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New Committee Brings Diverse Patient, Family, and Caregiver Voices to CADTH

Published on: July 10, 2019
Result type: News

Ottawa, ON (July 10, 2019) — Following a nationwide call for nominations, CADTH is pleased to announce the membership of its new Patient and Community Advisory Committee.

Twelve individuals from across the country have been invited to join the committee as inaugural members. Committee members are patients or family caregivers and reflect the diversity of people and communities across Canada. Members will advise CADTH on all areas of the agency’s work from the perspective of individuals using the Canadian health care system.

“This important committee ensures that CADTH is even more inclusive, transparent, and accountable to patients, families, and caregivers,” said Dr. Brian O’Rourke, President and CEO of CADTH. “Working closely with patients and communities helps us better serve the health care decision-makers who rely on CADTH to make equitable choices about the appropriate use of health technologies.”

The committee will meet four times a year and report to the President and CEO of CADTH.

The members of the CADTH Patient and Community Advisory Committee are:

  • Marilyn Barrett, the Director of the Health & Wellness Centre at the University of Prince Edward Island. She is a retired community nurse and the former Director of Primary Care for Health for Health PEI. Marilyn has been a caregiver to multiple family members, which required out-of-province care for health treatment.
  • Jonah Dupuis, a community pharmacist in Northwestern Ontario, who has previously served as a councillor on Nipigon's Town Council and the director of pharmacy at the Nipigon District Memorial Hospital. Jonah is a proud member of the Anishinabek Nation and currently works in a travelling health team that delivers primary health care directly to First Nations communities. He also is a caregiver for his son who lives with a rare genetic condition.
  • Lilian Hulme-Smith, a retired public servant, who spent the bulk of her career in social and supportive housing administration and risk management. She is a member of the Mackenzie Health Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital Patient Advisory Committee and Medication Safety Committee, as well as a patient advisor at the Central Local Health Integration Network. Lilian lives with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.
  • Beth Kidd, the Executive Director of Health Coalition of Alberta, representing more than 90 health charities, as well as individuals, that advocate for improved access to care and greater patient engagement. Beth lives with chronic migraines and is a Board member of Migraine Canada and Dementia Network Calgary.
  • Marlee McGuire, a medical anthropologist and a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, where her research focuses on the politics of rare diseases though multi-stakeholder perspectives, including patient and public payer perspectives. Marlee has navigated systems around addiction and chronic conditions as a family member.
  • David McMullen, a retired engineer and manager with Ontario Power Generation. David has been a multiple myeloma patient since 2012. He is very active with Myeloma Canada, contributing to its objectives of patient and caregiver education and support, research, access to treatments, and awareness. David was the founding Chair of the Myeloma Canada Patient Advisory Council. He has leadership and advisory roles in several myeloma patient support groups. He is also a patient representative in the Canadian Cancer Trials Group.
  • Devan Nambiar, MSc., an education and training specialist on LGBT2SQ+ health and HIV care for organizations, clinicians, and allied health professionals through Rainbow Health Ontario, Sherbourne Health, with his own consultancy, GHIS.ca. He co-wrote four HIV national publications at CATIE, has served on the Community Advisory Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Canadian HIV Trials Network, HIV Research Ethics Board at the University of Toronto, as well as on the boards of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and CTAC. Devan is a South Asian gay man who has been living with HIV for 34 years.
  • Paula Orecklin, a disability advocate who shares her experiences living with a disability with youth as a Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador. She is also a patient and family advisor with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Paula lives with chronic pain and is involved in the DAWN‒DisAbled Women’s Network and the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Marney Paradis, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Yukon and a Doctor of Education candidate at the University of British Columbia, where her philosophical inquiry focuses on the intersection of anti-oppressive, community-based, and spiritual support systems within frameworks of health advocacy. Marney has a son who lives with type 1 diabetes and she is the President of Yukon T1D Support Network — a non-profit group she helped found to provide education, advocacy, and support to people in Yukon with type 1 diabetes.
  • Zal Press, the executive director of Patient Commando, an organization dedicated to lifting the veil of silence that so often accompanies the onset of illness. He was the founding co-Chair of The Beryl Institute Global Patient and Family Advisory Board, which works to ensure that the voices of patients and families are a central consideration in the strategic direction and offerings of the Institute. Zal has lived with Crohn disease for more than 38 years. He is passionate about illustrating the need for improved health care policy and delivery by sharing stories that enrich our appreciation of the lived illness experience.
  • Mary Reeves, a retired education administrator and mediator, and an active volunteer in her community. She is a founding member of the Grand Bay-Westfield Age Friendly Communities Committee, and a past Board member of the Sophia Recovery Centre — a support centre for women recovering from addictions. Mary lives with osteoarthritis and vision impairment, and is aware of the challenges of staying independent as she and her husband age.
  • Sarah Sandusky, a fundraising and communications specialist with extensive experience working with non-profit organizations focused on homelessness, addiction, mental illness, health, education, and human rights. She previously held leadership roles with the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation in Vancouver, BC Civil Liberties Association, Street League in the UK, and Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth in Toronto. Sarah is now a freelance facilitator and fundraising strategist based in British Columbia. She is a Board member of Pain BC and has experienced the impact of chronic pain both personally and professionally.

Engaging with Canadian patients and communities is a strategic priority for CADTH. CADTH offers many opportunities for patients and their families, caregivers, advocacy groups, and communities to read, contribute to, and shape its work. Information about these opportunities is available on the CADTH Patient and Community Engagement Web pages.

About CADTH
CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system. CADTH receives funding from Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, with the exception of Quebec.

Media Contact
Kate Parson
613 226 2553 ext. 1518
katep@cadth.ca