Ontario Appoints Betty-Lou Kristy as Chair of Patient and Family Advisory Council

Christine Elliott
Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott

TORONTO — Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, announced the appointment of Betty-Lou Kristy as the new Chair of the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. In this role, Ms. Kristy will help the government’s ongoing work to engage with patients, families, and caregivers and deliver patient-centered care.

“Having had the pleasure of meeting Betty-Lou, I’m truly inspired by her strength, resilience, and bravery, both as a patient, family member and as a fierce advocate,” said Elliott. “It’s not often someone’s experiences and their life’s story shine a spotlight on gaps in care and how we can work together to build a better, more inclusive health system. Every single Ontarian will benefit immensely from Betty-Lou agreeing to take on this role.”

The Patient and Family Advisory Council provide advice to the Minister of Health on key health care priorities that have an impact on patient experience and patient care. The inaugural council made significant contributions to patient care in Ontario, including developing a Patient Declaration of Values and provided strategic advice on digital health, home and community care, mental health and addictions, integrated and coordinated care, and primary care.

“I can’t help but be amazed that someone like myself who has fought so hard for her recovery from trauma, mental health, and addiction and the staggering loss of her beautiful son to opioid overdose, has been named as Chair of the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council,” said Ms. Kristy. “I think my appointment speaks volumes about this government’s commitment to mental health and addiction. It feels like a huge blending of lived and family experience, years of advocacy, learning what the system needs, and working hard to be part of the solutions. Needless to say, I can’t help but feel health care is getting healthier, barriers are coming down and that gives me hope.”

Ms. Kristy’s appointment as Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council will begin in June 2020