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Because your voice matters.

Sharing What We’ve Learned About DEI in Patient Engagement


Categories: Patient Voice Mail

We’ve just released a new resource called Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Elevating the Voices of All British Columbians! Thank you to the patient and health care partners who contributed to developing this guide.

Among those partners were members of PVN’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group, which has been striving since 2020 to create the space for partnerships and shared learning.

Members reached out to organizations who support priority populations and diverse perspectives in their work, as we are keen to learn more about how we can overcome barriers to participating in patient engagement. As a result of this relationship-building, guest speakers joined working group meetings and shared some of the inspirational work being undertaken by their organizations to engage patient and client voices.

What did we hear?

Here are some of the working group’s learnings from those conversations:

  • The importance of mentorship to coach and support those from a diverse background to participate in systems-level change
  • Digital equity: Access to technology to be able to participate in engagement opportunities
  • The importance of relationship-building in creating conditions that can bring people to work together
  • Assessing readiness when engaging with diverse voices
  • Visibility: Prioritize stories and profile diverse patient partners whenever you have the opportunity. Make them visible to others who may question, “Do I belong here?”
  • Meet people where they’re at
  • Use community champions who may be knowledge keepers in specific areas of the health care system e.g., peer-led organizations may be able to co-design engagements or deliver them on your behalf
  • Identify and act upon barriers to participation

Who have we talked to?

MOSAIC is one of the largest settlement non-profit organizations in Canada, serving immigrant, refugee, migrant and mainstream communities in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, as well as throughout the province of BC and overseas via online programs.

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services provides highly specialized treatment for people across British Columbia with severe mental health and substance use or addiction issues, people in custody and people who have been referred by the courts for assessment and treatment.

Travis Salway is an Affiliated Researcher in the Clinical Prevention Services division at the BC Centre for Disease Control. He’s also an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and a Research Scientist at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity.

Author: Cassy Mitchell, Engagement Leader

From Our Community

Jeanette Foreman

Northwest Quality Improvement Lead, Quality and Innovation, Northern Health

Jeanette Forman

PVN has really helped us engage with patient partners to improve health services at Northern Health.  It is more and more becoming the norm to include patients in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services.  PVN education and supports, involving patient partners, have enabled us to develop the capacity to include the patient voice to make care better and achieve better health outcomes.