We want to thank everyone for attending and participating in our family and adult conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We hope you had a wonderful time!


Thanks to our Major Sponsor, The Winnipeg Foundation.


The Winnipeg Foundation

About The Winnipeg Foundation

The Winnipeg Foundation connects donors from all walks of life with local charitable organizations that help our city flourish, for all. The Foundation is an endowment-based organization which means gifts received are pooled and invested. The income generated provides a stable source of support for our community For Good. Forever.

The Foundation makes grants to charitable organizations in the areas of: community service, education and employment, health, environment, heritage, arts and culture, and recreation. In 2017, it distributed $38.1 million to the community, including $9.2 million in community grants.

Established in 1921, The Winnipeg Foundation is Canada’s first community foundation. Today, it is a leader in what has become an international philanthropic movement.


Thanks to our Partner Sponsors, Medtronic and Nestlé Materna.



About Medtronic

Medtronic was founded in 1949 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, by Earl E. Bakken and Palmer J. Hermundslie. Medtronic of Canada Ltd. was the first subsidiary of Medtronic outside the United States, operating in Vancouver, British Columbia as of August 1968. The Canadian head office was relocated to Ontario in 1974.  Our Brampton, Ontario campus is now the Canadian Headquarters housing our training and education centre, sales, marketing, and administrative functions.

Medtronic employs over 1,100 people in Canada. It has a small regional office in Vancouver and a large regional office in Montreal, which serves as an extension of the head office.


About Nestlé Materna

Ensure you and baby get off to a healthy start with Nestlé Materna – the #1 Doctor Recommended* prenatal multivitamin. Just one tablet a day helps fulfill your vitamin and mineral needs before, during, and after pregnancy, so you can confidently take your first step into this exciting journey called motherhood.


Thanks to our Wine Sponsor, RBC Royal Bank.


About RBC Royal Bank

Mission: RBC Royal Bank is where more Canadian clients put their trust for all their financial solutions and where clients around the world obtain specialized products and services. 

We value: 
  • Excellent services to clients and each other 
  • Working together to succeed
  • Personal responsibility for high performance
  • Diversity for growth and innovation 
  • Trust through integrity in everything we do


Thanks to our Gala Night Dinner & Dance Sponsors:

  • E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • G&L Furniture
  • Heather Styles Homes
  • Inga Zahodnik
  • Jordan Van Sewell
  • Maria Kruczynski
  • Mordens’ of Winnipeg
  • Richii’s Arts
  • Spenst Brothers Premium Meats
  • Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Manitoba


Thank you to our speakers:

Dr. Mark Hamilton, Professor of Neurosurgery

Director, Adult Hydrocephalus Program and Surgical Neuro-Oncology Program, Pediatric Neurosurgery Program
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta


Dr. Hamilton did his Bachelor of Science degree (with distinction) at the University of Toronto and then graduated from McGill University Medical School in 1983. He did his Neurosurgery Residency at the University of Calgary and received his FRCSC in 1991. He did Fellowship training in cerebrovascular, skull base and pediatric Neurosurgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona and joined the University of Calgary Department of Clinical Neurosciences in 1994 where he is currently a Professor of Neurosurgery with additional appointments in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics. He was the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery from 2002-2011.

He is head of the University of Calgary Adult Hydrocephalus Program which he established, along with the University of Calgary Adult Hydrocephalus Clinic in 2008. Dr. Hamilton is the chair of the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (AHCRN) which has eight clinical sites in three countries, President-Elect of the International Society for Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders (ISHCSF) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hydrocephalus Association (HA) and the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) of HA and a member of the Board of Directors of Hydrocephalus Canada. He is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Neurosurgery, Fluids and Barriers of the CNS and the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. His current main clinical and research interests are the diagnosis and management of hydrocephalus in adults.

Presentation 1 - Adult Hydrocephalus: Everyone Needs Longitudinal Care

Hydrocephalus is a chronic disease associated with increased fluid accumulation within the brain. Hydrocephalus can damage the brain with permanent effects if left untreated. The most common forms of hydrocephalus cause memory loss (cognitive problems or dementia), and balance or walking difficulties.

Untreated hydrocephalus can be fatal.  Children with hydrocephalus eventually transition to adult care providers. In addition, there are other subtypes of adult hydrocephalus all requiring care.

In this presentation, we will explain the different types of hydrocephalus and discuss why all patients with hydrocephalus need longitudinal care.

Presentation 2 - How to Determine if Your Brain is Drowning. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a Treatable Dementia

Hydrocephalus is a disease associated with increased fluid accumulation within the brain. Hydrocephalus can damage the brain with permanent effects if left untreated. The most common forms of hydrocephalus cause memory loss (cognitive problems or dementia), and balance or walking difficulties. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a type that occurs typically after age 65 years of age and may be the cause for up to 5% of all patients with dementia. However, only a fraction are actually being identified and treated. In this presentation, we will explain NPH, how it can be recognised as a possible problem, how it can be diagnosed and what treatments are available.

Dr. Amy McPherson, Senior Scientist
Bloorview Research Institute
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
Dr. Amy McPherson is a Senior Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto. Dr. McPherson’s program of research focuses upon health and wellness promotion in children with disabilities, with a particular focus on children with spina bifida. She has a particular interest in the use of strengths-based interventions to promote healthy lifestyles in children with disabilities, and weight-related communication best practices.

Presentation 1 - Weight management for people with spina bifida in childhood and beyond.

Many clinicians report substantial challenges in assessing, discussing and managing the weight of children and young people with spina bifida. This presentation will provide an overview of anthropometric assessment practices in Canadian spina bifida clinics as well as the key weight-related issues identified by clinicians, children with spina bifida and their parents. New health care guidelines will also be presented, which provide the best available evidence for promoting healthy nutrition in people with spina bifida across the lifespan, as well as strategies for obesity prevention and management.

Presentation 2 - How should we talk about weight with children with spina bifida and their parents?

Healthcare professionals receive little training in weight-related communication and often report feeling under-skilled to address the topic and concerned about causing harm. It can be even more challenging when working with children with spina bifida and their families, given the many medical and psychosocial needs that often need addressing. This presentation will review an evidence- based, user-friendly tool (A Knowledge Translation Casebook) that clinicians can use to support positive weight-related conversations with children and families, and will provide spina bifida-specific examples. The presentation will showcase the research and experiential evidence that underpins the Casebook, the development process, and how the Casebook may be used by clinicians in practice.

Sarah Brown, BSc, RN, MN, IIWCC
Clinical Nurse Specialist, WRHA Home Care Program, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sarah is currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the WRHA Home Care Program. She provides clinical consultation with visiting nurses for home care clients with wounds and other complex issues. She previously worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the WRHA Palliative Care Program and the Canadian Virtual Hospice, and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Deer Lodge Centre. Sarah has her Masters degree in Nursing from the University of Manitoba and has completed the International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course from the University of Toronto.

Presentation - Pressure Injuries

This presentation will provide an overview of what are pressure injuries (also known as bed sores, pressure ulcers or wounds), where they are usually found, and the causes of pressure injuries. As well, information on treating the causes of pressure injuries, local wound care and dressings to help manage pressure injuries will also be reviewed.


Dr. Demitre Serletis Dr. Demitre Serletis, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FAANS, FACS
Neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg and Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery) University of Manitoba
Dr. Demitre Serletis, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FAANS, FACS.  Neurosurgeon and epilepsy specialist. He is a Neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg and Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery) University of ManitobaDr. Demitre Serletis is a neurosurgeon-scientist at the University of Manitoba, currently working at the Children’s Hospital and Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. His specialties include epilepsy and pediatric neurosurgery, and he is the current Director of Epilepsy Surgery for the new Pediatric Epilepsy program in Manitoba.Dr. Serletis completed medical school at the University of Calgary, followed by neurosurgery residency training at the University of Toronto. During his residency, Dr. Serletis also completed a combined Ph.D. in Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, studying nonlinear dynamical properties in healthy and epileptic brain recordings. Subsequently, Dr. Serletis completed a prestigious Epilepsy Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, and then went on to practice in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he developed that State’s only comprehensive epilepsy program. In early 2016, Dr. Serletis moved to Winnipeg, where he has now developed a provincial program to treat epilepsy in children and adults. For his efforts, he was recently recognized by CBC Manitoba for a ‘Future 40’ award.At the same time, Dr. Serletis is a surgeon-scientist who directs the ‘Manitoba Neurosurgery Laboratory’ out of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. His research interests are in computational bioengineering, imaging techniques and nonlinear dynamical signal analyses of extra-and intra-cranial human EEG recordings. He is also interested in wearable technology, 3D-printing, and brain-computer interface technology.

Presentation - The Spectrum of Surgical Treatment for Refractory Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by unexpected, recurrent seizures arising out of abnormal electrical brain activity. Epilepsy is as common as breast cancer, and takes as many lives, affecting 1 in 26 individuals. Despite two-thirds of patients responding to medications, epilepsy surgery has emerged as the single best treatment option for appropriately selected candidates who remain refractory to medications.

This presentation aims to highlight achievements made in the surgical treatment of epilepsy, focusing on surgical strategies and innovative technologies that have made such intervention safe and effective.


Dr. Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology – University of Toronto, Clinician Investigator – Krembil Research Institute, Movement Disorders Centre – Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Alfonso Fasano graduated from the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, in 2002 and became a neurologist in 2007. After a 2-year fellowship at the University of Kiel, Germany, he completed a PhD in neuroscience at the Catholic University of Rome. In 2013 he joined the Movement Disorder Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, where he is the co-director of the surgical program for movement disorders. He is also professor of medicine in the Division of Neurology at the University of Toronto and clinician investigator at the Krembil Research Institute. Dr. Fasano’s main areas of interest are the treatment of movement disorders with advanced technology (infusion pumps, programmable valves for CSF shunting and neuromodulation), pathophysiology and treatment of tremor and gait disorders. He is author of more than 230 papers and book chapters. He is principal investigator of several clinical trials.

Presentation - Adult Clinics