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Because your voice matters.

Member, Northwest BC Medical Travel Patient Partner Steering Committee

Posted • Last updated


Open to Northern Region, Patient partners in the Northwest region

Last updated

Have you or a family member had to leave your northwest home community to receive medical care? If yes, then we want to hear from you! We are a team of health researchers, care providers and patient partners in Northwestern BC that is conducting a research study that aims to better understand the experiences of individuals and families in Northwestern BC who have had to leave their home communities to receive medical care at a larger center. We are looking for patient partners to join our Northern Patient Travel Improvement Committee to guide research activities and knowledge sharing.

Open to: Patient partners in the Northwest region

Lead Organization or Department

University of Northern British Columbia


The aim of this engagement is to invite patient partners to join our Patient Partner Steering Committee that guides our research study. Our research study aims to better understand the experiences of patients and families living in Northwestern BC who must travel outside of their home community to receive medical care at a larger centre. We want to make sure we include the voices of Patient Partners who have experienced medical travel to ensure that we are conducting our research in a meaningful way.

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 in the Northwest Region (Terrace and surrounding communities) who:
  • Have left their home community in Northwestern BC to receive medical care in an urban center or a family member of an individual who has had to leave their community to receive care within the last 5 years
  • Are comfortable in providing recommendations based on their lived experience
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 the engagement leader directly.


  • Vacancies: 4
  • Date and time: August 14, 2020 from 12:00  – 1.30 PM
  • Location: Meetings take place virtually, using Zoom teleconference and video conference. In the future, in-person meetings may take place, if safe to do so.
  • Commitment: Meetings will take place every 1-3 months until March 2021 (schedule to be determined)


For in-person meetings, pre-approved travel expenses and child care will be covered as per UNBC reimbursement policy and lunch will also be provided.


It is common in Northwestern BC (as well as in other rural and remote communities) for patients to travel or be transferred to large urban centers to receive medical care that is not available in their communities. Leaving their home community behind to travel to an unfamiliar metropolitan center can be a very distressing experience for these patients and their families. Our research team led by Denise Jaworsky, MD and Dave Sohi, MD are conducting a study called “Optimizing Patient Experience in Medical Travel.” This study aims to better understand the experiences of patients and families who have to leave their home community to receive medical care by interviewing patients and family members about their experiences. By capturing these experiences, we hope to better understand and share with health care providers and decision makers how these experiences can be improved and how patients and families can be supported during medical travel. To ensure patient voices are included, the Northern Patient Travel Improvement Committee has been developed. The committee consists of patient partners, health policy makers, healthcare providers, and health researchers, each contributing unique skills or experiences. The committee is based on a co-learning model, where academic partners provide training on research methods, and patient partners provide training on topics within their areas of expertise, with an emphasis on sharing their personal experiences. The committee guides and supports the research by providing feedback and being involved in research activities, such as making recommendations based on findings and providing direction in knowledge sharing activities.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Cathy Almost
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Northern Region


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Recently, a PVN Patient Advisor asked healthcare partners, “What are we learning from patients, families, and others thus far during this pandemic?”. This is an excellent question and one to ask ourselves daily.