Farewell to the Calgary Ostomy Newsletter

Farewell to the Calgary Ostomy Newsletter

by Tiffany Shorson, editor

After 55 years of publication, the Spring 2024 Simply Ostomy Newsletter will mark the final edition.

Newsletter History

Since its inception in 1969, the Calgary Ostomy newsletter has served as a vital communication tool for our community. Launched by Ken Dobbs and initially known as the Changing Times Newsletter, it evolved through various formats—from typewritten pages to a blend of photocopied articles, typed, and handwritten messages.
In 2015, an era of modernization began as I took the reins from Lisa Gausman, transitioning the design process from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDesign, due to the limitations and bugs we experienced with Word and the unavailability of MS Publisher for Apple computers. This change eventually heralded a new name – the Simply Ostomy newsletter.

A Transformative Journey

Taking on the role of editor was not only a good fit – it was transformative. Dealing with long-term disability due to multiple sclerosis and short gut syndrome, I found a new direction and purpose through this volunteer work. Being involved with the ostomy community helped me to confront years of medical trauma, which started at age 11, when I lost my colon to Ulcerative Colitis. Encouraged by my therapist, I embarked on a path that led me from fine art to graphic design, leveraging resources like Adobe Creative Cloud online courses and YouTube tutorials.

This editorial role was more than a task; it was a revelation and a therapeutic outlet. It made me wonder if graphic design was my missed calling, as art, grammar, and literature had always been my strengths before my diagnosis.

Farewell to Simply Ostomy Newsletter

After 55 years of publication and in consideration of evolving best practices in marketing and communication, as well as my increased duties with Ostomy Canada Society, the executive committee and I have decided it’s time to retire the Simply Ostomy newsletter. Our focus shifts towards more effective communication strategies, including enhanced online presence through email, blog posts, and social media.

This issue, Spring 2024, will mark our final edition, encapsulating decades of shared stories, insights, and community spirit. Factors influencing this decision include the changing landscape of patient information dissemination post-COVID-19, rising print costs, and the challenges of maintaining a substantial readership in the digital age.

Future Communications

Our commitment to keeping our community informed and supported continues unwaveringly. The skills honed through years of newsletter design are now applied to my role in designing the national Ostomy Canada Connects newsletter and contributing to their marketing team, ensuring our messages reach even wider audiences.

Information for Advertisers

With the discontinuation of our newsletter, we will no longer offer it as an advertising platform for our valued vendors. However, opportunities for engagement and visibility persist through our website, email communications, and active social media presence. Sponsorships for events and the introduction of “Ostomy Discovery Day” will provide innovative ways for vendors to connect with our community.

Ostomy Canada Magazine Update

Exciting developments await as the Ostomy Canada Magazine prepares to launch its digital format starting in Summer 2024, complementing the existing print edition. This transition reflects our ongoing efforts to effectively adapt and serve our community in the digital age.

To Our Past Editors, Thank You, Wherever You May Be

Thank you to all who have been a part of our newsletter’s long-standing history. Your support, contributions, and engagement have been invaluable. Together, we step into a promising new chapter, continuing to support and inspire each other in every way possible.

To showcase our editors, past and present, I have scanned and uploaded some historical newsletters. Unfortunately, the newsletter bin Lisa passed onto me doesn’t contain anything from the 70s, but mostly from the 80s forward. If you are a LONG-time member and have a ton of paperwork, drop me a line!


This is a list of editors based on what I have found in past editions of our newsletter. I had the pleasure of meeting Doug Abraham at our 55th Anniversary last spring, and I have also conversed with Anne Hambridge over the years. Both are past Presidents of the Calgary Ostomy Society, Doug in the 1980s and Anne in the 2000s. Dietrich Cimmeck is the husband of long-time president Pat.

  1. Kevin Dobbs – 1969 – unknown
  2. Bob Boa – 1989? – 2000
  3. Susan Butler – 1991 – 1993
  4. Stella Dwyer – 1993 – 1995
  5. Doug Abraham – 2000 – 2004
  6. Jolaine Neild – 2000 – 2004
  7. Wendy Clews – 2004 – 2005
  8. Anne Hambridge – 2005 – 2005
  9. Dietrich Cimmeck – 2005 – 2006
  10. Lisa Gausman – 2006 – 2015
  11. Tiffany Shorson – 2015 – Present


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