Dianne Carmichael

Dianne Carmichael President & CEO, Carmichael Worldwide Inc. In 2004, Dianne’s father was diagnosed with cancer, affecting her profoundly. She felt overwhelmed and unprepared for the immense responsibility of becoming her Dad’s ultimate decision-maker, caregiver, champion and advocate during what became a profound journey through a complex and confusing medical system.

Dianne witnessed the gaps in healthcare first-hand and the impact they had: putting patients at a disadvantage, discouraging participatory engagement, challenges navigating the system, creating an additional burden of unnecessary anxiety in the vulnerable patient and their caregivers, poor coordination of care, lack of integrated medical records systems, poor communication, overburdened health care providers, and a system at risk of sustainability. With her dad on his deathbed, Dianne had what she describes as an epiphany which led to a major shift in her career and personal focus.

She left her role as a CEO in financial services in order to move to health care to make a difference in the lives of Canadians stricken with profound illness. Today she advocates and champions for patients, inspires others to innovate and adopt disruptive technologies in order to ensure the highest quality of care in Canada, works to influence Health Policy and lead system sustainability and transformation.

Dianne [...] continue the story

Nicki Kahnamoui

Nicki Kahnamoui Growing research and experience demonstrate that participation and engagement in arts and cultural activities has significant benefits for the health of individuals, populations and the sustainability of health care systems.

As the Executive Director of Arts Health BC, the founding Community Partner of Arts Health Network Canada, Nicki Kahnamoui has the privilege of working on behalf of the arts & health community to promote participation and engagement in the arts for improved health, healing and wellbeing.

Over the past two decades, Nicki has been working in the health care and research field on a host of projects, ranging from new program and system implementations in hospitals to curating and organizing an arts and science exhibit in a genetics lab. She is also a mixed media visual artist, inspried by persian sufi poetry and elements in nature, whose artwork is mostly a contemplation of our continuous quest for meaning. Working in the field of arts and health is at the intersection of her two passions.  Nicki strongly believes that artistic practice and participating in cultural activities, in any shape or form, are integral to a person’s well-being. She says: “We know that engaging in arts and cultural activities is good for us. [...] continue the story

Marlene Grass

Marlene Grass, NR Founder/ Director of Clinical Services, Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre, Whitby, ON

Marlene has been involved in the world of Diabetes since the mid seventies.  In the early eighties she  initiated the first parent support group in Durham Region.  In 1989 she launched the first and only one of its kind, “The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre” as a registered Charity to provide ongoing Type 1 diabetes education, management and support to children and youth and their families in Durham Region.  The Centre began with 20 families and today the Centre serves approximately 350 pediatric patients and their families.

The year 1998 marked the “official” launch of the adult portion of The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre and today the Centre serves over 1300 adults with Type 1 diabetes ranging in age from 19 to mid 80 years of age.

The CDA Frederick G. Banting Award was presented to Marlene in 1990 in recognition of an individual who has developed a new and innovative program or service which has resulted in improved diabetes care.  Marlene was the first nurse to receive this award.

Most recently Marlene was awarded the 2012 Regional Outstanding Health Professional Award by the Greater Toronto Area CDA.

Miriam Kaufman

Miriam Kaufman Miriam Kaufman is a paediatrician and adolescent health specialist at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario.  She is the Head of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at SickKids and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. All adolescent medicine specialists, whether they are nurses, doctors, social workers, psychologists, creative arts therapists, dieticians or child and youth counsellors, are interested in the patient experience and promoting self-advocacy and interventions that improve quality of life. As an author, Miriam has written or co-written a number of books for adolescents, young adults and parents.  The patient experience is most reflected in two books—“The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability” (Cleis Press) which she wrote with Cory Silverberg and Fran Odette and “Easy for You to Say: Q&As for Teens Living with Chronic Illness or Disability” (Firefly Books).  The key to writing both of these was listening to her patients and others about their experiences.  Miriam has a strong belief that her knowledge and understanding should be shared and not hoarded. As a clinician and teacher, Miriam cares for adolescents with chronic health conditions, including lupus and solid organ transplants. For the past 10 years, she has been very involved in efforts to improve the transition [...] continue the story

Carmen Wyton

Carmen Wyton Life is unpredictable… I have committed every day to filling it with things that bring me energy, while helping others, and demonstrating a model for building a caring community.

My passion is for people with disabilities, community health, and opportunities for youth – especially those at risk.  I am highly energized by coaching people to take charge of their life and their health, be the leader of their treatment team, and find a way to thrive regardless of the challenges.

My personal experience with arthritis as a child, followed by MS as an adult, has provided me with real-life…. life-long learning in chronic disease.  It looked different as a child in primary school, was often overwhelming as a young mother juggling a family and a career, and somehow it all settled in as I continued to age (gracefully). I believe these experiences are the primary drivers that moulded my community action and career choices.

My opportunity to pursue a career in leading community health with seniors, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Arthritis Society, and the MS Society allowed me to engage people/patients directly – I am confident I helped them cope with their disease, learn to navigate the health care system and … [...] continue the story