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Because your voice matters.

“Your Contributions Have Been Invaluable”: Celebrating Patient Partners During National Volunteer Week

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Categories: Patient Voice Mail

This year marks 12 years since the Patient Voices Network (PVN) was formed! Over the years, patient engagement to directly improve our health care system has increased exponentially. These results can be seen and felt throughout BC and we want to acknowledge our 1200 patient partners who volunteer their time and expertise alongside health care teams!

In early 2016, the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (the Council) started administering PVN and since that time, patient partners have participated in over 1200 projects. Many of these projects include more than one patient partner – we’ve facilitated almost 4000 patient partner placements! That’s a lot of hours and valuable contributions that are helping to improve the health care system in BC for all.

When we’ve asked patient partners how they want to be recognized and appreciated, most say that they like to receive a simple “thank you” and that they are receiving them! Health care team leads aren’t just thanking patient partners during National Volunteer Week, they are thanking and acknowledging them during meetings, over the phone and sometimes with touching handwritten cards.

National Volunteer Week is from April 24 – 30 – let’s take a moment to reflect on the great work that patient partners have contributed over the years and send them all a huge thank you!

A Special Video Celebrating Patient Partners’ Accomplishments

Watch a video with messages of gratitude from a few familiar faces around the Council!

We’ve also gathered special thank you messages from across the province to share.

Patient & Public Engagement Director Tammy Hoefer sincerely stated that:

“We are lucky to have some of the most incredible volunteers in British Columbia! These are patients, families and caregivers who selflessly share their experiences in health care because of their desire to make it better for everyone. On behalf of the Council, thank you for your dedication and inspiration to others.”

On behalf of PVN’s Oversight and Advisory Committee, Co-chair Vikram Bubber emphasized that he appreciates patient voices and values the health care system listening.

From the Ministry of Health to all the health authorities across the province, the messages of appreciation continue to flow in.

“Our sincerest gratitude goes out to every patient partner we have had the opportunity to collaborate with last year in our Digital Health Patient Advisory Groups. Your contributions have been invaluable to ensure that our policies are patient-centred and impactful. Thank you!”

Lydia Tang and Nicole Rennie, Digital Health Policy, Health Sector IM/IT, Ministry of Health

“I appreciate and am inspired by patient partners’ passion and commitment. I admire patient partners’ courage and motivation to share their experiences and knowledge to support improvements in the health care system. Thank you for your partnership.”

Laura Klein, Professional Practice Consultant, Fraser Health

“Thank you to the patient partners that continuously show up for us at Providence Health Care. Your commitment is instrumental to patient safety and quality improvement. You remind us to always come back to the patient experience and we appreciate the valuable perspective you bring!”

Hannah Tighe, Practice Consultant, Person and Family Centered Care, Providence Health

From Interior Health, Karla Warkotsch, who has many years of experience working with PVN patient partners shared:

“A heartfelt thank you and continued gratitude to the patient partners who give so much of their time to bring change within the health care system. Though National Volunteer Week comes but once a year, your commitment, experience and voice are appreciated daily. The past few years have seen many changes within the health care system and the impact of your contribution is evident throughout. Thank you for all you give, share and support within the work being done.”

From Northern Health, Tina Strudsholm, Lead Person and Community Engagement, Quality & Innovation shared:

“To work with members of Patient Voices Network in decisions related to health care planning, implementation, evaluation, and research is to be consistently inspired. Patient partners bring an energizing passion and generosity to the work of improving health care for the greater good. I am so thankful for the privilege to lead and be part of engagements with members of the Patient Voices Network.”

And lastly, from Jana Archer, Manager, Experience Island Health:

“Thank you to every patient partner who shares their time and unique experiences, perspectives and feedback to improve care and service within Island Health and the health system. I regularly hear and see how your voices are making a difference for all the patients, clients, families and residents we serve.”

We’re grateful to hear the kind words of appreciation from across the province. Continue the celebrations at our Patient Partner Party on April 26 from 12 – 1 PM!

Author: Carol Stathers, Engagement Lead, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

From Our Community

Shana Ooms

Executive Director of Primary Care Strategy, Policy and Quality — BC Ministry of Health

Shana Ooms

Where those of us in the room may have debated policy or wording, patient voices made sure patients were top of mind. And as a result, significant improvements were made to simplify something that was otherwise complex. Patient voices at the table bring us back to reality in terms of what we are trying to achieve.