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SJHH / Patients & Visitors/ Patient Relations

Patient Relations

What this service does…

Dear Sir/ madam,

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is committed to providing the best care to our patients, families and community. We have recently transitioned to a new electronic system in documenting health information and care. This transition will continue to assist us in improving our quality, efficiency and seamless care that we offer. During this change, we understand initially there may be some delays and longer wait periods while we adopt and grow with the new system. We appreciate your patience during this time and will formalize your feedback on your experience with us. For information on accessing your file, please contact our Health Records department, Release of Information at 905.522.1155 x 35504.

How this service helps...

We promise to:

  • Listen to your comments and feedback in a supportive and respectful way.
  • Follow-up with the appropriate manager(s) to inform them of your complaint or compliment.
  • Answer your questions about the way we operate at any of our hospital campuses.
  • In collaboration with our managers, assist you in resolving any dissatisfaction you may have with the manner in which you were treated.
  • In collaboration with our patients, family and staff, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has developed a Patient Declaration of Values. Please click here to view our Patient Declaration of Values: Rights and Responsibilities Document.

Who should I contact regarding a complaint, compliment, or comment about the care I received at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton?

We suggest that where possible, you first share your feedback with a member of your care team.  They can immediately respond to your concerns and make changes.

If your concern requires further attention, or you feel it should be addressed by someone not directly providing your care, you are welcome to contact the Unit Manager. If this is not possible, you may contact the Patient Relations Department by phone, in writing through mail or email or in person. 


Karen Jeffrey, Patient Relations Coordinator & Julie Vohra, Patient Relations Specialist (West 5th Campus & Mental Health and Additions Program)
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 905-522-1155 ext. 33838

Phil Valvasori , Manager, Medical Affairs and Patient Relations
Telephone: 905-522-1155  ext. 33812

In person or in writing:

Patient Relations Department
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
Charlton Campus
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton ON L8N 4A6

The office is closed on statutory holidays.
If we are unavailable to take your call, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Patient and Family Feedback

Whether you have a compliment, complaint or comment, your feedback is very important to us.

We will respond to you as quickly as we can within three (3) business days.

We invite you to complete our Patient/Family Feedback Form and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

Living kidney donation process

Evaluation process


Life after kidney donation


Learn more about living kidney donation

Donor Stories

Brian's Story

Pictured above: Dr. Matthew Miller, Medical Lead and Brian Cooke, living kidney donor

For Christmas, Brian Cooke gave a gift only he was able to provide to his niece – his kidney. Brian’s niece, aged 40, required a kidney transplant as a result of Type 1 diabetes which she lived with since she was a child.

After completing his testing and appointments at the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Living Donor Clinic, Brian was a match for his niece and he was ready to undergo the hopeful procedure to give his niece a chance at a healthier life.

December 21, 2016 was the day of the successful kidney donation and only four days later on Christmas Day, Brian’s niece was discharged from the hospital.

Today, Brian is able to take part in the same activities he enjoyed before the transplant such as playing hockey and being a caregiver to his wife. His niece significantly improved physically and emotionally, and is now on the list for a pancreas transplant for her diabetes.

When asked about any advice he would have for individuals considering living donation Brian states, “Giving an organ to a loved one is a very special thing, and you must be willing to commit to everything involved. Everyone at the St. Joe’s Transplant Clinic has been a wonderful support system and they help you every step of the way. I do not regret it for a second.”

If you are interested in speaking with a previous living donor as a part of our Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP), you may contact Michelle MacKinnon, TAP Lead, by emailing For more information on the TAP program in general, click here.

For more information, click here to view our living donation program booklet.

Not a match for your recipient?

Click here for other options.

If you are considering donating your kidney to an anonymous donor through the Living Donor Paired Exchange Program, we invite you to browse the brochures below from Canadian Blood Services for more information.

Click on each brochure photo below to view a printable version.



Check back soon for events such as donor or transplant education at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

Out of province/country donors

 [link to ORN inforgraphic when available]

Donor Eligibility FAQ

  [link to ORN inforgraphic when available]

Transplant Ambassador Program

Pictured above: Michelle MacKinnon, St. Joe's Transplant Ambassador Program Lead

David MacKinnon had a passion and a gift for art, architecture and airplanes. He dreamed of one day becoming a pilot.  But from birth David’s health was put to the test, challenges that continued into his teen years that he worked hard at to overcome. It was a rare and massive gastrointestinal bleed that eventually led to a diagnosis of kidney disease for 16 year old David.  He would need a kidney transplant. 

Finding a match for a living donor transplant wasn’t an obstacle. David’s mother Michelle met the criteria. 

David began 10 months of Peritoneal Dialysis and in the 11th month was switched to Hemodialysis while he waited for his transplant date. Hemodialysis normally works well for many with chronic kidney disease, but unfortunately David’s body did not take it well, and as a result he suffered from many strokes that mimicked dialysis disequilibrium syndrome.

Eventually a transplant date was set for June 8, 2011. Michelle was fully prepared to donate her kidney to her son, but tragically David died that same day before the transplant could take place. Michelle vowed to donate that kidney anyway and she was given the opportunity to save a two year old boy in 2015 with that very kidney. Michelle says she feels tremendous gratitude to have been able to do this for another family on behalf of David.

Immediately, the MacKinnon family transformed these unfortunate circumstances into motivation, helping others who are considering a kidney transplant or donating a kidney by providing resources and education so people feel comfortable and supported in the process. She has also found hope in a program led by the Ontario Renal Network and Canadian Kidney Disease Network; the Transplant Ambassador Program.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s transplant team has partnered with the Canadian Kidney Disease Network/Ontario Renal Network to implement a new face-to-face support program organized by kidney recipients and donors called the Transplant Ambassador Program. Michelle MacKinnon is the lead at St. Joe’s and is currently recruiting individuals with lived experience to be a Transplant Ambassador. The goal of the program is to connect individuals who are considering a kidney transplant with the Transplant Ambassadors, and to support the potential recipient/donor every step of the way to show hope for a positive and healthy future.

St. Joe’s undertakes more than 100 kidney transplants each year to transform lives for those suffering from kidney failure. Most of the patients who have a living donation transplant are fully functioning without dialysis for the rest of their lives.

If you are a successful kidney recipient or donor interested in becoming a Transplant Ambassador at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, please contact Michelle MacKinnon by email at

Expense Reimbursement Program

PRELOAD Program info with link

Contact us

Your Care Team

Medical Lead for Living Kidney Donor Program: Dr. Matthew Miller
Donor Nephrologist: Dr. Seychelle Yohanna
Donor Nephrologist: Dr. Karen To
Transplant Surgeon: Dr. Anil Kapoor
Transplant Surgeon: Dr. Shahid Lambe
Transplant Surgeon: Dr. Kevin Piercey
Program Psychologist: Dr. Joseph Pelizzarri
Transplant Coordinator: Maria Roberts, Registered Nurse
Transplant Coordinator: Melodie Jansen, Registered Nurse
Administrative Assistant: Kim Guastadisegni

Phone: 905.522.1155 ext. 32156

Additional Resources

Patient Relations Brochure
Please click here for a printable version of our Patient Relations brochure.

Patient & Family Advisory Council
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is committed to providing the best quality care for our patients and the community we serve.  Are you interested in lending your voice and becoming more involved?  We are looking for Patient and Family advisors to help us make a difference for patients.  Being a Patient and Family Advisor is an opportunity to be a part of improving health care throughout St. Joseph's by working with other healthcare professionals, patients, and family members with the goal of improving the patient experience and quality of care.  If you are open to new ideas, being part of the decision making, and helping others, contact Michelle Joyner for more details at 905-522-1155 x32760 or

To learn more about the St. Joseph's Healthcare's Patient and Family Advisory Council and how to apply please click here.

Have you recently contacted Patient Relations?

Your voice matters!  At  St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, our patients and families voice is valued.  Your comments help us to improve how we deliver care. Please take a few moments to fill out the short survey found here: Patient Relations Satisfaction SurveyResponses are confidential and anonymous so please do not put your name on the survey. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us!