Engagement Leader, Patient & Public Engagement
Vancouver Island Region
Ryan holds a BA in Conflict Resolution and has done Master’s work in the area of Human Factors and System Safety. He first became involved with patient engagement in 2004, helping to create the country’s first patient-led Patient Safety Advisory Council, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the role of Patient Safety Officer.
Ryan was also Canada’s first Global Patient Safety Champion, being selected to attend a multi-national conference with the World Health Organization’s World Alliance for Patient Safety in London, UK, in 2005. This laid the groundwork for the creation of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, a group of committed individuals helping to advance the patient voice in improving patient safety together with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute since 2007. The importance and power of the patient and family voice in organizational patient safety and quality improvement efforts have been the compass for Ryan for over a decade.
Some of the cities and communities in Ryan’s area are Nanaimo, Courtenay, Campbell River, Port McNeil, Port Hardy, Port Alberni, and Tofino. He has worked with health care partners such as Island Health and Doctors of BC.
Get to know more about Ryan:
Why is better health care important to you?
“Patients and families rely on safe, high-quality and appropriate health care at the times of their lives when they are most vulnerable. These are often literally life and death situations. The nature of the health care system often creates conditions that undermine effective teamwork and collaboration, particularly with some of the most knowledgeable people about the patient and their condition: the patient and family themselves. From an ‘academic’ and personal standpoint, the complexity of health care and the challenges presented in improvement and evolution of the system have fascinated me for over a decade.”
How would you describe what happens when patients collaborate with health care partners?
“It’s one of the most powerful moments of being human – when we speak our peace and actually feel heard, seen, valued…understood. There is a transformative opportunity when all parties come together in a respectful, appreciative manner towards achieving a goal that all share – the best possible care experience, every time, in every place.”
What do you enjoy most about connecting patient partners and care providers?
“The people! I’ve only been in the role for a short time, and the overwhelming experience I have had with patient partners and care providers has been a reminder of the grace, good, character, kindness and resilient ability to ‘grind’ (soldier on despite the barriers and obstacles) that so many of us bring to this work. Creating space for new and important dialogue to take place is so very personally meaningful and fulfilling.”
A random fact:
“Light is both a wave and a particle.”