New Committee Advising Ministry of Health

In June 2017, as part of our Accessible Healthcare for All campaign, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario worked with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to reinstate a committee to provide strategic advice about serving people with physical disabilities. This is an important committee as the Ministry rolls out its Patients First Transformation Plan.

The Provincial Liaison Committee for Persons with a Physical Disability will provide strategic advice to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about priorities for health care and service delivery related to individuals with physical disabilities.


Many individuals with physical disabilities require supports to complete activities of daily living that enable them to overcome barriers and live independently. 

Government healthcare policies need to consider barriers to accessing health care services, including primary care and home and community care supports to enable timely and appropriate care. With the introduction of the Patients First legislation, focused on enabling greater integration across the health care system and strengthening home and community care, opportunity exists to ensure that new initiatives and implementation of policies take into account the needs of individuals with physical disabilities. 

The committee will provide advice to the ministry on the unique needs of individuals with physical disabilities to help inform health policies from this perspective. The committee will leverage prior work and conduct research, as well as build on recent consultations with stakeholders and representatives of the community of people with physical disabilities to share with the ministry. 

The objectives of the committee include:

  • Informing the ministry about issues and trends within the community of people with physical disabilities and the community services sector
  • Advising the ministry on the development of health care transformation initiatives and policies as they relate to Ontarians with physical disabilities 

Membership as follows...

Co-Chair: Jane Sager, Director - LHIN Liaison Branch, Health System Accountability and Performance Division (HSAPD),  MOHLTC

Co-Chair: Peter Athanasopoulos, Senior Manager, Public Policy & Government Relations - Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Co-Chair: Michael Mathieson, President -  Board of Directors, Ontario Association of Independent Living Service Providers

Phil Graham, Director - Primary Health Care Branch, HSAPD, MOHLTC

Joanne Thanos, Manager - Health Equity Branch, Strategic Policy and Planning Division, MOHLTC

Amy Olmstead, Director - Home and Community Care Branch, HSAPD, MOHLTC

Stuart Howe, Chief Executive Officer - Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Sandra Carpenter, Executive Director   - Centre for Independent Living in Toronto

Gordana Skrba, Executive Director (Interim) - Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy

Andria Spindel, President and Chief Executive Officer - March of Dimes Canada

Julia Dumanian, President and Chief Executive Officer - Canadian Hearing Society

John M. Rafferty, President and Chief Executive Officer - Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Len Baker, Regional Vice President, Ontario and Quebec - Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Brian Dunne, Executive Director - Participation House Support Services

TBD - Citizens with Disabilities Ontario

TBD - Ontario Network of Independent Living Centres