Join our Board

Who are we?

The Patient Alumni is a diverse community of almost 20,000 members that includes University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) patients, family members, friends and caregivers.  The Patient Alumni gratefully supports the UOHI by advocating on behalf of patients, informing the community of advancements within the UOHI in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, and by endorsing selected projects and services to improve patient care all with a goal of improved patient outcomes and experiences.

What do we do?

As a key strategic partner of the UOHI, we work with the Heart Institute to help it achieve its main strategic vision to be a World Class Patient Centered Heart Institute in Canada. Some examples of the Alumni’s activities include:

  • Project funding – funding for items to support patients (for example, cough pillows, rise-up bras, water bottles); as well as for equipment and resources that support patients when at or interacting with the UOHI.
  • Patient engagement – for example, the Alumni facilitates the engagement of patient perspectives by identifying participants for UOHI Committees that are focused on quality of care, ethics and research etc.
  • Events – Events are offered to members that bring together members of the UOHI team as well as patients to share insight and experiences.
  • Tools and resources – For example, a series of educational videos were developed and produced to support patients being admitted and after their release to/from the UOHI.

Why is the Patient Alumni Important to the UOHI?

The active role played by the Patient Alumni is primarily for the patients benefits. The Patient Alumni is recognized by the Ottawa Heart Institutes staff, from its President and CEO, Dr. Mesana, to the Heart Institute Foundation, and the medical and non-medical staff, as an important contributor and strategic partner to the Institutes success. A recent UOHI survey reported that the Heart Institute’s patient satisfaction rate was 91%. “This is great news and a remarkable source of motivation and inspiration for the entire team at the Institute” said Dr. Mesana. “Our patients, their families, relatives, and caregivers are at the center of everything that we accomplish, from our patient care to our research vitality.” Should beaded to the final stand-alone document

Why should I be interested in a position as a Board member of the Patient Alumni?

As an active member of the Patient Alumni (PA) Board of directors you will participate, assist and make a difference in the overall improvement of the well-being of your community. Usually joining a Board of directors is a real sign of respect and accomplishment for an individual and what you’ve achieved to date and is certainly a significant milestone at any age. There are some great benefits in being a Board member such as:  

  • connections – you can meet some really fascinating people. Board meetings, events, marketing initiatives, not to mention doing the actual work of the organization opens you up to whole new networks;
  • credibility – when an organization entrusts you with a position like this, it is like a public endorsement of your value; it is also an affiliation you can be proud to share and promote;
  • exposure – it’s fascinating to see how different organizations (like the PA) operate; you learn so much and get exposed to a myriad of new things that make life more interesting and your experience all the richer for it; and agreed
  • context – Boards give you a new level of appreciation for the different types of groups and people that make any society strong. 

Role of the PA Board of Directors

The Board of directors is a body of elected/appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of the Patient Alumni.

This Board is an operational Board.

Typical duties of a PA Board member include:

  • Assists in the governing of the PA by contributing to the Board’s policies, objectives and activities;
  • Actively participates in fulfilling the PA’s mission, values, plans and actions and participates in reviewing the Board’s performance toward achieving its goals;
  • Participates in the assessment of a changing environment in which the PA functions and responds to relevant changes by revising and approving strategies and actions;
  • Participates in the review and approval of the PA plans and projects for funding requests for patient care related projects submitted by UOHI staff;
  • Provides candid and constructive criticism, advice and comments to the President and other members of the Board of Directors. 

Some of the qualifications we are looking for in a PA Board Director


Individuals who are asked to serve on the PA Board of Directors normally should have several years of management experience. Board members should have experience leading people, projects, programs, or companies/organizations. The PA relies on its directors to guide it on establishing policies, implementing strategies, actions and achieving goals. The fiduciary nature of a director’s oversight requires the director to be able to read, understand and offer suggestions and comments on financial issues. 

An area of expertise

A balanced board of directors requires a collective range of experience. Typically, a not-for-profit organization such as the PA tries to ensure that their Board represents key areas of expertise which will enable them to provide proper oversight of their organization.

The PA is looking for expertise in one or more of the following: to be part of the final document

  • financial management (preferably an accountant or bookkeeper) to be part of the final document
  • executive level experience
  • informatics (information management/Information technology)
  • advocacy
  • outreach/awareness
  • communications/social media
  • project management


A key asset of a PA Board member is experience in working collaboratively and productively with colleagues and associates gained in past employment or volunteer’s activities. Since the PA Board is composed of volunteers with diverse backgrounds, a proven record as a team player is essential and references should be provided.


PA Board Directors must be able to commit the time necessary to responsibly fulfill their commitment to the organization. This includes reviewing board documents before board meetings, attending board regular meetings, reviewing financial requirements for specific projects, serving as required on committees to which they are assigned. The expected level of effort is between 5 to 10 hours per month plus additional time required for work on committees or special projects.

The PA Board of Directors aims to provide a friendly and pleasant environment for its Board members so that they can experience both satisfaction and enjoyment while contributing the Patient Alumni.

If you are interested in exploring these opportunities further, please email

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