Zal Press, Executive Director
Zal Press founded Patient Commando to promote patient storytelling as a method to increase patient engagement in health care.
His experience of living with chronic illness for over 30 years prepared him for this role. From being a docile patient who did what he was told, Zal has evolved into a patient who is an active participant in his healthcare.
The Patient Commando Code is at the heart of his philosophy about a patient’s role:
- Become collaborative partners with your health care providers.
- Think critically about all information you’re given whether from a provider or from the internet.
- Learn that illness doesn’t only affect you, but all those who love you, and learn to love them back.
Parallel to his evolution as a patient, Zal was the president of a manufacturing business and previously a marketing communications firm. He has 2, twenty-something children who have been passengers on this sometimes not-so-first-class illness journey and have matured into sensitive, thoughtful, citizens of the world.
Eamonn O’Connell, Director of Communications
Graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in Biological Science and Psychology, Eamonn went on to study Marketing and Media Relations at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Having experience in managing communications and relations with various health organizations like the Canadian Red Cross and the Campaign to Control Cancer, Eamonn joined Patient Commando in 2011 as our Director of Communications.
Barbara Martin, Program and Education Director
Barb loves a good story and that is why she sees working for Patient Commando Productions a good fit. What is even better is that Barb joins Patient Commando with a variety of experiences from both medical education and the arts.
Before joining the Commando team, Barb spent 6 years at the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care as their Education Program Coordinator. Prior to this, she spent 20 years as a professional theatrical costume and props builder and taught costuming at Ryerson University’s Theatre School. Barb also has a teaching degree with a concentration in art education from the University of New Brunswick.
Brian G. Smith, Creative Director
Brian is a producer, teacher and director specializing in comedy. An award-winning alumnus of The Second City, Brian has created television, theatre and multi-media in Canada and the Caribbean. Recent projects include:
- ‘Chère’ – the 3-time Canadian Comedy Award nominated short film
- ‘The Summit – an Improvised film’ – a 4 part documentary series on Improv in Toronto
- ‘NOW Magazine – the movie’, a 9 part web series chronicling the 25 year history of NOW Magazine
- Brian is head of YouandMedia.com, and is Creative Director of Patient Commando Productions. This text is not funny, but he is.