Skip to main content

Because your voice matters.

Patient Partner, South Island Urgent Primary Care Focus Group

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Short-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Vancouver Island Region, residents of the Capital Regional District (CRD) who have accessed or wish to access Urgent and Primary Care

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
Join the Island Health South Island Urgent Primary Care Focus Group to share your thoughts and ideas on what works well, and what needs improvement at the Island Health South Island urgent primary care centres.


Lead Organization/Department
Victoria Primary Care Network, Victoria Division of Family Practice, Indigenous partners from First Nations and Métis communities.

Patient Partners will attend a focus group to engage in a focused discussion on the Island Health South Island Urgent Primary Care Centres. Our health system is evolving and with it our understanding of how people and communities achieve and sustain health.
Broad imput from patient partners is needed for service design to support:
• changes in the availablilty and scope of practice of healthcare professionals
• advancements in diagnostics and treatment options
• greater understanding of factors that impact health
• wellness and healing all point to the need for broad input into service design.

Below are examples of the types of questions that will be asked in the focus group:
• what is your understanding of primary care?
• do you have a regular family doctor or nurse practitioner?
• what services have you accessed at these centres?
• what services should you be able to access at these centres?
• what makes a centre such as this feel safe and welcoming?
• what services would help you maintain and improve your health?

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.

Open to patient partners from: South Vancouver Island area (Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, West Shore, Sooke etc).
• Open to patient partners from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
• Experience (personal or family) with receiving primary care.
• 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: 8-10
• Date/Time: September 2022
• Location: In person in the south island, exact location to be determined, or virtually using Zoom if prefered
• Commitment: 1 time, for approximately 2 hours

No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, 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.

There are currently five Island Health Urgent Primary Care Centres (UPCC’s) providing services in the south island. The first opened in 2018 and the most recent in December 2020. These facilities are intended to improve primary care access for all. The leadership of these facilities is looking for input from a broad variety of persons living and working in the south island regarding their primary care needs and priorities and their experiences = with the UPCC’s. A focus group will the UPCC’s understand the current state of the patient experience, and checking in with our patient partners to learn how we can improve our services.

Engagement Leader Contact Information

Charmaine Niebergall Engagement Leader, Patient & Public Engagement | Vancouver Island 778.700.2064

From Our Community

Lisa Dyck

Former Manager, BC Emergency Medicine Network

Lisa Dyck

PVN patient partner’s feedback has reinforced the important relationships between patients and providers for emergency care. Our partnership with PVN has brought many new opportunities to adjust how health care and patient partners can work together on BC Emergency Medicine Network priorities.