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Because your voice matters.

Patient Partner, Alcohol Use Disorder Working Group

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Long-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Vancouver Island Region

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
Do you have lived or living experience with alcohol use disorder (AUD)? Do you live on the West Coast region of Vancouver Island? Join our working group to share your patient experiences in a culturally safe way.


Lead Organization/Department
Rural and Remote Divisions of Family Practice, Long Beach Chapter

The goal of this working group is to improve access to culturally safe and community-based care for patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) to improve patient outcomes. We want to involve patient partners in the working group to ensure that those with lived and living experience of AUD:
• inform health care partners about the health service needs and gaps as it relates to AUD
• provide insights and recommendations for future services.

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.

• Open to patient partners from the West Coast region of Vancouver Island, including Ahousaht, Hot Springs Cove, Opitsaht, Tofino, Ty-histanis, Esowista, Ucluelet, Macoah, Hitacu, ACRD Area C.
• Lived or living experience (personal or family) with alcohol use disorder (AUD).
• Comfortable sharing their personal health care journey with health care partners in a group setting.
Please note that there is a potential risk that patient partners may experience emotional distress through reflecting on and sharing their difficult or challenging health care experiences. With this in mind, we ask that you only consider participating if you feel it would be safe and comfortable for you to do so.

• Please note:
– This opportunity, as with all Island Health patient engagement opportunities, is not open to Island Health staff members or patient partners who are currently employed by Island Health. If you have questions regarding this, please email
– The placement process for this opportunity may include an informal interview between the volunteer and the health care partner.
– Applicants must have previously attended a PVN orientation session and completed the Patient Partner Commitments form. If you have not attended an orientation session but you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Charmaine Niebergall directly to see if accommodations may be possible.
– As required by the October 14, 2021 Public Health Order released by the Provincial Health Officer, proof of vaccination is required to access any in-person meetings at an Island Health site. Proof of vaccination can be provided by way of a Vaccination Passport or Vaccination card, along with government issued photo ID. For patient partnership activities that are virtual only (via Zoom, video conference, phone, etc.), proof of vaccination is not required.

• Number of vacancies: 4
• Date/Time: To be determined
• Location: Virtually using Zoom
• Commitment: 1 year with possibility for extension

No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, this engagement opportunity will follow the Peer Payment Standards for Short Term Engagements. If you meet the eligibility criteria but have concerns about your ability to participate, please contact Charmaine Niebergall to see if support options are available. We are always seeking to better understand and reduce barriers to participation.

Over the past several years alcohol has been identified as the top substance of concern on the west coast at a number of forums and community health meetings. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the residents in Long Beach. Feedback from providers indicates that there has been a correlation with the isolation due to the pandemic and substance use, particularly alcohol use. In the last year there has been at least 8 deaths related to alcohol use disorder. Other project partners include: FNHA, the health leaders for each Nuu-chah-nulth nation, BC Community Paramedicine, MHSU, West Coast Community Resources Society, Nuuchahnulth Tribal Council Mental Health, Coastal Family Resource Coalition, Island Health. This working group is committed to cultural safety, and making sure that all participants feel safe and welcome.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Charmaine Niebergall
Engagement Leader, Patient & Public Engagement | Vancouver Island

From Our Community

Ovey Yeung

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Ovey Yeung

Being involved in the Patient Voices Network has broadened my understanding of the system and helped me empathize with health care challenges and limitations. What matters to me is to walk away feeling that my experience matters, that I matter!