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A compassionate Ottawa supports and empowers individuals at any age, their families and their communities to live well and die and grieve well.

Working Together

Compassionate Ottawa is a volunteer organization.  Its aim is to engage individuals and organizations at the grassroots level to help build an understanding and humane community to improve the quality of life for the frail elderly and those who face life-threatening illness at any age, working with the health system.

A group of volunteers have come together to develop this initiative.  This group, the Advisory Council, consists of individuals who have agreed to help with our various program and operational priorities.

The real leadership for Compassionate Ottawa are the many volunteers who work at the grassroots level to create the social movement essential to bringing about change.  The change can come from a neighbourhood, a religious organization, a workplace, an educational institution, a community support organization or other grassroots groups.

We look forward to celebrating the work of these organizations and individuals as Compassionate Ottawa continues to grow.

The Advisory Council

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.

Lew Auerbach has served as chair of several local non-profit boards, including Tamir, which offers supportive housing for the developmentally disabled, Options Bytown, supportive housing for the otherwise homeless, and the Harvard Club of Ottawa. He has produced programs for CBC Ideas and TV Ontario, directed reports and studies for the Auditor General of Canada, and has been a consultant on accountability and performance issues to government and unions.

Charles Barrett, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, Treasurer, 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.

Michel Bilodeau worked in health care Executive positions for 32 years including 18 as CEO (Bruyere and CHEO). In addition to several other awards,  he was named French-speaking Manager of the Year, broader public sector, in Ottawa by the National Capital Business Community (RGA) in 2003. He joined Public Governance International as Vice-President in 2012.

Amy Boudreau, BScN, MHA, is the Director, Client Contracts & Quality at Carefor Health & Community Services. She is a health care administrator and nurse with a passion for improving the quality and delivery of health care services and systems for improved client experience and health-based outcomes.

Nick Busing, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, 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 chairs the International Centre for Dignity and Palliative Care in Winnipeg, which houses the Canadian Virtual Hospice.

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, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, Secretary, 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

Tara Cohen is a social worker (MSW, RSW) and mindfulness instructor and is deeply committed to supporting individuals in achieving their optimal quality of life, throughout their life journey. Working in health systems planning at the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program and in private practice at Tara Cohen Wellness, Tara encourages collaboration, integration and wellness across a variety of settings and populations, using a trauma-informed care perspective and mindfulness. Her hope is to respond to the needs and suffering of individuals and families, as they walk their unique and collective paths through life, including illness, dying and death.

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.

Michelle de Courville Nicol, a graduate of Laurentian University, has been active in her community for many years. She was a member of the Board of trustees of Montfort Hospital from 1990 to 2005 and its Chair from 1995 to 2001, the years during which the hospital was threatened with closure by the Government of Ontario. She was one of two plaintiffs for Montfort Hospital in its successful court case against the Government, as it was waging a fierce fight for survival. Since 2006, she has been Chair of the Board of trustees of Montfort Renaissance, a francophone community organization active in the field of mental health, addiction, homelessness and age-related-issues. Mrs. de Courville Nicol was honorary co-chair of the États généraux de la francophonie d’Ottawa (2011-2012) a collective exercise to enable francophones in the Ottawa area to participate in establishing a vision for the future of their community.

Michelle de Courville Nicol, diplômée de l’Université Laurentienne, est active dans la vie communautaire depuis de nombreuses années, notamment à titre de membre du conseil d’administration de l’Hôpital Montfort de 1990 à 2001 et sa présidente de1995 à 2001, les années pendant lesquelles l’hôpital est menacé de fermeture par le gouvernement de l’Ontario. Elle est co-requérante dans la poursuite victorieuse de l’Hôpital Montfort contre le gouvernement, pendant qu’il mène une lutte farouche pour sa survie de 1997 à 2001. Depuis 2006, elle est présidente du conseil d’administration de Montfort Renaissance, un organisme communautaire francophone actif dans le domaine de la toxicomanie, de la santé mentale, du logement et des ainés. Mme de Courville Nicol est nommée coprésidente d’honneur des États généraux de la francophonie d’Ottawa (2011-2012), une démarche de réflexion collective visant à permettre aux citoyens francophones de la région d’Ottawa de participer à l’établissement d’une vision de leur avenir comme collectivité.

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.

Anne DeButte's career spans 32 years in healthcare.  Her volunteer activities have included the palliative care unit at Elizabeth Bruyère, was a member of the steering committee for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre prior to the inception of the Maplesoft Centre, and more recently as a facilitator with Bereaved Families of Ottawa. She is the owner of a grief coaching practice and has authored a book, "Grief’s Abyss Finding Your Pathway to Peace." Anne's work includes leading grief workshops in the workplace.

Trevor Eggleton is the Manager of Communications, Marketing and Fundraising at Carefor Health & Community Services. Trevor’s career in not-for-profit communications has focused on telling stories and developing partnerships for healthcare and international development organizations.

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.

Normand Fortier has been an active community volunteer throughout his career, when he worked with the federal government. Currently he is a board member, Fondation franco-ontarienne, a volunteer at Maplesoft Centre and Radio Unique FM, AFO. Previously he has played an active role in many organizations including Chair, Board of Governors, La Cité collégiale, Chair, French Language Health Services Network Eastern Ontario, President, Foundation franco-ontarienne and past board member of Montfort Hospital.

Normand Fortier a été un fervent bénévole communautaire tout au long de sa carrière, lorsqu'il travaillait pour le gouvernement fédéral. Il est actuellement membre du conseil d'administration de la Fondation franco-ontarienne, bénévole au Centre Maplesoft et à Radio Unique FM, AFO. Auparavant, il a activement contribué à de nombreux organismes, notamment en tant que président du conseil d'administration de la Cité collégiale, président du Réseau des services de santé en français de l'Est de l'Ontario, président de la Fondation franco-ontarienne et ancien membre du conseil d'administration de l'hôpital Montfort.

Louise Hanvey, RN, BN, MHA, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, is a consultant who has worked with many national palliative care initiatives.  Most recently she was the Project Director for the Advance Care Planning in Canada Project with the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. As part of her responsibilities she launched the campaign: Speak Up: Start the conversation about end-of-life care.

Jackie Holzman, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, Honourary Director, 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.

Benoît Hubert is President and owner of PGF Consultants. In addition to his 20 years in organizational management consulting which he conducts in Canada and Africa, he is also a board member of Hospice Care Ottawa, the Fondation pour l’avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada, and of the Planetree Francophonie Network.

Benoît Hubert est président et propriétaire de PGF Consultants. En plus de ses 20 ans de conseil en gestion organisationnelle qu'il mène au Canada et en Afrique, il est également membre du conseil d'administration de la Maison de soins palliatifs d'Ottawa, de la Fondation pour l'avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada et du Réseau de la francophonie Planetree.

Diane Hupé is a bilingual retired health care professional with extensive health care experience in clinical, administrative, strategic leadership and governance. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging of Ottawa. Her professional experience in palliative/end of life care and chronic care has shaped her personal and professional belief in a person-centred approach to care and caring.

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.

Onno Kremers is an experienced, entrepreneurial senior executive with a passion for transformation, service delivery, change management, and more recently end-of-life care. At the federal level, he worked at the Privy Council Office and Service Canada. He has also worked at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He is associated with the Institute on Governance and currently serves as Chair of the Champlain Hospice and Palliative Care Program Council. He also volunteers at Hospice Care 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.

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.

Cal Martell is a health planning consultant. His professional roles include Vice-President, Planning & Integration at the Champlain LHIN, Director of the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario, as well as a faculty appointment at the Telfer School of Management, amongst others. He has volunteered with several charitable organisations, including the Council on Aging of Ottawa.

Linda McCallum is a full time REALTOR® here in Ottawa and the current Chair of the OutCare Foundation in Ottawa. She has served on many other not-for-profit boards over the past 20+ years. Linda is passionate about caring for those who face end of life issues as well their loved ones. She believes it is very important to have the conversations with all generations about death and dying.

Jack McCarthy, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, Vice-Chair, 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.

Tom Megginson, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, is a brand storyteller. For 30 years, he has helped a wide variety of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations reach their audiences with compelling advertising and other marketing communications. Tom has been creative strategist and a creative lead on campaigns for Elections Canada, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Ottawa Senators, The Jane Goodall Institute, Ingenium, and many others. He often provides pro bono communications consultation to charities and mentorship to students. Tom is also an avid nature lover, creative writer, and amateur historian.

Masoud Nematollahi is a recent graduate of the nursing program at Algonquin College. He is starting his new position as a nurse at the Medical Oncology unit at The Ottawa Hospital. He is passionate about advocating for the needs of patients and families in the context of oncology and palliative care.

Jim Nininger, Board of Directors, Chair, Compassionate Ottawa, 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.

Monica Patten, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, Chair, 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.

David Rattray, prior to his work as a management consultant, was an Assistant Auditor General of Canada for 16 years. For almost 40 years, he has been active in the not-for-profit community at both the national and local levels. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Management Consultant. He has a strong academic and experience background in the areas of governance, finance and audit, risk management and strategic planning. He remains keenly interested in promoting accountability and sound management of public funds.

Marion Rattray, RN, BN, CHPCC, has been a practicing RN for her career. The majority of her work was at CHEO where she held positions of bedside nurse, manager, acting director and acting Chief Nursing Officer. Marion developed and provided leadership to the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at CHEO and Roger Neilson House.  Throughout her career, and in retirement, she has been a strong proponent of the need for pediatric palliative care services.

Erinn Salewski is a Program Manager at Ottawa Public Health, leading the Aging Well in Ottawa program, which includes working with partners to establish the Ottawa Public Health role in end of life, palliative care and compassionate communities.

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, Board of Directors, Compassionate Ottawa, 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.

Jean-Pierre Soublière, membre du conseil d'administration de Compassion Ottawa, a exercé les fonctions de président de Systemhouse Canada et International. Jean-Pierre est également un ex-administrateur de plusieurs sociétés dans les secteurs privé, public et à but non lucratif, tels que Centraide Canada, l'Hôpital d'Ottawa et l'Hospice du May Court.

Lynn Stoudt retired as the Vice President of Leadership and Human Resources Research at The Conference Board of Canada.  Throughout her career, Lynn specialized in human resources strategy and effectiveness, talent management and compensation strategy.  She possesses over 25 years of experience with two major international consulting firms working in the full range of human resources programs and practices.  Prior to her retirement, Lynn held the Certified Management Consultant (MC) and Certified Human Resource Leader (CHRL) designations.

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.

Michel Tremblay has worked in the Healthcare field for more than 45 years including Executive Director positions in long-term care, senior manager with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and at the Hôpital Montfort, Executive Director for 6 years at the Société Santé en français, national organization about access to French language health services and more recently Director of the Seniors Program at Montfort Renaissance. In addition to his employment, he has collaborated as a volunteer with several community organizations, among them the Vanier Community Services Centre, the Federation of Francophone Seniors and Retired People of Ontario, and the Centre of Leadership and Evaluation.

Michel Tremblay a travaillé dans le domaine de la santé depuis plus de 45 ans comprenant des postes de directions générales dans les soins de longue durée, cadre supérieur au ministère de la Santé et de Soins de longue durée de l’Ontario et à l’Hôpital Montfort, directeur général pendant 6 ans à la Société Santé en français, organisme national sur l’accès à la santé en français et tout récemment directeur du secteur aîné chez  Montfort Renaissance.  En plus de son travail, il a collaboré bénévolement auprès d’organismes communautaires dont le Centre de services communautaire de Vanier, la Fédération des aînés et retraités francophones de l’Ontario et le Centre de Leadership et d’Évaluation.

Staff Resources

Paula Campbell is the Operations Coordinator for Compassionate Ottawa. She received her Bachelor of Arts Honours from Carleton University in the discipline of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies, with an additional Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Second Language. Paula ensures that the operations of Compassionate Ottawa flow smoothly.

Jena Davarajah is the Program Coordinator at Compassionate Ottawa. She received a Bachelor of Arts Honour’s degree and Master of Arts from Carleton University. She has years of experience working in the non-profit sector and supporting volunteers in the Ottawa community.

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