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Because your voice matters.

Participant, Interior Health Harm Reduction Policy Development Team

Posted • Last updated


Open to Interior Region, Patient partners from Interior Region

Last updated

Interior Health is working to implement a harm reduction policy to support patients and family members in feeling safe, non-stigmatized and accommodated when seeking health services. Perspectives of patients and family members with experience in accessing Interior Health services and harm reduction services are vital to the development and implementation of this policy. The working group is requesting patient and family engagement in this work and will discuss the best way to do that with those who are interested.

Open to: Patient partners from Interior Region

Lead Organization or Department

Interior Health - Population Health


Interior Health does not have a harm reduction policy, and seeks to develop and implement one as soon as possible. Patients and family members are best positioned to help us identify how to shape the policy so it is accessible to every person. The role of the patient partner is to bring the patient and family perspective into the development and implementation plan for the policy. Ideally, the patient partner can be there from the beginning of the development of the policy and see it through to completion, however, the format and length of engagement will be decided with the interested patient partners.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of involve on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will involve patients in planning and design phases to ensure ideas or concerns are considered and reflected in alternatives and recommendations.


  • Experience with harm reduction or safety approaches.
    • Preferably an individual or family member of a person with lived experience of substance use or sex work
  • Comfort sharing instances where you or your family member experienced stigma
  • Experience with the health system and barriers to access


Vacancies: 2 Format: To be decided with interested patient partners. A suggested format is below for a starting point:
  • Working group meetings: 1-2 hour meetings every two weeks beginning the week of March 25
  • Meetings can be attended in-person, by phone or by phone and an online platform (WebEx)
  • Length of commitment: up to six months


Patient partner reimbursement follows the Interior Health staff travel policy. Patient partners will receive out of pocket expenses for travel (mileage further than 50 kilometers), parking or local public transport. Out-of-pocket expenses take up to six weeks for reimbursement to occur, once the form has been completed and receipts received.


Interior Health is one of five health regions and one of the last to develop and implement a harm reduction policy. This will involve multiple departments across Interior Health, including but not limited to: Population Health, Mental Health and Substance Use, Clinical Operations and the Professional Practice Office. Terms of Reference and related materials have not been developed yet.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Jacquelyne Foidart
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Thompson Cariboo Kootenays

From Our Community

Laura Klein

Clinical Practice Consultant in Fraser Health

Laura Klein

Seeking the patient perspective doesn’t have to be complicated; it simply entails a commitment to ask and listen. Patient advisors not only bring a valuable perspective but also share original ideas and unique skills. Including the patient and family perspective changes the conversation and aligns the team’s focus towards common goals.