OHT-N Experience Partner Council

The Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) Experience Partner Council is a body of patients and caregivers working together with service provider partners to transform the delivery of local health and community care through the Ontario Health Team model. 

Launched in 2021, the Experience Partner Council ensures patients and caregivers have a clear and equal voice in advancing local priorities for health and community care services. Guided by a collaboratively developed vision and purpose, members are active  within all OHT-N governance, planning and project team structures.


A broad and influential patient and caregiver voice working with the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) to shape equitable and partner-driven health care delivery in Northumberland. 


  • To provide patient/caregiver perspective and guidance as part of all OHT-N efforts to transform health and community care systems, with the goal of achieving Quadruple Aim outcomes (improved patient and caregiver experience, improved patient population health outcomes, improved provider work life experience, and improved value, reducing the per capita cost of health care).
  • To bring to life the Patient Declaration of Values for Ontario in Northumberland.

Council members

Kaye Jackson (Co-Chair)

Kaye Jackson has been actively involved in the planning and provision of health care for more than 35 years at local, regional, and provincial levels.

A former nurse, nurse educator, and administrator, Kaye was a member of the senior administrative team at Peterborough Civic Hospital (now Peterborough Regional Health Centre) from 1983 to 1996, and served as interim Executive Director of VON (Ontario) from November 1996 to May 1997.

Since retiring Kaye has dedicated herself to extensive community volunteerism. In 2005, she co-founded “CANRAD,” a program whose mission is to sponsor HIV/AIDS orphans and girls from destitute families in Kenya to become future leaders through education. Also, from 2007 to 2013, she served as a Board Member for the Northumberland Hills Hospital.

When her husband Dave Secord was diagnosed with advanced metastatic cancer in 2019, Kaye took on the role of caregiver. This experience inspired her to further direct her energy to the patient and caregiver experience with the health care system.

Kaye believes that patients and caregivers must be empowered to take responsibility for their wellbeing; that informed patients and caregivers are better partners with their health care providers, and that giving patients and caregivers increased voice and choice leads to better outcomes. With this philosophy in mind, she became an inaugural member of the Central East Local Health Integrated Network (CELHIN) Planning Table in 2017. As a member of the Planning Table, she played a key role in introducing the concept of the WrapAround model of care - providing intensive, individualized supports to people with complex problems and conditions to build on their strengths and find ways to address their unique needs and goals. This model now forms the foundation of Volunteer Peer Support initiative – a priority project for the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland.

In 2019, Kaye joined a planning team comprised of local patient and caregiver representatives, health care and community care partners, to develop an application to the Province to form an Ontario Health Team for Northumberland. At the end of 2019, the Province announced the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) as one of the first 24 OHTs in the province. Kaye now sits as a member of the OHT-N Collaboration Council as a caregiver representative, contributing to the important work of improving patient and caregiver experience of health and community care in Northumberland, as well as provider work-life experience, through the Ontario Health Team (OHT) model. This has included supporting the establishment of the OHT-N Experience Partner Council – a key component of the OHT-N Patient & Caregiver Partnership and Community Engagement Framework.

Scott Macpherson (Co-Chair) 

Scott's deeply involved relationship with health care began as an asthmatic boy in 1950’s Toronto, followed by heart issues beginning in his teens and from there a love of alcohol to get him through life’s struggles. He paid little attention to the health care world until he entered “recovery” in the early 90’s to begin facing his mental health and addiction issues.

Since then, Scott has been committed to improving health care in Ontario, particularly in mental health and addictions where he has been committed to ending stigma. Part of this has included being open about his own issues. Scott believes that his life-long patient status, his recovery work in mental health and addictions, and his health care work career, which includes being an addiction therapist, coordinating the addiction system at the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, and being a consultant to a variety of community health care organizations, has contributed greatly to shaping his efforts.

Since leaving Toronto 20 years ago to come to Northumberland, Scott has come to realize that the care delivery and the needs and expectations of patients and caregivers is significantly different between urban and rural settings. And that here in the County of Northumberland, there is an opportunity to build health care into a “community affair”, where everyone can contribute in some way – to support each other towards wellness, both physically and emotionally.

Now retired and living with his artist wife Barbara, Scott remains committed to improving the coordination of care and access to health services in Northumberland. This includes helping to shape the vision and planning and implementation of the OHT-N, having been a patient representative since the initial community collaboration to form an OHT for Northumberland. He appreciates the opportunity to be a member on the OHT-N Experience Partner Council as well as represent patients on several other OHT-N committees and projects. 

Gwen Barnes

Gwen Barnes lives in Gores Landing, Hamilton Township, with her husband John, where they raised their two children Christy and Wesley.

Gwen had a successful 31-year career as a secondary school teacher of physical education and mathematics. During her career, Gwen served as the coach of various sports teams, a guidance counsellor, and a 'microwave cooking teacher for seniors'.

While retired from teaching, Gwen views herself as a "professional" volunteer. She has volunteered for over 30 years with the Canadian Pony Club, twenty of these years as national test chair. She has also volunteered for 6 years with the Citizen's Council of Hamilton Township Ratepayers. 

As a long-term (10-year) volunteer with the Golden Plough Lodge Long-term Care Home Family Council, most recently as President, Gwen brings in-depth family/caregiver perspective, with a long-term care lens, to the Experience Partner Council table.  

 Susan Fedorka

Susan Fedorka is a resident of the Trent Hills area of Northumberland County. 

Susan has a strong commitment to community, with a particular interest in contributing to health care system improvement. In 2020, she served as the Chair of the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council, exploring opportunities for enhanced caregiver engagement and supports.      

As a resident of a more rural community, Susan was motivated to join the Experience Partner Council to support the OHT-N’s efforts to reduce barriers and improve access to services for rural residents. She has a strong belief in the value of virtual care services to advance equitable health and community care, especially for patients and caregivers in rural areas, and is excited about the work being done in this area through Northumberland Paramedics’ Community Paramedicine program – a priority project for the OHT-N.

She also looks forward to contributing to the progress of the OHT-N’s newly-launched Rural Outreach Clinic in Colborne as another opportunity to bring services to rural residents, and improve patient and caregiver experience as well as population health outcomes. 

 Howard Goodfellow

Howard Goodfellow grew up on a family farm in the Brighton, Ontario area that is now operated as a dairy farm by his nephews.

He attended East Northumberland Secondary School, followed by the University of Toronto (U of T) where he studied engineering. Howard graduated with a Ph.D., from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, U of T, where he continues to hold the position of Adjunct Professor.

Howard’s career has spanned over 40 years in the engineering and technology fields, including owning his own specialized consulting firms, and being actively involved in Research & Development. He and his wife Karen moved back to Cobourg from Georgetown about ten years ago.

Howard’s experience in the health care field has largely been as a volunteer on Boards of Directors. He served two terms on the Board of Georgetown Hospital between 1992 and 1996, one as Chair of the Finance Committee. From 2012-2015, he sat on the Board of the Community Health Centres Northumberland (CHCN). He is currently a member of the Client and Family Roundtable (CFAR) at CHCN.

More recently, Howard has taken on the role of caregiver for his wife, who has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

These experiences motivated Howard to join the OHT-N Experience Partner Council. His interests as a council member are two-fold.

First, Howard believes active partnerships with patients, caregivers and community engagement can lead to better health and community care outcomes, within the context of future financial challenges within the health care system.

Second, Howard has a specific interest in embracing a culture of innovation in the health care sector and the practical applications of leading-edge technology to improve delivery of health and community care in a cost-effective model. He believes that the OHT-N, with its established collaboration with health/community care providers, can take a leadership role in this area of innovation and share results to demonstrate to other communities what can be achieved.

 Edna McKim

Edna McKim is a resident of Brighton, Ontario. As a Registered Nurse(retired) with a Masters in Nursing, Edna has extensive clinical experience in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as personal interactions with the health care system, and these have helped to shape her perspective on how the health care system can be improved.

In 1980, Edna helped to establish the Newfoundland and Labrador Perinatal Program. She served as an advance practice nurse in the Perinatal Clinic for the assessment and treatment of high risk children up to three years of age; was involved in research, discharge planning, coordination of care between hospital and community and perinatal education for Newfoundland and Labrador. She also served as Associate Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland where she taught courses in Maternal and Child Care and Community as well as Health Care Systems course. 

Edna was associated with the first Healthy Baby Club in Canada. This program provided support to pregnant mothers from low income areas. Instead of the program being directed by health care professionals, the "Resource Mother" - a member of the community was the core of the program. This experience with direct patient engagement in health system delivery plus her experience in the Perinatal Clinic shaped her views on the importance of patient-caregiver representation in health system decision-making and program implementation. 

Since moving back to Ontario, Edna has served on two hospital committees as well as two committees with the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). 

Edna has been a caregiver of four family members in recent years, three of which were end of life care. She has had experience as a patient having received hospital care in the past three years. These experiences, along with her work history and the year (overlapping with the global pandemic) where she and her husband were without a family physician requiring them to instead visit pharmacy walk in clinics and access telemedicine services propelled Edna to join the OHT-N Experience Partner Council to help shape health system transformation. 

 William Prawecki 

William (Bill) Prawecki has been a resident of Cobourg since 2002. At the time of Bill’s retirement in 2011 he was a Senior Project Manager at the Bank of Montreal and had managed a number of major key IT initiatives at the Bank over many years.

Both Bill and his wife Lorrain experienced first hand what caregiving was all about from their son Alexander. Alexander, who was diagnosed with cancer, elected to stay at their home as he started his “end of life journey”. This eye opening life experience and learnings prompted Bill to give back and get involved in our community health system by providing thoughts and feedback in improving our health system for patients and caregivers.

Bill has been an active member of the Northumberland Hills Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council since 2016. Initially, Bill was a Patient representative in the Cancer and Supportive Care Quality and Practice Committee providing his feedback and making contributions to the team. For the last year Bill has represented NHH on the Patient Experience Workgroup for the Clinical Information System soon to be introduced at both NHH and Campbellford Memorial Hospital.

In 2021, Bill became an inaugural member of the OHT-N Experience Partner Council. Bill’s goal as a member of EPC is to share his experiences as a parent with local health and community care partners, and to add value by bringing a caregiver’s perspective to the work of the OHT-N, thus hopefully improving patient and caregiver experience of health care in Northumberland.

 Lisa van der Vinne

Lisa van der Vinne grew up in Cobourg before moving to Toronto to attend university.  After earning her Master’s degree in Social Work, Lisa returned to Cobourg with her husband Mike to start a family together.  They have two children and spend much of their time at the local hockey arena.

Lisa has a passion for social policy and public health and has worked in various positions at the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit for the past 15 years. Lisa has a background in Quality Improvement and has earned her Green Belt in LEAN. She is committed to making health services work for the people that need them.

After recently being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery at Northumberland Hills Hospital, Lisa wanted to use her experience to give back to the community that had supported her. In 2019, she applied and was selected to become a member of the Northumberland Hills Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Building on this experience, in 2021, Lisa also became an inaugural member of the OHT-N Experience Partner Council.  

Lisa understands first-hand the difference that good quality local health care can make when facing a difficult diagnosis, and she brings this experience to her role as a member of the Experience Partner Council, supporting transformation of the health care system.  

What We Do 

First and foremost, the Experience Partner Council continually promotes the advancement of the provincial Patient Declaration of Values, ensuring these values are embedded in all OHT-N planning and decision-making.

Guiding much of the Experience Partner Council's developing community engagement activities is the OHT-N Patient/Caregiver Partnership and Community Engagement Framework 

Through partnerships with the OHT-N Collaboration Council and Priority Project leads, the Experience Partner Council has identified several key functions and responsibilities. These include: 

  1. Be the “positive” voice of the patient and family that supports and augments the health care they receive.
  2. Commit to and advocate for the increased partnership and leadership role patients and caregivers take on in the design and implementation of health care service and system enhancements across Northumberland, including needed improvements in care coordination.
  3. Identify, assess and recommend, as appropriate, prevailing patient/caregiver partnership frameworks and strategies to the OHT-N.
  4. Monitor, support, and evaluate patient health system experience and patient and caregiver engagement and provide suggestions for improvement.  
  5. Continually expand and diversify patient and caregiver involvement in Northumberland health care planning through marketing and communication strategies and recruitment.
  6. Through our active participation in OHT-N's priority projects, apply all of “what we do” to the successful advancement of these three initiatives.
  7. Liaise with other OHT counterparts across the province to share knowledge and integrate key learnings into EPC efforts to support and advance the OHT-N Vision.
  8. As a Council, meet monthly for two hours, to learn, exchange knowledge, and plan our direction and activities. Various members are also active on the OHT-N Collaboration Council, Governance Council, Priority Project committees and the Digital Health Team.

Terms of Reference

Read our full Terms of Reference for more information, including details about council composition, reporting structure, decision-making model, meeting frequency and more.