Meet our Citizens' Panel

 

Alex Zsager
Alex is a strong advocate for the homeless, with his own personal journey that took him success to homelessness and back. Alex draws on his own lived experience in his role as an advisor to several advisory committees and non-profit organizations including the Inner City Health Associates, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Homeless Connect Toronto and the Toronto and Canadian Alliances to End Homelessness.



 

Amanuel Zermariam
Amanuel began his career as an Air Traffic Controller. In 2009 he was accepted into the co-op civil engineering program at the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College. Through this program Amanuel worked at three different engineering companies. In January 2015 Amanuel was in a serious car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. His subsequent experiences with hospitals, rehabilitation centers, housing programs and home care services has motivated Amanuel to find his voice in health system planning to improve services for others like him.




 

Alies Maybee
Alies has a passion to make things better for patients and families. This drove her to become a patient advisor over five years ago at her local hospital, with other health care organizations and in health research. She has been a patient mostly as a result of accidents and a remote caregiver for a mother with dementia. She brings her experiences with the healthcare system and her professional background as a business analyst for technology companies working for positive change.




 

Diane Charter
Diane is a retired writer/editor with a background in nursing, journalism and heath care communications in both the acute and community care sectors. For three years she was the primary caregiver and health care advocate for her long-time partner. This experience made her a strong proponent of patients and caregivers being recognized as equal partners with their healthcare providers. 



 

Gord Singer
Gord Singer is a person living with Schizoaffective Disorder who has accessed psychiatric services since 1975.  He has worked as a Peer Support Specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital for 18 years.  He worked at CAMH to implement a Consumer Advisory Group and serves on several boards and committees.  He is a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto where he has given a seminar on ethics in mental health care.  His partner Lisa has multiple health challenges and is from the Aboriginal community.  Gord has published articles on mental health and recovery- lives within the Toronto Central LHIN and is a member of Mensa.

 



Kinima Van Dekerckhove
Kinima’s lived experience of mental health challenges, physical disability, poverty and homelessness allows him/her to make a unique and invaluable contribution to the Citizens’ Panel. As a result of Kinima’s life experience, s/he has an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing marginalized youth. S/he is committed to recreational programming as way to engage youth and build their self-confidence. Kinima is a strong voice on the panel for Metiès and Trans issues.




Munira Khilji
Munira is a foreign-trained physician and a mother of two children with medical conditions that require on-going interaction with the health care system. She is currently active in community work involving autism advocacy in high-needs neighbourhoods in the city of Toronto. Munira is passionate about the prospect of building a better, more equitable health care system in Toronto and is happy to be able to contribute her voice to the Citizen’s Panel.
 



 

Kira Vallen
Kira is an Indigenous Trans Woman from Saugeen First Nation. She is a retired health and safety instructor and workplace trainer and an avid volunteer and activist for the LGBTQ community, Aboriginal people and Labour workers. She has extensive lived experience as a consumer/survivor of the mental health system and is passionate about traditional healing. 
 



 

Sam Pezzullo
Sam is the father of a child who is globally delayed and has behavourial issues. He is also the son of immigrant parents with limited English who are receiving CCAC services. Sam himself was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2013 and suffers from depression and anxiety. In addition to the Toronto Central LHIN Citizens’ Panel, Sam brings his diverse set of experiences to the family advisory councils at Mount Sinai and Holland Bloorview hospitals.




 

Sandra Dalziel
As a patient and family caregiver, Sandra Dalziel has had frequent and extensive interactions with the healthcare system. Sandra seeks to further the development of a system that recognizes and supports the ability of patients to be partners in their own care, and understands the impact each and every healthcare interaction has on the patient experience.


 

Peter Cresswell
Peter is a small technology business owner who recently broke his ankle. He attributes his recovery to the care and support he received from his local hospital and the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Peter joined the Citizens’ Panel after witnessing first-hand the challenges that his health care team faced and hopes to provide some insight that can help others.



 

Safeera Mulla

Bio Coming Soon.  


 

Wendy Linton
Wendy comes to the Citizens’ Panel from a Vice President of Operations background, managing several post-production companies. As a business woman, mother of two, wife, daughter, and sister, Wendy has personal insight into many areas of healthcare in Toronto. Her main goal in joining the Toronto Central LHIN Citizens’ Panel is to identify gaps in the current system and to help create a more accessible health care system for everyone to easily navigate without discrimination.

 


 

Melania Comito
Melania moved from Italy to Canada in 2004. With two young children and aging parents who don’t speak English, Melania has had plenty of experience navigating her new local health care system. She is happy to have the opportunity to share some of her reflections, and hopes to identify opportunities for improvement through her participation on the Citizens’ Panel.

 


 

Jeanzie Parkin
Jeanzie is a member of the Algonquin First Nations. Her maternal grandparents were Residential School survivors. Jeanzie is a passionate advocate for positive, community-oriented improvements to health service planning and delivery. She has applied this passion for health care improvements to her roles as Toronto Public Health Diabetes and Chronic Pain Management Peer Leaders.



 

Aditya Muralidhar
Aditya is a consumer survivor of the mental health system, is a strong advocate for drug safety and a firm believer in the value of peer support. As an active youth community member, Aditya brings a wealth of lived experience to the table as a Citizens’ Panel member.



 

Barbara Fallon
In 2013, Barbara’s husband suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. Within a six-month time frame, he underwent eight brain surgeries to address issues arising from the aneurysm. The experiences of Barbara and her family in the aftermath of her husband’s aneurysm motivated her to become a passionate advocate for improved communication between health care providers and the patients and families they serve. Dr. Fallon is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean of Research at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.




 

Yves Danteu
Yves is a bilingual (French/English) Project Manager with experience in the public and not-for profit sectors in Canada and abroad. A strong advocate for Toronto’s diverse Francophone population, Yves draws on his in-depth understanding of the issues impacting the health of the Francophone community to his role as a Citizens’ Panel member.




 

Sam Mukwa Kloetstra
Sam is an Anishinaabe youth from Mattagami First Nation. Throughout his career he has worked with the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and Indigenous people from across Turtle Island (North America) to tackle poverty and reduce systemic inequities faced by Indigenous people. He is currently living in Toronto where he has taken an active role in building the urban Indigenous community through health promotion and education. Sam’s work as youth advisor on the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle is reflected in the Toronto Indigenous Health Strategy.