Community Advisory Council
East Toronto Health Partners’ (ETHP) Community Advisory Council (CAC) is a group of volunteers who meet once a month to co-design ETHP initiatives and share their experiences as individuals who find and get care in East Toronto. Working closely with our partner organizations and leaders, they provide feedback on different health-related programs and services to help improve care for people in the community.
- See ETHP’s Patient, Caregiver, Family and Community Partnership and Engagement Strategy (Download PDF).
- See ETHP's Community Advisory Council 2021/22 Annual Report (Download PDF).
- Learn more about the development of our CAC.
Meet the members of our CAC for 2021/22. (Please note only members who are comfortable sharing information about themselves publicly are included below.)
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community leader and a longtime resident of Flemingdon Park. My professional background is in banking. I held senior management positions with four international banks in three countries and retired with more than four decades of corporate credit experience.
With a passion to serve the community, I have been volunteering with a number of non-profit organizations and have facilitated festivals and workshops focusing on enhancing equity and inclusion, reducing isolation, promoting health and wellness, building capacity and civic engagement, supporting individuals experiencing domestic violence and celebrating diverse cultures.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I joined ETHP’s CAC in order to amplify voices in the community relating to their health and well-being. I also want to provide my input with the objective of improving the healthcare system to make it more inclusive, accessible and responsive to the needs of the community.
What’s something you love? I am a health enthusiast and love reading about food and nutrition and going out for long walks. I love spending time enjoying the serenity of our beautiful parks and green spaces.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I’m an active caregiver to my octogenarian parents and live in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I have a deep passion for healthcare and serving vulnerable communities. This passion stems from when I was a young medical student in Sri Lanka in the ’90s during the Sri Lankan Civil War. When my medical education was disrupted after the closure of universities and bombing of hospitals at the height of the war, I immigrated to Canada and restarted my education at McMaster University where I completed a Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Business Administration specializing in Health Services Management.
I’ve worked at Woodstock Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences and Baycrest Health Sciences in various leadership and management roles. I currently work as a leader in digital health at a healthcare organization. I’m also an active volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Disaster and Emergency Management team, leading and assisting in a number of local and provincial disaster responses including pandemic responses.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I’m looking forward to applying my healthcare knowledge and collaborative health service integration experience to improve the health of our community, as well as seamless care across the continuum to improve quality of life of our people. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes everyone’s participation and contributions to improve the health of our population.
What’s something you love? Photography. There is beauty in everyone and everything around us!
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I’m a community member in East York.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I was inspired to join based on my interactions and experience working with vulnerable populations. I’ve also learned a great deal from family members, particularly about caregiving support and concerns related to access and quality of care.
I wanted to be part of a purpose-driven, grassroots-driven organization that would put actions to words. I also wanted to serve as a community champion and communications conduit between community members and healthcare organizations.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I love seeing real examples of how community voices make positive change happen — and I am more hopeful than ever that diverse community voices will be heard and strategically considered in forward planning.
I am so proud to have been involved in ETHP’s CAC from its infancy and am truly impressed by the momentum gained by this group. It did not fall by the wayside in the context of the pandemic. Rather, it has, in truth, positioned itself to build on a solid foundation of community outreach and advocacy.
What’s something you love? I love being part of a panel where the silos break down and transparency and focus on the patient, caregiver and community member becomes the guide.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am the mother of six beautiful children. I have a great passion for healthcare and promoting independence and dignity for vulnerable persons. I am also the founder of a private home care company that supports community outreach and a pop-up food bank.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I have worked in the healthcare field for more than 14 years as a frontline worker serving more than 100 healthcare agencies, long-term care homes, hospitals and group homes. In this role, I’ve worked with seniors, persons with disabilities and more. I have also worked in the community with refugees, youth, newcomers, patients dealing with addiction and many others.
I am thrilled to be a part of ETHP’s CAC and look forward to helping implement a better healthcare system.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I want to contribute to the improvement of health and social services for anyone who needs them. I want to help ensure patients and their families are heard and that they are able to receive quality care services that best suited for them.
What’s something you love? I love to volunteer my time to the community, especially when it comes to helping community members who are experiencing hardship.
Are you a client, caregiver or community member? I’m a caregiver for my mom who has an autoimmune brain condition.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I was originally a member of ETHP’s interim Advisory Council. I was encouraged to join by Pat Maurice, another member, and Ryan Hinds, community engagement lead at Ontario Health. I say the original Council was an interim one because the goal from the beginning was to get started and eventually commit to doing larger, meaningful engagement in the community. ETHP has been good at that. So far, we’ve been involved in the hiring of a community engagement staff member and we have been working together to co-create and realize an engagement plan for the Ontario Health Team.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I’m excited to share my perspective as a caregiver. Caregivers often have lived experiences that are different from those of patients and healthcare practitioners, so our voices can be helpful for planning. For example, caregivers are acutely aware of transitions their loved ones experience as they move between different points of care. Caregivers are often the ones making these transitions smoother and can provide Ontario Health Teams with insight on potential improvements.
A localized, integrated system of care is a dream of many caregivers and patients because it means a more team-based approach where providers speak to one another and try to work together across different organizations and professions. Caregivers are often the glue in this situation and are well-placed to inform OHTs about how to make a localized, integrated system of care work in a practical way.
What’s something you love? I work with newcomer families in East Toronto. The best part of my work is visiting families in person and getting to know them, often over coffee. During the pandemic I've learned how much I miss that and love it. I hope to be back to this soon.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community member in Thorncliffe Park and am involved in various Ontario Health and East Toronto Health Partners-related engagements.
I am also a senior living with several chronic pain diseases and am a caregiver to my husband, a cancer patient. I have a long history of experience as a sole caregiver to my mother and several friends.
In addition, I am co-chair of the Home and Community Care Support Services Toronto Central’s Patient, Family/Caregiver and Community Member Advisory Commitee and a member of the Ontario Health Family Advisory Council. I also represent patients, family members/caregivers and community members at the ETHP Leadership Table.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I would like to be part of the local healthcare system’s transition to the Ontario Health Team model. This will help facilitate the delivery of integrated, client-driven healthcare for residents of East Toronto.
What are you most excited to contribute to? From my caregiver experience, I have developed a passion to support seniors to live independent lives for as long as possible. This can be done by providing equitable home and community services to all residents in a culturally respectful manner. Where that cannot be accomplished, the healthcare system should facilitate compassionate transitions to warm alternate home settings.
What’s something you love? I love books — all sorts of books — and learning about other cultures through film and books.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I'm a community member in East Toronto and have been living in the Beaches area for almost 25 years.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I joined the CAC because I've been interested in patient navigation ever since experiencing some serious health issues years ago. I'm also very interested in all things healthcare-related. Life during the pandemic has allowed me the opportunity (and even more motivation!) to pursue these interests.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I'm excited to use my love of helping people along with my problem-solving skills during my role in this group.
What’s something you love? One thing I love to do when the weather permits is to go stand-up paddleboarding! I love being at the beach and on the water — it's a great way to clear my head and enjoy the outdoors.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I’m a community member in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I want to contribute what I can to our community. There is inequality in healthcare services. To fill this gap, we need to coordinate our social and healthcare resources to ensure they’re united.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I’m especially excited to contribute to the improvement of addition and mental health services.
What’s something you love? I love watching soccer and basketball because they make me relaxed. I like spending time with my family as well.
Are you a client, caregiver or community member? I’m a patient and community member who has lived in (and loved) East Toronto for the last 17 years. I live in the Upper Beaches or “Lower Danforth” as I like to call it.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Advisory Council? I’ve worked in healthcare, previously in communications and now in innovation, for over a decade and have been a “regular” patient for the last four years. I think understanding both sides of the coin gives me an interesting perspective on the challenges patients and health providers face.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I’m looking forward to asking important questions that may not have been considered and working together to create a better, equitable experience for all.
What’s something you love? My new ritual of starting my morning with a coffee and a good book in my sunny backyard!
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a resident of Thorncliffe Park and founder of the Parenting Group in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. I am a local champion for connected communities and very actively involved in community work.
I have a high empathy skill as I live by the “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” principle. I also seek to apply the “Win-Win” principle on my everyday walks in which I strive to have mutually beneficial and satisfying interactions with anyone I cross paths with. This helps build healthy and sustainable relationships.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I am passionate about advocating for equitable access for various programs within our communities. Our Parenting Group has many members who are newcomers, so it is essential that we understand the healthcare system and where, how and when to seek help.
I hope to leverage the collective experiences of this Parenting Group, as well as their concerns and the challenges we are facing with the current healthcare system, to help improve and provide input on various services.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I am excited about being given the opportunity to participate in the CAC to provide a voice for families in our community and to ensure the diverse interests and needs of our communities are reflected. I hope our work can help ensure ETHP continues to place patients and their caregivers at the centre of delivering integrated healthcare and social services.
What’s something you love? I love nature, especially when we have the ability to support its growth and beauty. Nature is great for our health and well-being.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? All three! I was born and raised in East Toronto and live in the Riverdale neighbourhood. I have been in all these roles in varying capacities over the years. It has kept me busy, but allowed me to gain perspectives from multiple lenses.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? My desire to be a changemaker and the ability to have a platform to share my diverse lived experiences! Reshaping how health services are delivered is not an opportunity you encounter every day, and participating in the CAC was a way for me to positively impact my family and the wider community in a sustainable, systemic manner.
More personally, my participation in the CAC was also driven by my proud roots as a second generation Chinese-Canadian with aging parents and elderly relatives who do not speak English yet try their best to manage their own health despite a language barrier. Accessing health services should not feel like a daunting experience because of a language barrier, so I hope to use my voice on the CAC to build a system that can be accessed and used confidently by all.
What are you most excited to contribute to? I am most excited to share my personal, professional and educational experiences and skills to build accessible, equitable and efficient health services in East Toronto. My professional background is in marketing, product management and strategy, and I am also currently pursuing my MBA, specializing in Health Industry Management. Along with my personal lived experiences, I am excited to contribute my professional expertise to inform East Toronto Health Partners’ progress and future as an Ontario Health Team.
What’s something you love? My dog, Tata! She is a German Shepherd and is very protective of her tennis balls, especially the squeaky ones. As someone who is highly ambitious and driven, I love how Tata reminds me to slow down and to live in the moment when too many gears are turning in my head. I also love how she forces me to take her out for walks in the pouring rain (just kidding — she is a princess and actually hates the rain).