CATHERINE FOOKS Catherine ("Cathy") Fooks left this planet heartbreakingly early on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, owing to a tragic fall. Dearest wife and life companion to Terrence ("Terry") Sullivan, outstanding mother to Katie and Sarah, superb stepmother to Jesse and Megan (Patrick), and doting grandmother to Seamus and Rory. Loving sister to Alison (Wayne) and Rosalind (Ross), aunt to Duncan and Alison, and niece to Margaret Doxey. Daughter of the late Cherry and Dr. Anthony ("Tony") Fooks. Born August 1, 1961 in London, England, Cathy was a remarkably talented, charming and straightforward person and a generous leader and mentor in the health sector in Ontario and nationally. In her distinguished 30+ year career in public health, Cathy served as Executive Director of the Health Council of Canada and held senior positions with the Canadian Policy Research Network, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (now IC/ES). Earlier this year, Cathy stepped down as CEO of The Change Foundation where she had worked passionately to improve the lives of patients, caregivers and providers. In June 2020, Cathy assumed the important role of Ontario's Patient Ombudsman. Her first report in that role was a siren call for reform in long-term care homes. Throughout her career, Cathy was an insistent trailblazer who broke through longstanding system barriers and outdated norms to ensure meaningful change in the care that individuals receive. Brilliant, a whiz in the kitchen, and the fierce protector of her loved ones, Cathy will be deeply missed by her loving family, many friends and close circle of confidants. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cathy's memory to the caregiver programs at any of the Changing CARE partnership organizations: Sinai Health System, Woodgreen Community Services, St. Joseph's Healthcare London, Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Cornwall Community Hospital or a caregiver program/organization of choice.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Jan. 2 to Jan. 6, 2021.