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Because your voice matters.

Member, Specialized Community Service Programs Patient Advisory Focus Group

Posted • Last updated


Open to Interior Region, Patient partners in the East Kootenay area

Last updated

Interior Health is seeking a patient partner to be part of a committee that will inform the work around specialized community services for people with complex medical issues. Patient input is highly valued in understanding the patient experience in the health care system.

Open to: Patient partners in the East Kootenay area

Lead Organization or Department

Interior Health - Specialized Community Services Programs


The goal is to simplify and improve coordination of care and services for the patient and family member to provide a seamless, coordinated health experience for patients with complex conditions (i.e., diabetes, heart failure, COPD) or frailty (i.e., elderly). The experience and point of view of the patient and family is highly valued, and helps us understand how we can make improvements in accessing services and care. The role of patient partner is to provide input and patient perspective in service development.

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 navigating the health care system as a patient, family member or caregiver.
  • For this work, the hope is to engage patients (or family/caregivers of those patients) with complex health conditions who may be medically frail.
  • Patient partners should feel comfortable sharing their experience and ideas for change.
  • Ability/willingness to read documents and stay on top of information/requests for input through email.
  • Willingness to contribute but also be able to reflect on contributions of others.
  • Patient partners must reside within the East Kootenays.


  • Vacancies: 8
  • In-person meetings will most often be held in Cranbrook.
  • Meetings are expected to be held monthly but could increase/decrease throughout the project.
  • Meeting times will be coordinated to accommodate the group.
  • Details will be finalized once the group has been formed.
  • It is anticipated that this work will continue up to six months.


  • Patient partner reimbursement follows the Interior Health staff travel policy.
  • Patients will receive out of pocket expenses for travel, parking, or local public transport.
  • If meetings take place over a meal time, the meal will be provided.
  • Once the form has been completed and receipts received, out-of-pocket expenses may take up to six weeks for reimbursement to occur.


If you live in the East Kootenays, have an interest in changing health care and are willing to be part of a Patient Advisory focus group, now is your opportunity to help shape the changes. This initiative is occurring as direction from the Ministry of Health to provide wrap around care for our patient population. The Specialized Community Services Programs (SCSP) Patient Advisory Focus Group will provide feedback which will be taken to the EK Working Group for consideration. All personal information shared within the Patient Advisory Focus Group will remain confidential and will not be shared outside 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 (i.e., home) setting as well as the transitions between community and other levels of health care (i.e., hospital or long term care). Patient partners new to Interior Health initiatives will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Engagement Leader Contact Information

Carol Stathers
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Okanagan, Interior Region

From Our Community

Karla Warkotsch

Patient Experience Consultant – Interior Health

Karla Warkotsch

The question I like to ask health care employees is ‘Who is this for?’ and ‘Do we have the right people at the table?’ As a health care employee, I see how easy it is to fall into doing for, rather than doing with patients. The voices of the patient, family and caregiver are essential to ensure the patient is central to the direction and focus of the work being done.