Simmie brings government and private sector experience to her role as Senior Health Law Counsel at DDO Health Law, advising health sector clients in four main areas:
- Privacy and Access to Information: Simmie provides advice about protecting the confidentiality of patient health information and accessing information held by government, institutions and health care custodians. Simmie enjoys conducting privacy training and advising organizations about how to meet their privacy obligations. Simmie is available to draft privacy policies, statements, notices and data sharing agreements.
- Regulated and Unregulated Health Professions: Simmie advises clients and other lawyers about scope of practice, transfer of files, conflict of interest, clinic regulation, internet practice, tele-practice, managed care, quality assurance, registration, consent, professional misconduct and incompetence. Simmie also advises about unregulated professions. For regulators, Simmie prepares regulations and educational material. For health profession advocacy organizations, Simmie can give opinions on proposed and existing regulations and prepare submissions to government. Simmie has experience reviewing and drafting corporate agreements to ensure regulatory and privacy obligations are met for health care professionals, researchers and health care corporations.
- Risk Management: Simmie gives advice to community mental health agencies, hospitals and long-term care facilities about day to day operations, policies and critical incident management involving issues such as consent, substitute decision-making, privacy, ambulance services, medical assistance in dying and transfer of medical care.
- Public Policy: Simmie advises about current public policy issues such as caregiver experiences in the health care system. Simmie’s experience includes consulting with multiple stakeholders to create regulatory schemes that permit inter-professional collaboration and incorporation of health professionals’ practices.
- Contracts and Commercial: Simmie reviews, drafts and negotiates contracts including service, grant, transfer payment, license, secondment and physician agreements. Simmie also reviews and drafts governance agreements and by-laws for health professional organizations, and can help develop regulations for health profession regulators.
Before joining Dykeman & O’Brien, Simmie was in sole legal practice where she advised private and public sector clients. Before that, Simmie acted as legal counsel to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for many years, advising about regulated health professions, land and air ambulance services, paramedic regulation, international medical graduates, unregulated professions, Ontario drug benefit programs and the formulary. In government, Simmie interacted with the Privacy Commissioner, Ombudsman and Freedom of Information offices and supported Crown counsel in litigation defending the mandatory revocation provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act, drug listing decisions and transition of land ambulance and communication services. Simmie also helped develop and implement legislative changes permitting health professionals to incorporate their practices.
Currently, Simmie is a managing editor for the Health Law in Canada newsletter published by Lexis Nexis Canada and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association. Simmie also writes a column in the Canadian Society of Eye Health Practitioners Newsletter.
Simmie is thrilled to be a part of DDO Health Law and strives to give practical, effective and timely solutions to legal problems.