Board Members

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. 

Maxime Lê
Ottawa, Ontario

Maxime Lê has been a patient advisor at The Ottawa Hospital since 2017. He joined PAN in 2018 hoping to expand his passion for patient engagement and connect with other patient leaders across Canada. Inspired by the work of his board colleagues and the knowledge and experience of fellow PAN members, he joined the Board of Directors with a focus on spearheading PAN’s communications efforts.

Maxime has been involved in a variety of patient-related activities, including the launch of Canada’s 4th OR Black Box, a technology in the operating room which increases patient safety. Otherwise, his other activities as a patient advisor include improving medical and surgical nursing orientation curricula for new nurses from a patient perspective, informing communications on a research project related to universal definition of mesenchymal stem cells, and a project on exploring opioid alternatives during surgeries.

Professionally Maxime is a health and science communications consultant and has worked in federal and municipal public health. Currently, Maxime is (virtually) attending Yale School of Public Health. 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. 

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.

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

Since retirement 10 years ago Annette has been a patient partner. Rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome taught her strategies for dealing with chronic disease she wanted to share with others. 

A blog called Rheutired and Twitter (@anetto) led to active involvement in patient and research issues.

She is a patient partner on several research teams and has been 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 10 years and was a 2014 MedX ePatient Scholar. 

Donna Rubenstein
Bedford, Nova Scotia

Donna serves as a member of various groups committed to empowering patient and community partnerships in all aspects of healthcare. She is passionate about the transformative value of the patient and community voice. Some current activities include the Patient Partner Council for the Maritime SPOR Support Unit, NS PFA Webinar Series Planning Team, and various Nova Scotia Virtual Care projects. She is a volunteer leader of a self-help management program for people living with chronic conditions and is Chair of Lake City Works, a social enterprise supporting people living with mental illness.

Donna’s views are shaped by personal experience as a patient and caregiver and a career in energy working both on the ground in remote areas and at the corporate level. She believes PAN’s focus on patient communities and peer to peer support, with membership across Canada, is critical to mobilizing and accelerating change and improving the healthcare experience for all Canadians.

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]  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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