Canadian Steering Committee

The Canadian Steering Committee of three physicians and four patients then developed additional content, resources and information relevant for Canadians living with hidradenitis suppurativa, through a series of information exchanges, content creation and team reviews. The Canadian Steering Committee includes: Dr. Raed Alhusayen, Dr. Marc Bourcier, Dr. Melinda Gooderham and  Stephanie Carter, Krystal Duncalfe, Maria Goguen and Rick Palmer.

About the Steering Committee



Dr. Raed Alhusayen

Dr Alhusayen is an Assistant Professor and clinician investigator at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. He completed his Dermatology residency training at the University of Ottawa.

He then completed a 2-year advanced medical dermatology fellowship and a Masters in clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto.

Dr Alhusayen’s clinical practice focuses on complex medical dermatology including autoimmune skin diseases, hidradenitis suppurativa, and skin lymphomas.


Dr. Marc Bourcier

Dr. Bourcier completed his medical schooling at the University of Montréal along with his postgraduate training where he obtained his fellowship in dermatology. He has been working as a community dermatologist in Moncton, N.B. ever since. Within his practice, he has a special interest in psoriasis, eczema, skin cancers and more recently, hidradenitis suppurativa.

Given these interests, he has been involved in clinical research in dermatology for the past 16 years and he is actively participating in a clinical trial for HS.


Dr. Melinda Gooderham

Dr. Gooderham is a Dermatologist and Medical Director at the SKiN Centre for Dermatology and an Investigator with Probity Medical Research. She is an Assistant Professor at Queens University and a Consultant Physician at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She received her MD from the University of Western Ontario in 1999, and then completed her Dermatology residency at the University of Toronto in 2004. Prior to training in medicine, Dr. Gooderham obtained a Bachelor of Science from Queens University in Kingston in 1992, and a Master of Science from the University of Guelph in 1995.

Dr. Gooderham is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, nurse practitioners and physicians with both didactic and clinical hands-on teaching. She practices with a focus on psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, skin cancer and clinical research.


Stephanie Carter

Stephanie Carter has been living with HS since the age of 13, but was not diagnosed until age 21 when the inflammatory skin disease put her in the hospital. It was during this three-month hospital stay that resulted in numerous surgeries, complications, testing, and deliberation among specialists, that her skin condition was finally determined to be HS. It was during this period that Stephanie decided to focus her efforts on empowering others with the same skin condition. With the assistance of her dermatologist, Stephanie was invited to participate in an HS focus group, which lead to her work with HS Online.


Krystal Duncalfe

Krystal Duncalfe’s HS journey began in high school when she began to develop small bumps and sores under her armpits. A few years down the road (high school graduation), she began to develop the sores all over her body. It wasn’t until she was about 20 years of age that she realized that she had more than an acne problem. She was in and out of the hospital on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and saw every doctor imaginable. At the age of 22, she was finally given a name for the condition; hidradenitis suppurativa! From that day forward, she swore that she would focus on helping herself, as well as others with this condition.


Maria Goguen

Maria Goguen has been living with HS since 1991 when her parents first noticed sores on her body at the age of 9. In 2009, she was finally diagnosed with HS and started blogging about her skin condition, and later created an HS support group. During this past year, she attended an HS discussion group that inspired her to further commit herself to helping raise awareness with the goal of furthering research and education about HS so that others may benefit and receive the appropriate medical attention required to adequately manage the condition.


Rick Palmer

While diagnosed with HS in 1995 at the age of 50, Rick Palmer had already been living with the skin condition for several years. Thinking back, the delay in diagnosis is of no surprise to Rick, given the lack of awareness regarding the condition.

Today, Rick is a member of the HS Online Canadian community and is a curator of much of the content on the site. His goal in joining the committee was to help support awareness of the condition, as well as share insights from his own experience to assist others through their own HS journey.


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  3. Zouboulis CC, Tsatsou F (2012) Disorders of the apocrine sweat glands. In: Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ, Wolff K (eds) Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed, McGraw Hill, New York Chicago, pp 947-959.