The Best Medicines Coalition 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.
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 represents Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders, a non-profit organization he co-founded and where he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. He has an adult son with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, and John is a subject matter expert and published author on newborn screening for specific inherited conditions, including PKU. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Organization of Rare Disorders. John also volunteers as chair of the advisory committee of the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario and as an advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada. He is the global director of business development for OZ Systems, which provides information management solutions for newborn screening, early childhood health and education programs. 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.
Gail Attara – Gail Attara is Past Chair of the Board of Directors, serving as Chair from 2010 until 2017, following several years of active involvement in the BMC driven by a commitment to the goal of expanding the network of knowledgeable patient advocates within the healthcare system. She represents the Gastrointestinal Society, an organization she co-founded and is President and Chief Executive Officer. Gail’s motto, “the patient comes first”, directs her resolve for patient-focused healthcare and commitment to increasing awareness about the seriousness of gastrointestinal illnesses. She is a regularly invited speaker on many topics, at venues from coast-to-coast, to wide-ranging audiences, which include patients, doctors, pharmacists, and health care decision-makers. Gail has a solid background in public relations and fundraising and is an active community volunteer in Canada serving on numerous Boards, and overseas, where she has worked with orphans. She is also a published freelance author.
Ganive Bhinder, PhD – Ganive Bhinder joined the Board of Directors in 2018 representing the Better Pharmacare Coalition, an alliance of 30 chronic disease specific non-profit organizations and registered health charities advocating for their patients in British Columbia. Ganive is a patient advocate and health researcher with extensive experience in patient outreach, knowledge translation, and mobilizing evidence to impact policy. She received her PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia and has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts. Ganive is passionate about building bridges between patients, non-profit organizations, policy makers, healthcare providers, clinical and academic researchers, and industry to tackle complex healthcare problems. Through her work as Executive Director at the Better Pharmacare Coalition and on the boards of the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research and Best Medicines Coalition, Ganive aims to continue building bridges between stakeholders to positively impact Canada’s public healthcare landscape and strives to ensure that health policies and funding decisions are patient-centred and evidence-based.
Diana Ermel – Diana Ermel, was a elected as Treasurer 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, a long standing member of the Canadian Cancer Action Network, 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.
Gerald Major – Gerald Major joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and represents the Canadian Spondylitis Association where he is the incoming President. 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.