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 2023-2024

Kim Courtney

Research Family Leader Program Coordinator, CHEO Research Institute (Chair)

Kim Courtney photo

Dr. Hana Alazam

CHEO Pediatric Rehabilitation Specialist

Dr. Shawn Beug

Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

Shawn Beug Candid

Jennilea Courtney

Director, Research Operations, CHEO Research Institute

Johanne Saintelus

Research Administrative Assistant, CHEO Research Institute

Emilie Hagelton

Family Leader (Co-chair)

Adam Fobert

Family Leader

Marina Trudel

Family Leader

photo of Marina Trudel

Jessica Hay

Family Leader

Natalie del Signore

Family Leader

photo of natalie

Cassandra Schopf

Family Leader

Azam Ishmael

Family Leader

photo of Azam Ishmael family leader

Tamy Bell

Family Leader