Cathy Fooks, Ontario’s patient ombudsman, dies in crash

Ontario’s patient ombudsman has died in an accident, the government agency has confirmed.

Cathy Fooks assumed her role on July 13, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The office of the patient ombudsman announced her death on Thursday, offering condolences to her family.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said that Fooks dedicated her life to public service and to improving the quality of health care in Ontario.

“All with the single-minded focus of enhancing the experience of patients, families and their caregivers,” said Elliott in a tweet. “We have lost a true champion who will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.”

The patient ombudsman supports Ontarians who have voiced concerns about their health-care experience.

It also investigates and makes recommendations on unresolved complaints about public hospitals and long-term care homes.

A statement from the organization said that Fooks was “a forward-thinking leader” in Ontario’s health-care sector.

Before becoming the province’s patient ombudsman, Fooks was the president and CEO of The Change Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the patient and caregiver experience in Ontario.

In 2018 she was a special adviser to the Ontario Ministry of Health to assist with the set-up of the Ontario Caregiver Organization.

This article first published here