2013-10-03 | Press release

Let’s Discuss Health: for Better Cooperation between Patients and Healthcare Professionals

An innovative project by ACTI-MENU, made possible with the support of Santé des Populations and funding from AstraZeneca

Montreal, October 3, 2013 – ACTI-MENU is pleased to announce the development of the Let’s Discuss Health program, produced in collaboration with Drs. Marie-Thérèse Lussier and Claude Richard of the Primary Care Research Team at the CSSS de Laval. Scheduled to launch in September 2014 after nearly two years in development, this innovative project is funded by the Santé des Populations program, with a $500,000 investment by AstraZeneca.

Let’s Discuss Health will promote effective cooperation between patients and healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. The program will focus on better communication between all parties to encourage quality interactions, optimize the time spent in consultations, and help patients self manage their diseases.

Louis Gagnon, M.D., co-president and founder of ACTI-MENU, a social enterprise dedicated to promoting health and healthy lifestyles, as well as the prevention and management of chronic diseases, says, “One of the program’s greatest strengths is that it’s aimed at both patients and healthcare professionals. On the one hand, we strive to support patients so that they play an active role in consultations and assume responsibility for their own health. On the other hand, we strive to equip professionals so that they can meet their patients’ needs and ascertain their understanding and motivation. Let’s Discuss Health encourages us to view patients and their physicians as partners.”

Guy Desrosiers, general manager of ACTI-MENU, says, “ACTI-MENU is excited to bring the Let’s Discuss Health program to fruition, with the support of Santé des Populations and AstraZeneca. The program is an inspiring example of the commitment of private companies who want to support patients and healthcare providers to help improve the health of our communities.”

A program centred on training

Let’s Discuss Health will feature a website, training modules, and free online interactive tools. The website will also include downloadable documents to provide information and guidance to patients and professionals.

The professional training module, which implements recommendations from the Chronic Care Model, is aimed at optimizing patient interactions and helping professionals adapt their communicative approach to improve patient outcomes. Patients, for their part, will learn how to develop their communication skills, prepare for check-ups, and get the most out of their meetings with healthcare professionals.

Healthcare professionals can also earn continuing education credits, granted by Médecins francophones du Canada.

“Until now,” says Marie-Thérèse Lussier, M.D., “few chronic disease management programs have tried to improve communication between patients and healthcare professionals. Our program will include practical tools for consultations with patients dealing with comorbidity, a growing clinical reality that complicates the relationship for both parties. By encouraging patients to get involved in managing their diseases and promoting better cooperation with caregivers, we are helping to improve the quality of primary care and patient self-management.”


ACTI‐MENU is a social enterprise owned by foundations associated with the Montreal Heart Institute, the Centre ÉPIC, and the Hôpital Maisonneuve‐Rosemont. Its mission is to help individuals take an active role in their health. Founded in 1988, ACTI-MENU is dedicated exclusively to promoting health and healthy lifestyles, as well as the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

ACTI-MENU is behind well-known campaigns such as the 5/30 Health and Wellness Challenge, the Quit to Win! Challenge, and Smoke‐Free Family that are geared toward the general public, municipalities, and families. ACTI MENU also implements health-promotion programs in the workplace and produces publications and other patient information tools for the clinical setting. For more information, visit actimenu.ca. ACTI-MENU received the Healthy Enterprise – Elite certification from the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ).

About Santé des Populations

The goal of the Santé des Populations program is to foster financial support for innovative projects from across Quebec, developed by both public and community-based agencies, for the management of care and services for chronic disease. Santé des Populations hopes to encourage the sharing and development of Quebec expertise in this field to optimize the quality of life of those who have, or are at risk of, one or more chronic diseases, and of the population as a whole. The Santé des Populations program is funded by pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca.

About AstraZeneca Canada

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection, and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

AstraZeneca Canada recently announced the donation of $35 million to the NEOMED Institute. This donation includes land, a state-of-the-art research facility, and leading-edge laboratory equipment. It also includes the donation of intellectual property to three AstraZeneca pain molecules and projects, as well as $5 million to support the activities of the Institute. AstraZeneca’s Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information please visit: astrazeneca.com.