly The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario (MEAO) is a non-profit organization that incorporated in 1992. It's been known for many years that there is a strong association between the symptoms of the often co-morbid conditions of Fibromylagia (FM) and Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (ES/MCS) with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). This lead to CareNow Ontario (formerly MEAO) in 2010, focusing on and advocating for a system of medical care and social supports for all the medical conditions of ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS and other chronic complex and environmentally-linked medical conditions.
In 2011, the former MEAO received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to complete a study for a model of care for ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS. One year later, in 2012, the Alliance for Healthier Communities (formerly the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) received a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to develop a business case proposal for the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health. This led to the former MEAO and the former AOHC forming a partnership for the purposes of aligning the two projects - to complete a study for a model of care and the business case proposal.
The resulting business case is called "Recognition, Inclusion and Equity - Solutions for People Living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (ES/MCS). This business case is a blueprint for care for these medical conditions with a number of key recommendations that include three key components.
This business case is the blueprint for a call to action for Ontario to establish a health and social service system for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (ES/MCS) and other environmentally linked conditions. The implementation of the business case is our primary focus.
By Supplementary Letters Patent of November, 2020 and revised on Oct. 12, 2022, CareNow Ontario’s (formerly MEAO) new Objects are:
To improve care, treatment and support of individuals in Ontario who are living with complex, chronic, environmentally-linked medical conditions, focused on, but not limited to, myalgic encehpalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), and environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity (ES/MCS), by:
As current president of CareNow Ontario (formerly MEAO) Denise has experience as a member of the steering committee that developed the business case proposal seeking to establish a patient-centred model of medical care and system of service delivery for patients with the three conditions of ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS. She has also represented CareNow Ontario on the Minister’s Task Force for Environmental Health. She is dedicated to the cause of establishing a patient-centred health care delivery system in Ontario for those managing environmentally-linked illnesses. Denise has a long and extensive history of work experience as a legal assistant and in working in a Federal Government law library. Denise is also a patient with personal knowledge of all 3 conditions and is a long-standing volunteer and a compassionate health advocate.
Keith is currently the Vice-President of CareNow Ontario (formerly MEAO) and was previously the President. He is a semi-retired retirement financial planner with Assante Wealth Management. He has served as the treasurer of the local chapter of the Retirement Planning Association of Canada. With a family member who has been ill for many years with the medical conditions supported by CareNow Ontario, Keith is committed to creating a health and social service system for people with ME/ as outlined in the Business Case for a Center of Excellence.
John is currently the secretary for CareNow Ontario (formerly MEAO). He has been involved with the organization since 2012 and works to press the government to implement the recommendations of the Business Case proposal for the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health. John has experience working with over 30 non-profit organizations going through change, has worked with community health centres, legal clinics, environmental organizations, with social policy, and with children and housing organizations. John brings to the board extensive experience working with boards as the local, provincial and national level.
As a former special education consultant with the Waterloo Region Board of Education, Laurie had the opportunity to work with students and families who were experiencing a variety of health issues including ME/CFS, FM and MCS. Her work included supporting schools to reduce the impact of multiple chemical sensitivities on student health and working to manage building and classroom environments to create healthy learning opportunities. Laurie has also been personally managing Fibromyalgia for many years and would like to see appropriate and timely access to affordable services for those who have been impacted in our province.
Adrianna has been a director since 2017. Her experience with CareNow Ontario dates back to 2012 when she was Chief Executive Officer for Alliance for Healthier Communities and developed a partnership with MEAO (now CareNow Ontario) to develop the business case for a Centre of Excellence for Environmental Health. As a former CEO of The Alliance for Healthier Communities Adrianna brings expertise in government relations, public policy development, membership support and governance to the Board.