Patient and Family Advisory Council

Driving Change for Patients and Families, from Patient and Family Experience


PFAC logo

The Renal Patient & Family Advisory Council is passionate about improving the quality of the health care experience and has a strong desire to enhance the success of patient and family-centred care principles and services within the hospital. They volunteer their time to provide perspectives of patients and families towards the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs that affect care and services delivered to patients and families in the Renal Program.


Renal PFAC Newsletter

Renal PFAC FAQ's

Meeting Minutes

Satellite Hemodialysis Unit Reports

Council Achievements

Renal Community Photo Project

Emergency Preparedness

Patient and Family Council Members

Deb Beaupre: Committee Member 


Deb has had diabetes for more than 35 years. Her kidneys failed in 2013 and she received a kidney transplant in 2015. Deb wants to talk about chronic kidney disease. More importantly, she wants people to listen to what she and other CKD patients have to say. She wants her healthcare providers to understand how surprised she was when her kidneys suddenly failed as the result of diabetes-related complications and how frustrated she was at having to crash start hemodialysis instead of being able to go straight to peritoneal dialysis. Deb wishes she knew earlier about the complications of diabetes. For Deb, her volunteer work, including participating in the Patient and Family Advisory Committee and speaking to community groups about organ donation, has been tremendously empowering. “It is very healing to speak and have people hear what I have to say.”

Cathy DuVal: Committee Member 



Cathy was officially diagnosed with Polycystic Kidneys (PKD) in the early 90’s and has been attending the Kidney Clinic since that time.  She appreciates the support received from the doctors, nurses and staff over the years.  In 2014 her health deteriorated to the point where it was recommended that she look at the possibility of dialysis.  After having discussed her situation with staff who were most helpful about the decisions she would have to make, she chose Peritoneal Dialysis.  She has been on dialysis for two years and now feeling the benefits.  She feels fortunate with the wonderful assistance through the PD Clinic and the nurses from the home community support.  Thank goodness there are different options to choose for each individual case. She wants to be able to help others with the change that occurs in their lives which affected her on many different levels at the beginning.  She feels by joining The Renal Patient Advisory Council, this is one way to help.

Kathy Mackay: Committee Member 


Kathy’s early exposures to the health care system was as a provider – specifically a clinical dietitian at LHSC from 2008-2019.  However, in 2015, she was quickly introduced to the patient & family side of the healthcare system.  As a complication of a life-saving surgery, Kathy’s father developed chronic kidney disease, a condition that has progressed over the past 6 year and ultimately resulted in him requiring hemodialysis.  Despite a decade of working at the hospital, it was only after Kathy’s experience with her dad that she came to truly understand the importance of including and advocating for the patient/family perspective. Kathy is passionate about amplifying the patient and family voice and hopes this can be reflected in her work with the Patient and Family Advisory Council. 

Staff Members

Dr. Faisal Rehman

Dr. Rehman

Dr. Rehman is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He is the Clinical Clerkship Coordinator and Site Chief for Internal Medicine at LHSC - University Hospital. Dr. Rehman is actively involved in teaching nephrology and internal medicine to medical students, residents and clinical fellows at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, and he also runs a very busy clinical practice in his specialty of Nephrology. Dr. Rehman is an avid philanthropist, having established his own charity for the betterment of patients with kidney disease. The charity is aptly titled - Knock Out Kidney Disease.

Ashley Papathanassiou: Renal Facilitator 


Ashley is a Registered Practical nurse working within the hemodialysis unit at University Hospital. Ashley has worked in various areas of the pre-dialysis clinics over the years, providing her with wholistic understanding of LHSCs Renal program. Prior to joining the renal team, Ashley provided bedside inpatient care to general medicine patients at the Victoria Hospital campus. Throughout her career as a nurse, she has always focused her practice on the patient experience, strongly believing in patient centered care. She has been fortunate to have been involved with patients at many different stages of Chronic Kidney Disease, and has had the privilege of witnessing a variety of patient journeys. As the Renal PFAC Facilitator, Ashley hopes to gain greater insights from patients and families about the care they receive and plan ways to help improve the day-to-day care of kidney patients. 

April Mullen


April Mullen, Director of the Renal Program, has been a Registered Nurse for 23 years.  Throughout this time period, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings including Mental Health, Complex Care, General Medicine and Surgery, and Oncology.   April achieved her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002, and a Business Masters in Health Management in 2017. 

April’s approach to patient-centered care is based on the philosophy that the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care is based on partnerships with patients and families to ensure that we deliver care outcomes that are patient centered.  April is excited to champion patient and family centred care throughout the Renal Program.

Contact Information

For more Information or to request an Application package, please contact:

Ashley Papathanassiou RPN
Renal PFAC Facilitator
(519) 685-8500 ext. 34411

Helpful Links

Institute for Patient & Family Centered Care

Canadian Foundation for Health Care Improvement