Lauren Clark, President & CEO Bridge C-14
Lauren Clark is a Social Worker at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). She holds a permanent position in the Medicine Department at the Civic Campus and has been a member of the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) Team at TOH and with the Champlain Regional MAiD Network.
Lauren is also the President & CEO of Bridge C-14. In early 2017, she met Jan Ditchfield, the Founder of Bridge C-14 and joined its founding Board of Directors. Lauren is deeply passionate about providing families with compassionate support throughout their journey with MAiD and took over the organization after Jan stepped down from day-to-day operations in June 2019.
Lauren holds a Social Service Worker diploma from Lambton College, a certificate in Dementia Studies from Lakehead University, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from Carleton University. She is a registered Member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).
Lauren was named as one of the OASW Inspirational Leaders for 2019 for her work with MAiD, has spoken at local, provincial and national conferences, and has been a guest instructor for the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)'s Advanced Practice Gerontological Social Work course for health professionals working in the Sinai Health System, the NICE Learning Series on Aging and with Wilfred Laurier University's Death, Dying and Bereavement Certificate Program.
Lauren Clark, President & CEO
Jan Ditchfield, Founder of Bridge C-14
Motivated by a deeply personal and heartbreaking journey with a loved one seeking medically-assisted death, Jan Ditchfield founded Bridge C-14 in 2017. She is driven by passion to change the landscape of compassion in our country.
As an award-winning Disability and Human Rights Advocate, she has been honoured for her work as a Rick Hansen Difference medalist, as well as the Celebration of People Awards, and was named one of the top Amazing People in Canada’s National Capital Region. Her work has been featured in a breath of publications such as The National Post, The Globe & Mail and The New York Times.
Jan Ditchfield, Founder
Coordinator of Volunteer Services
Alicia Freeborn supported her mother in 2018 through stage four lung cancer and a medically assisted death. Afterwards, Alicia helped develop the MAiD Grief Recovery group (now renamed the Bridge C-14 10 week peer support group) and found the connection to others with lived experience to be incredibly helpful in her healing and processing of grief. Since then, Alicia has led and supported many of the Bridge C-14 drop in and 10-week groups. Alicia was the recipient of the 2021 Dr. John D. Morgan Student Scholarship offered by the Bereavement Ontario Network.
Alicia Freeborn, Coordinator of Volunteer Services for Bridge C-14
Signy Novak, Director of the
Bridge4You 1:1 Peer Support Program
In July 2018, Sig supported her dad in his choice to have MAiD. It was clear during the time leading up to his death that there were few supports for family members. Shortly after her father's death she began her mission to set up a peer support program. "I spent one year gathering data to support the need for the project, and then began the task of forming the Bridge4You. The Bridge4You Peer Support Program launched officially in April 2021 and merged with Bridge C-14 as a stand-alone program in April 2022. We strive to provide compassionate support and peer connections with trained volunteers who have “lived” MAiD experience." - Signy.
The Peer Support program is truly a labour of love for her, which she supports in memory of her dad. Sig also works full time as Nursing Educator in Vancouver, BC.
Signy Novak, Director of Bridge4You 1:1 Peer Support Program
Coordinator for the Bridge4You 1:1 Peer Support Program
Robin Farr supported her dad through a medically assisted death in 2021. The general lack of support for family members led her to search out opportunities to help fill that gap and she started as a volunteer with Bridge 4 You and Bridge C-14 later that year. Robin is the coordinator for the Bridge 4 You 1:1 peer support program and also works full-time leading human resources and internal communications for a Crown corporation in Alberta. She lives in Calgary with her two kids and a labradoodle.
Robin Farr, Coordinator for the Bridge4You 1:1 Peer Support Program