Who are we? (Board, Staff, and Medical Advisors)
Our Mission: As the Canadian leader in providing trusted, evidence-based information on all areas of the gastrointestinal tract, the GI Society is committed to improving the lives of people with GI and liver conditions, supporting research, advocating for appropriate patient access to healthcare, and promoting gastrointestinal and liver health.
In 1976, the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research (CSIR) arose as the first registered charity in Canada to enhance public awareness by providing patient and professional information and funding medical research on a wide array of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.
When CSIR first formed in 1976, it was intended to serve British Columbia only. So, an unalterable clause was inserted into the constitution that required all research funding granted by the Society to be designated to research at the University of British Columbia and its teaching hospitals. This has caused a number of difficulties, as the gastrointestinal 'community' has grown and changed substantially since CSIR was originally registered. Even though the CSIR constitution allows us to operate coast-to-coast-to-coast in the area of patient education (lectures, newsletters, pamphlets) and demand for the Society's patient information resources is strong, the unalterable clause has held us back from fully servicing all of the Canadian gastrointestinal medical community. In 2008, we created the Gastrointestinal Society (GI Society) to provide Canadians with a broader range of resources in this sorely neglected health area. By incorporating a federally registered charity, without these limitations, a new national granting system is under development.
With quality and integrity, we continue to be the leading provider of evidence-based, free patient information in the GI health field. We work to dispel myths about GI conditions. Although gastrointestinal diseases and disorders are rarely a subject of public discussion, they are highly prevalent in the Canadian population and are the second most frequent reason for employee absenteeism, surpassed only by the common cold.
There are as many as 6 million Canadians with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more than 9 million with functional dyspepsia, there could be as many as 8 million with chronic acid reflux (GERD), and a further 165,000 suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and ulcerative colitis). These are only a few examples of the conditions we cover. Surprisingly, despite these alarming statistics, the gastrointestinal field is critically under-funded.
Gastrointestinal Society Registered Charity Number 817065352RR0001
Canadian Society of Intestinal Research Registered Charity Number 108090374RR0001