Leader, Strategic Initiatives, Patient & Public Engagement
Kira joined the Patient & Public Engagement team as an Engagement Leader for the Vancouver Island region in March 2016 and began working as a Strategic Initiatives Leader in June 2020. She has a background in health promotion, community engagement and project management, and has previously worked on initiatives related to employee wellness and safety in the health care workplace, prison health, reproductive mental health, and the integration of the arts into health-related care, research, and education.
Kira holds a Master of Public Health from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Victoria, and the PMP designation from the Project Management Institute. In her other life, Kira works as a professional voice actor lending her speaking and singing voice to cartoons, film, and radio.
Get to know more about Kira:
Why is better health care important to you?
“When you think back to the last 100 years, health care has made some truly incredible advancements: blood transfusions, vaccines, antibiotics, pacemakers, organ transplants, mapping the human genome and more! Diseases have been eradicated and life expectancy has been dramatically extended. Looking forward, it’s downright exciting to imagine the strides and improvements to health and quality of life that the collective ‘we’ will make over the next 50-100 years! Developments in science and technology, coupled with efforts to create a more efficient, high quality and patient-oriented service delivery system will positively affect the health and well-being of just about everyone.”
How would you describe what happens when patients collaborate with health care partners?
“When patient partners and health care providers collaborate, a giant disco ball is born!
Achem. Ok, bear with me and my shiny metaphor for a minute…
We all interact with, witness and perceive the health care system in different ways. Sometimes we can even hold opposing or conflicting views within ourselves! When patient partners and health care providers put their heads together around an issue, it’s like everyone shares a bunch of little mirrors, ways of looking at an issue, and then they all get glued together into a giant disco ball. The disco ball can brighten up a room (issue), shine proverbial light on previously darkened corners, and also help to show where people are alike in their concerns and perspectives. Considering all those mirrors together as a whole can help to visualize a problem, and potential solutions, in new ways.
Silly analogies aside, collaborations between patient partners and health care workers can foster a lot of empathy (in both directions), refocus energy on elements of an issue that matter the most, and ensure that programs and resources are benefiting patients in the ways they intend to.”
What do you enjoy most about connecting patient partners and care providers?
“I really admire how generous PVN Patient Partners are with their time, energy, perspectives and expertise. It has been a privilege to meet with and hear some patients’ stories. While I’m still new to the role and organization, my early assessment is that PVN Patient Partners are an incredibly resilient, altruistic and thoughtful bunch! Similarly, it’s been wonderful to meet so many dedicated health care workers who recognize the value of the patient voice, and are beyond keen to connect with and listen to them. Everyone knows the satisfaction of fitting two puzzle pieces together – it’s a bit like that!”
A random fact:
“Once upon a time I was a busker.”