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The Patient Partner Coalition is a group of dedicated dialysis patients, kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors who volunteer their time to create and implement strategies that unite kidney patients, kidney transplant recipients, donors and potential donors and amplify their voices. Their goal is to bring about improvements to health care provided to those affected by chronic kidney disease through advocacy that meaningfully involves these patients, donors, caregivers and families.

Coalition Members

Frank Ansell

Frank Ansell started his career in the flavour industry in Montréal in 1975. In 1980 he was transferred to Toronto to start his career in sales. Between then and when he retired as a Vice President of a Canadian flavour house, he held many jobs in Canada and the United States. He never looked for a job. Rather, he was recruited by the many global companies in this industry.

He has been on dialysis and on the transplant journey for around two years. He has professionally retired but considers going to dialysis his full-time job now. He was healthier when he started but, since he was listed for a transplant, he needed a defibrillator implantation and has developed spinal stenosis. He refers to this wait on the transplant list as purgatory – living in nowhere land where he doesn’t know where he is in the process or what steps he needs to do to get transplanted.

He does know that time is passing, the grains of sand are moving through the hourglass. With each passing day, he must endure the torture of dialysis and his body failing. If a transplant was done before his health issues developed, he feels he would have been able to handle this process better, but now he doesn’t know if he will be healthy enough when the call comes for a transplant.

Frank feels that the transplant process needs better communication and a sense of urgency. Transplant patients should be prioritized, rather than having to ensure the current wait time between each step and doctor appointment. He has joined the Patient Partner Coalition because he believes that transplant patients are critical care or emergency patients, not just for their own health but for the financial health of the system. He hopes to help heal a broken system that needs radical improvement for not only better health outcomes, but for cost management.

William “Bill” Armstrong

On June 27th, 2019, Bill’s wife, Catherine successfully donated a kidney to her husband. Armstrong was born with one kidney, and by the fall of 2017, it became apparent Bill would need some kind of intervention.
In 2021 Bill became a transplant ambassador. He did so out of a sense of obligation, having received world class care and extraordinary kindness, but he joined the organization for another reason.

While Bill was being worked up for transplant, a Transplant Ambassador reached out. That 1-hour conversation changed everything. For those who have never experienced CKD, especially end stage, the experience is terrifying. Between long bouts of denial, depression, and poor health, a person can fall into a state of absolute hopelessness. The ambassador that worked with Bull became a lifeline to the other side. Now, after recovering from his own journey, Bill has become that lifeline, helping people cross that river as a TAP ambassador.

Bill and Catherine have now returned to the active, adventurous life that had been denied them for several years, enjoying cottage life, travel and family and friends. As a former business leader and veteran videographer Bill stays busy and connected. But how do you thank someone for saving your life. Here’s how, live everyday to the fullest.

Mary Beaucage

Mary Beaucage was Anishnaabe, from Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay Ontario. She was a vulnerable and engaging storyteller who trusts you with her story. Mary had type 2 diabetes and was diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease in 2013 and started dialysis immediately. In March 2015, she received a kidney from her cousin Janice, who lives in Manitoba.

Mary was active as a patient advocate and patient research partner between 2016 and 2024, and held several important roles with the Alliance, Can-SOLVE CKD, CDTRP, Ontario Renal Network, Trillium Gift of Life, and the Transplant Ambassador Program.

Lisa Caswell

Lisa joined the Patient Partner Coalition in 2023 and is keen to bring her experience as a care-giver and living donor to advance the quality of outcomes for people living with kidney disease. Her 15 year old son, Graeme was diagnosed very suddenly in Grade 10 with failed kidneys. Following two very difficult years of hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis both at home and in hospital, Lisa was able to donate a kidney to him in March 2010. Graeme has since enjoyed good health and an active lifestyle. He completed his business degree at Western University and is now pursuing a career in commercial real estate.

Lisa holds an MBA from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She recently retired from a 35 year career in the investment industry where she supported a broad spectrum of clients that included corporate pension funds, foundations, Indigenous communities and private clients.

Lisa and her husband love to travel with their son and two daughters. They all love to golf, ski, and hang out as a family and with friends. Lisa now splits her time between Toronto, Collingwood and the beach in Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick which has always been home.

Brent Cheal

Brent Cheal is the CEO of Adappcity, an application development company that identifies and develops industry-disrupting solutions that are socially and economically valuable. The company makes decentralized applications for social good. Brent is also a living kidney donor, having donated a kidney to his daughter in 2004. In 2002, Brent’s daughter was diagnosed with kidney disease at 10-years-old. After two years of watching his child suffer with kidney disease, Brent donated a kidney to his then 12-year-old daughter.

Since then, he incorporated his journey as a donor and caregiver to advocate in the transplant industry. He used this expertise and insight to build leading-edge solutions at Adappcity, which is currently developing an AI-powered app to help kidney patients find donors and educate potential donors about the process. As part of this, to implement the app in the United States market, Brent’s work focused on their organ transplant system, which illustrated ​​some policies and procedures that could be improved in Canada. Brent joined our Patient Partner Coalition in 2023, where he uses his expertise to support the Coalition’s work. “During my work, I have determined that the living donor program in Canada is broken and outdated,” Brent said. “This will​​ be my focus within the Coalition.” His support has directly advanced the Coalition’s efforts in effecting positive changes in Canada’s kidney donation and transplantation system.

Charles Cook

Charles Cook was born and raised in the great state of Georgia, USA. He is the father of two fantastic young adults and is married to his wife Monica, who he refers to as “his rock.” Charles moved to Canada in the summer of 2006, landing in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario, and has been there ever since.

He is a two-time deceased-donor transplant recipient, having received a heart in 2016 and a kidney in 2017 at Toronto General Hospital. Having received two Gifts of Life, he strives to do whatever he can to pay those gifts forward because he knows that he can never pay them back. To this end, he shares the story of his journey and lessons learned whenever and wherever he can with the hope of benefiting patients coming along behind him.

Charles volunteers with several organizations, including the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Transplant Ambassador Program, Can-SOLVE CKD, CDTRP and the ACB Organ Health YT Channel.

Jamal El Ali

Jamal El Ali is an accomplished professor, researcher, published author, educator, speaker, and project management consultant, with 20 years of experience in managing in Canada and the United States. He is a part-time faculty member at the University of Toronto, York University, Toronto Metropolitan University, and Humber College, where he teaches project management and business administration. Jamal holds an MBA and is pursuing a PhD in psychology on artificial intelligence.

Jamal was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in March 2009 and began home hemodialysis in 2018. He received his kidney transplant from a deceased donor on February 5, 2022, and has lived a healthy life since recovering from the transplant. His experience has made Jamal passionate about giving back and help kidney patients and their loved ones by actively advocating for kidney care. He joined the Transplant Ambassador Program in April 2022 and the Patient Partner Coalition in 2023, where he uses his experience and expertise to support work that will improve access to transplant for persons living with kidney disease.

Alexandra Freund

Alexandra is a kidney transplant recipient who is passionate about helping others with end stage kidney failure, and in particular, about supporting younger patients realize their best possible outcome through pre-emptive transplant.

She advocates for living donor transplant in her life and through her work as a Transplant Ambassador, as well the acting Provincial Program Coordinator for the Transplant Ambassador Program, a key pillar of the Ontario Renal Network’s Enhancing Access to Kidney Transplant and Living Donation Research Strategy.

Courtney Gibson

Courtney is 27 years old and was diagnosed with CKD and told she would need a kidney transplant when she was only 15 years old. A year later and after five months of exhausting hemodialysis treatments, Courtney received a deceased donor transplant in November 2012. Recently, she graduated with a Bachelors in Science in Applied Psychology focused on Human Behaviour at McMaster University – a goal that would not have been possible without receiving the gift of life from her donor eleven years ago! She knows firsthand how scary dialysis and transplant can be, which is why she has joined the PPC to improve access to transplant and make Transplant First a standard in kidney failure healthcare.

Fiona Gilfillan

Fiona spent most of her career in the High Technology and Health Sciences sectors, with MDS Nordion, Nortel and Newbridge. She worked in Government Relations, Business Development and Product and Marketing Management. She holds an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa and an undergraduate degree from Carleton University.

She has lived withT1diabetes for 54 years and received a kidney transplant from her brother in 1987 after one year of dialysis. Fiona has been involved in the charitable and not-for-profit sectors for many years. She served as Chair of the Board of the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA. Other organizations include Hospice Care Ottawa and the Élisabeth Bruyére Hospital. She was Foundation Board Chair and was on the hospital Board of Directors. She has provided strategic advice to organizations such as OCRI (Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation, now Invest Ottawa), The Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) and Algonquin College.

She became a member of the Transplant Ambassador Program in 2022 and enjoys her shifts in the dialysis and kidney clinic units at The Ottawa Hospital. She is an avid fly fisher and is a member of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a charity dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and their ecosystems.

Lauren Herschel

Lauren became a non-directed living kidney donor in 2011 in Calgary, Alberta. She has been an advocate ever since in three key areas: organ donation awareness, improving the living donor process/experience, and ensuring better long term follow up for donors. She’s an active volunteer in the transplant community, including being the national director of communications for the Canadian Transplant Association. She has also volunteered with the Kidney Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary, and other community focused organizations.

Lauren is a senior communications and community engagement professional, with experience in numerous industries in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors across Canada. When she’s not working or volunteering, she is likely watching movies or going to hikes with her 115lb lap dog Sonny.

Sol Kasimer

Sol Kasimer spent his entire career as a leader in the charitable sector in both staff and volunteer roles.  He began his career in the YMCA where he worked for 31 years, including eleven years as CEO of the Montreal YMCA and eleven years as CEO of YMCA Canada.  He was also CEO of Altruvest Charitable Services, National Advisor to The Learning Partnership, Senior Advisor to Imagine Canada and is currently Senior Advisor to Jump Math (also acted as voluntary CEO for six months during COVID).

As a volunteer, Sol was a Director with Portage, The Learning Partnership, Public Policy Forum, Conference Board of Canada (National Council on Education), Jump Math (Director and Chair) and others. He helped initiate the creation of the Voluntary Sector Roundtable and chaired the Capacity Joint Table with the Federal government.

Sol graduated from McGill University with a BSc in Psychology and from Purdue University with an MSc in Human Development. He recently received (November 2023) a kidney transplant from an anonymous living donor.

Kenneth Litchfield

As a leader, Ken has always had a deep authentic connection with people. Red tape is his greatest enemy. He is a passionate advocate, both professionally and personally with strengths in risk management, complex system improvement including: Process and Personal Health, Safety and Emergency Response.

A war-torn 7 year Kidney Transplant survivor, Ken’s life has been drastically changed as result of CKD and its associated failures and complications. It may be said that Ken is not shy. When he was run over by CKD, he decided it was only fair to seek opportunities to improve the process where he could. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, he’s married to his best friend and feels blessed beyond recognition.

Barbara Longo

Barb Longo is a Registered Nurse with over 35 years’ experience providing healthcare to patients. As a nurse leader of a Critical Care Unit, she helped create a culture that fostered engagement and accountability for all healthcare providers, knowing that it takes dedicated teams, strong partnerships and a workplace that truly understands the importance of supporting organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Prior to her retirement in 2020, she received the Trillium Gift of Life Network hospital champion award, which is awarded to individuals who have make exceptional difference in organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Ontario.

Over 30 years ago, Barb found out that her husband had kidney disease and would eventually need a transplant. After living with chronic kidney disease for many years, Barb donated one of her own kidneys to her husband in 2018. This year, they celebrate their 35th anniversary and five years of making lasting memories together post-transplant. Since his transplant, Barb and her husband have engaged in volunteer work and share their story in the hopes that it would make a difference in the outcome of other patients and encourage people to register as an organ and tissue donor. Barb has been a TAP ambassador since 2020 and is the co-chair of the TAP program at St. Joe’s Hamilton. She is an advocate of “transplant first” and passionate about supporting others in their own kidney donation and transplant journey.

Throughout her professional and volunteer work, Barb’s goal was simple – to ensure no donation opportunity was missed and by doing so, honoring the wishes of our patients and their families and potentially providing a healthier life for others. She continues to reach for this goal as she supports the Transplant Ambassador Program and the Patient Partner Coalition.

Susan McKenzie

Susan McKenzie is a lifelong communications and fundraising professional, having held numerous senior fundraising roles, including major gift fundraising and the strategic planning and implementation or fundraising plans for large organizations that include universities, hospitals, non-profits, and other charities. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Waterloo.

Sue is a kidney patient who received a kidney transplant from her sister-in-law in 2010. Her lived experience as a kidney patient has translated into a deep passion for improving the care that kidney patients and donors receive and increasing access to kidney transplant for those who need one. As such, Sue has dedicated herself as an advocate for kidney and transplant patients, and an experienced patient research partner. She is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Transplant Ambassador Program and holds the positions of President of the Kidney Patient and Donor Alliance Canada and the Renal Patient and Donor Foundation Canada as well.

Sue has been a patient partner co-author on 13 published papers since 2017 and provided advice and support for numerous other research and implementation projects in the hopes that kidney-related health care systems improve their care and access for kidney patients across Canada.

Catherine Morrison

Catherine Morrison is a retired CPA and an advocate for living organ donation. She was born in North Bay, Ontario, has lived in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, and is a Western University graduate. She shares polycystic kidney disease with her sister, Judith Ann Morrison, who will start dialysis next month. Both Judith, Catherine and their brother James grew up with a father on dialysis, who died almost 40 years ago from this illness.

Catherine and her siblings founded kindred_kidney on Instagram, which they launched together in November 2023in Calgary. Catherine works with the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the medical community, advocacy groups for living organ donation, and various levels of government to raise awareness.

Besides being a supporter of all forms of organ donation, Catherine loves traveling and has worked and lived in Brazil, Turkey, Paris, California, Texas and Mexico. Calgary is now her permanent home and she wants to continue to raise awareness even after Judith gets her transplant (never lose hope!). There is far too much work to do. Catherine wants to thank the donors and supporters of our cause. She is excited to be a part of the Coalition and thankful for the exceptional people she has met on this journey so far. She believes that together we can make a meaningful change.

Michael Pinto

Michael D. Pinto, MBA, is President & CEO of MDP Marketing Systems Inc., a marketing & import company focused on innovative products, proprietary designs & quality. He is a corporate executive with over 30 years of extensive leadership background running a training and leadership development company and managing in manufacturing and distribution. Michael is an expert in sharpening operational performance and demonstrating sustainable return on investment. He uses this expertise and problem-solving skills to push for change in healthcare for patients with kidney disease.

In 2009, Michael was diagnosed with kidney disease and everything changed. “They put a catheter in and that changed my life completely. No more long-distance hiking, power walking or kayaking,” Michael said. “But you adjust and get on with life.” By 2018, his kidney function had dropped to 14%. In 2021, two individuals offered Michael a kidney. “With each volunteer, you think you’ve won the lottery and then you find out they are not a match.” said Michael. “The emotional and psychological stress is over whelming… You feel cheated, defeated and you begin to question your faith.” But he prevailed and received a kidney transplant in August 2022. During the 13 years that Michael’s kidney health declined, he was not pointed to the Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP) for support, nor did any healthcare professionals suggest he look for a kidney donor. He observed practices that effected the health and quality of life of kidney disease patients and decided to do something about it. When he learned about TAP in 2022, he immediately became a patient partner and joined the Patient and Advisory Council at St. Joseph’s, suggesting solutions to problems that impacted patient health.

Christine Pisapia

Christine Pisapia has over 20 years of experience in the field of healthcare in various roles which started as a healthcare provider in Paediatrics, followed by 17 years in Marketing in the private healthcare sector and, more recently, as a Freelancer and Volunteer.  She has had experience with the healthcare system in both Ontario and Quebec, given that she lived and worked in Montreal for 30 years before moving to Toronto 3 decades ago.

Thanks to her studies in healthcare, Christine knew early on that she could live a healthy life with only one kidney. She made the promise to explore being her brother’s donor, close to 40 years ago, as soon as she found out he was diagnosed with a condition that would eventually lead to kidney failure.  Unfortunately, his need for that kidney came suddenly and much earlier than expected but after 3 years of dialysis the transplant took place in Montreal.  As such, Christine has experience with donating out-of-province and can speak to some of those challenges. Although both donor and recipient are doing extremely well, she is determined to break down not only the barriers she lived through, but also all those identified by potential donors and recipients she interacts with regularly as a Transplant Ambassador since 2018. Christine is the Lead TAP ambassador at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and is honoured to be a member of the Patient Partner Coalition.

Marian Reich

Marian Reich became a living kidney donor to her sister-in-law in 2010. She became a patient partner with Can-SOLVE CKD in 2017 and has participated in research projects with foci on living kidney transplant and the living donor evaluation process. In Can-SOLVE CKD she was a member of the Patients Governing Council and a member of the Training and Mentorship Committee where she worked on the Storytelling for Impact course. She has served as a volunteer Transplant Ambassador since 2017 as team lead at Mackenzie Health Hospital in Ontario. 

She is a board member of the Patient and Kidney Donors Alliance of Canada and the Patient Partner Coalition as part of Can-SOLVE CKD 2.0. Marian’s interests in CKD research are driven by her desire to see all kidney patients receive the most appropriate treatment and current information on living transplant early in their care. She believes connecting patients with those with lived experience is beneficial to patients and their family members. 

Marian is a certified teacher who retired from the Toronto District School Board after 28 years of teaching in Elementary Schools. She is certified to teach on PEI and works occasionally as a teacher with the PEI Public Schools Branch. 

Dan Shimski

Dan Shimski is the Principal of Shimski & Associates, a boutique consulting firm focused on technology solutions in road safety. During Dan’s extensive year career, he has held several roles that provided him with extensive experience in finding solutions to complex problems. These roles included Senior Advisor to an Ontario Cabinet Minister, Chief of Staff to a Toronto Councillor and senior roles within the City of Toronto administration. In addition, Dan held a series of operational, sales and customer-support roles with Conduent Inc. (formerly Xerox Services) and has worked as a lobbyist supporting both causes and commerce for a variety of organizations and corporate interests.

In 2017 Dan was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and learned he’d need a kidney transplant. Fortunately, he received a kidney transplant in early 2020, and his health and activity levels have been restored to almost ‘pre-CKD’ levels. Dan believes in giving back, understanding the importance of sharing his unique life experiences to assist those who may be experiencing similar circumstances. He understands that patients find it helpful to discuss the situation with someone who has travelled that road and can give a firsthand account. Dan’s desire to give back has always been focused on two things: providing information to kidney transplant patients and reassuring the patient that there is much life to be lived after transplant. He has done this as a TAP Ambassador since joining the Transplant Ambassador Program in 2021 and has expanded his role by joining the Patient Partner Coalition in 2023.

Megan Thomas

Previously the Director of Disability Services at JVS Toronto, Megan Thomas is the Executive Director of Clarico Place of York Region and Co-Chair of the York Region Alliance of Women in Leadership group. She has a degree in Sociology from Queen’s University, and has spoken at several municipal, provincial and federal conferences on a variety of topics. Megan has been the recipient of many awards over her career, such as the Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centre’s Award of Merit for her work with marginalized youth, and most recently she was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award for Clarico Place of York Region in recognition of her outstanding character and commitment to the organization.

Megan is an avid volunteer and advocate for many social causes, however, of all the titles that she holds, two-time living organ donor is the most important to her and is the title that she says best defines her. Megan donated her kidney to a dear friend in 2016, and a lobe of her liver to her baby Goddaughter in 2019. Megan has been a University Health Network Transplant Ambassador for two years now.

Lynn van der Linde

Lynn van der Linde brings more than 20 years of stakeholder management, communications, marketing, and strategic planning experience to the Patient Partner Coalition. Currently, Lynn leads an Advisory Services practice, focused on providing clients with leadership support across a wide range of transformation mandates for a variety of public, quasi-public and private sector clients. Prior to her current role, Lynn worked for Canadian Blood Services and IBM in various roles ranging from leading marketing and donor recruitment, rebranding, executive-level consulting, stakeholder management, and other operational and communications functions. Lynn is an active market leader and a recognized philanthropist, engaged in corporate governance across multiple sectors including health care, public policy and economic development. She has also held various executive Board of Director positions with Canadian not-for-profits, including CHEO Research Institute, Fertile Future, and The IBD Foundation of Canada.

Lynn’s most important job, though, has been in her role as the proud mother of two young men. In 2021 at the age of nineteen, her oldest son Max was suddenly diagnosed with end-stage CKD at the beginning of his second year at university. During Max’s battle with kidney disease, Lynn experienced firsthand the fear and uncertainty of loving a person with kidney disease, watched him undergo painful treatments including dialysis, felt frustration due to the lack of information regarding Canadian transplant programs, and through it all, discovered the dire need for urgency and consistency in donor work-up processes. Six months after his diagnosis, Lynn gifted one of her kidneys to Max. As a result of her experience, she dove into supporting work focused on improving the kidney health care system, which will improve outcomes for kidney patients across Canada. Lynn brings keen business acumen, extensive risk-management experience and strong stakeholder management skills to the PPC and believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the Kidney Patient and Donor Alliance and the Patient Partner Coalition.

Peter Wechselmann

After graduation from Osgoode Hall Law School, Peter was called to the Bar of Ontario with honours in 1975. Having served for 31 years with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, as well as the Ministries of Consumer and Commercial Relations and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, he retired in 2008. Peter was part of a legal team that modernized the paper-based Ontario Land Registration System into the current electronic paperless system. He acted as Ontario Director of Land Registration for a year and then moved on to the Technical Standards Division where he helped modernize the legislation and legal processes. The last 10 years before he retired, he split his time between two roles: General Counsel to the Ministry’s Crop Insurance Agency and assisting the Ministry’s Legal Department with contract negotiation and drafting.

Since 2018 Peter has been a member of the Transplant Ambassador Program helping patients navigate the path to transplant, hopefully before dialysis and joined the Patient Partner Coalition in 2023, where he supports the Coalition’s work in effecting change for kidney disease patients across Canada.

Kathleen Zavarise

Kathleen Zavarise is a former fraud investigator who retired after working 30 years for the City of Hamilton to live life to the fullest and give back after receiving a kidney and liver transplant in March of 2023. Before her transplant, she was on dialysis 5 times a week and rarely had the strength to leave her bed.

Following her transplant, she views every day as a gift and a chance to make a difference, live with purpose, and honour the legacy of the hero who saved her life. Kathleen now travels and experiences new adventures with friends and family, such as The City Climb in New York City, indoor skydiving, zip lining, and the CN Tower Edge Walk. Kathleen has no plans to slow down.

Now her most fulfilling and rewarding work is as an ambassador for the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the Patient Partner Coalition, and the Transplant Ambassador Program. She also volunteers at her former dialysis facility and Global Medic, is a member of the Transplant Dragon Boat team, and will be attending her first Transplant Games this year, just a few ways that Kathleen is trying to say “thank you” for her second chances at life.

Coalition Research and Implementation Support

Dr. Kyla Naylor

Dr. Kyla Naylor is an adjunct scientist in the Kidney, Dialysis and Transplantation (KDT) Program at ICES. She is also an Associate Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University. Dr. Naylor completed her PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University in 2015 and completed her post-doctoral training at ICES in 2018.

Dr. Naylor is passionate about using research to improve patient care and access to kidney transplant. Her research is primarily focused on using administrative healthcare databases to meet these goals, and also concentrates on the epidemiology of post-transplant outcomes, and more recently, the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the kidney disease population. She is the Project Co-lead for a Can-SOLVE CKD Project titled “Increasing the use of living donor kidney transplantation,” which has focused on improving the efficiency of the living donor candidate evaluation and breaking down barriers related to living kidney donation.

Dr. Seychelle Yohanna

Dr. Seychelle Yohanna is a transplant nephrologist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She completed internal medicine and nephrology residencies at Western University and a kidney transplant fellowship at McMaster University. She also has a Master of Science in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety from the University of Toronto and completed a healthcare improvement fellowship through CQuIPS.

Dr. Yohanna is the provincial medical lead for kidney transplant at the Ontario Renal Network (Ontario Health) and has a clinical and academic interest in improving access to kidney transplantation and living kidney donation. She also leads the Hamilton One-Day Living Kidney Donor Assessment Clinic, aiming to improve the efficiency and patient-centeredness of the living donor evaluation.

Dr. Yohanna acts as a consultant to the Patient Partner Coalition, supporting its mission to improve the health care and policies for patients living with kidney disease.

Akansha Suri

Akansha Suri is a dedicated professional in digital marketing and content creation. With a diverse skill set encompassing social media management, web design, PPC campaigns, and content creation, she brings versatility and creativity to her work. She completed her Masters in Technology in Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India. Additionally, she studied Advertising and Marketing Communications Management at Algonquin College and worked as a student Digital Director at Algonquin Times Agency, an award-winning student-run news organization at Algonquin College.

Driven by a passion for making a positive impact, Akansha is deeply motivated to contribute to initiatives aimed at raising awareness about kidney care and transplants. She creates impactful content that resonates with audiences and inspires positive change. Through her work, Akansha strives to be a passionate advocate for kidney care, spreading awareness and shedding light on the challenges faced by the community regarding kidney health and care.

Akansha supports the Alliance’s communications strategy, social media campaigns and marketing plans, advancing the reach of the Alliance’s advocacy efforts.