One of the great strengths of the Chair is our action research team, which brings together researchers, patients, clinicians, and community members. The exchange of scientific, experiential and professional knowledge is at the heart of our work. Curious and open to new perspectives, our team brings together experts in participatory research, community engagement, medicine, psychology, anthropology, social sciences, public health, management and social innovation. The Chair provides a rich training environment for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
The Chair is a bridge between science, the clinic and the community. We build new knowledge with patients and citizens. Our work is rooted in shared values of inclusion, respect, collaboration, reciprocity, humility, humanity and community engagement. We view partnering with patients and communities as a relationship, an art and a science. We advance knowledge to support mutually beneficial, inclusive and sustainable partnerships. We evaluate the impact of these partnerships on health and community support. Together, we take care of each other.
Chairholder and Co-director of the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities
Antoine Boivin, MD PhD is a practicing physician and the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities. Working as a family physician in the community of Center-South Montreal, he completed his MSc and PhD in health services research in the United Kingdom and Netherlands. His research program for the past 15 years has focused on patient and citizen engagement in community care, health services delivery, science and policy. He published in the British Medical Journal, the Milbank Quarterly (article of the year), Implementation Science (distinguished article of the year by the North American Primary Care Research Group) and Health Expectations (most quoted articles in 2018). Co-founder and scientific director of the Center of excellence for partnership with patients and the public, one of the largest organizations dedicated to partnership science and practice in Canada, he is co-director of the Quebec SPOR-SUPPORT Unit, where he leads national initiatives on patient and public engagement evaluation. In 2020, he was awarded the Donald I. Rice award for vision and leadership by the Canadian College of Family Physicians.
Co-director of the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities – Patient Partner
Ghislaine Rouly has been a patient since birth, living with two orphan genetic diseases. She has always been in the health field and over the years has acquired a unique level of experiential knowledge. Since 2012, at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal, she has been working with the team of the Direction collaboration partenariat patient (DCPP) where patient partnership has become her passion. She participates in mentoring, ethics courses, the three CSS courses on collaborative practices and also sits on the expert patient committee. In collaboration with Dr. Antoine Boivin, she is working on several research projects, including End-of-Life Care, Medical Aid to Die, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI), “Caring Community” and “Compassionate Communities”. For more than 45 years, Ghislaine has been involved in end-of-life support and sits on the Medical Aid to Die’s governance committees and on the Interdisciplinary Support Group (ISG) at the CHUM and CIUSSS in the Centre-Sud and Nord-de-l’Île de Montréal. Her involvement earned her the Fondation du CHUM’s volunteer award in palliative care in 2009. She is also the president of the Association Les Ami(e)s du Patient at the CHUM and Notre-Dame. Since 2016, Ghislaine works as a patient partner with the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP).
Geneviève Castonguay is the scientific manager of the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities. After completing a PhD in community psychology (UQAM), she coordinated numerous public health research projects as a research associate (Institut national de la recherche scientifique, McGill University). In particular, she has conducted projects on the adjustment of older people in institutional settings and the relationship of children with their neighbourhood. She has also coordinated an epidemiological program based on the life course approach and projects to improve access to oral health care across Canada. She has acquired expertise in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, as well as in research administration. She joined the Chair in 2019 to put to good use her public health research experience, her deep interest in projects conducted in partnership with the community, and to continue to learn from all those with whom she has the chance to cross paths.
Participatory Evaluation Manager
Émilie Lessard is an anthropologist with a PhD in Population Health. Émilie worked as a family counsellor in a funeral home during her studies in anthropology. This work allowed her to accompany hundreds of bereaved families through the funeral rite process and to deepen her reflections about end-of-life and death in Quebec. She also teaches at the Certificate in Gerontology at the Université de Montréal and has participated in various research projects related to bereavement, access to palliative and end-of-life care. Her doctoral research, a participatory action research exploring experiences of home-based palliative care from the perspective of end-of-life seniors, bereaved caregivers and a specialized palliative home care team in Quebec, has helped to better support the preferences of end-of-life seniors and their loved ones regarding the choice of the place for palliative care and death. By using applied anthropology to population health, she is interested in social inequalities in health (marginal and aging populations), palliative and end-of-life care, pandemic grieving, the compassionate communities approach, and the influence of sociocultural representations of the end-of-life and death on contemporary experiences of dying. She joined the Chair as the participatory evaluation manager, notably for the Compassionate Communities and Caring Community projects.
Andreea-Cătălina Panaite is a research assistant at the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities. In 2019, she obtained a bachelor degree in sociology and began a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Montreal. A few years ago, she experienced the death and the painful hospital care journey of a relative. This event sensitized her to the importance of offering patients an active role in their care and researching the impact of an illness on individuals’ everyday life. Through her studies in sociology and her experience as a research assistant at the National Institute of Scientific Research, she developed a growing interest in scientific approaches that acknowledge the value and the contribution of experiential knowledge to research projects.
Peer Helper / Research Assistant
Daniel Turgeon has a bachelor degree from Concordia University and studied law in California. Speaks 3 languages and has traveled to 15+ countries.
He also was an entrepreneur for 14 years, which was the center of his universe. When the economy slowed down his company closed and he lost his condominium, car and was alienated from his immediate circle. Now being on social assistance he could no longer afford his rent and saw it as the only option to live in the streets.
What was the most negative aspect of his life turned to something positive. He is now a certified peer helper giving back to the most stigmatized vulnerable population of his community.
His goal is to help those in situations of homelessness to achieve a certain level of normality using active listening, support and navigation.
He also gives conferences to academic, institutional and governmental bodies to change attitudes and form best practices for homelessness.
Gwenvaël Ballu is a research assistant at the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities. She was involved in a literature review for the Compassionate Community project and is now working on the homeless component of the Caring Community project. As part of her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, she is currently working on an evaluative study of a preventive program for depressive and anxious symptoms during the postsecondary transition – Zenétude.
Her interests are around community psychology, social inequalities in health, program evaluation and knowledge transfer.
She is also a volunteer listener at Centre d’écoute de Laval and a coach-supervisor for new listeners at Centre d’écoute Halte-Ami.
Vera is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities. As a researcher, an information specialist, and an engaged citizen, Vera is dedicated to contributing to a learning society by promoting health literacy through collaboration and engagement.
Vera has a PhD in Information Studies from McGill University. Her dissertation examined the factors that affect and the outcomes of collaboration in keeping up to date with new information. Vera brings nearly 15 years of experience in health information and patient-oriented research. She has expertise in systematic reviews, mixed methods research (integrating quantitative and qualitative methods), and participatory research approaches. Vera previously worked as a research embedded information specialist and research coordinator at McGill’s Department of Family Medicine. She was actively involved in developing the McGill Primary Care Research Network as its first coordinator, and the Method Development component, now Data Valorization Axis, of the Unité de soutien au système de santé apprenant (SSA) Québec.
Being passionate about the role of information in decision making and participation as patients and citizens, Vera led the development of two educational websites, Online Health Information Aid and Understanding Research. In her community, she initiated digital information literacy workshops in her children’s elementary school. Vera’s postdoctoral research explores how to build critical health literacy capacity by learning together and from each other, in partnership with communities. It is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).
Claudio Del Grande
Claudio Del Grande is a sociologist by training and a doctoral candidate in public health at the University of Montreal. For the past 15 years, Claudio has mobilized his varied expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies as a research officer at the CHUM Research Centre. Various mandates have led him to collaborate with several research teams and organizations in the health ecosystem, including the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS), Quebec Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Unit, the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public, the Centre d’expertise et de collaboration en troubles concomitants du RUIS of University of Montreal, and the Réseau-1 Québec, where he is currently co-leader of the “Partnerships with Patients, Clinicians and Managers” axis since 2018.
His research activities focus on the organization of primary care, chronic disease management, and professional-patient relationships. Claudio is committed to building research capacity in community-based care settings so that the knowledge produced is more relevant to patients and stakeholders on the field. His doctoral project aims to identify patients’ preferences regarding the organization of front-line cardiovascular care, and is intended as a methodological contribution to fostering open, systematic and rigorous involvement of a wide range of people in organizational research and innovation. These words are often used by his colleagues to describe him: creativity, reliability, humility, versatility, rigor, and a positive approach to challenges.
Claudio joined the Chair team in January 2023 to support strategic research activities in integrated community care in partnership with the Chair’s clinical, academic and community stakeholders.
Being a midwife — Each woman I accompany in this passage to motherhood remains a reciprocal opportunity for learning and sharing. The partnership with the women characterizes this special relationship. The human connection that continuously develops over the course of the meetings makes it possible to establish this bond of trust. This relationship is built in a climate of welcome, listening, respect and autonomy in an equal relationship. My role is to help women gain autonomy in the process of giving birth. Each birth represents a privileged moment to admire the strength of women in the surpassing of themselves. Each little human being is an indescribable moment of happiness. Beyond the pain of childbirth, the woman will keep a positive memory of it according to the quality of the accompaniment received. This accompaniment makes the practice of midwifery unique. Through my master’s research on the partnership between women and midwives, I hope to contribute to the improvement of services offered to women.
Odile-Anne joined the Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities as part of her master’s in public health. She is particularly interested in the role of community interactions on mental health recovery. Her interest in mental health led her to complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Experiences in individual interventions made her realize the limits of such interventions in a context where social determinants of mental health are omnipresent. She consequently wished to continue her research in a field allowing actions on a populational or community level. As a person living with a rare genetic disease, her journey has also convinced her of the importance of considering experiential knowledge and nurtured her interest in partnerships with patients.
Mathieu Bouchard has been collaborating with the the Center of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP) and its founders for several years now. He initially acted as patient partner in medical training, and then increasingly in participatory research projects related to organizational governance. He completed in 2019 a PhD at the Management Department of HEC Montréal. His thesis, based on a comparative ethnography of three patient movements in mental health care, analyzed client action in professionalized fields. The jury recommended this thesis for the prize of the best doctoral thesis of the HEC.
Before doctoral studies, Mathieu has worked for several years in asset management for large pension plans. He holds an MBA and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Between finance and doctorate, he has lived a profound meaning crisis and experienced mental health care, which has nourished his interest in mutual aid groups and peer work. Mathieu is currently applying for postdoctoral fellowship with CEPPP to study the collective construction of knowledge in health-related experiential communities.
Mathieu Isabel is a practicing family physician associated with the Université de Montréal Department of family and emergency medicine. He works in a community-based family medicine clinic (GMF-U et CLSC des Faubourgs) and is involved in the supervision and training of future family doctors. There, he also works in the specialized clinic delivering care to homeless individuals and currently acts as the medical director of this clinic. His research interests focus on the analysis of socio-medical interventions with so-called vulnerable populations, most especially with homeless populations. In 2020, he obtained a Masters degree in medical anthropology from McGill University. His thesis explored the concept of relational vulnerability in two different organizations delivering care to homeless people in Marseille, France. He is also a clinician-researcher at CREMIS, the Centre de recherche de Montréal sur les inégalités sociales, les discriminations et les pratiques alternatives de citoyenneté. In our research Chair, as part of the Caring Community project, he is currently co-investigator with Dr Antoine Boivin of a research project looking at the integration of community-oriented care for homeless individuals along with patient and citizen partners.