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Myeloma Canada Patient Advisory Council

Early in 2015, the Myeloma Canada Board of Directors approved the creation of the Patient Advisory Council (PAC). The primary purpose of the PAC is to function as an advisory to the Board of Directors on matters important to patients, caregivers and support groups, providing the patient perspective on national and regional issues to the Board.  

One of the major accomplishments of the PAC in 2016 was a national online survey conducted for myeloma patients and caregivers across Canada. The purpose was to gain insight from respondents on the programs and services currently offered by Myeloma Canada and provide suggestions for the future. We would like to thank the PAC for preparing this important survey, the Support Group Leaders for assisting with the distribution of the survey and the hundreds of patients and caregivers who responded with their valuable input.    
The 2016 Support Group Leader's Summit in Edmonton

The PAC also participated and assisted in the planning of several Myeloma Canada events including: the National Conference, Scientific Roundtable, Support Group Leader and Advocacy Summits, the Awareness Day, and the Family Medicine Forum. Most notably however, was the development of the Support Group Leader toolkit, which has been enthusiastically received by Support Group Leaders across the country.

In August 2016, David McMullen, announced that he would retire from his position as Chair of the PAC in order to pursue needs and interests in his personal and family life. David will continue to be involved with some Myeloma Canada and Support Group activities. We thank David for his many contributions to the PAC, and leadership for more than two years. 
The new PAC Chair is Lorelei Dalrymple from Edmonton. Lorelei has been very active in the myeloma community for seven years. Lorelei has held various roles in the Myeloma Alberta Support Society, including President for three years, and is currently Past President. She has been a very active member of the PAC for two years, including time as Interim Chair. Lorelei also participated in the planning and conducting of various very successful Myeloma Canada events and initiatives, including the 2016 Support Group Leaders and Advocacy Summits, the Awareness Day at the Alberta Legislature, and the Early Diagnosis Program. 
Julie Salsman from Halifax was recently appointed Vice-Chair. Julie has been very involved in the Myeloma Community, for 7 1/2 years. Julie co-founded, and now co-chairs the Nova Scotia Myeloma Support Group, and has helped very many patients throughout Atlantic Canada. She too has been very active with Myeloma Canada and as a PAC member. Julie has co-led quarterly support group leader conference calls for the past five years. She emceed the National Conference in Halifax in 2015. She also is taking a leadership role in developing a comprehensive Support Group Leaders Tool Kit, and participated in planning and conducting the Support Group Leaders Summit.
With Lorelei and Julie assuming new roles, two vacancies have been created: PAC Representative for Western Canada and PAC Representative for Atlantic Canada. Ev McDowell representing Ontario will be retiring on March 31 (although Ev will still be involved with the Early Diagnosis Program). This will create a third vacancy, in Ontario. If you are a myeloma patient or caregiver who might be interested in this important and meaningful role in the PAC, we would encourage you to respond to this Call for Interest.

Interested candidates are asked to email a letter of interest and a brief biography to Lorelei Dalrymple, Chair, or Julie Salsman, Vice-Chair. This letter of interest should be brief and describe your interest in becoming a PAC member. Be sure to include any personal attributes and previous experience that would be beneficial for the PAC.
For more information or to receive a copy of the PAC Terms of Reference, the members of the PAC and their contact information are as follows:
Lorelei Dalrymple, Chair, Western Canada Representative
Julie Salsman, Vice-Chair, Atlantic Canada Representative

Hervé Benoit, Quebec Representative

Ev McDowell, Ontario Representative