Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society (OA) is a non-for profit organization formed in 2007 after a tragedy exposed issues in the health service. The aftermath attracted the attention from the media and brought Rose Lundy and Linda O’Donoghue and their families together to form Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society to help others whom may have suffered similar issues but did not have an outlet for help.
Over the years the organization has grown to include committed volunteers with a diverse level of experience and expertise. We are dedicated to helping patients and their families obtain the answers to questions they may have following an adverse medical complaint or in navigating the healthcare system. We have been involved with a wide array of cases ranging from Emergency Room issues, women’s health, mental health, acute care, medical fatalities, and helping families needing support and providing them with the resources necessary to deal with these issues.
We meet with various stakeholders and interested parties as we are passionate about improving the quality of health care delivery and its accountability, and also in the lives of the clients we serve. Our experience has allowed us to develop informative presentations to medical staff and interested organizations; helping to raise awareness on the improvement of quality care and prevention by facilitating dialogue between patients and practitioners.
The strength of OA lies not only in the diverse expertise of our members and Board of Directors, but also in our close ties to our original Founders, Rick and Rose Lundy, and Joe and Linda O’Donoghue. These four individuals recognized the importance of the common experience they shared, and what it would mean to share their experience with others in the hope that it would inspire strong self-advocacy and foster transparency, empathy and partnership between healthcare providers and patients. To find out more about our Founders’ experiences, view below.
Rick Lundy is married to Rose Lundy and has twin boys named Jared and Jordan. In July 2006, Rick’s wife had a miscarriage in a Calgary hospital waiting room in front of 50 strangers. This prompted Rick and several others to formulate an advocacy group to assist patients and families to get answers when they too suffer an adverse medical event within the health care system. Through his experience and knowledge of the healthcare system, Rick has become passionate about being an active participant in improving the health care system in the province of Alberta. Rick served as Chairperson of Open Arms from 2007-2010 and served in a variety of capacities on the Board until 2013. He left the Board to run for an elected position on the Calgary School Board.
Rose Lundy is one of the original founders of Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society who served a three year term as Secretary of the Board.
On July 18th of 2006 Rose Lundy had the unfortunate experience of miscarrying in the Emergency Room of a Calgary Hospital. The trauma caused her to walk in as one person and leave as a changed person in many aspects. Rose has always been passionate about making a difference and, as a result of her trauma, saw herself do so by becoming one of the founders of Open Arms. Open Arms touched and helped many patients and families and this makes Rose feel less of a victim and more of a victor. Rose is passionate about being a part of making changes to prevent others from going through what she had to endure or other adverse medical ordeals.
Even more specifically, both because of her life experiences, her training and what happened in 2006, Rose has a keen interest in mental/emotional health and areas of Psychiatric care. This is only one of the many areas Open Arms works on, working for systemic change.
Linda’s educational background is a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor degree in Child and Youth Care studies and a Master’s degree in Education. In April 2006 an incident occurred that changed Linda and Joe’s lives forever. She was 18 weeks pregnant; however at the 18 week routine ultrasound, it was discovered that the baby had died at 15 weeks. A D & C procedure was required. Linda waited for 6 days at home for her call from the hospital for the D and C. After the procedure took place, she then experienced severe complications and nearly lost her life. She was stabilized and placed on a respirator in ICU. The physical and psychological harm experienced from the miscarriage was extremely traumatic. The trauma Linda experienced is what compelled her and Joe to join Rick and Rose Lundy in creating Open Arms. Supporting patients who experience adverse medical events and working towards systemic changes in health regions across Alberta is of the utmost importance to Linda. Her hope is for positive change, for individuals, health care professionals and the health care system.
Along with his wife, Linda O’Donoghue, Joseph is one of the founders of Open Arms. He became involved with Open Arms after witnessing holes in the medical system’s processes and procedures, during and after Linda’s adverse medical event. Together with Rose and Rick Lundy, Open Arms was formed. Joe sat on the board of directors and was a committee chair for 4 years. Joe’s passion for maintaining a clear direction for Open Arms was always present, keeping in mind Open Arms’ focus on clients and advocating for them. He remains proud of the work being done for clients and their families