The office of the Patient Ombudsman is made up of a team of approximately 20 individuals with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds. The team includes Early Resolution Specialists and Investigators who have experience in health care delivery, human rights, health professional standards, patient relations, health equity, health administration and education.
Early Resolutions Specialists are frontline staff who review and work with complainants and health care organizations to resolve complaints. The initial review includes speaking to both the complainant and the health sector organization, as well as document review, including correspondence, patient files or policies. They may make recommendations to the health sector organization, such as updates to policies and procedures or training for staff. Complaints may be escalated to an investigation if they are particularly challenging and the parties involved cannot find a resolution.
Investigators are responsible for investigating a broad range of complaints and will create an investigative plan, gather evidence, conduct interviews and inspections, analyze evidence and prepare thorough and objective reports that include recommendations to health care organizations. Patient Ombudsman can also launch an own motion investigation into a systemic issue that is of high public interest without a complaint.
The early resolution and investigations teams are supported by administrative and operational staff, specialists in privacy and records management, and a small executive management team.
Executive Management Team
Craig Thompson, Patient Ombudsman
Craig Thompson was appointed Patient Ombudsman on March 29, 2021, having first served as the Executive Director since 2017. Craig has more than 30 years of leadership experience working for public and private organizations in health care, design sciences and communications. He is a recognized community leader who is passionate about improving the quality, safety, and experience of health care in Ontario.
Craig received his MHSc. Health Administration from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) and his BASc. Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He received the University of Toronto’s 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Award presented in collaboration with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) and the 2016 Kevin J. Leonard Award presented in collaboration with UHN’s Centre for Global eHealth Innovation.
Craig is a Certified Health Executive with the CCHL, a registered Professional Engineer with the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and an associate member of the ADR Institute of Ontario.
Craig is actively involved in the Canadian ombuds community and continues to promote the importance of ombuds in Ontario’s health care system. He is currently serving his second term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO).
Michelle Rossi, Executive Director
Michelle joined Patient Ombudsman in 2021 with more than 15 years’ experience in the public sector in policy, planning, and delivering provincial-scale initiatives. As Executive Director, Michelle Rossi provides Patient Ombudsman with strategic, operational, and organizational leadership to support the organization in delivering consistently high-quality services.
Prior to joining Patient Ombudsman, Michelle worked in health policy in government, and led a number of strategic and operational portfolios at Health Quality Ontario and subsequently Ontario Health. Before joining Patient Ombudsman, Michelle’s last role at Ontario Health was leading the early implementation of the newly announced provincial Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence. Michelle has a Master’s degree in political science from York University.
Elizabeth de Sousa, Manager, Investigations
Elizabeth joined Patient Ombudsman in 2016 as a senior investigator, bringing with her a wealth of clinical, investigative and leadership experience. In 2022, Elizabeth became the Manager, Investigations and in this capacity continues evolve Patient Ombudsman’s investigation program through her deep commitment to quality improvement, efficiency, and her demonstrated commitment to patient safety and public service excellence.
Elizabeth registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario in 1995 and earned her B.A. in nursing from the University of Calgary in 2008. Over the course of her career, Elizabeth has nursed in every health sector within Patient Ombudsman’s jurisdiction, both at the bedside and in various leadership roles, most notably as an investigator with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and as nurse manager in a large, urban long-term care home.
Heather McGhee Peggs, Manager, Complaint Services
Heather joined Patient Ombudsman in 2022, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience across a wide range of dispute resolution processes, including litigation, mediation, restorative processes and ombuds complaints handling. At Patient Ombudsman, Heather is building conflict management and ombuds best practices into the work of the complaints services team to support effective early resolution of patient concerns; identify opportunities to improve patient experiences within individual health care organizations; and promote fairness in the Ontario health care system.
Heather has been an active member of the Canadian ombudsman community since 2005, presenting, training and writing about ombuds work and the importance of fair and equitable early resolution. Heather was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002 (LL.B., University of British Columbia, Hons B.A., Queen’s University).
Jeffrey Bagg, Legal Counsel
Jeff Bagg is a lawyer with demonstrated experience in Ontario’s hospital and health care sector. He has provided advice regarding various issues related to health law, including hospital accountability and oversight, health care regulation and policy, privacy, patient relations and regulated health professionals, amongst other things. In a past role, Jeff also carried negotiations of a province-wide accountability agreement for public hospitals as well as numerous legislative and government relations exercises.
Jeff was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013 and he holds an integrated common and civil Bachelor of Laws (LL.B./B.C.L.) from McGill University Faculty of Law. Jeff recently completed a Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Georgina White, Research and Policy Advisor
Georgina joined Patient Ombudsman as the Research and Policy Analyst in 2017. She works with the Patient Ombudsman leadership team to develop and implement strategic organizational goals and operational planning, and carries out research and data analysis to support early resolutions, investigations and public reporting.
Prior to joining the Patient Ombudsman, Georgina was the Director of Policy and Research with the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres and also spent many years with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care working on both policy and program support portfolios. Georgina has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.
Amber Lepage-Monette, Senior Communications and Engagement Specialist
Amber Lepage-Monette is a communications professional with longstanding experience working with health care and non-profit organizations. Amber provides Patient Ombudsman with strategic communications and engagement support, specifically in media relations, stakeholder engagement, and risk communications.
Prior to Patient Ombudsman, Amber held roles at the College of Optometrists of Ontario, the Association of Ontario Midwives, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and has worked as a writer/editor for trade health care publications.