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Because your voice matters.

Focus Group Participants, Familiar Faces Program, Cowichan District Hospital Emergency Department

Posted • Last updated


Open to Vancouver Island Region, Patient partners in Cowichan Valley

Last updated

If you or someone you care for regularly relies on the Cowichan District Hospital, Emergency Department (ED), this is your chance to contribute to a small, but impactful group of health care providers committed to improving access to care for those who use the ED regularly.

Open to: Patient partners in Cowichan Valley

Lead Organization or Department

Island Health, Cowichan District Hospital Emergency Department


The Familiar Faces Program at Cowichan District Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) offers individualized care planning to those who use the ED regularly. For many patients, participation in the program results in fewer ED visits and better access to health services in the community. Patient partners are invited to help with the development of a survey that will be used to identify opportunities for patient-centred improvements to the Familiar Faces Program.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of consult on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will listen to and acknowledge your ideas and concerns, and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.


  • Experience using the Cowichan District Hospital Emergency Department, or supporting someone who uses the department frequently.
  • Willing to use your positive and/or difficult patient experiences to assist the team to identify possible improvements to the Familiar Faces Program. Please note: it is possible to use your experience to provide feedback without sharing personal details.
  • If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and Volunteer Agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact Leah Smith directly.


  • Vacancies: Up to 4
  • Date and time: To be determined based on patient partner availability.
  • Location: In-person at Cowichan District Hospital; however, depending on the availability of the patient partners, email or telephone communication may be an option.
  • Format: Focus group or interview.
  • Commitment: The opportunity to provide feedback on the survey is expected to be short term and should be completed within six weeks of the opportunity closing. Interested patient partners may have the option to develop a longer term partnership with the team.


Preapproved out-of-pocket expenses such as mileage, parking and public transit will be reimbursed.


What is the Familiar Faces Program? The Cowichan District Hospital (CDH) Emergency Department (ED) is looking to strengthen its partnership with patients and families as it works to improve the Familiar Faces Program, which has been operating for five years but has recently taken on more structure and quality improvement orientation. A central focus of the program is the development of care plans that aim to improve the emergency department experience, create connections to community health care supports, and improve the patient’s overall quality of life and health. How can patients and families be involved? Patient input is needed to make the program more patient-centred. The team is currently inviting patients to participate in the development of a survey; however, interested patient partners may also have the opportunity to provide input on future quality improvement work, as well as advice on improvements to the care planning process. Patient partners who participate in this work will be provided with written reports as they are produced. It is expected that a written report will be available in March 2018 outlining the result of the survey that is currently under development. What is a care plan and why is it important? A care plan is put together based on each patient's unique diagnoses and sets out a plan of care that is organized around the individual's needs and preferences. Care plans set out each patient’s goals and are an important communication and coordination tool for the health care team, as well as patients and their families. The care plan becomes the guide for all health care providers and ensures that they have the information they need in order to provide the right care. This can also help to improve communication and coordination of care, whether a patient is being treated at the ED, in their GP or specialist’s office, or taking part in a community program.

Engagement Leader Contact Information

Leah Smith
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Southern Vancouver Island

From Our Community

Karla Warkotsch

Patient Experience Consultant – Interior Health

Karla Warkotsch

The question I like to ask health care employees is ‘Who is this for?’ and ‘Do we have the right people at the table?’ As a health care employee, I see how easy it is to fall into doing for, rather than doing with patients. The voices of the patient, family and caregiver are essential to ensure the patient is central to the direction and focus of the work being done.