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Community
Patient Partnership

OICR is proud to work together with patients, caregivers and family members to solve cancer.

Partnering with patients, families, caregivers and the public is an important priority for OICR. We believe such partnerships will result in better research, improved experiences for patients, and ultimately, better cancer care.

OICR is committed to building a closer relationship with patients, caregivers and family members to embed their voices and priorities throughout the organization.

The involvement of Patient Partners at OICR will evolve as the organization becomes more patient-centred. Patient Partners play an important role on the OICR Board, and they contributed to OICR’s 2021–2026 strategic planning process. We have also formed a new Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Patient and Family Advisory Council

In 2021, OICR established its Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The PFAC will provide OICR with insight, feedback and expertise on issues regarding cancer research and patient partnership.

The PFAC will shape the patient partnership plan for OICR, which will include the development of a community of patients and patient organizations, the inclusion of Patient Partners on research steering/advisory committees and key projects, the creation of patient-focused educational resources, and other priorities the PFAC identifies.

We are proud to be working with this group of passionate and thoughtful patient leaders.

Antonia Palmer (Chair)
Antonia Palmer (Chair)

Antonia’s 2-year-old son was diagnosed with stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma in 2009. She’s a co-founder of Advocacy for Canadian Childhood Oncology Research Network and Neuroblastoma Canada. She’s also involved with the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board, the CHEER Patient and Family Advisory Committee and other cancer-focused organizations. Antonia holds a masters degree in Systems Design Engineering.

Koko Bate Agborsangaya
Koko Bate Agborsangaya

Koko has led innovative research programs across industry, academia and government. Her recent community engagement efforts have focused on equity and inclusion, as well as fostering agency in young women affected by breast cancer. While 35 weeks pregnant at age 35, Koko was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. She is a mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend.

Beth Ciavaglia
Beth Ciavaglia

Beth is a physiotherapist, hospital manager and recent breast cancer survivor. While undergoing treatment, Beth completed her Masters in Heath Administration. She is a fierce advocate for the patient voice in all things, and has made it her priority to represent patients at the decision-making table.

Carol Gordon
Carol Gordon

Carol was treated for late stage gynaecological cancer in 2013. She has a network of friends and family members who are patients or survivors. Professionally, she is an accountant (CPA) and financial analyst (CFA) and was recently Managing Director, Audit Services at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. She is also involved with the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Group.

Terry Hawrysh
Terry Hawrysh

Terry is a blood cancer survivor, professional engineer and passionate advocate for a healthcare system that can deliver superior healthcare outcomes consistently. He is currently engaged as a patient partner supporting an innovative blood cancer immunotherapy clinical trial program centered at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Jill Hamer-Wilson
Jill Hamer-Wilson

Jill holds degrees in Engineering, Theology and Education. Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she has undergone a variety of treatments, including a clinical trial. She has worked with Canadian Clinical Trials Group, the International Lung Cancer Foundation, Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Group, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the White Ribbon Project.

Diana Lemaire
Diana Lemaire

Diana received a stage-3 colon cancer diagnosis, followed by surgical and systemic treatment accompanied with complications and further interventions. She is co-chair of the PFAC for the London Regional Cancer Program, and is involved at Lawson Health Research Institute, the LRCP Cancer Executive Committee and the Patient Experience Advisory Committee at London Health Sciences Centre. Following a career as a registered dietitian, Diana pursued an MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Emily McIntosh
Emily McIntosh

Emily has a Ph.D. in Biomechanics from the University of Guelph. Her use of primary research to make complex health decisions helped save her life when she was faced with a brain cancer diagnosis. She now guides other patients through their diagnoses and is passionate about research translation and health equity.

Interested in joining OICR’s patient community?

Sign up here to be contacted about opportunities to get involved.

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