A compassionate Ottawa supports and empowers individuals, their families and their communities throughout life for dying and grieving well.

Working Together

Compassionate Ottawa is a volunteer organization. Its aim is to engage individuals at the grassroots level to help build an understanding and humane community for those in need of palliative care services.

As an initial step in this process, a small group of volunteers have come together to launch this initiative.  This group, the Champions Circle, consists of people who have agreed to devote time to help with various start up and organizations tasks.  These include putting an evaluation framework in place, developing a communications strategy, overseeing engagement of key segments of the community, and working on fundraising opportunities.

The real leadership for Compassionate Ottawa will be the many volunteers who will work at the grassroots level to create the social movement that is needed to bring about the needed change. This could be a neighbourhood, a religious organization, an employer, an educational institution, a community support organization or other grassroots groups.

We look forward to celebrating the work of these individuals as Compassionate Ottawa gains traction.

The Champions Circle

Douglas Angus was a Full Professor in the Telfer School of Management with expertise in health economics and health policy ,until his retirement in June 2016. Professor Angus also served as a member of the University of Ottawa’s Board of Governors.

Charles Barrett is an economist by profession.  Before his retirement, he was Senior Vice President, Conference Board of Canada. He has been actively involved in policy dialogue in North America, and the Asia-Pacific region in areas related to international economic relations, human resources development and capacity building. He has broad experience in research management and has written extensively on Canadian and international policy issues.

Nick Busing is a semi retired family doctor who worked for years in community based clinical care, administration and teaching at the University of Ottawa. Prior to retirement, he headed up the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.

The Hon. Sharon Carstairs PC CM was Minister with special responsibility for Palliative Care when Government Leader in the Senate. She chaired or authored 4 reports on Palliative Care and Aging all unanimously approved in the Senate. She is currently the chair of the OutCare Foundation.

Claudia Chowaniec, PhD, President of Precept Inc., has served as a director, advisor, facilitator, and fundraiser for numerous community-based organizations, including the National Capital Commission, YMCA-YWCA Board and Strategy Planning Committee, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Ottawa Art Gallery. Claudia authored Memoir of Mourning: journey through grief and loss to renewal.

Erica Claus served with the federal government in several leadership positions internationally. In 2012, she founded a personal property appraisal firm. In 2013, she completed a Graduate Diploma in Mediation. Fluent in three languages, she volunteers as a mediation coach, supports refugees, and is a member of Women for Mental Health

John Cosgrove completed his MSW at the University of Michigan specializing in community organizing. Throughout his 32-year career, he led community development initiatives throughout northern Ontario and was Executive Director of a Family Service Agency in Thunder Bay. Now retired, he and his wife, Mary Lou Kelley, are relocating to Ottawa to be close to their children and grandchildren.

Rob Cushman is a former Medical Officer of Health for Ottawa, former CEO of the Champlain LHIN and serves on a number of health care organization boards.

Mac Evans spent his 35 year career with the Federal Government working in the Canadian Space Program and was President of the Canadian Space Agency for seven years. He currently serves on several private sector and government advisory Boards and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Martha Fair worked at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and later at Statistics Canada conducting research in occupational and environmental health using longitudinal administrative and survey data over the life course. She currently volunteers at The Council on Aging of Ottawa serving on the Age Friendly Ottawa Steering Group and the Age Friendly Business working group.

Tim Flaherty is a retired public servant and a long time volunteer and consultant in the field of ethics - particularly health care ethics.

Barb Hogberg, C.Dir. is an HR executive and past Vice President, Human Resources & Facilities at The Conference Board of Canada. She is active in a variety of community organizations including the Hospice at May Court.

Jackie Holzman (Co-Chair and member of the Steering Committee) was elected to Ottawa City Council from 1982-1997, the last 6 years as Mayor. Prior and since, she has been a volunteer on a variety of health, hospital, rehabilitation and research organizations.

Mary Lou Kelley MSW, PhD has been engaged in practice, teaching and research in gerontology and palliative care since 1972. After 35 years as a professor at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, she retired in 2015. She and her husband John Cosgrove are transitioning to live in Ottawa and are excited to be part of Compassionate Ottawa.

Joanne Lefebvre is a management consultant. She was President and CEO of the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale (RGA) for 15 years. She is active in a variety of community organisations and serves on a number of public and not for profit sector boards.

Jacques Lemelin completed his medical education at McGill University in 1974 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1976. He practiced Family Medicine in a rural setting which included emergency medicine, obstetrics and in-patient hospital care. He joined the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa as a clinician researcher in 1990. His main research area was Quality Improvement in Primary Care through Outreach Facilitation. From 2005 to 2012, he served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Since 2012 he has been Primary Care Physician Lead at the Champlain LHIN.

Jane MacDonald, is a consultant and health coach/navigator who has worked globally and locally in a wide variety of health care and policy settings. She has broad expertise in health care delivery, health policy and programming and has a special focus on community health care. In her previous position she was Coordinator of Community Hospice Care at Hospice Care Ottawa.

Jack McCarthy was the Executive Director of the Somerset West Community Health Centre, from 1989 to 2016. Passionate about community development, Jack is a former Chair of the National Association of CHCs as well as the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres in Ottawa.

Barbara McInnes served as CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa until her retirement in 2014. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in building stronger communities in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2008.

Maureen Molot (Member of the Steering Committee) taught at Carleton University for more than 30 years. She has long been active in the voluntary sector as a member and chair of a number of boards and foundations.

Jim Nininger (Co-Chair and member of the Steering Committee) was President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada from 1976 to 2001. He has served on private sector boards, and has been active in a variety of community organizations.

Martha Nixon was Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations for Citizenship and Immigration Canada when she retired after a 30 year career in the federal public service. After retirement she volunteered at the Hospice at Maycourt. She spent six years on the board of directors, the last two as Chair of the Board. As an artist, Martha’s work can be found at the Galarie Old Chelsea.

Monica Patten (Member of the Steering Committee) is the former President and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada. She is well known for her leadership in Canada’s voluntary sector. She has been actively involved in the development of community philanthropy around the world and has received a number of awards for her work. She is member of the Order of Canada.

Ray Pennings is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President of Cardus (www.cardus.ca), a think tank focused on the contribution of civil society institutions to the public good. He has served on many boards in the university, community, and religious sectors.

Carol Seaby RN, BSCN, CHPCN is Executive Director of At-Home Hospice, an Ottawa Healthcare Agency. For over four decades, she has listened to families and patients express their common wish for the choice to die at home. As an educator, nurse and business owner this has become her passion.

Jean-Pierre Soublière served as President, Systemhouse Canada and International. JP is also a past board member of several corporations in the private, public and not-for-profit sector, such as United Way Canada, The Ottawa Hospital, and the Hospice at May Court.

Arne Stinchcombe holds a PhD in Psychology and is an Assistant Professor at Saint Paul University (Ottawa). His research focuses primarily on health and psychosocial factors in aging and older adulthood. Currently, he coordinates the Graduate Diploma in Supportive Care and Spirituality in Palliation.

Lisa Sullivan, RN, BNSc, MPA is the Executive Director of Hospice Care Ottawa. Lisa led the integration of two hospices in Ottawa to form Hospice Care Ottawa in 2013. Recently she led the build and subsequent opening of the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice residential wing in Kanata. Lisa works with her Board, volunteers, staff and many generous donors in Ottawa to ensure Hospice Care Ottawa offers the highest quality service including community support and residential care for people living with a life threatening illness

Norm Tape was a food scientist and research director at Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, for 30 years. He has served on several health boards, including the Ottawa District Health Council, Civic Hospital and Ottawa Hospital.

Bonnie Tompkins, current Compassionate Communities National Lead of Pallium Canada has a Public Health background with a focus on Palliative Care. She is passionate about community support for caregivers.

Diletta Toneatti worked in Media Relations for the Federal Government until her retirement in 2007. She is currently the producer of a community television program and actively involved in the Italian community.

Catherine Van Vliet is a healthcare executive with over twenty years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. Catherine is active in community development initiatives and serves on boards including that of the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program.

Staff Resources

Carole Bouchard, B. Pharm., M.A.P., acts as a project consultant for Compassionate Ottawa - Reimagining Palliative Care. In addition to her health professional and management background, Carole has held health-related executive positions in the federal government and the not-for-profit sector.

Masoud Nematollahi is a second-year nursing student at the collaborative program at University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. He is passionate about the power of community and grassroots initiatives in creating positive change and foster healthy communities. He helps Compassionate Ottawa with communications and engagement.