Board Members

Donna Rubenstein

Donalda MacIsaac
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Donalda has been a dedicated, full-time healthcare and social change advocate for her entire adult life, and has served in a variety of roles in local, provincial and national organizations. She is a Patient Advisor with Nova Scotia Health, and sits on the board of Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) and other boards. She hosts a weekly radio show and is the co-founder of the QE2 Diversity in Health Care Bursary.

Donalda joined PAN’s Board in 2024.


Donna Rubenstein

Bedford, Nova Scotia

Donna is committed to demonstrating the transformative value of the patient and community voice through partnerships in all aspects of healthcare. Her views are shaped by personal experience as a patient and caregiver as well as a career working internationally bridging cross cultural differences in business practices. PAN and the people she met through the network inspired her patient partner journey –helping her see new and bigger possibilities. She wants others to have the same experience.  

She’s involved with projects at the provincial and national level. These include the Patient Public Partner Council for the Maritime SPOR Support Unit, Nova Scotia Health Patient Family Advisor Building Connections Committee, Virtual Health Innovation projects (Nova Scotia Health and the Centre for Digital Health Evaluations) and primary care research related to interdisciplinary models of care.


Amy Ma
Montreal, Quebec

Amy Ma is currently a patient / citizen advisor with Choosing Wisely Canada. She is actively involved in Empowering the patient / citizen voice across Canada with organizations such as the Patient Advisory Network, L’Appui Montreal (caregiver advocacy), and Nourish (environmental nutrition).

Amy’s journey in health system advocacy began when she joined the Family Advisory group at her local children’s hospital, as she had one child who had two surgeries before the age of two. Since then, she got involved during the hospital’s accreditation process, lobbied for lower hospital parking rates, and even got people with disabilities involved in a city-wide mass casualty simulation.

Ongoing projects include co-designing a brochure with Indigenous communities that regularly go to Montreal for care and exploring the impact of digital health on equity. Amy has an interest in maternal mental health, accessibility, and health equity.

Maxime Lê
Ottawa, Ontario

Maxime Lê has been a patient partner at The Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute since 2017.  He has also been co-chair of the Ontario Health East region Patient and Family Advisory Council since 2021. In 2023, he joined the Equity in Health Systems Lab as patient partner and investigator. Maxime has been a PAN board member since 2018.

Being francophone, racialized, and living with chronic illness and an invisible disability, Maxime applies his experience of intersectionality into the work he does, specializing in health communication. Professionally, Maxime is founder and principal consultant at Lê & Co. Health Communication, where he wears his patient partner and health communicator hats to rebuild trust and improve how healthcare services are delivered and how health research is conducted with and for all people in Canada.

He holds a Master of Arts in Communication, specializing in Science, Society and Policy from the University of Ottawa since 2021, and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences since 2018. He has earned additional certificates from Yale School of Public Health and Harvard Business School Online.

Sandra Holdsworth
Gravenhurst, Ontario

I’ve been a patient advocate for organ & tissue donation for over 25 years, however, I became a Patient Partner in 2016 in my role as Patient Partner co lead with the Canadian Donation Transplant Research Program (CDTRP).

As I developed my skills and gathered more lived experiences within the healthcare system as a whole I started to partner with; Health Standards Organization, Clinical Trials Ontario, Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team, RISE CoP Meeting Planning Committee and most recently with the Ontario Minister of Health PFAC.

Some of the other work I have been involved in includes health system transformation as part of my local Ontario Health Team and regional and provincial tables. 

Alies Maybee

Toronto, Ontario

Since 2011, Alies has brought her patient, caregiver, and technology background to her commitment as a patient partner. At her local hospital, Alies was a founding co-chair of the Community Engagement Council. She collaborates at the provincial, regional, and local levels with a focus on digital health and is on several  advisory committees at the federal level.

Her second focus is on patient engagement (PE) practices. She has developed and implemented an innovative PE framework and is currently experimenting with a novel way to hear from diverse perspectives on health equity.

In the research area, Alies has been a patient partner on more than ten research projects, has led peer research into being a patient partner in research and delivered workshops on partnering with patients. She has evaluated hundreds of grant applications on a research management committee.

She is one of 12 co-founders of the Patient Advisors Network (PAN).

Annette McKinnon
Toronto, Ontario

Annette has been an active patient partner since retirement. After years of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome she wanted to share her strategies for dealing with chronic disease. Her blog called Rheutired and becoming active on Twitter (@anetto) was the road to active involvement in patient and research issues.

In 2017 she was a co-founder of PAN, Patient Advisors Network, which builds citizen-patient capacity and leadership as Canada’s only independent network for patient and caregiver partners and continues as a board member.

She is a patient partner on research teams. a member of the Ontario SPOR Support Unit Patient Partner Advisory Council and a grant reviewer for CIHR and The Arthritis Society. She has been a Health Mentor for the Interdisciplinary Education Program of the University of Toronto for the past 12 years, and now is part of the IPE (Interprofessional Education) Curriculum Foundational Working Group for the University of Toronto.


Sandra (Sandy) Ketler
Kelowna, British Columbia

Sandy worked many years as a Physiotherapist and has been a patient advisor since 2017. She is passionate about patient centered continuous health care improvement which authentically includes the patient/ caregiver voice, patient education, digital health – in particular “One EMR – One Source of Truth”, patient safety, optimal communication and decreasing the impact of health care on the environment.

Sandy is involved in a variety of regional, provincial and national engagements. She is a member of Health Quality BC’s Patient Voices Network. She lives with mostly invisible disability from a chronic back condition and the resulting persistent pain and fatigue. Her views are shaped by her own health experiences, experiences of her family, and by her ongoing learning. Sandy joined PAN’s board in 2024.


Melinda (Mindy) Tindall
Edmonton, Alberta

Mindy has a background in healthcare of over 20 years and became a Patient Partner Researcher in 2017.  Her chronic illnesses and invisible and visible disabilities inform many of her professional goals.  She is deeply passionate about patient-centered design, advocacy, and engagement which she also supports through her work in architecture and design.  In particular, she is interested in how digital health will transform patient care and is working to elevate the patient voice in technological innovation and home-based care.

To support her interests in research, Mindy has served the Alberta Clinical Research Consortium as Clinical Research Advisor and worked with provincial healthcare organizations, universities, and government to improve the efficiency of clinical research throughout all developmental stages.  She has supported over 35 clinical health research projects through the Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Unit and has presented on leadership and communication in health research at four provincial conferences for Alberta Innovates.  She has served as a Review Committee Panelist for the 2023 and 2024 AbSPORU Graduate Studentship in Patient-Oriented Research Competition and is keen to support emerging leaders in patient engagement.

Mindy studied nursing and architecture and is working on her MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  She joined PAN’s board in 2024.


PAN Members Community Guidelines

We want everyone to feel welcome on our PAN community site, so we’ve created these guidelines to foster the community we would like to see. By joining and participating in our Community, you agree that you have read and will follow these guidelines.

Within the PAN Community site and in our dealings with each other through other PAN initiatives:

  1. Be respectful. We all have a shared goal of making healthcare better for Canadians. The PAN Community may include people you work with or may meet in future. As members of PAN, we demonstrate respect in our communication, sharing and crediting of resources/knowledge and  in our interactions with each other and stakeholders from outside the PAN.


  1. Focus on a positive and collaborative approach.  Let’s work together to build strong relationships so we can achieve great things. Diversity of thought and sharing of perspectives is healthy – we won’t all agree on everything, but we want to keep an open mind to consider new ideas and change.


  1. Do not discriminate or engage in harmful activity. We value different ideas and opinions but there is no place for any activity that could hurt someone, whether it’s physical, emotional, mental or digital. Racism, hateful language, or discrimination of any kind is not acceptable. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to know about or that you wouldn’t want anyone to know that it came from you.


  1. Use your true identity. We made this community site private so that we can feel free to be ourselves. Each member is vetted by our team to ensure people are here for the right reasons. Communicating with each other is based on trust.

To ensure the PAN community remains a safe place for all members, we ask you that you contact if you encounter a situation where guidelines may have been breached. PAN reserves the right to suspend or terminate membership in the Community for anyone who violates these guidelines.


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Directives de la communauté des membres du PAN

Nous voulons que tout le monde se sente bienvenu sur notre site Web communautaire de PAN. Nous avons donc créé ces directives pour aider au développement de la communauté que nous aimerions voir. En rejoignant et en participant à notre communauté, vous acceptez de lire et de suivre ces directives.

Sur le site de Web de la communauté de PAN et dans nos relations mutuelles dans le cadre d'autres initiatives de PAN :

  1. Soyez respectueux. Nous partageons tous l'objectif d'améliorer les soins de santé pour les Canadiens. La communautéde PAN peut inclure des personnes avec lesquelles vous travaillez ou que vous pourriez rencontrer à l'avenir. En tant que membres de PAN, nous faisons preuve de respect dans notre communication, le partage et l'attribution de ressources/connaissances et dans nos interactions les uns avec les autres et avec les parties prenantes extérieures de
  2. Se concentrersur une approche positive et collaborative.  Travaillons ensemble pour construire des relations solides afin de réaliser de grandes choses. La diversité de pensée et le partage des perspectives sont sains - nous ne serons pas tous d'accord sur tout, mais nous voulons garder l'esprit ouvert pour envisager de nouvelles idées et des changements.
  3. Ne faites pas de discrimination et neparticipez pas à des activités nuisibles. Nous apprécions les idées et les opinions différentes, mais il n'y a pas de place pour les commentaires susceptibles de blesser quelqu'un, que ce soit physiquement, émotionnellement, mentalement ou numériquement. Le racisme, les propos haineux ou la discrimination sous quelque forme que ce soit ne sont pas acceptables. Ne publiez rien que vous ne voudriez pas que tout le monde sache ou dont vous ne voudriez pas que l'on sache qu'il vient de vous.
  4. Utilisez votre véritable identité. Nous avons rendu ce site Web communautaire privé afin que nous puissions nous sentir libres d'être nous-mêmes. Chaque membre est accepté manuellementpar notre équipe pour s'assurer qu'il est là pour les bonnes raisons. La communication entre nous est basée sur la confiance.

Pour s'assurer que la communauté de PAN reste un endroit sûr pour tous les membres, nous vous demandons de contacter  si vous rencontrez une situation où les directives ont été violées. PAN se réserve le droit de suspendre ou de résilier l'adhésion à la communauté de toute personne qui enfreint ces directives.

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