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Because your voice matters.

Member, Island Health Seniors Health and Community Virtual Care Regional Team

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Long-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Vancouver Island Region

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
Are you a First Nations, Inuit or Métis patient partner over 55 years old? Or are you a First Nations, Inuit or Métis patient partner with experience as a caregiver or loved one over 55? We would like you to join our journey of cultural safety for seniors on the Island. Consider helping us as we move forward.


Lead Organization/Department
Island Health, Seniors Health and Community Virtual Care

We want to reach all voices in the care we provide to seniors. We realize that we lack knowledge of the lived experience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and that this can act as a barrier to promoting cultural safety for seniors. We would like to welcome the voices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis  patient partners to help us be more sensitive and respectful in guiding our work to support better patient care.

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.

• Open to patient partners from: Vancouver Island region who identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis  persons.
• Comfortable sharing your unique experience as a First Nations, Inuit or Métis patient partner on caring for older adults.
• Are a senior, or have experience as a caregiver or loved one of a senior who accesses health care services in Island Health.
• Able to access a camera enabled laptop, computer or device and internet connection.
• Comfortable using Zoom.
• Please note:
– This opportunity, as with all Island Health patient engagement opportunities, is not open to Island Health staff members or patient partners who are currently employed by Island Health. If you have questions regarding this, please email 
– The placement process for this opportunity may include an informal interview between the volunteer and the health care partner.
– Applicants must have 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 Charmaine Niebergall directly to see if accommodations may be possible.

• Number of vacancies: 2
• Date/Time:
– 3rd Wed of each month, 10:00am – 11:30am
– Other days and times for additional opportunities to engage will be available to patient partners.
• Location: Virtually using Zoom
• Commitment: 1 year
– Attend Seniors Health and Community Virtual Care Team working group meetings as much as the patient partners wishes.

No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria but have concerns about your ability to participate, please contact Charmaine Niebergall to see if support options are available. We are always seeking to better understand and reduce barriers to participation.

The Seniors Health and Community Virtual Care opportunity is not limited to any specific setting as it includes seniors care offered in hospital, emergency departments, community settings, outpatient clinics, long term care and other facilities for seniors across all regions of Island Health. For more in depth background information about Seniors Health, please refer to this Seniors Health Priorities document.

The First Nations, Inuit and Métis senior populations have complex health needs and faces multiple barriers and challenges to accessing health care due to poverty, cultural and linguistic differences, racism , discrimination and geography. In partnership with Indigenous Health, The First Nations Health Authority and others, Seniors Health will aim to develop strategies which address racism, promote equity oriented care, and improve health and wellness outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis seniors.

Seniors Health is committed to seek guidance from First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners in supporting health care providers to deliver services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis seniors to improve the experience of safety, and support a shift of beliefs and behaviours towards cultural humility.

Patient partners are supported in reviewing meeting materials, ensuring all questions or concerns are addressed, and with any technical difficulties in advance to ensure full participation. In future, we hope that meeting agendas and content will be developed jointly with patient partners. Communication through email, text, or telephone is done regularly with patient partners.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Charmaine Niebergall
Engagement Leader, Patient & Public Engagement | Vancouver Island

From Our Community

Layton Engwer

Patient Partner, Sooke

Layton Engwer

PVN helped empower me to make meaningful contributions to Primary Care (PC) locally and provincially.  It also facilitated creation of PC Patient Voices which is focused on PC and provides education support and building on shared experiences.