NSM Patient Family Advisory CommitteeGroup of adults standing together

Health service provider and patient input is a key driver of system change and helps to refine how provincial work is operationalized locally. In 2015, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN established a Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) to provide a forum for dialogue among community members as they advise the LHIN on issues related to health system goals and objectives. The committee offers system-level advice and guidance to support planning, providing LHIN staff and the Board of Directors with important input and perspective as community residents, clients, and caregivers with varied experiences in the local health care system. 

Following the sharing of a Provincial Terms of Reference with all LHIN PFACs, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN PFAC met to customize and ratify the Terms of Reference for their own use locally. 

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Patient Family Advisory Committee, please view our Stay Informed - Get Involved page for information.

Janet Doering, Chair (Orillia)

Following a career in provincial health policy and planning, Janet worked as a senior director for 12 years in the community health sector, focusing on quality improvement, performance management, and service provider contracts. Upon retirement, she and her husband moved from Burlington to Oro Medonte, just outside of Orillia. Janet then became involved in the Canadian Federation of University Women and the Mariposa PROBUS. In 2013, Janet’s father came to live with her. He was palliative, and received services from numerous local service providers and a local palliative care physician for the next year. Although it was a difficult journey for Janet and her family, they were grateful for the excellent care her father received in this community. The experience encouraged Janet to become involved in the local Advisory Committee in 2015. Since then, she has also served on three provincial committees focused on patient and caregiver issues. Janet believes that smaller communities are well-positioned to provide responsive, patient-centred care because of the strong relationships between patients and health service providers. It is her hope that North Simcoe Muskoka can leverage this advantage with strong representation from patients and caregivers at decision-making tables. 
Deborah Clyne (Tiny Township)
  After 25 successful years in corporate sales and administration, Deborah has spent the last 15 years engaged within her local community while completing her undergraduate degree in sociology, and pursuing a graduate degree in social research. She enjoys many of the outdoors activities that North Simcoe has to offer, along with her passion for motorcycling. Mental health resources and services are an integral part of Deborah’s overall well-being. Having experienced personal and family mental health issues, she is focusing on local supports and how mental health is managed in the current health care system. Deborah currently sits on the Tiny Township Accessibility Committee, and is a member of the the Community Reach Board of Directors. She was also a member of the former North Simcoe Citizens Healthcare Steering Committee.   
Suzanne Fraser (Penetanguishene)
 Suzanne Fraser Suzanne retired from a successful, 40-year career as a Registered Nurse. The highlight of her career was receiving an award in 2010 in the Improving Patient/Resident Centeredness category of the Ontario government’s Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo. Suzanne views patient-centered care as a model of care that encourages patients/clients to be educated regarding their health, giving them the tools they need to make decisions about their own care plan. She draws from both her professional and personal experience with the health care system. Suzanne is Métis, bilingual, has been married 47 years, and is a mother of two and a grandmother of three. Sadly, Suzanne and her husband lost their daughter to acute leukemia several years ago. At the time, her daughter was 35 years old, married, and the mother of a five-year-old girl. Due to her son-in-law’s own challenges, they have since been taking care of both their granddaughter and son-in-law. Suzanne joined the Advisory Committee to stay involved in the ever-changing health care system. She plans to continue advocating for patient-centered care and promoting holistic approaches to health care. 
Barb Horne (Orillia)
Barb's PFAC picture
Barb has worked in private practice as a Registered Restorative Dental Hygienist for more than 30 years, and has been teaching part-time at Georgian College for over 20 years. A proud mother of two, Barb is passionate about volunteer work. For the past five years, she has accompanied students to the Dominican Republic on an Interprofessional Health and Wellness Mission trip, and has coached Special Olympics athletes since 2010. She joined the Advisory Committee because she’d like to impact change and improve the quality of experience in home and community care, community support services agencies, hospitals, long-term care, and primary care after having experienced these first-hand as a family caregiver. Barb believes in patient-directed care, and in enhancing the family’s role as care partners. She’d like to be a voice for improvement—especially for those who have no family support. Barb is keen to contribute her ideas on issues such as providing timely access to health resources, patient education around personal care plans, and strategies for meeting the needs of an aging population. 

Sheila Koss (Creemore)
  After serving in the Canadian Forces for 20 years, Sheila entered into private dental practice, where she enjoyed a 35-year career as a dental hygienist in a variety of settings. Most recently, she retired from her teaching role in the Dental Hygiene program at Georgian College. While there, she taught a course on health policy and advocacy—important topics that Sheila believes are essential for all health care providers to be aware of, regardless of their practice setting. As the health care system continues to evolve, she believes that patient and caregiver input is vital to achieving equitable, fiscally responsible, and accessible health care services. With experience interacting with diverse health care professionals, and a solid understanding of policy and advocacy, Sheila is well-positioned to lend her voice to the promotion and enhancement of health care delivery services in North Simcoe Muskoka.
Diane Ouimet-Schryver (Midland)
  For 34 years, Diane worked in Information Technology at Sun Life Financial. Married for 40 years, she enjoys sailing, going to the gym, cross-country skiing, knitting, and photography. She is also a strong advocate for local health care, and contributes her knowledge to the NSM LHIN Patient Family Advisory Committee with the goal of further enhancing health care services in her community and others within the region. Diane takes the patient stories she hears in her community and shares them with health care professionals who may be able to help people out. She is interested in further understanding where gaps exist in health care services so that she can assist people with navigating the system more efficiently and effectively. Diane is committed to enhancing health care services locally, helping people access services closer to home. She also sits on the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Advisory Committee, and the GBGH Quality Committee.  

 Elizabeth (Liz) Rice (Gravenhurst)

 Elizabeth Rice Liz draws on more than 25 years of experience working in the health care field in Muskoka. She believes that patient-centred care is about listening and involving patients in all aspects of their care, establishing a health care plan, celebrating a patient's wellness, learning from setbacks, and recognizing that everyone is unique and therefore 'one size does not fit all.’ Liz joined the Advisory Committee with a keen interest in working toward a more efficient, streamlined, comprehensive, navigable, and financially sustainable way of delivering health care at the local level. She hopes that, as a result of her involvement, she will become better informed about the role of the LHIN and its role in the delivery of health care services in the region. Liz’s goal is to be a voice for her community members, bringing their issues to the table for fulsome discussions about how things could be improved.  
Cyndi Rowntree (Waubaushene)
Cyndi Rowntree
Cyndi joined the Advisory Committee as a result of her role in a mental health organization. She listens to her clients and draws on their experiences to advocate for system improvements. Cyndi feels it is important that users of the health care system are heard by planners when decisions are being made about the care people receive. She brings to the panel the rich health experiences of the people she works with every day, along with her own lived experience, to help impact change. For Cyndi, patient-centred care means services that are provided with the patient experience in mind. Patient-centred care comes from listening to those receiving services and clinicians partnering with the patient to achieve the best outcome possible.

 Marilyne Ziegler (Thornton)


Marilyne is a Research Officer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology, and a master’s degree in neuroscience. Her interest lies in the neurological changes that occur with age, and she has been studying memory and ageing as part of her work at the university for more than 25 years. Several years ago, Marilyne’s mother—who suffered with advancing mixed dementia, Alzheimer’s, and vascular dementia—moved in with her. Help from the (former) CCAC and Personal Support Workers (PSW) enabled her mother to remain at home while Marilyne continued to work. Eventually, her mother moved to a retirement residence with continued assistance from the (former) CCAC and PSW care to keep her safe as her dementia progressed. Her mother’s experience motivated Marilyne to become involved with the Advisory Committee. She is especially passionate about the province’s new dementia strategy, and is hopeful that it will help alleviate the shortage of PSWs who care for dementia patients in the region.


Initiatives Supported by Individual Members of the Patient Family Advisory Committee