The Can-SOLVE CKD Network is very pleased to congratulate patient partner Susan McKenzie on receiving a Human Touch Award from CCO Health! This well-deserved honour recognizes Sue’s ongoing commitment to helping those with kidney disease obtain the best possible care and outcomes.

Sue has been with Can-SOLVE CKD since the network’s founding and has taken on a wide range of roles, serving as patient partner on two research projects (Increasing the Use of Living Donor Kidney Transplantation and the Canadian Glomerulonephritis Registry), as co-chair of the Knowledge Translation, Communications, and Outreach Working Group, and as a member of the Knowledge Translation and Knowledge User Committee and the Research Operations Committee.

The award is a recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of those living with chronic kidney disease. As the co-creator and provincial co-lead of the Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP), she works with her colleagues to raise awareness of living transplant and provide meaningful conversations about transplantation to patients and family members. Her vision is that every patient and family member has an opportunity to talk to a Transplant Ambassador. Her creativity and passion shine through in various program initiatives, including the bright green vests program ambassadors wear that proclaim the message: “Ask me about kidney transplant.”

Sue was nominated for a Human Touch Award by Mary Beaucage (Co-Chair of the Can-SOLVE CKD Patient Council) with the support of fellow patient partners Lawrence Geller and Marian Reich.

“Sue knows how to connect people, and her dedication to ensuring CKD patients have the best possible outcome is inspiring,” says Mary.

“We met through another patient when she was looking for transplant recipients to participate in a workshop that was being organized in the early days of project 3.3B (Increasing the Use of Living Donor Kidney Transplantation). It was an opportunity for me to connect with people that I had met on social media, people who had similar stories or could at least relate.

“In bringing us all together, Sue felt it was important that we had an opportunity to put faces to names and had gathered some of the out-of-town attendees for dinner the night before the meeting. Those personal touches are important in creating strong bonds. Sue learnt of my desire to be more involved in making a difference in how people with CKD live, so she recommended me to the Can-SOLVE CKD team, and the next thing I know I’m in Halifax in May 2016 at the inaugural meeting!

“Sue is acutely aware of the power of the patient voice, helps other patients find theirs, and speaks for those that can’t. She’s been a great mentor to me.”

Mary Beaucage, Co-Chair, Can-SOLVE CKD Patient Council

When receiving the award at a ceremony this June in Toronto, Sue says she accepted the award “on behalf of TAP co-founder Leah Getchell, whose stamina and creativity help make the program so successful; principal investigator Amit Garg, who truly understands the meaning of patient led research; and all the truly incredible recipients and donors who have stepped up to lead or volunteer for the program and make a positive difference in the lives of other patients every day.”

The Human Touch Awards recognize exemplary compassionate patient care. Nominees include healthcare professionals, providers and volunteers working in the cancer and kidney care systems in Ontario.

The annual awards highlight some of the best work happening across the province. Award winners show the power of compassion and the human touch by making meaningful differences for patients and their families.

View the 2018 Human Touch Award Recipients

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