Autism Care Network family partner wins CHC Patient and Family Leadership Award

January 12, 2023
Gunjan Seth

Autism Speaks is thrilled to congratulate Gunjan Seth, family partner to the Autism Speaks Autism Care Network (ACNet), for winning the 2022 Children’s Healthcare Canada (CHC) Patient and Family Leadership Award.

The award recognizes outstanding leadership by a parent or caregiver who has served to improve the patient and family experience for those accessing pediatric healthcare in Canada. It is presented to an individual who has exemplified courage, commitment and resilience in promoting systemic change at local, regional and/or national levels.

Gunjan is a family leader at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, one of two Autism Care Network sites in Canada. As an immigrant and parent to her autistic son, she has dedicated herself to decreasing the challenges faced by families of children with autism. She is particularly passionate about reducing barriers for newcomers to Canada, immigrants and refugees entering the healthcare system for the first time.

Her passion led her to Holland Bloorview and the ACNet, where she has worked since 2014 to create a supportive, inclusive environment for families of children with disabilities to share their questions, challenges and successes.

“Gunjan is an amazing family partner to the Autism Care Network. We are so grateful for her commitment and dedication to supporting families in the autism community,” says Angie Fedele, director of operations, Clinical Programs at Autism Speaks. "Her contributions have been vital to many Network activities and have improved our ability to provide positive family- and person-centered care to patients across Network sites."

As a member of the ACNet Family Partners Committee, Gunjan actively collaborates with the Network and Holland Bloorview to improve the experience of autistic people and their families as they navigate the healthcare system. Her contributions to the Behavioral Sciences Committee and as a research advisor to PATH to Discovery, a major ACNet-supported research study, help the Network in its efforts to innovate treatments for mental health issues and develop a roadmap to personalized healthcare for people with autism.

At Holland Bloorview, Gunjan has co-facilitated many family support events, including a mental health webinar for newcomers to Canada and workshops on disability funding access. She also co-developed “Project Inclusion”, an online learning series for educators on inclusion and disability accommodations in school.

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