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Because your voice matters.

Patient Partner, Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project Patient Partnership Group

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Long-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Vancouver Island Region

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
The Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project Patient Partnership Group is seeking patient partner members to provide input into the design of the new hospital! Please join us in this exciting opportunity to help shape your new hospital!


Lead Organization/Department
Island Health, Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project (CDHRP)

Island Health is seeking patient partners who would like to join the Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project (CDHRP) Patient Partnership Group (PPG) to help the team ensure the new Cowichan District Hospital reflects Island Health’s vision to provide excellent health and care to everyone, everywhere, every time.

Patient Partners will work collaboratively with CDHRP leadership to:
• assist in the development of the hospital design for the new Cowichan District Hospital on Bell McKinnon Road;
• share your experiences and ideas;
• provide recommendations that will inform the builder and programs of the needs of patients who will be accessing services and care at the new hospital;
• support hospital planning user groups which include clinicians, administrators and other project partners who are dedicated to improving the patient experience and care delivery in the future CDH.

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 patient partners living in the Cowichan District Hospital service region
• Patients, or those who have supported a family member or loved one, at Cowichan District Hospital within the last 5 years
• Work respectfully in partnership with a variety of other people, including other patients partners, leadership, and health care team members.
• Comfortable sharing ideas and drawing on their personal health care experiences.
• Familiarity with Zoom or WebEx virtual meeting platforms and comfortable with email.

We are seeking people who represent a variety of perspectives, which may include but are not limited to geography/neighbourhood, culture, ethnic or national origin, marital status, age, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, income variety, education, work experience, genetic characteristics, family status, disability, and/or experiences with health challenges or health care. The patient partners will have varied lived experiences and perspectives from across the Cowichan service region.

• 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 Volunteer Agreement. 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: 10 or more

• Date/Time:
– Orientation/onboarding begins early 2022, advisory work starts spring 2022
– Meeting day/times dependent on program attachment or pool participation.
– Pool participation provides a more flexible option, in which patient partners will be asked to review information and provide feedback in a timely manner, based on their interest and experience, rather than participating in regular program meetings.
– Patient partners will also have the option to be part of smaller working groups and participate in regular, ongoing planning meetings.

• Location:
– Virtually (such as Zoom or other virtual meeting platform)
– In the future, with the guidance of the BC Provincial Health Officer and in alignment with public health orders, in-person meetings may be considered. However, attending in-person meetings is also a personal choice – there will still be an option to attend virtually if/when in-person meetings begin.

• Commitment:
– One year
– 2 hours per month (minimum) to 15 hours per month (maximum) on reading materials, providing timely feedback and participating in meetings

Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project related pre-approved expenses, such as mileage, parking, and accommodations, will be reimbursed by Island Health (according to Island Health Policies) should the meetings evolve into an in-person format. No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity while they remain virtual.

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.

The new Cowichan District Hospital will replace the existing community hospital on Gibbins Road with a new facility located on Bell McKinnon Road in the Municipality of North Cowichan. The project is currently in the procurement phase and Island Health is working closely with both teams of shortlisted proponents to answer their detailed questions, study their proposed solutions and provide in-depth feedback. At the conclusion of procurement, a decision will be made to determine which proponent team will work with Island Health to deliver the official design and oversee construction of the new hospital. The new hospital is scheduled to open for patient care in fall 2026. Full details are available at

The design and construction phase of the project will begin in early 2022 and Patient Partners will join teams which include health care partners from Ambulatory Care, Emergency, Paediatrics, Perioperative, Maternity, Medical/Surgical Inpatient Units and Mental Health & Substance Use, Medical Imaging and other program areas in the hospital. Drawing from their lived experience, Patient Partners have an integral role in grounding the Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project in the patient and family centered care experience.

The future hospital will be built on Cowichan Tribes unceded traditional territory. Island Health also acknowledges the new hospital will be serving members of the Métis Nation, Inuit, Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship, the urban Indigenous populations within the Cowichan Valley Regional District and people who reside in the unceded traditional territories of Ditidaht, Pacheedaht, Ts’uubaa-asatx, Stz’uminus’, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt, Malahat, and Cowichan Tribes. It will also serve the population of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. An Indigenous focus will be highlighted throughout the design, landscape and pathways of the new hospital, in partnership with Indigenous advisors appointed by First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous communities in Cowichan. All project facilitators and program representatives have undertaken cultural safety and humility training, and are committed to creating a safe, collaborative, respectful environment for all, that is free of racism and discrimination.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

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

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.