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Sue's unique talks are inspirational and authentic, and carefully crafted to rekindle passion in health care.


Sue's speaking topics include the patient and family perspective, storytelling, health care advocacy, meaningful patient and family engagement, disclosing diagnosis and the value of peer support. 

Tailored for Any Audience

Sue has spoken at international, national and local conferences – from Melbourne to Dublin to closer to home in Vancouver. All talks and workshops are tailored to the audience. She is currently offering Zoom talks and will consider in person for COVID-cautious conferences. Sue also enjoys being interviewed on podcasts.

'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.'

- Physician Attendee, 2018



May 28, 2024, Plenary Panel e-Health Conference Vancouver.

June 2024, Alberta College of Pharmacy, Plenary Speaker, Leadership Group.

October 2024, Plenary Speaker, Atlantic Quality and Patient Safety Learning Exchange Moncton New Brunswick.


March 6, 2024, CIHI Learning Session, Patient Engagement for the Win, co-presented with Amie Archibald-Varley.



December 2, 2023, Parent Panel, Transition Pop-Up Event, Children's Healthcare Canada.

November 25, 2023 Our Shared Humanity plenary talk for Oak Valley Health Retreat.

November 2023, Gathering of Kindness Words Matter Panel Speaker.

October 2023, Kids Brain Health Conference Plenary Speaker.

September 17, 2023 Panel Participant, Patient Safety Movement for World Patient Safety Day. 

July 2023, Patient Experience in Radiology, Radiopaedia speaker

May 2023, Conversation for Kindness speaker, Whose Story is It Anyhow?

5P Health Care Solutions, Mapping the Patient Journey, February 14, 2023

A Family Perspective on Disability, co-presented with Aaron Waddingham, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Governance Committee, February 13, 2023



Ducks in a Row Book Club Discussions:

Canadian Medical Association

National Health Engagement Network - sponsored by Healthcare Excellence Canada

Patient Advisors Network

Women's Health Group, Winnipeg

Central Health Authority, Newfoundland

Talks and Workshops:

C4 Workshop and Panel, Everybody Has a Story, November 28, 2022.

Opening Talk for BC Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society AGM. November 23, 2022.

Gathering of Kindness Canada, Video Host and Panel Moderator, November 9, 2022.

Health E-Matters Conference, Bird by Bird: Writing and Publishing a Book, October 28, 2022.

Action in Child Health Research Symposium, Plenary Speaker, Patient Engagement for the Win! October 22, 2022.

Give A Duck E-vent - Ducks in a Row Book Launch, sponsored by Bird Comm!  Fall 2022, September 27, 2022. 

July + August 2022, talks about storytelling with the Canadian Medical Association Patients Voice Group.

Holland Bloorview Humanistic Health Care Talk.  June 15, 2022

WORKSHOPS: Horizon Health Network, New Brunswick.  Two storytelling workshops.  May 10 + 12 2022.

Patient Engagement for the Win! A motivational talk to open University Health Network's Strategy Day for patient engagement in research. May 4, 2022.


WORKSHOP: The Power of Stories, Niagara Children's Centre Family Conference, April 27, 2022.

WORKSHOP: The Power of Stories, New South Wales, Patient Experience Week, April 25, 2022.

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, co-presenting on Everybody Has a Story with Amanda Bolderston, Vancouver, April 23, 2022.

Harnessing Our Collective Will To Rebuild Health Care. Canadian Medical Association Summit.  Patient speaker on the opening panel.  March 29, 2022. 

Waiting Room Revolution Podcast - About reimagining health care. March 22, 2022.

McMaster University Caregiving Essentials Webinar with Donna Thomson. Health Care Shouldn't Make You Cry.  March 2, 2022.

Video for Radiography Students, The Power of Listening to Stories, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, March 2022.

WORKSHOP: The Power of Stories, Solutions for Kids in Pain Knowledge Brokers, February 8, 2022.

Family Support Network, Toronto.  The Power of Storytelling.  January 27, 2022.

Bump in the Road Podcast, an interview with Pat Wetzel. January 26, 2022.

Canadian Society of Physician Leaders Podcast, a conversation with Dr. Johny Van Aerde, January 21, 2022.

My Complex Parenting Podcast, Telling Your Story Is Badass. January 19, 2022

Sickboy Podcast, Ducks in a Row: Health Care Reimagined. January 12, 2022




Gathering of Kindness International Grand Round Panel, November 2021.

International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care, Australasia, Huddle presentation on Kindness, September 9, 2021

Exploring Health Inequities + System Gaps Exposed During COVID - Panel Discussion with

Canadian Association for Health Services + Policy Research, May 19, 2021.


The Power of Storytelling Azrieli Caregivers Advisory Committee, June 2021. 


Sickboy Podcast, True Meaning of Health Care, May 3, 2021.

Children's Healthcare Canada Webinar, The Power of Storytelling, April 8, 2021.

Gathering of Kindness Video - a reading of All the Warm Blankets Chapter, April 2021.

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

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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 Podcast – The Most Important Voice in Healthcare: Learning what patient experience really means February 3, 2021.

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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.

'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!'


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, Australia.  Various events at KPMG Melbourne, Central Gippsland Health, Launceston General Hospital, Tasmania and Royal Melbourne Hospital. Gathering of Kindness. 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.

'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…'


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

'Very inspirational story. I enjoyed hearing about

the patient/patient’s family perspective towards health care.'


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

Vancouver, BC. October 29, 2016




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.

'I feel like our class has walked away better doctors.'


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.

'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...'


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.




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.



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.


2012 and 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 Congress, August 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 have not heard a better keynote speaker since.'


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

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