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Why a Youth Committee?

In the fall of 2006, the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) identified the need for a committee to address the issue of youth involvement in the organization, and so the National Youth Committee (NYC) was born! The CHS-NYC consists of very excited and energetic individuals who represent almost all regions of Canada who are working together to support, promote and address youth involvement within the organization.

At our first meeting, the committee identified the various roadblocks in our various communities to youth involvement. We are currently working towards overcoming them and engaging Canadian youth with bleeding disorders in order to support each other and develop amazing local, provincial and national youth programming. We recognized that some regions already had very developed youth programming and some regions wanted to do this, but needed some help getting the ball rolling. That is one of our main goals and we have begun working together on an unprecedented national level towards this end! We will be using this section of the CHS web site to communicate and reach out to Canadian Youth with a bleeding disorder. Please visit our web page regularly and learn more about youth-oriented programs coming to a Chapter/Region near you!

Terms of Reference

Canadian Hemophilia Society – National Youth Committee


The purpose of this committee is to support, promote and address the involvement of youth (ages 15-25) within the Canadian Hemophilia Society.


The duties and responsibilities of the Committee shall be to:

  • Increase the number of youth involvement in the functional, operational, and decision-making processes within the Canadian Hemophilia Society.
  • Foster an environment within the Canadian Hemophilia Society that encourages and embraces youth involvement and input.
  • Increase the level and quality of inter-provincial youth communications.
  • Ensure that all regional/provincial youth activities are consistent with the mission, vision and strategic plan of the organization.
  • Provide assistance and advice to local youth when organizing their local events/programs.
  • Promote and implement youth development programs as needed.
  • Strive to be visible at all major hemophilia events in Canada (regional, provincial and national) as well as Hemophilia Newsletters to do self-promotion.
  • Optimize cohesive coordination between chapters, regions, and national in relation to volunteer development activities through ongoing communication with local leaders.
  • Establish, through an annual performance plan, youth nationwide activities which will meet the organization's need of involving new youth.
  • Assure succession plans are developed.
  • Initiate an international youth twinning program.


The committee shall be consisted of not fewer than five and not more than eighteen members and shall be composed as follows:

a)    Chairperson: Recommended by the National Youth  Committee and appointed by the CHS Board, the Chairperson or Co-Chairs shall be appointed annually and shall be eligible to hold the position of Chairperson or Co-Chairs for a maximum of 6 years.

b)    Membership: The members will consist of young people  representing all of the geographical areas across Canada serviced by the CHS.  Ideally, there should be at least one representative from every region.  Also the majority of the group's composition should be made up of those directly affected by bleeding disorders. 

The term of appointment for members shall be one year and members shall be eligible to hold that position for a maximum of 6 years.

Members should be aged between 15-25.  If a member reaches the maximum age while serving on the committee he or she will be entitled to stay until the end of his term and still be eligible for an additional two-term reappointment.

c)    Ex-officio: President and Executive Director


The Committee shall meet in person or by teleconference not less than once yearly and shall meet at such other times as the Chairperson or Co-Chairs of the Committee may require.

Unless otherwise agreed, notice of each meeting confirming the venue or mode of meeting, time and date, together with an agenda of items to be discussed, shall be forwarded to each member of the committee no fewer than five days prior to the date of the meeting.

The Youth Committee is a standing committee established by the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.  It reports through its Chairperson or Co-Chairs to either the National Executive Committee or the National Board of Directors.  The Chairperson or a Co-Chair shall be an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

Membership will be reviewed on an annual basis and vacant volunteer positions will be advertised in CHS communication tools (website, newsletters, etc).


The CHS-NYC consists of very excited and energetic individuals who represent almost all regions of Canada. The NYC co-chairs are:

Justin Smrz (Co-Chair) (British Columbia)
Justin Smrz lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia where he sits on the BC Chapter board as the youth coordinator.  Justin has severe type A factor VIII deficiency and has attended Hemophilia camp for 20 years, 9 of those as a counselor. Being exposed to genetics at a young age, Justin continued to further his knowledge while attending UBC where he graduated with his bachelors of science, majoring in cell biology and genetics. Despite having Hemophilia, Justin enjoys participating in a wide variety of sports, ranging from on the ice for curling to on the field for ultimate Frisbee.

Zach Adams (Co-Chair) (Ontario) 
My name is Zachary Adams and I am currently in the process of completing my final year in the Honours Kinesiology program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I have moderate hemophilia A and was diagnosed at the age of seven. This is my first year on the National Youth Committee and I am excited to be apart of an amazing group and meet many new people. I have been volunteering with Hemophilia Ontario for the past 3 years and am involved in many programs and initiatives. I love exploring new ideas, helping out anywhere I can and am looking forward to an amazing year!

Plan of action

In order to support, promote and address youth involvement, the National Youth Committee in 2013-2014 will:

•    Organize youth activities in all CHS chapters/regions
•    Promote youth involvement at provincial/regional AGM
•    Promote youth involvement at clinics
•    Advertise youth activities on CHS Website
•    Maintain a Youth File Section in Hemophilia Today
•    Host Youth Leadership Workshops