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Member, Clothing as Therapy Project Team

Posted • Last updated


Open to Vancouver Island Region, Patient Partners from the greater Victoria area

Last updated

Island Health is exploring the benefits of encouraging patients to wear their own clothes while in hospital through its “Clothing as Therapy Project” and is seeking patient representatives to join the project team.

Open to: Patient Partners from the greater Victoria area

Lead Organization or Department

Access & Transitions, Island Health


To improve the overall patient experience of care and maintain individual dignity, Island Health is implementing a project designed to encourage eligible patients to wear their own clothes, rather than hospital gowns. In addition to improving the patient experience, this project aims to reduce the amount of time patients spend in hospital and lessen the risk of falls, infections, and confusion. Patient representatives will be invited to participate in the planning and implementation stages of this project. Patient participation will assist the project team to more fully consider the impact of the project on patients and families.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of involve on the spectrum of engagement ( The promise to you is that the health care partner will work with you to ensure that your ideas and concerns are reflected in recommendations and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.


  • Experience as an in-patient (e.g. have been admitted to hospital)
  • Enthusiastic about improving the patient experience of care
  • Comfortable participating in working groups and sharing lived experiences with the group
  • Previously attended a PVN orientation session and completed the Volunteer Agreement. If you have not attended an orientation session but you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Leah Smith directly to see if accommodations may be possible
  • The placement process for this opportunity may include an informal interview between the volunteer and the health care partner


  • Number of vacancies:  1-2
  • Date and Time: To be confirmed. Meetings will likely last for one hour during business hours
  • Location: In-person at the Victoria General Hospital
  • Commitment: 6 months (beginning in early May)
  • Stage 1: Meetings will occur every 2-3 weeks for 2-3 months
  • Stage 2: Meetings will occur on an as-needed basis for 3 months


Approved mileage and parking will be reimbursed, as well as approved transit (e.g. bus fare)


This project recognizes that some people feel disempowered when they wear hospital attire. We know that wearing hospital clothing can change how we feel about ourselves, and how others see us. Wearing clothes instead of gowns provided by the hospital can remind patients, families, and clinicians of the individuality and independence of each patient. Through this new approach we hope to lessen the negative impacts on people's dignity, improve empowerment, and reduce exposure to the risks related to hospitalization. The project team will include a cross section of staff and clinicians from the Victoria General Hospital. This is a test project that may also be implemented at other Island Health hospitals.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

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

From Our Community

Jeanette Foreman

Northwest Quality Improvement Lead, Quality and Innovation, Northern Health

Jeanette Forman

PVN has really helped us engage with patient partners to improve health services at Northern Health.  It is more and more becoming the norm to include patients in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services.  PVN education and supports, involving patient partners, have enabled us to develop the capacity to include the patient voice to make care better and achieve better health outcomes.