Perspectives Unveiled • Cardiovascular Network of Canada — CANet


Perspectives Unveiled

Increasing Our Understanding Between Healthcare Providers and Patients

Thank you for attending! To view a recap of our event, click here.

Informed by Patients and Caregivers

CANet’s Public Forum welcomes and brings together the public, various patients and caregivers, and healthcare professionals to hear from and pose questions to leading cardiac experts and guest speakers and share experiences of living well.

We welcome all cardiac patients and caregivers to attend our free event to interact with your community in a kind, safe, and respectful manner.

Please note: Most content will be presented in English, and auto-generated French translation captions will be available.

Event Host / Keynote

We look forward to a great evening of discussions hosted by the trio who make up Sickboy — Jeremie Saunders, Taylor Macgillivary and Brian Stever. Sickboy is determined to break down the stigma associated with illness and disease and work to tackle health taboos with people who have experienced them firsthand.

Their podcast was born in a public library recording room, and five years later, they are a CBC Podcast, using their voices to start conversations and create change in healthcare systems and homes around the world.

Stay tuned for our complete lineup of speakers and agenda!


5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Doors Open
5:30 pm – 5:35 pm Land Acknowledgement
5:35 pm – 5:50 pm

Host Monologue & Speaker #1 Introduction

Hosts: Sickboy – Jeremie Saunders, Brian Stever, Taylor MacGillivary

5:50 pm – 6:05 pm

Speaker #1: Presentation

Presenter: Dr. Christine Pacheco, Cardiologist at Pierre-Boucher Hospital, Associate Member at University of Montréal Hospital Centre (CHUM) in Montréal, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine at University of Montréal.

6:05 pm – 6:15 pm

Speaker #1: Audience Q&A

Presenter: Dr. Christine Pacheco

Moderators: Sickboy

6:15 pm – 6:20 pm

Speaker #2 Introduction

Hosts: Sickboy

6:20 pm – 6:35 pm

Speaker #2: Presentation

Presenter: Keith Leclaire

6:35 pm – 6:45 pm

Speaker #2: Audience Q&A

Presenter: Keith Leclaire

Moderators: Sickboy

6:45 pm – 7:25 pm

People with Living/Lived Experience (PWLE) Armchair Panel


  • Laura Avelar, Female Cardiac Care Perspective
  • Carrielynn Lund, Indigenous Cardiac Care Perspective
  • Charlotte Girard, Heart Function Cardiac Care Perspective
  • Nick Zap, Caregiver Cardiac Care Perspective

Moderators: Sickboy

7:25 pm – 7:55 pm

PWLE Armchair Panel: Audience Q&A

Panelists: Laura Avelar, Carrielynn Lund, Charlotte Girard, Nick Zap

Moderators: Sickboy

7:55 pm – 8:00 pm

Closing Monologue

Hosts: Sickboy


Dr. Christine Pacheco

Dr. Christine Pacheco is a cardiologist at Pierre-Boucher Hospital and an associate member at University of Montréal Hospital Centre (CHUM) in Montréal, Qc, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the department of Medicine at University of Montréal.

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After earning her medical degree and completing internal medicine and cardiology training at Université de Montréal, Dr. Pacheco successfully completed a fellowship in Women’s Heart Health at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, California, where she acquired specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions affecting women. She has published her work in several peer-reviewed journals regarding cardiovascular disease in women and has been an invited speaker at Canadian and international conferences.

She is the co-chair of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance Knowledge, Translation and Mobilization working group and a member of the executive board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Quebec chapter. She is also a founding member of Quebec’s first integrative women’s cardiovascular health centre, Cardio F.

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Keith Leclaire

Keith is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather. Keith has a BSc in Chemistry from Bishop’s University and a Master of Health Administration from Athabasca University. He worked in Indigenous health from 1980 until his retirement.

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Keith has worked in Health Canada and the Quebec Health & Social Services Ministry. The majority of his time was as a Community Health Director for Akwesasne, Kahnawake and Kawawachikamach (Naskapi Nation). He was the CEO for Kateri Memorial Hospital (Kahnawake) and the Onen’to:kon Healing Lodge (this was in a director position during the 1990 Oka Crisis.).

Keith presently sits on numerous boards and is a part-time minor league baseball coach in Kahnawake. In addition to his extensive professional and volunteer experience, Keith has notable lived cardiac experience including a quadruple bypass in 2018, a cardioversion procedure in 2019 and a heart valve replacement procedure in 2021.

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Laura Avelar

Laura Avelar RN, Patient with Lived Experience, Registered Nurse, The Ottawa Hospital N-ICU, Peer Leader (Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre / University of Ottawa Heart Institute), Member (Training and Education & Advocacy group) Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance.

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Laura Avelar is a Registered Nurse with 36 years of experience, and currently works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Ottawa Hospital. As a nurse and patient with lived experience, Laura’s goal is to help other women living with cardiac disease through her work with the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre at the University of Ottawa’s Heart Institute by providing a unique perspective.

Laura is also a Member of the Canadian Women’s Heart Alliance, and is currently a part of their Training and Education & Advocacy Group. She has a strong belief that knowledge is power, and that patient empowerment is essential throughout patients’ journeys. Laura plans to speak in high schools, and hopes to raise awareness for non-traditional risk factors in women.

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Carrielynn Lund

Carrielynn is a Métis consultant whose primary focus is assisting Indigenous communities to identify and address health and social issues that have a negative impact on children and their families. She has done extensive work in the area of heath research, particularly with Indigenous youth, resilience and research ethics.

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Her extensive committee work includes service on the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (Treasurer), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Ethics Standing Committee and the Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada Research Ethics Board. Carrielynn contributes substantially to the CIHR review and process development and is highly skilled working within network environments.

She helped develop the Blueprint for Hepatitis C Elimination Efforts in Canada and co-chairs the Prairie Road Map consultation and implementation committee. Her lived experience as a participant in multiple clinical trials and with health conditions, including heart-related issues, gives her a powerful perspective and enables her to contribute to research protocols and processes through an Indigenous lens and a patient lens.

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Charlotte Girard

Charlotte is a dedicated professional with a rich background in the telecommunications industry, having dedicated 34 years to this dynamic field. Her journey in the industry commenced with her role as an assistant to the President, where she quickly showcased her aptitude for leadership and strategic thinking. Over the years, she progressed through various roles, including Institutional Sales Manager, ultimately culminating her career as a Real Estate Manager.

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With an unwavering commitment to continuous learning and personal growth, Charlotte holds a degree in Real Estate Management from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). This academic achievement further solidified her expertise in managing real estate assets, a skill set that she skillfully applied in her final role.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Charlotte is an active member of the HeartLife Foundation Canada, acting as the Francophone Champion, and the Canadian Woman’s Heart Health Alliance as a patient advocate co-chair, Health systems & Policy. Her involvement in these organizations underscores her passion for making a positive impact on healthcare and her dedication to promoting heart health, particularly among women.

In addition to her career and community involvement, Charlotte holds a college degree in Administration and marketing, showcasing her versatile skill set and her ability to excel in various domains.

As Charlotte transitions into retirement, she leaves behind a legacy of excellence, leadership, and a deep commitment to causes close to her heart. Her journey is a testament to her dedication, adaptability, and unwavering pursuit of professional and personal growth.

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Dr. Nick Zap

Dr. Nick Zap is the Founder and CEO of MEOH Social Inc., a company developing a platform of tools and technologies to support mental health and wellness. Nick, as a caregiver, supported his wife, Dr. Jillianne Code, through two heart transplants, an LVAD, a heart attack, a stroke, and 10 years of heart failure.

Their journey is captured in the documentary “My Broken Heart”, produced and directed by Nick, available now on YouTube:

October 25, 2023

5:30PM – 8:00PM EDT

Le Westin Montreal
270 Saint-Antoine Ouest
Montreal, Québec

Questions or Need Assistance?

CANet strives to host inclusive and accessible events that enable all attendees to engage fully. To request accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact:

Courtney Gingrich
Engagement Lead
[email protected]


Is this event free?

Yes, this event is completely free to attend.

Who is the target audience of the event?

The target audience is cardiac patients and caregivers.

Is the event space accessible?

Yes, the hotel has accessible areas with accessible routes from the main public entrance to the meeting room.

Is the event in both French and English?

We will strive to meet the needs of both French and English-speaking guests. 

Supporting Inclusive Communities

We particularly welcome attendance from those who may identify as:

  • Members of Indigenous communities
  • Racialized, ethnic and cultural minority groups
  • Individuals with (dis)ability
  • Members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities
  • Francophones and people who speak English as their second language

Our Partners

Canadian Heart Function (CHF) Alliance

A pan-Canadian, patient-driven research network dedicated to overcoming the challenges of heart failure to improve its prediction, prevention, diagnosis and management.

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Pewaseskwan (Indigenous Wellness Research Group)

Led by Dr. Alexandra King and Prof. Malcolm King, the teams collaborate with Indigenous communities, supporting them as they undertake their own health and wellness research.

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Our Supporters

Vascular 2023 – October 25 to 29 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

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