Board of Directors
Get to know our Board of Directors — volunteers charged with setting directions and policies, overseeing their implementation, and controlling operations of the Patient Alumni Association.
Board Member Since: 2010
I have been a patient of the UOHI for over 32 years. I received my pacemaker then and I am now on my fifth. Now that I’m completely I retired I wanted to give something back to the organization that has given me so much. I work as an auxiliary volunteer once a week and since have become involved in the Patient Alumni as a Board Member.
I’ve always taken great pleasure from working and I continue to do so through my volunteer work. I strongly believe that being intellectually active has a direct positive impact on my physical health. I really enjoy my work with the UOHI.
Board Member Since: 2014
I joined the Patient Alumni in 2012, only months after receiving an aortic valve replacement. I wanted to “give back” to the UOHI as a volunteer after receiving outstanding, life-saving care. I was also motivated because, as it is for so many others, my heart disease was an unexpected congenital condition that could easily have gone undetected.
Working with the Alumni is how I felt I could best help others who are impacted by heart disease diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle afterwards. Drawing upon my experience as a 35-year management professional, I’ve worked alongside the other Alumni Board members to support the UOHI, its Foundation and, especially, other patients and their families.
Board Member Since: 2016
I have been involved and working with the public throughout my career: initially as a nurse, and secondly as a real estate agent. My focus has been in areas of health, sales, management, business development, coaching, training, communications, and charity work.
I am currently a sole proprietor of my own coaching company. The main focus of the company is Business Coaching and helping others to achieve their goals.
In 2008, while in my 50’s, I developed Sudden Onset Complete Heart Block and required a permanent pacemaker. Needless to say, I am grateful to the Heart Institute. This gratitude has inspired me to focus my efforts on giving back.
In 2007 I became involved with fund raising for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation. I served as co-chair for a charity fund raising event called the Jeanne Fuller Red Dress Golf Classic. This all female golf charity tournament raises awareness of heart disease in women and has raised $1,000,000 for the Canadian Women‘s Heart Health Centre (CWHHC) at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
I am a Women@Heart Program Ambassador for the CWHHC. As a Women@Heart Peer Support Leader we provide support, education and knowledge about women’s heart health. This is one of the programs offered by the CWHHC.
It gives me great pleasure to be part of the Patient Alumni’s Board of distinguished individuals. The Heart Institute is a world renowned institution, and it gives me great pleasure to help in the capacity of women’s heart health.
Board Member Since: 2018
Angela Peterson is an academic leader and educator at Algonquin College. Her current role is Associate Chair, Manager of Part-Time Faculty, in the Faculty of Technology and Trades, a position that builds on her progressive development from Advisory Committee member to Field Placement Officer, to Coordinator, to Course Developer and Professor.
Angela started her career working in criminology and corrections. In fact, she still sits on the Program Advisory Committee for the Community and Justice Services Program at the College. Her background includes over 20 years working in non-profit organizations and she has a special passion for social justice and women’s issues. For more than 10 years, Angela served on the Board of Directors with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, which included a two-year term on the Executive Team as Treasurer.
20 years ago, Angela was diagnosed with having Bicuspid Aortic Valve Stenosis so her history includes regular visits to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Her connection to the Institute became more intimate three years ago, when she had open-heart surgery, specifically the Ross Procedure. Since her surgery and rehabilitation, Angela has been a positive advocate of the UOHI, including sharing her story in a few outreach campaigns. As a younger heart patient, Angela has a unique perspective on the work and mission of the Institute and wants to give back to a community that saved her life. Angela is married and has two young daughters who are also big supporters of the Heart Institute.
Stephen B. Sharp, CPA, CA
Board Member and Treasurer: since 2014
I have been an Alumni for a life-time (since November 2013). That is when I walked into the UOHI and they saved my life. Healthy, active, no symptoms, I needed a simple test and then they informed me that my aorta was torn from top to bottom. Two brilliant surgeons performed an emergency open heart surgery for 7.5 hours. Not only did I join the 3% club of those who lived with what I had for almost three weeks but I also joined the Alumni in recognition of how special this place truly is.
A CA for over 28 years, I am self-employed and provide Chief Financial Officer services to a variety of clients. I am proud to serve my community, alongside this wonderful group of individuals collectively called the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Alumni Board. It is an honour to give back to this incredible Institution.
Nancy Lawson – Ex Officio on Executive Committee
Board Member Since: 2010
As a female who experienced a major heart attack before the age of 60, I became acutely aware that heart disease is not just a man’s disease. My life was saved in 2007 by the newly instituted “code STEMI” protocol, which was pioneered at the Heart Institute. At that point I knew I wanted to give back in some way to the Heart Institute, which literally saved my life.
Prior to retirement, I spent thirty years in a management capacity at Bell, working in Customer Care, Marketing, and IT. After retirement, I worked as a consultant for another three years.
I am currently the curator of the Patient Alumni website, and administer of our membership database.
As a former senior executive, recently retired from the federal public service, I am happy to now have the opportunity to do some volunteer work. I have been concerned with heart health since I lost my father to heart illness many years ago, and subsequently other members of my extended family. This is why I feel it is so important to emphasize good health practices, and find the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Patient Alumni is providing me a chance to contribute to this important cause, amongst others.
As a member of the Board, I am charged more specifically with coordinating the events in which the Alumni participate, in order to more increasingly support the objectives of the Ottawa Heart Institute. I feel fortunate to be able to work with great Board colleagues, and to benefit from their life experience. On a personal note, one of my goals is to work towards providing a better chance for my grandchildren to live a healthy life.
Board Member Since: 2015
As a retired senior executive who has always tried to volunteer in the community, I leapt at the chance to work with an organization like the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), especially after I had the opportunity to witness the exceptional care provided to my cousin at the UOHI. In addition, I find that the role that the Patient Alumni plays at the UOHI is unique and groundbreaking since it is truly a place where patients and their caregivers can find understanding and support.
Since joining the Patient Alumni in 2015, I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of innovative projects including reviewing the governance documents of the Patient Alumni, contributing to a project on Patient Engagement in Research and providing non-medical advice and feedback on research projects and priorities.
Board Member Since: 2019
I am a university professor researching aspects of communication; I also has 20 years’ experience of international marketing communications in the corporate sector. I joined the Patient Alumni in 2018 after undergoing minimally-invasive cryo-maze surgery to treat my persistent Atrial Fibrillation.
After completing the Heart Institute’s excellent rehabilitation program, I wanted to contribute to their exceptional work. Consequently, I joined the Patient Alumni Board to use my skills to help in the fulfillment of the Alumni’s mandate to provide support to patients and their families as they journey along the heart disease path from diagnosis to recovery, whilst making healthy and informed lifestyle choices.
I recently retired from my position as the nursing coordinator for cardiac surgery at the Heart Institute. During my time in this role, I worked closely with the Alumni on such projects as the preoperative education video, the cough pillows to support the sternum after surgery and the womens’ surgical support bras. I know first hand the incredible difference these initiatives made in patients’ recovery. I also served for 6 years as the clinical services nursing representative to the alumni board. Joining the Alumni is my way of saying thank you and giving back for the incredible support the surgical patients received from the Alumni.
Prior to coming to Ottawa, I worked as a staff nurse, clinical educator and clinical nurse specialist in Minneapolis, Cleveland and Philadelphia.. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, my Master of Science in Acute Care from the University of Pennsylvania and a diploma as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from the University of Toronto.
Board member since: 2020
After a two year sabbatical from a 30 year career in Ottawa’s technology sector, it was my hope to get involved with an organization of passionate and diverse people that are committed to giving back to the great city we live in. Like many in Ottawa, our family has been a beneficiary of the spectacular care provided by the UOHI, which made my decision to put my experience and energy to work on the Patient Alumni Association Board of Directors an easy one.
My career gave me the chance to work in interesting places like the UK, Dubai, and the US which helped me better understand the cultural diversity that makes up our world. This gave me the opportunity to develop the broad set of skills that I was able to deploy as leader or member of senior leadership teams. My passion has ranged from taking on the challenges of building new companies from the spark of an idea to helping larger organizations align their strategic goals and executing on their vision.
I joined the Board in January of 2020, just prior to the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with the other members of the Board and the entire Alumni community to seek new and innovative ways to provide meaningful and valuable programs and resources to patients and their families, friends and caregivers.