Collaboration Across Borders Conference. photo credit: David Hungate for Virginia Tech Carilion

Collaboration Across Borders Conference. photo credit: David Hungate for Virginia Tech Carilion

Speaking engagements related to patient centred care, patient storytelling or Bird’s Eye View can be booked through: bird@birdcommunications.ca

I have spoken at international, national and local conferences – from Melbourne to Dublin to closer to home in Vancouver.  My topics are tailored to the audience, and include the patient & family perspective, meaningful patient & family engagement, disclosing diagnosis, the value of peer support, and storytelling for patients, families and staff.  I specialize in inspirational yet authentic talks, crafted to rekindle passion in health care.

From the heart, generous and honest.  One of the best talks I’ve heard.  Reminded me of why I went into medicine and all that I can do better.


White Coat, Black Art interview Patient Engagement and COVID, March 13, 2021

CFAX Talk Radio, Victoria – talking about my son’s exclusion in education, March 10, 2021.

Healthcare Canada on Clubhouse – Sharing patient narratives with Sick Boys, March 5, 2021.

University of Minnesota, Advanced Practice Nursing Class, The Reluctant Advocate, February 24, 2021.

Gritty Nurse PodcastThe Most Important Voice in Healthcare: Learning what patient experience really means February 3, 2021.

Healthcare Excellence Canada four internal staff workshops – Honouring Patient Storytellers, January and February 2021.

Children’s Healthcare Canada Everybody Grows Up co-presented with my son Aaron Waddingham, January 26, 2021


Whose Story Are We Missing? Podcast with Amy Ma.  Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences. November 10, 2020.

Stand By Me. An Author to Author Conversation with Karen Klak.  Gathering of Kindness.  November 3, 2020.

A Candid Conversation About Down Syndrome.  Conversation with Dr. Kathryn Garforth on Facebook Live.  October 27, 2020.

N of 2: Transforming Health Systems Through Individual Action  Plenary Talk + Panel Participant on live Town Hall. Alberta SPORU Virtual Institute, October 2020.

The Art of Storytelling Presentation. Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Pediatric Parents’ Advisory Group, September 2020.

Bird’s Eye View Video Talk. Society of Radiographers, UK, April 2020.

Storytelling with Impact Workshop, co-facilitated with Jami Brown.  Quality Forum, BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. February 27, 2020

Toronto Speaking Tour, February 3 – 7, 2020
Conversation about Kindness, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
Conversation about Kindness, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab
Patient Speaker, CANet Public Forum
Storytelling with Impact Workshop for families – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab
Conversation about Kindness, CAMH staff
Evolving Stories – talk and facilitated panel, CAMH families
Grand Rounds, Mount Sinai Hospital


Patient Remarks, BCHIMPS Annual Fall Symposium, October 25, 2019 Vancouver.

Bird’s Eve View Book Launch.  Various events at KPMG, Central Gippsland Health, Launceston General Hospital, Tasmania and Royal Melbourne Hospital. Gathering of Kindness Australia November 2019.

Patient Centred Care and Chiropractic Workshop – talk, interactive workshop, moderated patient panel.  Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors AGM.  Red Deer Alberta, September 22, 2019.


Media Coaching One-on-One – a talk and facilitated conversation about assessing opportunities to share stories with the families involved in the Rare Disease Foundation’s Parent 2 Parent Support Group. September 2018.

The Wonder – opening speaker for Edmonton Down Syndrome Society‘s The Wonder Years, a workshop for new families who have babies with Down syndrome. February 2018.


Leaning Out – the work-life balance and how I’m faking it all the time
Rare Disease Foundation Parent to Parent Support Group. January 2017


The Great Translators
How pharmacists heal people with love
Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, BC Branch AGM
Vancouver, BC. November 19, 2016

The Great Translators
Sharing the patient + family perspective
St. Paul’s Hospital Pharmacy Group
Vancouver, BC. November 24, 2016

What Inclusion Means to Me
Burnaby North High School Professional Development Day
Burnaby, BC. November 25, 2016

Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children & BC Children’s Hospital
Various speaking engagements including talks to medical students, pediatric residents and Child Health BC.
Lower Mainland/Vancouver, BC. January to November, 2016.

The Transition Journey
CHILD BRIGHT Coach Model Workshop 
Vancouver, BC. August 20, 2016

The Art of Storytelling
Canadian Family Advisory Network Best Practice Group
National Teleconference presentation. October 14, 2016

Patient/Family Stories
How Incorporating Patient/Family Stories into Clinical Practice Can Improve Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (co-presenter)
British Columbia Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists Annual Conference
Vancouver, BC. October 21, 2016

The Great Translators
Pharmacy Technician Society of BC http://www.ptsbc.ca/
Vancouver, BC. October 29, 2016


I have not heard a better key note speaker since.

Various speaking engagements for staff at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children & BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver.

Where’s the Patient’s Voice in Health Professional Education?
The importance of patient stories.

University of British Columbia.
Vancouver, BC. November 2015.

The Great Translators
Coordinators Bi-Annual Team Meeting,
Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services
Burnaby, BC. November 3, 2015.

Canadian Family Advisory Network Workshop
Thoughts on Councils & The Value of Peer Support/Friendships.
Quebec City.  October 18, 2015.

The Art of Telling Your Stories
Rare Disease Foundation
Vancouver, BC.  October 21, 2015.

The Power of Sharing Stories
Collaboration Across Borders
Roanoke, VA, USA.  September 2015.
PRESS:  Health professionals asked to treat patients like people, not diagnoses,Roanoke Times.  September 30, 2015.

Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Nurses Association 
Plenary Closing Speaker.
Edmonton, AB. June 5, 2015.

Emergency Department Symposium
Covenant Health.
Edmonton, AB. May 21, 2015.

Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan Conference
Plenary Speaker
Regina, SK. April 25, 2015.

The Patient Care Experience (co-presenter)
Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists
Banff, AB. March 20, 2015.

What Inclusion Means to Me (co-presenter)
Adapted Physical Education Class
, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB.  January 29, 2015.

Sue’s presentation was excellent.  Very inspiring, motivating, and compelling. She has a true understanding of patient centered care. Her presentation has motivated me to do better. Thank you!


Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists
The Great Translators (co-presenter).
Edmonton, AB. October 2014.

Engagement Scholarship Consortium
Better Together: Patient, Practitioner, and Regulatory Voices Transforming Interprofessional Education (panel)
Edmonton, AB. October 2014.

University of Alberta, Health Science Council
Patient Mentor, Interprofessional Practice Launch.
Edmonton, AB. September 2014.

Western Emergency Department Operations Conference
We are watching you!
Edmonton, AB. May 2014.  

Continuing Competency Event College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta
Two hour Art of Communications Workshop,
Calgary, AB. April 2014.

Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Inclusion in Real Life, Adaptive Phys Ed Students,
Edmonton, AB. March 2014.

Faculty of Pharmacy
The Great Translators (student co-presentation)
Edmonton, AB. March 2014.

Esther Starkman School
What inclusion means to us.
Edmonton, AB. March 2014.

University of Alberta, Health Science Council
Interprofessional Practice workshop facilitator
Edmonton, AB. January 2014.

I think this was a good reminder as to why I (and my colleagues) went into pharmacy to begin with – to advocate for our patients…


Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Virtual Forum November 1, 2013

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre – Neonatal Follow-Up Group -Sharing the News:  Disclosing Diagnosis.  October 2014

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre – Champion Group – The Art of Storytelling. October 2014

SickKids Hospital NICU Group – Nurturing Partnerships with Families October 2014

Canadian Family Advisory Network Workshop, Storytelling Panelist October 2014

Alberta Pharmacists’ Association Provincial Conference, October 5, 2013 – Keynote Presentation – Calgary

23rd Annual Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference, September 21, 2013 – Keynote Presentation – Edmonton

Interprofessional Education Event, The Warm Blanket, Health Sciences Council, University of Alberta, January 2014, September 2013, January 2013, September 2012 Family Speaker – San Francisco, June 2013

6th International Conference Neonatal and Childhood Pulmonary Vascular Disease, Family Speaker – San Francisco, June 2013.

Every Nurse Symposium, Closing Motivational Speaker, MacEwan University, February 2013

Very inspirational story. I enjoyed hearing about the patient/patient’s family perspective towards healthcare

2012 & earlier

International Conference of the Institute of Patient and Family Centered Care, Washington DC, June 2012, Building Buy-In for Peer Support Programs

Tri-Professional Conference, May 2012, Improving Quality:  How to best enable patient centred care and improved access – presentation and panel

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, May 2012, The Art of Storytelling.

Gateway Association for Community Living, February and September 2012, The Art of Storytelling.

Sickkids Hospital, Toronto, November 2011, three different sessions –Embedding Peer Support, Engaging Family Advisors, Sharing the News: Disclosing Diagnosis.

London Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital, November 2011, Meaningful Engagement or Tokenism?

Consumers Reforming Health conference, July 2011, Melbourne, Australia – Family Engagement in the Pediatric Health System – Meaningful or Tokenism? The pdf of the PowerPoint is here.

World Down Syndrome CongressAugust 2009, Dublin Ireland -The Value of Peer Support Programs

Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres National Conference, October 2010 – Family and Health Provider Collaboration at the Stollery Children’s Hospital

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta Provincial Conference, March 2010 – Disclosing diagnosis and beyond

Child Network for Child and Youth Rehabilitation Annual Meeting, October 2008 – Life with a child with a disability

Canadian Family Advisory Network Annual Workshop, October 2007, Sharing Family Stories, 2009 and 2010 Workshops – Chair

I feel like our class has walked away better doctors.

Stollery Children’s Hospital
2009 to 2011

Stollery Family Centred Care Strategy Day, November 2011 – Setting the Stage for Strategy

Pediatric Grand Rounds, Stollery Children’s Hospital, March 2010 –Partnering with your Pediatrician

Perinatal Rounds, Stollery Children’s Hospital, January 2010 – Sharing the news – disclosing prenatal diagnosis

Genetic Counsellors’ Journal Club, Alberta Health Services, May 2010 – Parent Perspective on ‘Non-invasive’ prenatal testing for Down syndrome

Pediatric Residents, Stollery Children’s Hospital, May 2010 & June 2009 –Sharing the News – disclosing diagnosis

Peer Support Working Group Workshop, Stollery Children’s Hospital, September 2010 – Value of Peer Support

Medical Genetics Clinic, Stollery Children’s Hospital, June 2008 – Value of Peer Support

Sue was a great speaker. I appreciate the research that she did on the topic and the personal touch that she brought.  She made me tear up several times during her talk.


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