Ms. Cheryl Koehn (Consumer Representative)
President, Arthritis Consumer Experts

As a 24-year survivor of rheumatoid arthritis, Ms. Koehn brings the arthritis consumer's perspective to Arthritis Consumer Experts - a National grassroots arthritis consumer/patient organization - and to decision-making processes at government, research institutions, not-for- profit and for-profit organizations across Canada and internationally.

Ms. Koehn has served on provincial and national committees and been a standard bearer for the inclusion of people with arthritis in all decision-making processes related to the field of arthritis. Her remarks from the floor during the final Arthritis 2000 plenary session have been widely recognized as the catalyst for the creation of the Canadian Arthritis Network, one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence. She is an invited speaker at National and International arthritis and health-related conferences as a leading arthritis advocate in Canada.

In May 1999, Ms. Koehn became the volunteer consumer representative on Canadian Arthritis Network's management and research and development committee, created and was elected chair of its Consumer Advisory Council. She was re-elected co-chair in September 2002, served as a consumer community representative on the Network's Partnerships and Sustainability Committee and spearheaded the development of their Aboriginal Research Initiative, the first of its kind in Canada.

In addition, Ms. Koehn and her Arthritis Consumer Experts colleagues regularly represent the views of Canadians living with arthritis at all levels of government across Canada.