Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WestJet's Christmas Flash mob takes centre stage at Calgary airport

Airline's employees spread the love with impromptu holiday celebration

CALGARY, December 11, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - WestJet today unveiled the company's first ever flashmob video on its YouTube channel. The three-minute WestJet Christmas Flashmob captures WestJet employees singing a variety of holiday favourites and spreading Christmas cheer throughout the D-wing boarding area of Calgary International Airport.

The celebration took place moments before the departure of WestJet flight 652, December 4 sold-out flight travelling to Toronto at 11:30 p.m. Prior to pre-boarding, guests were welcomed by elves, carolers, snowmen breaking into song and and even ballerinas exiting the bridge. There was a visit from Santa, all dressed in - well - WestJet's signature blue. After the songs and dances had finished, guests were treated to a photo with Santa and a stocking filled with gifts from WestJet, including a new iPod.

"We can't think of a better way to wish our guests the very best this holiday season than with the WestJet Christmas Flashmob," said Corey Evans, WestJet Manager, Sponsorship and Community Investment. "Events like these directly align with WestJet's fun and friendly image and our commitment to deliver a remarkable guest experience."

"I want to thank all WestJetters who volunteered their time and took part in planning this wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season. We believe we are the first airline to implement something to this level of planning and co-ordination at a secure area of an airport and we're thankful for all the support from the Calgary Airport Authority for making this possible," concluded Corey Evans.

To celebrate the success of the flashmob, WestJet's community investment program, WestJet Cares for Kids, will donate flights to reunite a family in need through one of the airline's partner charities, should the video generate 25,000 views on YouTube.

The airline hopes the video will mirror the viral success of Kargo Kids, it's April Fool's Day video from earlier this year.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 81 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet has pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft with future confirmed deliveries for an additional 35 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft through 2018 and plans to launch a low-cost regional airline in 2013, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Patient Care Not a Numbers Game

National health human resources plan badly needed, physician groups say

OTTAWA, December 6, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadian associations representing doctors, residents and medical students agree that Canada needs a better way to anticipate the future supply of physicians. A new national health human resources plan is critical to ensuring that the health care system is able to meet the future needs of Canadians.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Association of Internes and Residents (CAIR) and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) see a number of contradictory trends, all of which underscore the need for better planning so that Canada has the right number, mix and distribution of health professionals.

New data indicates that the number of physicians in Canada has increased faster than the size of the population. Yet many communities across the country, particularly those in rural and remote areas, face shortages of family doctors and specialists. In another apparent paradox, many new specialists complete years of training only to face a lack of job opportunities.

"Total numbers of physicians don't tell the whole story," says Dr. Anna Reid, President of the Canadian Medical Association. "Whether we have an adequate supply of doctors depends completely on the demand for their services. We need better plans and strategies to meet changing and growing patient demands."

Fiscal constraints are also inhibiting the hiring of physicians to the point that the prospects for employment are a real concern in some specialties. A recent survey by the CAIR found close to one-third of resident physicians to be less than confident about their job prospects.

"We are seeing that residents in some specialties are having employment challenges," said CAIR President Dr. Simon Moore. "Job prospects are a growing concern for residents, but they should also be a concern for policy makers. If we want the right health care providers to match our future needs, we need a national response to health human resources now. Patients depend on access to specialists in their communities."

One of the problems faced by medical students and residents is a lack of information on the job prospects for the various specialties, said Canadian Federation of Medical Students President Robin Clouston.

"This is not only about finding ways to match how we train physicians and where they practise to meet the needs of patients," Clouston said. "It also makes good economic sense to not waste the extensive investment of time and money that go into physician training."

The CMA, CAIR and CFMS are working together to gather and share the most up-to-date data on employment prospects and other information on medical and surgical specialties to ensure that future physicians are able to find work where patients need them most.

Reid noted that getting the right number and mix of doctors, as well as of other health professionals such as nurses and physician assistants, is a complex issue that requires all levels of government, medical schools and national physician organizations to work together. The goal would be to develop a framework that would ensure Canadians have adequate health care services where they need them and that costly, high quality medical training isn't squandered.

"There's no question that the planning work being undertaken by associations representing doctors, residents and medical students must be matched by a commitment from the federal, provincial and territorial governments," Reid said.