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Participant, Person with Lived Experience – Pain Management Facilitated Discussion

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Open to Fraser – Vancouver Coastal, Patient partners in Tri-Cities Communities who have used or are currently using prescribed opiates/illicit drugs to manage chronic pain

Last updated

Did you know one in five Canadians struggle with chronic pain each day? Many are faced with very difficult choices in managing their pain and turn to various forms of prescription and illicit drugs to find relief. Physicians are often faced with trying to support their patients, while being vigilant in appropriately providing relief. This has created a perfect storm of concern for both patients and providers in communities. The Fraser Northwest Divisions of Family Practice are looking for people with lived experience to participate in meetings and a community engagement forum to inform improved care for patients dealing with addictions and dependency due to chronic pain.

Open to: Patient partners in Tri-Cities Communities who have used or are currently using prescribed opiates/illicit drugs to manage chronic pain

Lead Organization or Department

Fraser Northwest Divisions of Family Practice


As a person with lived experience, you will join clinicians and administrators to document your  journey in managing chronic pain. You will be invited to share your lived experiences related to the various stages and transitions of substance use. This will assist the group to more fully understand how existing processes and changes might be improved to positively impact addressing chronic pain and substance use in the community. You will also have the opportunity to provide input about how you would like municipalities and other community agencies to be more compassionate and inclusive in service delivery.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of consult on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will listen to and acknowledge your ideas and concerns, and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.


Tri-Cities Communities who:
  • Have used opiates/illicit drugs to manage chronic pain, but are no longer using them to manage
  • Are currently using prescribed opiates to manage chronic pain
  • Are using illicit drugs to manage chronic pain.
If you are unsure if your experience is a good fit, please contact Jami Brown directly. 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: 5 Date/Time: To be determined, based on availability Orientation: You will be invited to attend a half hour orientation call in preparation for the session Location: Tri-Cities area Commitment: The initial commitment is one to two evening sessions (up to 3 hours each), with some follow-up via telephone, or other means, and attendance at a larger community dialogue forum (optional) Other: Meals and refreshments will be provided


Preapproved expenses related to local travel to in person meetings will be reimbursed (including mileage, parking, tolls and/or public transit).


The Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice is one of 35 divisions of community-based groups of family physicians in BC, working together to achieve common healthcare goals. A member-driven not for profit organization, the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice is comprised of over 320 physician members in New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and parts of Burnaby. Representing the traditional catchment area of the Royal Columbian and Eagle Ridge Hospitals, members work to improve patient access to local primary care, increase local physicians’ influence on health care delivery and policy, and provide professional support for physicians. Fraser Northwest has an engaged physician community that believe in collaboration and partnership to achieve shared outcomes that impact patient care. The Division also works collaboratively with Fraser Health, Community Organizations, Stakeholders and Patients to identify challenges and solutions at a local level. Opioid dependence and the resulting overdose deaths in recent years have been identified as a major public health crisis in Canada. British Columbia is disproportionately represented, with 35% of the country’s opioid-related deaths in 2016 occurring here. Canada’s opioid crisis is non-discriminatory, transcending age, income levels, and genders. While the causes of increased opioid-related deaths are multi-layered and complex, one of the key factors involves the treatment of chronic pain and recent changes to opioid prescribing guidelines. FNW Division members have identified chronic pain management as a priority action area to address as part of its Patient Medical Home initiatives. In July 2017, a working group dedicated to addressing chronic pain and resulting opioid dependence was formed, with representation from Fraser Health, GPSC, hospital and specialist services, and Pain BC. Together, FNW Division is working with key stakeholders to identify the needs of the community and the target population and tailoring solutions accordingly. Project Goal: Improve care of patients dealing with addictions and narcotic/opioids dependency by decreasing the stigma of substance use and increasing compassion among healthcare providers, other community service providers, and the general public. Project Objectives:
  1. Create more inclusive environments to support two key populations: the ‘hidden population’ and individuals who are homeless.
  2. Shift ‘othering’ notions of substance use to encourage more non-judgemental services that create safer environments for people who use substances.
  3. Promote local overdose prevention resources and provide tools on how to have effective conversations about substances.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Jami Brown
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Fraser Valley

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.