We compiled questions that are frequently asked about the Patient Partner role and the Niagara Health Engagement Network. If you have additional questions, please contact the Patient Partnership and Relations team at patientpartners.NHEN@niagarahealth.on.ca or at 905-378-4647 extension 44427.
A: The NHEN Patient Partners will play an active role in shaping the future of Niagara Health. They will have the opportunity to:
A: The Niagara Health Engagement Network is seeking patients, caregivers and community members who are:
A: The Niagara Health Engagement Network is a roster of individuals within the community who have been a patient at Niagara Health (NH), a family member, friend or a community member committed to helping make a positive difference in local healthcare. Patient Partners of the NHEN will have direct input and play an active role in shaping policies and program development at Niagara Health (examples include working groups, special projects and documentation development and review).
A: In order to be a Patient Partner, you should be a past or current patient, have a loved one who is a current or previous patient, or be a community member who wants to help make a difference. You must be able to work collaboratively with staff and other families with an open and non-judgmental attitude.
A: The NHEN has a rostered approach. This allows individuals to be partnered with NH staff in the areas best suited to their interests and background without having a formalized committee. There is no right or wrong way for partnering with patients and families, but we feel this will suit our needs as we continue to include patients and families in all that we do. And it will fulfill your needs to contribute and make a difference.
A: Our NH volunteers are members of the community who choose to volunteer their time in a number of areas including auxiliary membership, patient and family care, information and customer service and project based opportunities. Our Engagement Network Patient Partner has different roles/responsibilities and may be involved in various engagement activities throughout the organization. They bring their perspectives and insights to help in quality improvement and decision making. All Patient Partners are Niagara Health volunteers and can also partake in other volunteer opportunities that may interest them as well.
A: Your role as a Patient Partner will be to actively collaborate with NH staff in a number of different areas. This role gives you the opportunity to share your experience with NH staff. Opportunities include committee advisor, work group advisor, program and policy evaluator, health literacy reviewer, focus group participant etc.
A: It depends. Generally the commitment is two or four hours per month, however, this can change depending on what engagement activity you are working on or what committee you are a part of. It also depends on how much time you want to contribute. Some Patient Partners find such enjoyment that they participate in several initiatives.
A: No, as a volunteer Patient Partner, the role is to use your experience as a patient, caregiver or community member. While we recognize that your experience has assisted others during your career, the role we are asking of our partners is purely from the lens of the patient/caregiver/community member.
A: You can find the application to become a volunteer Patient Partner on the NH website. Applications are also available through our Patient Partnership and Relations team or Volunteer Resources.
A: The application process includes an interview, immunization screening, criminal reference check and orientation.
A: The process may take six to eight weeks to complete.
A: Criminal background checks with vulnerable sector searches are required for the purpose of volunteering. It is intended for volunteer applicants who will be in a position of trust or authority over children or vulnerable persons in Canada.
A: If accepted, the applicant receives the Communicable Disease Surveillance Form/CDSP (Health Testing) to be completed. This process requires:
A: Yes, as a Patient Partner you will be entitled to free parking when you are onsite as part of your role.
A: You can contact the Patient Partnerships and Relations team at: 905-378-4647 ext. 44427 or patientpartners.NHEN@niagarahealth.on.ca
A: Once you are oriented and matched, you will be connected with the person you will be working with.