Patient and Family Advisory Committee

Our work in patient engagement is guided by our Research Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC). PFAC is made up of CHEO family members who believe in the impact research can have on how we care for kids at CHEO and beyond as well as six administrators/researchers from the CHEO Research Institute (CHEO-RI). The committee works to engage families in all aspects of research conducted by CHEO-RI. 

PFAC’S Purpose

Based on experienced family voices, the PFAC advises and makes recommendations to CHEO-RI staff in order to promote family engagement in research. We’re moving beyond families as only research participants to families as partners in all aspects of the research process from developing an idea or research question to sharing the study results.  

Responsibilities and Opportunities 

Our members:  

  • Attend monthly meetings at the CHEO-RI (in person, teleconference or video conference). 
  • Advance client and family-centered research. 
  • Help researchers identify and plan future directions. 
  • Provide advice on the communication strategy: 
    • Help researchers plan how to best share the results
    • Help researchers ensure that results are understandable to families who were part of the research
    • Co-present or co-publish findings
    • Help with social media communication (e.g. Discovery Minutes)
    • Advise the CHEO-RI on how to promote family engagement in research
    • Share knowledge with caregivers and other parents
Patient and Family Advisory Committee Members 2021-2022

Kim Courtney

Research Family Leader Program Coordinator

Kim Courtney photo


Michelina Sicoli

Administrative Support, CHEO Research Insititute


Rhonda Correll

Chief Operating Officer, CHEO Research Institute


Patricia Longmuir

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

photo of Pat Longmuir


Melanie Buba

Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

photo of Melaine Buba


Saunya Dover

Manager, Genetic Skeletal Disorders Research Program

photo of Saunya Dover


Andrew McVey

Patient/Family Representative


Lori Pope

Patient/Family Representative


Ellen Song

Patient/Family Representative


Azam Ishmael

Patient/Family Representative

photo of Azam Ishmael family leader


Natasha Baechler

Patient/Family Representative

photo of Natasha


Mairéad Green

Patient/Family Representative

photo of Mairéad Green


Samantha Bellefuille

Patient/Family Representative

photo of Samantha Bellefeuille