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"OH" 2000-2009 Birth


O'HAGAN 2003-11-29 published
O'HAGAN, Craig Matthew
Jeff and Tara (HIGGS) O'HAGAN are thrilled to announce the birth of their son, Craig Matthew, born Monday, November 17, 2003, at 8: 53 p.m., St. Joseph's Hospital, London, weighing 8 pounds 15 ozs. and 21 inches long. Big sister Claire is excited with the arrival of her brother. Craig is the 2nd grandchild for Mike and Mary O'HAGAN, London; 6th grandchild for Bill and Judith HIGGS, Bayfield. Great-grandmother Marion BOTTOMLEY, Bayfield. Many thanks to Doctors NATALE and CHANG, and Nurses Anna and Karen.

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OHANA b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-02-01 published
Angel Number 2! OHANA -- Malca and Shaul are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of their 2nd precious son, Eden Isaac, born on January 19, 2003 weighing 6 pounds 5 ozs. A playmate for big brother Jake who is very proud. Eden is named in memory of Malca's Zaida Yitzhak. Proud grandparents are Mania and Nathan KATZ. Special thanks again to Dr. Sonia KURTZ.

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O'HARA b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-03-15 published
LONGO / O'HARA -- Vince and Lisa celebrate the birth of our little cherub, Lauren France Arianne, a sister for 2 1/2 year old Ben. Lauren arrived unexpectedly, one month early, on Saturday, March 8, 2003 at 7: 10 p.m. and weighing 9 pounds , 1 oz.! Welcoming Lauren with love are grandparents Frank and Eva LONGO, Linda and Grant DENISON and Dr. William O'HARA. Sharing their joy are aunts and uncles, Antonella and Frank MANTELLA, Debby and Frank LONGO, and Lori and Paul O'HARA- HOKE. Excited cousins are Laura-Eve and Leanna and Liam and Emma. Smiling from heaven and missed at this time are great-grandparents Catalano, Longo, Galimberti and O'Hara. Happy Birthday, Lauren!

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O'HARE b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-17 published
Robyn and Ron are blessed by the safe and healthy arrival of their daughter, Sarah Logan Elizabeth, on Sunday, September 11, 2005. She is a very special sister to Andrew. Celebrating with them are grandparents Canon LOGAN and Gail VAREY, David and Bonny O'HARE and great-grandmother Elizabeth O'HARE. She is the niece of Kathryn and Malcolm. She was born at Southlake Regional Hospital, Newmarket, weighing 7 pounds 10 ozs.

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OHAYON b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-10-12 published
BEN- ZVI / OHAYON -- Jack and Vivian are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of their son, born Wednesday, October 8, 2003, 6 pounds 1 oz. Delighted grandparents are Gayle POLLACK and Barry BEN- ZVI and Mimi and Marcel OHAYON. First-time uncle, Avy, sends love and Mazel Tov from Korea. Proud great grandparents are Tova BEN- ZVI and Hannah COHEN. A special thank you to Dr. Elaine HERER, Dr. Grace LOU, Dr. Sabrina LEE, and nurse Sandra BAMBRICK and staff at the Women's College Hospital.

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O'HEARN b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-02 published
SIGEL, Norah Paige
Shannon O'HEARN and Derek SIGEL are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Norah Paige SIGEL, on Wednesday, June 22, 2005, a sister for Abby and Henry. Happy grandparents are Mark and Anne O'HEARN and Deenna and Michael SIGEL. Great-grandmother Rose KAUFMAN is also thrilled with the newest addition to the family.

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OHENLEY b@ca.on.middlesex_county.strathroy.age_dispatch 2005-05-10 published
STOBIE, Katelyn Louise
Big sister Elizabeth would like to announce the birth of her new sister, Katelyn Louise STOBIE, born April 27, 2005. Proud parents are Bill and Sarah STOBIE. Grandparents are Robert and Margaret STOBIE of Strathroy, and Raymond and Sally OHENLEY of Ruth, Michigan.

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OHLSSON b@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-22 published
Red tape denies baby Sonja her brief life
To the dismay of parents, thousands of births go undocumented in Ontario
By Carolyn ABRAHAM, Medical Reporter, Page A1
Sonja STEFNOVIC was delivered by emergency cesarean section at Toronto East General Hospital on January 6. She was three days shy of full term and lived for only 35 minutes, but she did indeed live.
Before her heart rate dropped and the room filled with medical staff, before she was pronounced dead at 3: 46 p.m. and a coroner appeared, Sonja was alive. Boris and Scarlett STEFNOVIC remember that vividly, their daughter's pink skin, her generous thatch of dark hair. Mr. STEFNOVIC craned to snap pictures.
In the months that followed, the STEFNOVICs found themselves longing for tangible mementos of Sonja's brief existence. They clung to the few photos of their first child and made inquiries for a birth certificate. Only then did they learn that Sonja, according to Ontario's official record, had never been born.
Her death had been registered with forms and signatures on the spot, but not her actual birth.
"The first and only time I ever wrote 'father' was on a death certificate," Mr. STEFNOVIC said.
No one told them that it was their responsibility to register their daughter's birth.
But without a registration, there could be no birth certificate and Sonja could never be counted among the living.
What happened with Sonja, or didn't happen, is symptomatic of a chronic problem in Canada's largest province. Ontario has been unable to keep an accurate count of its own population. The births of more than 30,000 babies have gone unreported in Ontario in the past decade. Records of about four out of every 100 babies are missing. In the rest of Canada, the rate of missing records is nearly zero. What's more, in Ontario, the latest numbers suggest a startling in the province's shortfall.
Statistics Canada has found that the births of more than 5,400 babies are missing from Ontario's registry in 2003. In 2002, more than 2,600 are missing. In 2001, it is more than 4,000, and similar numbers stretch back to 1996. Included in that are missing birth registrations for 30 per cent of the babies (more than 200) who die each year in the province at less than 12 months old. The number runs between zero and 3 per cent in other provinces.
Experts blame a combination of factors for the underreporting: unusual fees to register a birth in Ontario, a notoriously backlogged registrar's office and an unusual lack of awareness. But the gap has proven to be so persistent that the demography division of Statscan is now "studying whether they should adjust their population projections for Ontario," said Leslie Geran, the senior analyst responsible for processing the country's vital statistics at the national agency.
"If Ontario is counting all its deaths, which we think they are, but undercounting their births, they will have an artificially low population count," Ms. Geran said.
The figures for general population numbers in Ontario, and things like fertility rates over long periods of time, are still useful. But as soon as you break the figures down to look at a shorter time frame, or specific issues related to infant mortality, the figures are no longer "fit for use," Ms. Geran said.
Vital statistics are considered a key marker of a developed country. Planning for things like public health, education and housing suffers without them. Yet Ontario's birth figures are considered so unreliable that, for the fourth time, the province will likely be excluded from the national survey on fetal and infant health conducted by the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System, which operates under the Public Health Agency of Canada.
As well, Ontario's incomplete numbers can distort the whole country's figures since Ontario births of 130,000 a year account for 40 per cent of the national total.
"This is how a country, internationally, is judged, on its infant mortality rates… but we can't count them if there's nothing to count," said Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System member Arne OHLSSON, director of evidence-based neonatal care and outcomes research at the University of Toronto. "Because such a large proportion of the population is born in Ontario and those vital statistics are not accurate, the country's statistics are not accurate and comparisons with other countries will be inaccurate."
The Ontario government is to begin overhauling the birth registry system later this year. But public-health officials doubt the efforts will lead to timely or meaningful improvements. In the meantime, many fear that crucial statistics from the turn of the 21st century could be lost forever.
To be counted as a live birth in Ontario, the Office of the Registrar General in Thunder Bay requires two pieces of documentation -- one from the attending physician or midwife and another from the parents of the child. Statscan is able to estimate how many babies are going unreported when hospitals report more births than appear in the provincial registry.
Parents have always been required to register births with their local government, which forwards the forms to the province. But not until 1996, after the Mike Harris Conservatives downloaded a raft of new responsibilities to Ontario municipalities, did local governments gain the right to charge people for the service. Since then, 71…of Ontario's 445…municipalities, particularly those covering urban centres such as Ottawa, Hamilton and Windsor, have introduced fees that generally run between $10 and $30 to register births. In Toronto, where 30 per cent of Ontario babies are born, the fee jumped to $35 this summer.
Everyone -- from Statscan to the registrar's office itself -- warned that the registry fees would lead to unreported births. "I'm aware of no other jurisdiction on Earth that charges for that," Ms. Geran said.
Dr. OHLSSON argued that the fee amounts to a profound ethical "insult."
"It is a fundamental right of a child to be registered," he said, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. "Without it you are not recognized by the state, you are not granted an identity or welcomed into society."
A study published in 2003 found unregistered births in Ontario tripled to 3 per cent between 1991 and 1997. Compiled by Ontario's Central East Health Information Partnership, it concludes that those living in places charging registry fees, especially mothers under 20, and parents of low-birth-weight and preterm babies, who face the highest risk of infant death, were the least likely to register their children.
"The missing numbers are not a random sample -- the fees affect poor people more than the wealthy," said Doctor Allen, who is also a neonatologist at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre.
Since those living in poverty are more likely to have babies with health problems, it's as though "this high-risk population is being selectively picked out and it distorts the numbers even more," he said.
Meanwhile, to encourage parents to register births promptly, the province introduced a $50 fee for births registered more than a year after the event.
Experts feel no one can say with confidence if things like teenage pregnancies are going up or down, or whether birth weights are falling, or premature births are rising.
"Without [good information] we can't spot trends or do analysis," said Catherine McCourt, director of health surveillance and epidemiology at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
"We don't know the true situation in Canada -- if we're getting better, or worse."
Initially, it was emotional need that drove the STEFNOVICs to seek a birth certificate for their daughter. But they have since come to see the medical significance of doing it.
The results of an autopsy found Sonja died of asphyxiation due to a rare form of spinal muscular atrophy. Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease of the motor neurons that can weaken muscles involved in both movement and breathing. Research has only recently revealed key details about the condition, which strikes one in 6,000 babies.
"They originally believed that this form of spinal muscular atrophy only affected boys," Mrs. STEFNOVIC wrote in an e-mail. "Then a girl was born who had the same symptoms and now they know that it is not limited to male babies. By registering Sonja's birth and death, her information will help to aid in research and understanding about this disease."
Most missed births will eventually be caught, since proof of birth is required to enroll in school and to obtain a passport. But key details related to infant health, birth weights or gestational age, could be lost in the meantime, said Doctor OHLSSON, who is also a neonatologist at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital.
Ms. Geran pointed out that timely statistics also matter because "people are making decisions based on the best available information at that time." School boards, for example, use birth data to determine where and when to build new schools.
"If you are consistently under 4,000 or 5,000 kids and they are in certain geographic areas, then suddenly several thousand kids could show up unexpectedly," she said.
In 2005, a scathing auditor-general's report catalogued a litany of problems at the Ontario registrar's office, everything from low morale to computer woes, that had resulted in a staggering months-long backlog in registering births. Ms. Geran noted the Ontario registrar has also faced added burdens beyond its control -- including a surge in demand for birth certificates after post-9/11 security regulations required children to have their own passports, and it has also been the first registrar to handle same-sex marriage certificates. One result is that Ontario turns over more late data to Statscan than any other province.
It wasn't until March, 2005, for example, eight months late, that Ontario notified Statscan of an extra 4,000 births in 2003. The federal agency had to "stop the presses," Ms. Geran said. Instead of Ontario's birth rate appearing as though it had slightly declined, it had actually increased.
The Canadian Perinatal Surveillance group released a report this spring outlining their concerns with the underreporting of births in Ontario, going public with complaints they have been filing with provincial ministers for years.
But Judi HARTMAN, director of Ontario's Office of the Registrar General, said she agrees with the group's assessment, particularly on the issue of fees: "We're singing from the same song book," she said.
So why, public-health officials wonder, is it taking a decade to respond?
"We've been working on a solution for over 10 years," Ms. HARTMAN said. "It takes a long time to get all your ducks in a row to make things like this happen… it required legislative change, technological change...."
Later this year, she said, the province intends to introduce an "integrated birth program," now running as a pilot project in eight locations. The program allows parents, and hospitals, to complete birth registry forms and pay fees on-line and file them immediately to the provincial registrar and the federal government.
People without a computer, she said, could access the Internet at cafés, the library or other public sites.
The province also plans to eliminate the fees in the future, she said, after it takes over registering births from the municipalities.
David SOKNACKI, chairman of Toronto City Council's budget advisory committee, said the city supports the move so long as the province takes with it the eight city staff members who have been trained to operate the municipal registry program.
But public-health officials are skeptical that electronic filing will make a big difference. Even if a new parent finds the time to use a public Internet connection, Doctor OHLSSON said, it would be useless for the 16 per cent of Canadian adults who cannot read, or for those who cannot read English or French. He suggested that with the help of a trained clerk, if needed, parents should be able to register births free and electronically in the hospital, where 99 per cent babies in Canada are born. The file could then be sent to the registrar immediately.
Dr. OHLSSON feels such a system would help educate parents and hospital staff about the importance of registering all live births -- particularly in cases of infant deaths.
The STEFNOVICs, who have found support through Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario, recently met with a few other parents whose babies had died. When they discussed their efforts to get a birth certificate for Sonja, the other parents were surprised.
"No one had registered their babies or even knew they could until I told them," Mrs. STEFNOVIC said.
Ms. Hartman believes that the reporting shortfall of births after infant deaths is a complicated story.
"There's a lot of trauma going on, doctors are completing death registration information and the birth piece just slips through the cracks and people think, 'Well, the baby died anyway, I don't need to deal with the birth.' " There's an education component here," she said. "Also, it's a very sensitive time… the baby may not even be named and to put papers in front of a grieving parent and say you've got to name your child [to register the birth], that's a very difficult thing to do."
Ms. Geran agreed that registering the birth after an infant dies is challenging, "However," she said, "every other province manages to do it."
Mrs. STEFNOVIC found that neither her obstetrician nor her midwives knew if Sonja could receive a birth certificate after a death certificate had been issued.
She finally learned in April from the registrar's office that she could. By May, the completed forms were in the mail to the registrar's office in Thunder Bay.
"I think it… seems to others that it may be cruel to ask parents to register their babies [who have died]. But in a few weeks or months, or years, when the initial shock wears off, most parents want a record of their baby's life, not just of their death," said Mrs. STEFNOVIC, who has been checking the mail every day for Sonja's registration.
The forgotten born
There is a discrepancy between the number of hospital births reported to the Canadian Institute for Health Information by Ontario hospitals, and those reported to Statistics Canada by the Office of the Registrar- General.
Over the past 10 years, since municipalities began charging parents to register the births of their children, experts estimate that 2,500 to 4,000 babies a year in Ontario have been missed by the system, for a cumulative total of more than 30,000.

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OHRLING b@ca.on.simcoe_county.nottawasaga.stayner.stayner_sun 2007-07-04 published
SMITH, Charlotte Rose
Proud new parents, Beth and Darrin SMITH, are thrilled to announce the birth of their 1st child, Charlotte Rose SMITH on Friday, May 25th, 1: 45 a.m., at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. New Grandparents, Gary and Jo CHRISTOPHER, Hilton and Edna SMITH, and Great-Grandmother, Millie CHRISTOPHER, as well as the rest of our family, are overjoyed at Charlotte's safe arrival. A very special thanks to Doctor YOUNG, Doctor OHRLING, and the amazing team of nurses in the obstetrics Dept. of the General and Marine for their outstanding care and support. Thank you to all of our Friends, family, and colleagues for their outpouring of support for our little miracle, Charlotte Rose.
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