Trent Alumna Appointed as Ontario’s New Patient Ombudsman
Trent alumna and 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Cathy Fooks ’79 has been appointed Ontario’s new Patient Ombudsman.
Besides providing support for Ontarians with concerns about their health care experiences, Ms. Fooks will oversee an investigation into the level of care provided to long-term care facility residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her new role will also see her investigate unresolved complaints about public hospitals, as well as home and community care, and make recommendations to the provincial government as required.
Her work will complement that of a government-ordered independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system. As of June 12, 1,776 Ontario long-term care residents had died due to COVID-19 related illness.
“It is a pivotal time for Ontario as we reflect on, and review, the patient, caregiver and family experience during the pandemic,” says Ms. Fooks, who graduated from Trent with degrees in Political Studies and Economics.
“My commitment to Ontarians is to listen and learn from patients, caregivers and families about their experiences, and to use that lived experience to inform positive change in the system. Patient and caregiver voices matter now more than ever and need to continue to be heard."
Ms. Fooks’ five-year term as Patient Ombudsman will begin July 13. She has served as president and CEO of The Change Foundation since 2007 and, prior to that, was the first executive director of the Health Council of Canada. Ms. Fooks has held executive positions with Canadian Policy Research Networks, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences; and has written several articles and reports on the Canadian health care system.
Posted on June 19, 2020