Patient and family advisors added to CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project

CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Team’s Patient and Family Advisors
Pictured are the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Team’s Patient and Family Advisors (left to right): Danielle Baldwin-Boutilier; Marcie MacKinnon; Lead Walsh-Wilton; Jim Merkley; Nicholas Burke; and Christine Bonner. Absent at the time of the photo: Paul Muise (NSHA).

Cape Breton residents will help shape delivery of health care in their communities with the addition of patient and family advisors (PFAs) to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) Health Care Redevelopment Project team.

Following a call for applications, seven volunteer PFAs have been selected and are now part of the project team. Their role is to bring patient and family voices, perspective and experience to the plans to redevelop health services in the CBRM.

“Patient and public engagement is a priority for us and it’s critical on this project to help us create a model that will continue to provide high-quality, safe care that meets the needs of people in our communities,” says Mark LeCouter, senior director for the project.

“The PFAs will provide valuable feedback and input that will help continue to move this project forward and have an impact on health care in their community.”

The volunteer advisors will provide advice and support in a number of areas, including communication and public engagement, project design elements and other issues that are important to patients, families and the public.

The members include:

• Danielle Baldwin-Boutilier

• Christine Bonner

• Nicholas Burke

• Marcie MacKinnon

• Jim Merkley

• Paul Muise

• Leah Walsh-Wilton

Leah-Walsh-Wilton of Glace Bay says it was her experience helping her parents navigate the health care system that made her want to apply to be a PFA with the project team.

“I see my role as an advocate for my family, friends and residents of my community by bringing these voices to the table,” says Walsh-Wilton. “I’m optimistic and see great potential with moving the project forward. Change can be difficult and there is always an adjustment period, but we need to be open to the possibilities.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is committed to engaging Nova Scotians in establishing priorities and making decisions that matter to them and that affect them. There are more than 160 patient and family advisors on teams across NSHA.

The CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project is a multi-year, phased project to redesign and rebuild health care infrastructure to support patients and families, health care teams, physicians and researchers now and into the future in the communities of North Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford and Sydney and surrounding areas.

It is a partnership between the Government of Nova Scotia and NSHA.


Media Contact: Erin Forsey: 902-574-1236

Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344

About Nova Scotia Health Authority Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit for more.