Hearing Your Voices: A virtual conference

November 3, 4 2020

Please join AMS and patients, families, and caregivers (PFC) for a virtual conference where we will share our COVID-19 lived experiences and make recommendations, as essential partners, in the design of a compassionate digital/AI healthcare system.

This interactive two-day event will give participants an opportunity to understand what transpired during COVID- 19 in Canada in the long-term care and healthcare worlds, and where we need to go from here. We will identify the change required; and the knowledge, skills and resources needed; to enable patients, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to be partners in the digital healthcare age.

Share your experience and connect with other PFC community members through participation in the conference app where you will find surveys, message boards and chat rooms- available for download October 1. Have your voice heard!

Your recommendations will be included in a report, so others can “hear your voices”.

Download the program here.


Day 1: Session One, Part A

11:00 am – 12:30 pm EDT

“Hearing Your Voices”, The Power of Lived Experience

Data, technology & digital health are evolving at a rapid pace across the Canadian healthcare landscape. Partnership and collaboration with patients and caregivers with lived experience will be essential to ensure the foundation of a compassionate digital healthcare system is based on the principles of person centred / partnered care. Leading patient / caregiver partners share their lived experience, insights and expert advice on the challenges and opportunities of digital health.

Moderator: Maggie Keresteci, Executive Director, Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR)

Panelists Include:

Robin McGee (NS) palliative cancer patient, author, speaker, active patient partner, advocate for patient access to health information

Claire Dawe-McCord (ON) young patient with chronic illness, former ON Minister’s PFAC member, co-chair of Ontario pediatric Ontario Health Team (led by CHEO), student, active patient partner, lived experience with peds to adult transition and challenges for patients re: digital health

Denise McCuaig (ON) is an accomplished Métis woman with an excellent knowledge and background in Aboriginal health and mental health and addictions. Served as Indigenous Advisor on Aboriginal mental health and addictions through a number of boards and committees.

Day 1: Session One, Part B

“What You Told Us”

A summary of pre-conference conversations and Q&A

Moderators: Carole Ann Alloway (ON) Co-founder, Family Caregivers Voice and Jocelyn Bennett (ON) Director, AMS Healthcare

Day 1: Session Two

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

“Is Technology Truly A Solution?”

Technology is often looked to as essential to the evolution of health and healthcare. This discussion will explore where technology may be the solution, but not the only solution – as well as where low-tech options might serve patients, caregivers, and their healthcare partners more readily.

Moderator: Amy Coupal, (ON) CEO of the Ontario Caregiver Organization

Panelists Include:

Anna Foat (ON) Director of Digital Transformation, SunLife Financial, Caregiver

Maurine Parzen (ON) Caregiver, nurse, educator and researcher with interest in the use of technology in sustaining the caregiver role of older adults and quality of life for PSWs.

Fraser Ratchford, (ON) Senior Director at Canada Health Infoway

Carol Ann Alloway, (ON) Co-founder, Family Caregivers Voice, international speaker, working with HQO, Change Foundation, and Ontario Caregiver Organization.

Ewan Affleck (NWT), Senior Medical Advisor – Health Informatics, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, Family Physician


Day 2: Session 1

11:00 am – 12:30 pm EDT

“Digital Health: How Do We Get There Together?”

As digital health, AI, virtual care, digital health information and data evolve, so must the relationship with patients and their health care providers, teams and the organizations that offer care. Concerns have been raised about equity in access to digital health and care, and ensuring patients, physicians and healthcare providers are supported to partner in care together. This panel will explore the challenges and barriers and will provide insight and expertise on drivers and solutions.

Moderator: Julie Drury (ON) Strategic Lead – Patient Partnerships, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI)

Panelists Include:

Dominik Nowak (ON) Family Physician, Faculty at the University of Toronto, and Chair of the TELUS Medical Advisory Council

Melissa NGO (ON) Caregiver and Family Support Specialist, Holland Bloorview

PJ Mierau (ON), Caregiver, Founder of Patient Critical Co-op, digital health / virtual care

Laura Williams (ON) Caregiver and Patient Advisor

Alika Lafontaine (AB) Anesthesiologist, Associate Medical Director, Indigenous Health (North Zone – Alberta Health Services)


Day 2: Session 2

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

“How Do We Make It Happen”

This panel will focus on system level leadership and the actions required to advance a compassionate, digitally and AI enabled healthcare system. We will consider the supports patients and caregivers need to fully engage with digital health technologies; the supports providers need and how do we prepare them for digital health technologies; and the leadership to help us realize the future.

Moderator: Brian Hodges(ON) Executive-Vice President Education and Chief Medical Officer, UHN, AMS Healthcare Strategic Advisor

Panelists Include:

Sandy Buchman (ON) Past President, Canadian Medical Association, Freeman Family Chair in Palliative Care, North York General Hospital

Alies Maybee (ON) patient advisor, notably in health research, Patient and Family Advisor and co-chair of the Community Engagement Council at St. Joseph’s Health Centre

Heather Thiessen (SK) patient advisor, Surveyor with HSO.

Roberta Timothy (ON) Assistant Professor, UofT, researching the impact of COVID19 on racialized communities and biases in the healthcare system.

Susan Fitzpatrick (ON) Former: Associate Deputy Minister Ontario MOH, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Health


Program download available. Conference App available October 1st, 2020


Thank you to the Planning Advisory Committee:


Carole Ann Alloway, Caregiver and Heather Thiessen, Patient Advisor

Official Media Sponsor: