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

Sandy Smeenk

Sandy Smeenk Founder and Executive Director, The ILC Family Centered Chronic Pain Care Program

Sandy Smeenk is the Executive Director of the ILC Family Centered Child and Youth Chronic Pain Care Program, the first charity in Ontario and Canada with the dedicated focus to bridge gaps in community based care for the 2.2 in 44 children, adolescents, young adults and families living with complex chronic pain diseases including those that are hereditary.

As Founder of the ILC, Sandy has a well-developed business sense and ability to meet project deadlines where she uses her past experience as a Human Resources Professional in government contract compliance and managing operating budgets of $1.5 M, to reach ILC’s short and long term strategic goals.  Sandy works with a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and Business and Medical Advisory Committees, where they focus on promoting and highlighting what is done well in health care and community services, while influencing the much needed change to integrate inclusionary care to this at risk population.

Since ILC’s incorporation, Sandy has led substantive initiatives that have resulted in improvements in chronic pain care, most recently including the development of the Difficult to Diagnose Disease Scientific Workshop and Conference where multidisciplinary specialists come together to begin [...] continue the story