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Because your voice matters.

Member, Familiar Faces Initiative

Posted • Last updated


Open to Vancouver Island Region, Patient partners from the Port Alberni area

Last updated

Emergency departments are busy and often crowded. Making sure that people can access timely care in the most appropriate location decreases emergency department wait times and improves health services. If you would like to help develop a health care initiative that supports patients with complex health issues to manage their care in the community, consider helping with the Familiar Faces Initiative!

Open to: Patient partners from the Port Alberni area

Lead Organization or Department

Island Health, Administration


The goal of this opportunity is to reduce the number of non-emergent visits to the emergency department by patients who could have their needs better met in the community. Specific focus will be on reducing frequent non-emergent visits from a specific cohort of patients with complex care needs who are accessing services primarily through the emergency department. Patient partners with either their own experience or as a care provider can offer valuable insights into the challenges of, and potential resolutions for, meeting the health care needs of this population. The role of the patient partner is to bring the patient perspective to the table and work with the team in a collaborative manner to develop processes that will improve the health and care experience of the patient, caregiver and health care provider.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will work together with you to formulate solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible.


  • Experience in working within a medium to large group
  • Has own experience, or in supporting others, with health issues that initiated frequent, non-emergent visits to the emergency room
  • Some familiarity with medical terminology
  • Ability to speak up and contribute to group conversation
  • Ability to listen to others


Vacancies: 2 Time, Date, Location: In-person meetings will be held monthly at West Coast General Hospital. Meetings will be about 1.5 to 2 hours in length and typically between 1200 and 1600. Meetings are scheduled using Doodle polls. Agendas and minutes will be sent out electronically one week prior to the meeting. Commitment: One year


Pre-approved reimbursement for travel to and from meetings as per Island Health guidelines.


This opportunity has come about due to the high numbers of persons who frequent the emergency department more than five times per year for non-emergent health issues. It is recognized that patient partners with relevant experience can bring the patient experience to the table and provide meaningful input into development of strategies that will improve patient health and care. This initiative relates to acute and community care settings with strong linkages to family physicians. Other team members will consist of clinical representatives of health care services including, but not limited to, acute, community, mental health and substance use, BC Emergency Health Services (ambulance). Terms of Reference are currently under review as we are rethinking our approach. It will be important to consider representation from a cross-section of the population; Indigenous representation would be very desirable.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Ryan Sidorchuk
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Central & North Vancouver Island

From Our Community

Ovey Yeung

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Ovey Yeung

Being involved in the Patient Voices Network has broadened my understanding of the system and helped me empathize with health care challenges and limitations. What matters to me is to walk away feeling that my experience matters, that I matter!