The Lay Panel consists of 12 individuals who represent various sectors of professional and community life. These individuals are being identified by the steering committee members and by Ipsos as it surveys Canadians.

Lay Panel Chair | Members | About the Lay Panel

Lay Panel Chair:

Don Newman, Former Broadcaster, Public Affairs Consultant

His depth of experience, expertise and vast networks in media, politics and business, enable Don Newman to provide valuable strategic public affairs, communications and media advice.
One of Canada’s most respected journalists and an award-winning broadcaster, his career spans five decades. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, a life-member and past president of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, and has numerous other honours, awards and honorary degrees.

As Senior Parliamentary Editor of CBC Television News for over two decades, he anchored major live news and election specials in Canada and the U.S., as well as his must-watch political affairs programs (“Politics”, “This Week in Parliament”, and “Capital Report”) and National Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Don Newman helped launch CBC’s all-news channel, CBC News Network, the first of its kind in Canada, and negotiated with the Supreme Court of Canada to allow live coverage of its major decisions. He also reported for “The National” and was U.S. correspondent for CBC and CTV, a reporter for The Globe and Mail and Winnipeg newspapers, and a broadcaster on the Prairies.

In addition to being a public affairs consultant, Don Newman is a public speaker, event moderator, political commentator, and a recent author. His career memoir “Welcome to the Broadcast” was published by HarperCollins in 2013.

He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Canada 2020, a think tank offering policy solutions for the future; Chair of the Nominating Committee at the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; Executive Member of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom; a Director of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and volunteers his time for non-profit groups. He and his wife Shannon Day are supporters of the Arts.


Earl Campbell

Earl G. Campbell, BA, M Ed, is a retired Director of Education and CEO of the Scarborough Board of Education. He has served as an executive committee member for a number of national and international educational organizations and been recognized as a Distinguished Educator of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Mr. Campbell is now a business coach and mentor for leadership development and strategic planning.  With extensive board experience and leadership in the community, Mr. Campbell has served as Chair of the Board of the Scarborough Walk of Fame Association, Chair of the Alterna Bank Board and Chair of the Ontario Credit Union Foundation Board. He is also a Director of the Alterna Savings Board and serves on the Governance Committee, having served as Chair of Alterna Savings and the former Metro Credit Union. 

Mr. Campbell is a Vice Chair and Tribunal member of the Province of Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board, an independent body created under the Health Care Consent Act to conduct hearings under a number of health related Acts.

His training and experience as an adjudicator in dealing with health-related legislation will be useful to the panel. This work has required him to listen to presentations, read through volumes of information/evidence and then formulate a position on the matter at hand.  He is experienced with the process of consensus building.

He has experienced palliative care with his father, mother, aunt and a friend, and counselled seniors about care through his church. In addition he has presented many times to community groups about the importance of advance care conversations and planning.

Penny Ericson

Penny K. Ericson, RN, MScN is a former Dean of Nursing and Professor Emeritus at University of New Brunswick. Penny Ericson's professional life is dedicated to nursing.  

She now acts as a family experience advisor in New Brunswick. She is Co-Chair of Horizon’s Patient and Family Advisory Council where she works with staff and board members to provide the support required to improve healthcare within the region. 

Ms. Ericson is also a board member of Hospice Fredericton and a life member of the Canadian Gerontological Nurses Association.

Ms. Ericson spent seven months in an acute care setting with her husband before he died in 2013. This demonstrated to her the need for efforts - both from the healthcare provider and from patients and families - to improve care by enhancing safety and civility.  Penny's goal is to ensure that patients, families, and staff feel cared for within the healthcare system.

Penelope Hedges

Penelope B. M. Hedges is a Chartered Accountant specializing in IT work. Over the course of her career, she has been consulted as an expert witness in court on major commercial, contract and liability litigations; managed the largest surety (construction) claim in Canada; and started the Litigation Support Unit of an international accounting firm in Scotland.  Moving into software development in the early 1990’s she developed her own business building custom applications for a diverse group of clients and project-managed major implementations of software.  She is used to managing multi-disciplinary teams at the highest level.

Ms. Hedges was the sole caregiver for a former partner who died of colon cancer in 2010.  In 2011, her partner received her first breast cancer diagnosis and, in 2012, Ms. Hedges developed ovarian cancer. Since then she has largely retired from professional life.  

She has made presentations on behalf of Ovarian Cancer Canada and she sits as a Patient & Family Representative on:

  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) - Palliative and End of Life Care National Network (since Sep 2014)
  • CPAC - Cancer Control Council (since Oct 2015)
  • BC Cancer Agency - Pain & Symptom Management and Palliative Care Operations Committee (since Nov 2015)
  • BC Centre for Palliative Care - various Advance Care Planning committees (since Dec 2015)

Marc Jerry

The Rev. Dr. Marc Jerry, BA, MA (Econ), MDiv STD, is an ordained Lutheran Pastor and Economist now living in Red Deer, Alberta. Dr. Jerry brings more than eighteen years of experience in post-secondary education primarily from his time as a tenured Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. He has also taught Managerial Economics as sessional faculty within the Haskayne School of Business MBA program at the University of Calgary, and with the Accelerated Accounting Program at SAIT Polytechnic. Dr. Jerry also currently teaches some economics and business subjects for the Donald School of Business at Red Deer College.

As a spiritual care provider, Dr. Jerry brings experience as a Palliative Care Chaplain at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, as part of a comprehensive palliative care medical team for terminal patient cases. Dr. Jerry also has ongoing experiences with matters of end of life care while acting in his role as clergy in the parish. 

Dr. Jerry is also actively engaged in healthcare management as a member of the board of the Bethany Care Society, a significant healthcare provider in Alberta.

Dr. Jerry brings significant experience in facilitation and consensus building with complicated issues and diverse stakeholders in a national context.

Rosella Kinoshameg 

Rosella M. Kinoshameg, RN (retired), BScN, DOS, is an Odawa/Ojibway from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory. 

She is the recipient of a Doctor in Sacred Letters Honoris Causa, Regis College, University of Toronto.  She was also recently recognized with a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal, an award conferred by the Pope to the laity for distinguished service to the Church.

Over her 48 years of nursing, she has sat on a wide variety of health committees and boards and held a number of roles from practice to teaching to advocacy for a wide range of health areas including palliative and end of life care, and hospice care.  These positions include: member of the Nipissing Serenity Hospice Board, member of the Saint Elizabeth Health Care Foundation Board, Chair/Member of Mantoulin Health Centre Board. She was a founding member, Vice President, President and now Board member of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada (now known as Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association).

She was a member of the Wikwemikong Band Council for three terms, and was a Sessional Instructor for Distance Education for Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario (1988-1996). She currently volunteers for Anishinabe Spiritual Centre Board of Directors, The Canadian Martyrs’ Shrine Board of Trustees, Health Sciences North Board of Directors, Community Living Wikwemikong Anishinabek, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle:  Canadian Catholics for renewed relationships.

She is presently working on Palliative Care Policies and Procedures for the Wikwemikong Long Term Care/Home and Community Care Program.

Marissa LePage

Marissa Lepage, MSc. SLP, MD, grew up in Saskatchewan’s Francophone community. Seeking post-secondary studies in French, she relocated to Ottawa for her bachelor’s degree, but returned out West for a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) at the University of Alberta. In 2008, a job opportunity in a Francophone community hospital brought her back to Ottawa, which she now calls home.

During her years as an SLP, Dr. Lepage worked to increase Speech-Language Pathology services both at the hospital and in the community. Her practice included dysphagia assessment, where a number of patients having difficulty eating and swallowing were nearing the end of their life. Through this work, Dr Lepage was part of a multidisciplinary team that included the Palliative Care consultation service, lead by a nurse and physician team who inspired her return to school. She completed her MD program in the Francophone stream at the University of Ottawa in the spring of 2015 and began her residency in psychiatry in July of that year. She is currently on maternity leave from her training.

Dr. Lepage has been passionate about palliative care for many years. First as an allied health team member who witnessed the undeniable need for palliative and end of life services and then as a medical student in palliative care units and on the road with home care palliative physicians. She hopes to one day offer psychiatric services as part of a psychosocial oncology and palliative care team.  

Serena Lewis

Serena Lewis, BA, BSW, is a registered social worker in a community-based hospice, as well as a workplace educator in Nova Scotia.

Ms. Lewis, along with a dedicated volunteer board, established a community‐based hospice in Truro, Nova Scotia. She also has over 10 years’ experience as Executive Director and Social Worker within the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society.  She is passionate about hospice palliative care and believes that all Canadians and their families deserve an exceptional dying experience.

Serena has worked with diverse populations impacted by end of life such as children and youth in the public education system; people in community and mental health institutions, long term care, group homes, and hospitals; and those who die at home. She has worked with various First Nations communities and within the federal corrections system with incarcerated women.  

She has spoken at national conferences, throughout the Maritimes, to provincial audiences and to community agencies on dying, death and grief. As a workplace instructor she has developed 40-hour education programs for a variety of provincial agencies. These innovative programs help administrators, management and frontline staff to improve end of life care and help to shape and redefine processes and policies.  

Ms. Lewis has counselled families and individuals through the process of dying, and is a strong advocate in issues related to the social, emotional, financial and spiritual impacts of dying.  She is in the process of completing a Masters of Social Work where her interest in research, the social justice of dying and ethics continues to evolve.

As a woman who has faced cancer in her life, and in the lives of many of her loved ones, she recognizes the impacts on family and herself when a life-threatening illness is pronounced.

Kenneth MacDonald

Kenneth Iain MacDonald, PhD, brings a strong set of observational and analytic skills to issues around palliative care. He is a Professor of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, cross-appointed to the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies and the Centre for Critical Development Studies. He has held academic positions for 23 years. 

Dr. MacDonald has developed a strong interest in palliative care issues over the past year after managing the death of a parent, which provided both immediate patient-based experience and the ability to bring strong observational and analytic skills to the crucial importance of effective palliative care within health care in Canada.

Much of his research is ethnographic and has revolved around the impact of development practice and environmental governance. Much of that work focuses on understanding the processes and politics that inhibit the ability of existing institutions to effectively address environmental problems. This work demands an in-depth understanding of organizational behaviour and governance processes.  

These interests and the observational research skills he’s developed through his career became quite useful after his mother was diagnosed with terminal uterine cancer and needed help with her wish to die at home. The six months that he spent with his dying mother this past year has opened his eyes to the magnitude of the problem faced by patients, practitioners, and our health care system.

Ahmad Sabetghadam 

Ahmad Sabetghadam, PhD, is an educator, researcher, program and community development consultant, an expert on bridging cultures, a CEO of a small business, and a small business mentor.

Dr. Sabetghadam has a PhD in International Intercultural Education from the University of Alberta with an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Machinery and Agricultural Technology, and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Extension and Adult Education both from the University of Utah, USA. He has also completed the Small Business Mentorship program.

For the last eight years he has been the CEO and operated the first Persian restaurant in Edmonton serving only home style cuisines of Persia. He has also been a professor, researcher, advisor and executive director at University of Alberta and University of Ferdosi in Iran.  Prior to that, Dr. Sabetghadam was a research assistant, coordinator and consultant at the Centre for International Education and Development at University of Alberta. He has also developed the first Persian Language and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada since 1998.

He has also been a leader for the Persian community and assists other ethnic communities and community organizations in their endeavours.

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Ghislain Savoie

Ghislain Savoie, a Canada Council doctoral fellowship holder, taught Political Science and International Relations for several years at the Universities of Ottawa and Moncton. 

Later, he joined the federal Department of Communications and then the Department of Canadian Heritage where he held various positions, including Manager of the Social Research Group, undertaking research projects and leading a team of researchers in the Social Sciences.

After caring at home for his son who passed away of cancer, Ghislain was involved, with a team of palliative care specialists and volunteers, in creating a palliative care hospice named after his son, La Maison Mathieu Froment-Savoie, which now flourishes in Western Quebec.

Kerry Stewart

Kerry Stewart is a retired Supervising Principal and Student Success Leader, and former member of three expert panels in Ontario education. Ms. Stewart has had personal experiences with palliative care of two family members and a friend.

Currently she is a volunteer member of the Patient and Family Advisory Committees at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), and the Regional Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. She is also co-chair of the KGH Palliative Care Work Team which is a team of staff and patient experience advisors who together designed a series of questions for patients who face life limiting illness, and their care givers.  The questions formed the basis of a year-long research study into the wishes, needs and wants of these patients.

Ms. Stewart is a member of the KGH Palliative Care Leadership Team and the Steering Committee for the nationally funded EXTRA Project, a community wide project for improved delivery of palliative care services. She also sits on the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario's Steering Committee for Patient Engagement and she is a peer editor for the Patient Experience Journal from the Beryl Institute.

About the Lay Panel

The following criteria are being used to select Lay Panel members.

Panel members should:

  • Be independent
  • Be broad-based
  • Be non-government
  • Be non-advocacy group
  • Be balanced and neutral
  • Be able to weigh evidence
  • Be capable of collaborative work
  • Be good thinkers
  • Be relatively balanced in terms of age and gender
  • Be Canadian
  • Have content expertise/have no content expertise (some should and others shouldn’t)
  • Not have a conflict of interest

It will be helpful for some Lay Panel members to have the following backgrounds or expertise:

  • Ethicist
  • Health professional such as physician, nurse or public health
  • Economist
  • Researcher
  • Methodologist
  • Lawyer
  • Thought leader, including Aboriginal representation
  • Interested public

The roles and responsibilities of the Lay Panel are threefold:

  1. Read information prior to the conference.  This material will include the Engaging Canadians report, background context and scientific papers. 
  2. Listen to the evidence presented at the conference. 
  3. At the conclusion of the conference, issue a consensus statement which answers the six pre-determined questions.