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Because your voice matters.

Board of Directors, BC Academic Health Science Network

Posted • Last updated


Open to Provincial Region, Volunteers across the province

Last updated

Have you had a variety of experiences with the health care system as a patient/family member/caregiver? Do you have experience sitting on a board or participating in consensus based decision-making in a collaborative manner?  The  BC Academic Health Science Network is seeking two patient members to contribute as equal members in decision making to ensure the needs, values and preferences of patients and citizens are reflected as the work to inform meaningful improvements in patient care and patient experience through the integration of health research, health care and health science education.
Open to: Volunteers across the province

Lead Organization or Department

BC Academic Health Science Network


The purpose of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BCAHSN) is to accelerate the translation of research insights into innovations that address patient needs and health system priorities to improve population health outcomes. As an independent provincial organization, BCAHSN’s role is to foster collaboration and the diffusion of excellence in care, research and education among health system partners. One of its purposes is to govern the BC Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit, part of Canada’s SPOR Initiative, led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate (at a system-wide strategic leadership level) on the spectrum of engagement ( The promise to you is that the health care partner will look to you for advice in developing, implementing and evaluating national, provincial and regional policy and/or research to ensure the health care system is responsive to the patients’ experience as much as possible.


  • Open to patients from anywhere in British Columbia.
  • Experience with varied aspects of the health care system either as a patient and/or family/caregiver and the ability to bring his or her own experience, wisdom, judgment and influence to bear constructively on issues.
  • Excellent communication skills – oral, written and interpersonal.
  • Critical thinker - i.e. has the ability to identify, construct and evaluate arguments.
  • Someone who enjoys learning and has the capacity and interest to ensure they are able to make an informed contribution.
  • Comfortable using a computer to communicate, access documents, receive and respond to emails.
  • Assets: previous experience with executive-level decision-making in a team environment and/or board or similar experience with an understanding of budgets and finance.
  • Patients should have previously attended a PVN orientation session and signed the Volunteer Agreement. If you have not attended an orientation but are interested please contact the Engagement Leader directly to see if accommodations may be possible.
Please note: short listed volunteers will be requested to participate in a telephone interview.


  • Number of vacancies: 2
  • Board members are appointed for a two year term.
  • Intention is to have patient representatives in place by early December so they can be oriented before the first meeting on January 12, 2017.
  • Regular Meetings are held monthly, in-person in Vancouver, and will be scheduled based on member availability. In-person attendance for meetings may be required.
  • Annual General Meeting – there will be an in-person annual general meeting of the Society – in Vancouver in the summer. Date, location, and time to be determined.
  • Between meetings, each Director should be available as a resource to the Board and management, and as necessary and appropriate, communicate with the Board Chair and CEO.
  • Directors are required to participate in BCAHSN’s Director orientation program and ongoing professional development (for the Board or for an individual Director) as recommended by the Board. Directors are also expected to undertake any required training and take time to educate themselves on governance duties and broad issues.


All out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. travel) will be reimbursed according to policies set by the BCAHSN. In addition, Directors receive a per-meeting stipend.


In the current strategic plan Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System (January 2014), the Ministry of Health has identified the establishment of an academic health science network (AHSN) in British Columbia as an enabling mechanism to improve patient outcomes in priority areas at a population-based level. In summer 2015, work began on the development of an AHSN for British Columbia. An initial consultation in fall 2015 confirmed strong support from stakeholders across the health, academic and life science sectors for a provincial AHSN. On February 29, 2016 the British Columbia Academic Health Science Network Society was established as a separate legal organization. The BC AHSN also houses the developing BC SUPPORT Unit (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit), providing governance and oversight to this initiative. The BC SUPPORT Unit is one of several SUPPORT Units being established across the country as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Board oversees the conduct of BCAHSN’s business, supervises management and endeavours to ensure that all major issues affecting the business and affairs of BCAHSN are given proper consideration. In performing its functions, the Board also considers the legitimate interests held by stakeholders. Currently, the BC AHSN board comprises the five members originally named to the interim board. A nominating committee is seeking additional members to address gaps (e.g., patient perspective, health system experience, industry perspective, and financial acumen). All members represent the public interest. For more information on Board membership, please visit the BCAHSN website. Note: This is a public-interest Board meaning that, while members may be leaders in their area all Directors are asked to consider at all times the broad public interest. The Society’s Constitution and Bylaws are available upon request.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Karen Estrin
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Lower Mainland & Sunshine Coast


From Our Community

Nancy J. Wood

Patient Partner, Sidney

Nancy J. Wood

I was thrilled to discover the Patient Voices Network, where the array of places to be the voice of a patient is vast and incredibly interesting. Besides my ongoing “gig” with the BC Emergency Medicine Network, I have enjoyed being involved in several one-off initiatives. I love working with professionals who genuinely value the perspectives of their patient partners.