Niagara Health’s new engagement network is deeply rooted in our commitment to create meaningful and authentic partnerships with patients, families and community members to enhance the quality of care and overall experience of those we serve.
The new Niagara Health Engagement Network provides opportunities for Patient Partners to share their time, experiences and perspectives to help make improvements in quality and safety as we continue on our path to a healthier Niagara.
There are currently more than 30 patients, family members and community members on the Niagara Health Engagement Network. They are mothers of patients, former patients, retired healthcare practitioners and other Niagara residents who want to make a difference in local healthcare.
Bob Asham joined the network after hearing about it at a Niagara Health Accessibility Committee meeting. He has been a member of the Accessibility Committee since last year and has served on the City of St. Catharines Accessibility Advisory Committee since 2011.
While playing hockey, Bob suffered an injury that left him paralyzed. “I know what it’s like to spend a lot of time in a hospital room,” Bob said. “I want to use my experience to help others.”
Patient Partner Mary Maida grew up with a chronically ill parent and is now the mother of a child with special needs. She has been in the caregiver role for most of her life and is using her optimistic outlook to help improve the care experience at Niagara Health.
“Both experiences have had their own set of challenges,” Mary said. “But there have also been many blessings, joyful times and wonderful people that I have met along the way.”
Niagara Health is currently recruiting additional Patient Partners. Niagara Health’s goal is to have a diverse group of Patient Partners who work on a variety of initiatives alongside staff and physicians. These initiatives could include improving patient experience in the Emergency Department, reviewing policies and procedures through the lens of a patient, among many other quality improvement opportunities.
“The new network takes our commitment to partnering with patients, families and community members to the next level and will have a lasting impact on the quality of the patient experience and services we provide,” says Linda Boich, Executive Vice-President of Quality, Community Development and Mental Health and Addictions. “We are indebted to all of our Patient Partners for their passion and willingness to volunteer their time and knowledge, supporting our efforts to provide Extraordinary Caring. Every Person. Every Time.”
Having a roster of trained Patient Partners is one of the features that makes this network unique and dynamic. Patient Partners can participate in as many or few opportunities as they like, and they can choose initiatives that match their interests, experiences and time commitment. At the same time, the feedback Niagara Health receives is richer given the diversity of perspectives Patient Partners bring to our discussions.
Anyone interested in becoming a Patient Partner is encouraged to visit www.niagarahealth.on.ca/site/nhen, where you’ll find an application form and additional resources. The Patient Partnerships and Relations team can be reached at 905-378-4647 ext. 44427 or by email at patientpartners.NHEN@niagarahealth.on.ca
- All Patient Partners receive specialized training.
- The Patient Partnerships and Relations team will keep Patient Partners updated by email, phone and through the website.
- There are many different ways for Patient Partners to get involved, both virtually and in person. Examples include: conference calls, online surveys and polls, site visits and focus groups.
- Each initiative requires a different level of engagement and time commitment.