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Because your voice matters.

Member, Surgical Optimization at UHNBC Working Group

Posted • Last updated


Open to Northern Region, Patient partners in Prince George

Last updated

The time between when a surgery is booked and a patient enters the operating room can be an opportunity to focus on optimization. Evidence shows that considering the mental, physical and lifestyle factors leading up to surgery can decrease risk factors and improve surgical outcomes. If you would like to share your surgical experiences and review newly developed pathways for surgical optimization this may be the opportunity for you!

Open to: Patient partners in Prince George

Lead Organization or Department

Northern Health


Our aim is to support care providers in implementing change processes that will improve a patient’s readiness for surgery and utilize the time a patient waits for surgery to create structured, personalized programs to support improved post surgical outcomes. The role of the patient partner is to inform the working group of their experiences throughout their own surgical process (prior, during & after surgery) and to review proposed optimization pathways and give feedback based on what they think will or will not work for patients on this journey. Examples of optimization include identifying alcohol and drug usage, cardiac disease, blood sugar control, pain management, nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation, social supports, mental health and more.

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 volunteers in Prince George who:
  • Have experienced a surgical procedure at UHNBC within the last 3 years
  • Have one or more health conditions that can impact surgical interventions. Examples include: diabetes, cardiac disease, smoking, pain management, nutritional deficiency, reduced physical activity/mobility, mental illness, alcohol and drug usage and reduced social supports
  • Are comfortable sharing health care experiences and working in groups of 8-10 people
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 Cassy Mitchell.


  • Vacancies: At least one (but more is preferred to be able to review the many different optimization pathways)
  • To attend monthly meetings from 4-6pm (dates to be determined)
  • In-person attendance at UHNBC, 1475 Edmonton Street, Prince George
  • One-year commitment


Mileage will be reimbursed as per Northern Health Authority reimbursement policy.


The Specialist Services Committee of the Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health are committed to supporting care providers to improve the surgical experience for patients! To do this we have created an Optimization Collaborative which will:
  • Support care providers to implement change processes that will improve patient’s readiness for surgery
  • Utilize the patient’s pre-operative surgical wait time to create multi-disciplinary, structured, personalized programs to support improved outcomes after surgery
  • Improve patient outcomes for elective surgeries across the province
UHNBC will be a part of this provincial collaborative and over the next 18 months will have interactive, multi-disciplinary learning fueled by in-person learning sessions and action periods, designed to support the implementation of optimization processes and components for surgical patients.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Cassy Mitchell
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Northern Interior


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.