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Because your voice matters.

Member, South Okanagan (SOK), Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU), Specialized Community Service Program (SCSP) Implementation and Planning Working Group

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Short-term

Connection method: In-person

Open to Interior Region, Patient partners from the Interior region in the South Okanagan, including Penticton, Summerland, OK Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos

Last updated

Would you like to affect change in the areas of mental health and substance use in your area? If you live in the South Okanagan, have an interest in impacting changes in health care as it pertains to mental health and substance use services and are willing to be part of a planning and implementation working group, this is the opportunity for you!

Open to: Patient partners from the Interior region in the South Okanagan, including Penticton, Summerland, OK Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos

Lead Organization or Department

Interior Health, MHSU, Specialized Community Services Programs


The aim is to collaborate with clients, families or caregivers’s whose lived experience can influence how we improve bringing together health care clinicians to support clients and provide better more streamlined services for Mental Health and Substance Abuse needs in the South Okanagan. Including patient partners with lived experience will help our change team to ensure that we are re-designing the system and will get it right for both patients, families/ caregivers and for the teams of clinicians providing the 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.


• Patient partners must reside within the South Okanagan (Penticton, Summerland, OK Falls, Oliver, or Osoyoos).
• Experience navigating the health care system as a patient, family member or caregiver for mental health and/or substance use services in the South Okanagan.
• Comfort sharing your experience and able to contribute ideas for change.
• Ability/interest in undertaking some reading of documents outside of meeting times via email
• A willingness to contribute but also be able to reflect on the contribution of others
• 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 Cathy Almost


• Vacancies: 1
• Date and Time: Bi - Weekly on Thursdays from 1 -2:30pm. The meeting times are subject to change based on availability of team members
• Logistics: The focus of meetings will be to touch base, receive updates, as well as, give feedback on design work taking place within the SOK MHSU, SCSP. A portion of the work will come through email requests for input. There is no expectation that a patient partner will need to give feedback on all requests
• Location: Zoom or teleconference
Commitment: seven months to a year Informal interviews will be a part of the selection process.


There are no expenses anticipated for this engagement opportunity.


This initiative is occurring as direction from the Ministry of Health to provide wrap around care for this patient population. the meetings are with leadership, Directors, Managers and Team Leads. You will be oriented to what SCSP is, including goals and what we have been working on to date. The SOK MHSU SCSP Planning & Implementation working group will give information back to the SOK SCSP Integrated Steering Committee, in which Health Authority clinicians, managers, and patient partners are part. All personal information shared within the working group will remain confidential and will not be shared outside of the meeting itself. Terms of Reference, Ministry Policies and any other background information will be shared with those who express interest in the opportunity. The opportunity focuses on the care patients receive in the Community. Patient partners new to Interior Health initiatives will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

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

From Our Community

Shana Ooms

Executive Director of Primary Care Strategy, Policy and Quality — BC Ministry of Health

Shana Ooms

Where those of us in the room may have debated policy or wording, patient voices made sure patients were top of mind. And as a result, significant improvements were made to simplify something that was otherwise complex. Patient voices at the table bring us back to reality in terms of what we are trying to achieve.