Centre for Hip and Mobility takes the BC Legislature by storm
I awoke in strange surroundings, groggy and for a minute disoriented. Alert now, I sat bolt upright remembering where I was – Victoria. This was the day of ‘the announcement’.
Seemed a good idea to clear my head with a jog along the West Bay Walkway. The beauty of the coastline, the parks, and the odd assortment of art, human and other creatures I encountered was restorative.
“Look at the Buffleheads’, says an older woman walking her dog. Thinking it might be a punk band I slow (hard to do at the glacial pace I was moving) and look toward the park. “Oh, not there—on the water.” Fifty ducks glide gracefully along—seemed a cruel contrast to my chugging gait.
Back now at the hotel for breakfast, Joanie is preparing to make her debut as a falls expert, espousing phrases like physiological falls profile assessment. We glance up from our work to stare in disbelief at an odd hotel guest. Really? Santa? A good omen we decide.
‘Ding’ an incoming text from Danmei. ‘We are settled in front of the legislature. All good.’ This was a huge relief—not surprisingly, there are no customized parking spots at parliament for a rig like the Mobile Lab. Joanie and I look over in unison at the parliament buildings across the water and broke immediately into spontaneous laughter. We can clearly see a rather commanding blue presence at the steps of the legislature. Thankfully, Mike’s masterful driving had avoided any tourist casualties. CHHM had arrived.
A highlight of our trip was meeting Barbara Warner, who so gamely agreed to speak with the Minister of Health Terry Lake, Parliamentary Secretary Stilwell and the media. Barbara was passionate about a number of important causes—including her mobility—eloquent and engaging. She gave purpose to the days’ event. Barbara has fallen many times and suffered many fractures—her story served to remind me why we are so committed to the work we do at the Centre.
Standing at the podium—had a kind of surreal feel to it. Mobility Matters—that simple phrase on the sign gracing the podium captured the essence of the day and our Centre. The heartbeat it took me to deliver our message—belied the more than a decade it took for us to raise funds for and build the Centre (again, our partnership with government was key), to build trust and important relationships with our many partners and collaborators and to design, implement, publish and promote world class research related to mobility and health. The grant we received on Wednesday, entrusts us to enact a collective vision of active, healthy ageing in BC. It provides us an opportunity to convene a host of valued collaborators and synthesize a wealth of knowledge towards shaping the path toward lifestyles that promote mobility in BC’s oldest and often most vulnerable citizens.
We very much look forward to the next 3 years. We will keep you posted.