Board of Directors
Chair, Research & Advocacy Committee
Lauren has been a Member of OCC since 2018, and joined the Board in 2020. She brings over 30 years of experience in policy analysis and development to OCC. Her background as a lawyer gives her a strong understanding of legislative and policy frameworks, while her history of community connections grounds her in the lived experience of law and policy, particularly among vulnerable and marginalized communities.
While at the Ontario Human Rights Commission, she championed and led a major project on the human rights of family caregivers (“The Cost of Caring”). At the Law Commission of Ontario, she led law reform projects on ageing, disability, legal capacity, and the end of life that were designed to include the experiences of caregivers. As Director of Policy at Wellesley Institute, she supported projects that centered the under-examined experiences of culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse older adults and their family caregivers. In her own life, she has provided care and support to several family members. Lauren says, “I know well that much of our society rests on the invaluable but all-too-frequently taken-for-granted efforts of family caregivers, and that it is a role that brings both joy and difficulty. I also understand that the struggle of women for equality is deeply entwined with the recognition of and support for family caregiving.”
Liana has been a member of OCC for 6 years. She is a Registered Nurse and brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Liana is currently the Executive Director at Qualicare North York and Toronto, where she is responsible for overall operations and business development.
Liana is passionate about senior care delivery, caregivers and palliative care. In 2016 she became a full-time caregiver to her grandparents, who both had Dementia / Alzheimers. Liana ended up being a constant advocate and navigator for her grandparent's health.
As a result of her personal and professional engagements, she has developed a strong understanding of healthcare challenges from the perspectives of both caregivers and clients. Liana says ”I am very passionate about making an impact in our healthcare system. I understand what caregivers and clients are going through, and am committed to the OCC values and vision”.
Chair, Communications and Awareness Committee
Member, Research & Advocacy Committee
Daniel currently serves on both the Research & Advocacy and the Awareness & Communications Committees at OCC. He is currently working as the Advocacy Manager (Hospice Palliative Care) for the Canadian Cancer Society, where he is responsible for, among other things, supporting their advocacy work regarding palliative care, financial supports for people with cancer, and supports for caregivers.
Before taking the position at the Canadian Cancer Society, he spent eight years in various MPP and Ministers’ offices in the Ontario government and managed and worked on a variety of political campaigns. He believes this experience, where he worked closely with a variety of volunteers and limited resources to affect change, will serve him well as a board member for the OCC.
Lastly, and most importantly, Daniel said “I am passionate about this work because of the losses I have experienced and because of my loved ones with chronic illnesses. The work the OCC does is personal to me and I have a deep personal commitment to seeing the OCC fulfill its goals.”
Board Secretary, OCC
Dana is the Director of Services at Wesway, a not-for-profit respite organization that supports family caregivers living in Thunder Bay or in a rural or remote community in Northern Ontario. Dana has been working in the respite field for over 30 years and has focused on creating responsive respite services for family caregivers who are supporting individuals with challenging care needs from birth to senior years.
She firmly believes that caregivers are the true experts in relation to their care and is committed to ensuring that services are shaped to meet the unique needs and preferences of family caregivers. Dana is also a founding member of the International Short Break Association (ISBA), an organization that provides a platform for knowledge exchange, courses of action and working practices within the field of short breaks (respite) worldwide.
Keena brings over 20 years of experience supporting individuals and families find solutions to continue living at home and within their communities while they manage challenging health conditions. In addition, Keena was the primary decision-maker when caring for her father and grand-father. These personal experiences allow her to empathize and relate to challenges and triumphs of family caregivers.
Keena has held various leadership positions at Bayshore Healthcare since 2001. Her deep knowledge of the homecare sector across Canada as well as networks within this space allows her to bring valuable insights to the Ontario Caregiver Coalition.
Rose-Marie has been a member of OCC for over 6 years. She has served as a Vice Chair of the OCC Research & Advocacy Working Group/Committee for the past 2 years.
She has also brought her experience to many external committees in her roles as a part-time Social Worker on a Medical Oncology Team at the University Health Network and a Professional Practice Leader.
Rose-Marie believes “nothing has impacted my life more than being a caregiver to a family member with a mental health diagnosis, a daughter who has had a heart transplant and caring for an ageing family member with early-onset dementia."
Patricia (Patti) Lennox
Chair, Membership & Governance Committee
Patti has been with the OCC for 7+ years. Now retired, she chairs the Successful Aging Advisory Committee of United Way East Ontario-Lanark. LC-SAAC is a partnership of donors, interested citizens, service providers, organization representatives, coalition members, business leaders, government, labour, educators and other funders. The purpose of the committee is to provide leadership, direction and support to United Way and agencies related to seniors and ageing through the development of resources, partnerships, alliances, projects and initiatives within and across sectors. The priority goal is: "Seniors are able to stay in their homes and remain engaged in the community, and all caregivers feel supported. This can be done by reducing the factors that lead to isolation and vulnerability while respecting seniors’ independence and by establishing caregiver support strategies." Prior to retirement, Patti spent 20 years in health care with VON and Community and Primary Health Care. Her primary focus has been caregivers and caregiver support. As well, Patti served as School Board Trustee for five years at the Upper Canada District School Board.
Chair, Partnership Committee
Kyle Fitzgerald is the Director of Government Relations and Public Policy with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. In this role Kyle leads the Alzheimer Society’s advocacy work, pushing for legislative and regulatory changes, as well as investments, that people living with dementia and their care partners say matter to them.
Before joining the Ontario office Kyle worked for the Alzheimer Society of Canada supporting the development and implementation of Canada’s first-ever national dementia strategy, among other files.
Kyle holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of York in Heslington, England and completed his undergrad at the University of Toronto. He has managed political campaigns at the federal, provincial, and municipal level, and has also served on several volunteer Boards in his hometown of Oshawa, Ontario. He is currently Chair of the Partnerships Committee and a Board Member with the Ontario Caregiver Coalition.