Patient, Family & Public Advisory Council

Nova Scotia Health Authority is committed to engaging Nova Scotians in establishing priorities, ensuring that the decisions of Nova Scotia Health Authority are informed by their voice. We engage with Nova Scotians to create a healthier future and are grounded in a culture of patient, family and community-centered service. This approach fosters respectful, compassionate, culturally appropriate, and competent service that is responsive to the needs, values, beliefs and preferences of patients, families and communities. 

Our Patient, Family & Public Advisory Council was formed in the fall of 2016 to advise senior leaders, health care providers, staff and physicians on policies, practices, planning and delivery of patient and family-centered care.  It is a place to ensure patients, families and communities are meaningful partners at all levels of service planning, allowing their perspectives to be heard and thoroughly considered in decision making. 

Learn how you can become a Patient, Family & Advisory Council member here

Volunteer members include:

Debi Fitzpatrick (Co-Chair), Falmouth

Debi Fitzpatrick is an artist who has worked in sales and management. Her experience supporting numerous family members navigate the health care system adds a unique lens to the Patient, Family, and Public Advisory Council. An active member in her community, Debi is passionate about making things better for patients and their family.

Juanna Ricketts (Co-Chair), Halifax

Coming Soon!

Fiona Campbell-Gavin, Annapolis Royal

Fiona Campbell-Gavin is a retired RN who practiced in the UK as well as Ontario before retiring to the Annapolis Valley. She wants to use her recent experience as an NS Health patient to improve the system. Reasons for applying are to learn more about our health system, meet new people, make relationships, and pay back to the system. Fiona possesses experience working with diverse populations within London and Toronto.

Wayne Rhyno

Wayne Rhyno hails from the Central Zone and brings his experience as a patient and caregiver to the Council. He has battled his own health issues and has assisted other family members in their health care journeys. He wanted to be a part of changing some issues with our system and it would give him great satisfaction to give back. He spent 25 years as a volunteer fire fighter and first responder and continues to volunteer for many opportunities in his community.

Catherine Aquino-Russell, Amherst Point

Catherine Aquino-Russell is a nurse who teaches at the University of New Brunswick. She possesses a very strong background of academics, and has lived, worked, and volunteered in multiple countries around the world. She also brings great patient and family experience and is excited to contribute to change in the system.

Jack Smith

Jack Smith comes to us from the Western Zone and brings his family experience with many facets of the health care system. He wants to give back and learn about Nova Scotia Health and how the organization works. Retired from the air force, he has held many high-level professional and volunteer roles and is skilled in interpersonal relationships.

Carla Lewis

Carla Lewis lives in the Western Zone and brings a blend of experience and skills from her professional and personal life. Her experience supporting a family member through their journey at home, with home care and long term care provided valuable insights into the strengths and challenges of the system. She has a passion for people to succeed and grow in life and her work life had her leading people through change.

Matthew Lutton

Matthew Lutton lives with his family in the Northern Zone and brings his recent experience with the healthcare system and a strong desire to give back and help others. He works as a social worker and is skilled in conflict management and interpersonal relationships. He has lived in the Middle East and comes to the Council with previous volunteer opportunity experience.