The Best Medicines Coalition’s Board of Directors is comprised of representatives of the coalition’s member organizations. Board members share a common passion for improving pharmaceutical care for Canadian patients and ensuring the patient voice is heard in health policy discussion. They all serve as volunteers on the Board of Directors.
John Adams, Chair – John Adams was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2017 and served as a Board member since 2015 and Treasurer since 2016. He has an adult son with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, and is the President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders. He is also the volunteer co-chair of the Disability Tax Fairness Alliance, which focuses on ensuring the fair administration of the disability tax credit by the Canada Revenue Agency. John is a published author on policies related to newborn screening for specific inherited conditions, as well as principles of good governance applied to health technology assessment. In addition, he is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Organization of Rare Disorders. John is a seasoned management consultant and has worked as a Globe and Mail reporter, chief of staff to an Ontario Cabinet Minister, and was elected to Toronto City Council three times.
Diana Ermel – Diana Ermel was elected Treasurer on the Best Medicines Coalition Board of Directors in 2017 and has been a Board member since 2015, representing the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, where she is on its Board of Directors and a past President. A breast cancer survivor, Diana brings extensive health services experience having worked in nursing education and in volunteer roles with numerous cancer-related organizations. She is a founding member of Saskatchewan Breast Cancer Connect, was a long-standing member of the Canadian Cancer Action Network and served on the Board of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance as a patient representative and is a member of the Health Canada Scientific Advisory Committee on Oncology Therapies. Her activities with these organizations have been informed by her vision of a future where people affected by cancer have the information and support they need, when they need it, as well as ease of access to all services and programs needed throughout the cancer continuum. Diana has been involved with the research funding process through her engagement as a community reviewer on scientific peer review panels for the NCIC, CIHR and U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Project. As a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research, she co-presents their Patient Oriented Research modules to researcher and patient groups.
Michel Long – Michel Long represents the Canadian Hemophilia Society where he has been the National Program Manager since 2007 and has been involved in the Best Medicines Coalition on behalf of CHS since 2012. As program manager, Michel overseas the planning and implementation of the CHS national healthcare programs and activities related to Inherited Bleeding Disorders in Canada including advocacy work covering other rare blood disorders, HIV and hepatitis C. He is also responsible for the international partnerships of the CHS which are done in cooperation with the World Federation of Hemophilia. He also coordinates the CHS research grants/fellowships/scholarships programs that reach out to Canadian investigators seeking support for basic science, clinical and psychosocial research in the area of Inherited Bleeding Disorders. Michel has over thirty-five years of management experience with not-for-profit organizations of which 18 years were spent working with an international development organization which involved project / program conception, development, management, and evaluation in partnership with developing countries around the world. The remaining seventeen years were spent in management functions with not-for-profit community-based organizations. The last twelve years have been with the CHS. He has solid knowledge of non-profit governance and has trained and mentored organizations on good governance. Michel is committed to supporting BMC in achieving its mission and goals by sharing his knowledge and experience.
Gerald Major – Gerald Major joined the BMC’s Board of Directors in 2017. Gerald was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis in his early twenties and has had seven surgeries over seven years to repair damage caused by these arthritic conditions. He became involved as a volunteer as part of his personal search for answers about the healthcare system and one of his advocacy goals is to improve care for all patients based on a belief that no one should have to struggle through illness. Gerald is also Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Board for Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), Consumer Representative on the Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) board, on the Patient Advisory Board of the Ontario Best Practice Research Initiative (OBRI), a pain management instructor with The Arthritis Society and is a Health Mentor at the University of Toronto Medical Program. Gerald attended York University where he studied Kinesiology.