Canadian Women Changing Healthcare

I happened to catch an episode of the CNN series “The Sixties” which featured the rise of the feminist movement. It caught my immediate attention as we here at Patient Commando were hard at work preparing our 2nd Annual Canadian Women Changing Healthcare. It had escaped my memory that in my lifetime there was a time when there were quotas on the spaces available to women  in medical, dental and law schools. There was a time when airline stewardesses had to be single, with soft hands and were forced to retire at the age of 32. There was a time in my lifetime that women marched in the streets fighting for equality and recognition. The episode reminded me of  many women who led the way – like journalist Gloria Steinem who infiltrated Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire, Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown (Sex and The Single Girl), author Betty Friedan (The Feminine  Mystique) and the National Organization of Women (NOW) who played such important roles in galvanizing what turned into a global movement.

I couldn’t help but think of the many parallels between that time and certain realities that exist in our healthcare system. As Patient Commando and others have pointed out before, 78% [...] continue the story

Michele Hepburn

Michele Hepburn, BHSc President, The 3C Foundation of Canada

The 3C Foundation of Canada is a registered Canadian charity devoted to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults living with Crohn’s, colitis and colorectal cancer (the 3Cs). Under Michele’s leadership, The 3C Foundation has grown from start-up in 2009to a dynamic, well-respected, patient-centred organization that supports and delivers programs and services to the 3C community.  The Foundation’s programs and services are directed toward enabling those with any of the 3Cs to be empowered and confident participants in their own disease management.

As a founding Board Member and long-serving President, Michele is renowned for both her personal dedication to the Foundation and her passion for its causes.  She devotes herself to the full-time, volunteer position of President. Her background as a health care professional and Michele’s own personal experience with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) contribute to her comprehensive and compassionate approach in supporting children and adults touched by the 3Cs.  She has attained her Master level training for Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Programand personally facilitates the “IBDealing With It!” self-management program, taking a very hands on approach with patients and their families.

In addition to her role with the 3C Foundation specifically, Michele [...] continue the story

Liz Rice

Liz Rice, B.A.Sc. Enviro-Health Speaker

20 years of having very poor health, made Liz Rice very passionate about encouraging others to invest more in theirs. Liz is an Environmental-Health Speaker specializing in toxicity and the interaction between the environment and human health.


The Health Saver

11 years ago Liz experienced a life changing event (video below) which has become the primary focus of her work today.  A co-worker walked past her desk wearing an extreme amount of cologne. In one day her life changed radically – she went from having no sensitivity to fragrances, to being disabled by them!  She was diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) – an environmental illness.  To get better, she had to drastically decrease her exposure to the toxins in daily life.  That meant making significant changes at home and at work.

After many years of navigating the toxins in her daily life, and on the urging of friends and colleagues to share her knowledge with others, Liz founded her company Enviro-Health Presentations.  Her goal is to reach people before they suffer from poor health – specifically poor health arising from easily managed environmental factors, such as the chemicals used to make fragrances.

There are so many simple things we can all do to [...] continue the story

Dawn Richards

Dawn Richards

Dawn is a science and patient consultant. She received her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Alberta, and has spent the past 15 years in various roles, as a: bench scientist, project and operations manager, technology transfer and commercialization manager, and business development officer. She has worked in biotech as well as in the not for profit and academic sectors. She is a firm believer in the application of her scientific training and rigour to other professional roles and in her abilities to communicate to multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder (scientific, medical, lay) audiences.

Little did Dawn know that her diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis nearly a decade ago would instigate the career journey she is navigating. As a trained scientist and a person living with a chronic illness, she is intertwining her passion for science with what she feels is making the most of her chronic illness diagnosis. As a consultant, she helps clients write and edit grants and manuscripts, translate research findings in to lay language so the public can understand and benefit from outcomes, and understand and incorporate the patient perspective in to projects. Her clients include academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Her scientific training, on the job [...] continue the story

Yael Cohen Braun

Yael Cohen Braun Yael Cohen Braun is the founder, president, and CEO of Fuck Cancer, a cancer education organization aiming to activate Gen-C, generation content, to engage with their community about early detection, preventative lifestyles and communication around cancer. Yael launched Fuck Cancer in 2009 after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Determined to marshal strength for her mom, Yael decided to use the “F” word to fight the “C” word. Yael herself serves as an advocate for a range of health and health care issues and through her work with Fuck Cancer, she is changing the way people talk about cancer by creating a human, authentic movement.

In May 2014, Yael launched StandWith, a caregiver platform revolutionizing the way we interact with loved ones who are undergoing long-term medical treatment. Yael created StandWith to streamline patient and caregiver’s lives during emotionally charged times by providing real-time updates and self-selected task capabilities. StandWith will be available to the public on September 15.

Yael has been named one of the “12 people who are transforming philanthropy” by The Globe and Mail, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” one of “Canada’s Most Powerful Women” by the Financial Post, one of [...] continue the story