“We place tremendous value on the insights and knowledge gained from the experience of our patients, their families and the patient partners at PVN,” said Elin Bjarnason, Acting Vice President of Quality, Safety and Experience at Island Health. “The quality of care we provide is improved when we listen to patients and include them in conversations about health and care.”
Sunny Loo noted the value he gained from being a patient partner, “It is a privilege to sit on a council as a patient partner. However, having patient representation is not a matter of privilege but a patients’ right – their right to actively participate in all aspects of their health care, from treatment decisions to policies.”
Volunteers are needed to join Island Health’s various Quality Councils and Island Health’s re-launched Leader Forum. Quality councils meet regularly to approve new standards of care, review adverse patient events, identify improvements and celebrate successes. These councils provide the structure to address quality matters and improve the care we provide. Leader Forum volunteers get the opportunity to develop leadership skills alongside Island Health decision makers. Opportunities are available for both the forums and councils in communities across Vancouver Island.
The inclusion of patient voices provides new perspectives and greater understanding for both patient and health-care partners, leading to more informed decisions. Any B.C. resident is invited to join PVN as a patient partner, as each person has a unique experience of interacting with the health-care system and can contribute to important conversations about care.
Specifically, Island Health’s Quality Councils are seeking people who:
- Have experience with receiving care or had a loved one receive care from Island Health within the last several years;
- Are interested in sharing insights and information about their health care experiences in ways that others can learn from;
- Are comfortable participating in a committee setting, including sharing lived experiences in a group setting;
- Can work respectfully in partnership with a variety of other people; and,
- Take a constructive approach to discussing concerns and ideas to address them.
How to volunteer:
- Visit www.patientvoicesbc.ca and click on Sign up as a Patient Partner.
- Fill out the form, hit submit and PVN will be in touch with you to schedule an orientation.
- Click on Engagement Opportunities to see the list of open opportunities and RSVP to the ones that interest you.
- Patient partners must currently live in B.C. and use the province’s health-care system.
Island Health, one of seven health jurisdictions in British Columbia, provides health care and support services to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.
With more than 20,000 staff, 1,900 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.
The Patient Voices Network is a community of patients, families and caregivers working together with health care partners to improve our health care system. The Network is guided by its mission to advance authentic patient engagement by building the capacity of our partners so patient- and family-centred care becomes the foundation from which all health care decisions are made. This includes recruiting and supporting patient partners, while working with health care partners to identify and promote local, regional and provincial opportunities for engaging the patient perspective in positive health care transformation. For more information, please visit www.patientvoicesbc.ca.
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