COHT Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

Patients and Families have worked collaboratively with the COHT from the initial application submission in 2018.


This collaboration and co-design approach continues today through PFAC Chair membership at the COHT Joint Executive Team and PFAC participation in all working groups to inform and provide the patient, family, and caregiver perspective in all COHT deliverables.

What is a Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC)?

PFAC consists of patients and family members who have received care at an organization. It provides a mechanism to: Seek and learn from the patient and family perspective and Promote a culture of patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) within an organization.

What is the COHT PFAC?

The Couchiching OHT (COHT) is a volunteer group formed for Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Ramara.

Members are not required to have a background in health care, rather are a patient, family member or caregiver who has accessed healthcare services in the Couchiching area during the past five (5) years.

Meet our COHT PFAC

Meet our COHT PFAC

Andrea Rovazzi

My family & I have lived in Simcoe County for over 20 years, spending the last 10 in Oro-Medonte.  In 2015 I began my journey as a Caregiver after my husband suffered a serious health event.

As co-chair of the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) I commit to being the voice of the patient and caregiver experience in all aspects of the COHT.  I commit to ensuring we are delivering on system redesign that ensures patients, caregivers and providers have the tools and resources required for effective and efficient care delivery at the right place at the right time for everyone.


Barb Shakell-Barkey

I am a long-time resident of Orillia, retired Social Worker of 32 years. I have and continue to serve on many and varied committees in the City of Orillia. I was a primary caregiver for both my parents for over 20 years and faced head on the many struggles and challenges navigating the Ontario Health Care System. A few days after the passing of my mother, I became a patient as I was diagnosed with cancer which again took me on a totally different journey of health care navigation.

My goal and objective, as co-chair of the Patient Family Advisory Council is to work towards a smoother less cumbersome patient and caregiver experience while at the same time working towards a system to provide care providers with the tools and resources needed for effective and efficient service to address the individual and unique needs of those they serve.

I am passionate about positive supportive services for caregivers as they are vital to good health outcomes for patient’s families and loved ones.

Being a caregiver is the most difficult and demanding task anyone will ever take on, but at the same time it is the most loving, honouring and rewarding lifelong experience one will ever take on.

I highly recommend it.


Laura Downing

I am new to PFAC but very excited to be a part of this process. I have grown up in Orillia and this area is very important to me. I am a retired family business owner with a
background in HR and Hospitality. In Sept 2018 a month before I was set to retire, I suffered a stroke. My care was second to none. Everyone at the hospital, including all the health care professionals, made me feel special and I knew they were doing everything they could to ensure I was well cared for. I feel everyone should have this experience with their healthcare providers and I hope to be a small part of making that happen by being on the Patient Family
Advisory Council. Since I joined, I have learned so much. The Couchiching Ontario Health Team is constantly improving, and they work hard to ensure patient care is paramount. I find the committees I sit on very interesting, and I am amazed by how much work goes into this for the
betterment of patient care, caregivers, and health professionals.

Madison Gould

My name is Madison, I am the Peer Support Manager with the Patient/Client and Family Council. I moved to Orillia about 8 years ago from the Kawartha Lakes area for a change of scenery and new opportunities. I joined the PFAC because I want patients and their families have better access to the services they need in our beautiful community and to ensure that the patient and family voice is heard because it is absolutely essential in making the great positive changes we want to see.


Become a Patient & Family/Caregiver Advisory Council Member

Become a Patient & Family/Caregiver Advisory Council Member

The COHT PFAC is seeking volunteers to participate in the co-design and support of COHT goals, participate in special projects and support each working group.

Are you interested in advancing patient-centered care and changing the way health care is delivered?