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Because your voice matters.

Member, Familiar Faces Initiative

Posted • Last updated


Open to Vancouver Island Region, volunteers from: Port Alberni and area

Last updated

Emergency rooms are busy places. Making sure that people can access services at the right time and place decreases emergency wait times and provides better health care services to the public. If you have experience with or interest in helping to develop an initiative that supports persons with complex health issues to manage their care in the community, participation on this working group might be for you.

Open to volunteers from: Port Alberni and 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 room by those who have been identified as Familiar Faces: patients who visit the emergency room more than five times per year. As part of this program, health care providers will develop a system of care and services that support Familiar Faces to have their health care needs met in the community. Patient partners with either caregiver /own experience(s) can provide 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 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 research 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 sized group
  • 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


Number of vacancies: 2 Face to Face Meetings will be at West Coast General Hospital Exact time and frequency to be determined. Meetings will be 1.5 - 2.0 hours in length and typically between 12.00 - 4.00pm Meetings may be every 2-3 weeks initially followed by monthly Agendas and minutes will be sent out electronically one week prior to the meeting Initiative Format: Working group/ Committees Connection Method: In-person Commitment: Seven months to a year


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


This opportunity has come about due to the high numbers of persons who frequent the emergency department more than 5 times per year. 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. Other team members will consist of clinical representatives of health care services involved — 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. This initiative relates to acute and community care settings with strong linkages to family physicians. It will be important to consider representation from a cross section of the population and 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

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.