Advocates

Our advocates have the skills and training to help support and navigate our clients through the healthcare system. Passionate, professional and empathetic are just one of the many skills we look for in our advocates. Open Arms is dependent on the work that our advocacy team brings forth to the organization and larger community. Simply click on the name or picture of our advocates to get to know them better.

Farwa Naqvi

Zach Hong

Jeremy Fan

Cristina Santamaria-Plaza

Farwa Naqvi

Farwa Naqvi

Advocacy Committee Chair

Farwa joined Open Arms in early 2014, and is currently the Advocacy Committee Chair, and an active Patient Advocate. As a University student deeply interested in health and medicine, Farwa brings passion and grassroots-level involvement with Open Arms through her relationship to advocates and clients.

Farwa believes in leading by example, and working with patients to seek clear answers to their concerns when navigating what can often be a very complex and confusing system. Her passion for medical processes and systems led her to advocacy, where she has applied her skills to a wide variety of cases.

Farwa believes that clients and patients should be navigated through to positive and fair outcomes in regards to their health. Her goal is to help all those seeking assistance from Open Arms to have a positive experience.

Zach Hong

Zach Hong

Advocacy Committee Co-chair

Zach is currently the advocacy committee co-chair, and an active patient advocate. In 2016, he joined Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society to help patients successfully navigate the health care system, and address their health care concerns. He is a graduate from the BSc Neuroscience (Honours) program at the University of Calgary.

Jeremy Fan

Jeremy Fan

Patient Advocate 

Jeremy is a third-year Biological Sciences student at the University of Calgary. Inspired by his studies in public health, Jeremy hopes to empower and educate patients neglected by the public care system to take the initiative of their personal health and liaison the relationship between caregiver and care recipients. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys weightlifting and museum-hopping.

Cristina Santamaria-Plaza

Cristina Santamaria-Plaza

Patient Advocate

Cristina is currently in her third year of the BHSc majoring in health and society. She aspires to work in the health sector helping people on a more widespread global scale. She is a very outgoing, ambitious and active person. Cristina is very open and always eager to try new things and step out of her comfort zone. In her spare time, she enjoys working out and playing sports, reading and spending time with friends.

Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips

Patient Advocate

Richard recently retired after working at Alberta Health Services for over 15 years. He was initially an Addictions Counsellor with a youth program and then at the Opioid Dependency Program. In more recent years he was a member of teams focused on improving patient and family centred care across the health system.

Richard was fortunate to see first-hand how important it is for patient and families to be accepted as equal partners in their healthcare teams and what they can bring to the co-design and co-creation of services.