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Because your voice matters.

Patient Reviewer, Cowichan District Hospital Surgical Services Pre-Surgical Process Redesign

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Long-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Vancouver Island Region

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
Join us in improving the Cowichan District Hospital’s Pre-Surgical Process! It’s important to ensure patients are prepared for their operation when they arrive on the day of surgery. Be part of our improvement project to help make this a better experience for our patients.


Lead Organization/Department
Island Health, Cowichan District Hospital, Surgical Services

The purpose of this project is to improve the patient process and experience by ensuring they are properly prepared from the time they are booked for surgery to when they arrive on the day of their operation. We are looking for patient partners to join our project work to ensure that the new process is useful and easy to navigate for patients who are using it. We also want our new processes to be more efficient, to help reduce repeat visits, and ensure all pre-surgical requirements have been completed. Patient partners will be asked to:
• Attend 3 meetings (one per month) virtually via Zoom
• Provide feedback from the patient perspective on the feasibility of proposed changes
• Provide feedback on the functionality of proposed changes from a patient perspective.

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.

• Patient partners or family members, who have had surgery at Cowichan District Hospital in the last 5 years (preference will be given to patient partners from the following nearby communities: Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Crofton, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Maple Bay, Cowichan Bay, Cobble Hill or Mill Bay.)
• 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 Patient Voices Network (PVN) orientation session and completed the Volunteer Commitment 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: 2
• Date/Time:
– Total of 3 meetings
– One meeting per month in January, February and March 2022
– Late afternoon
• Location: Virtually using Zoom
• Commitment: 3 meetings (with a possible additional meeting in the future to receive feedback post-implementation of new processes.)

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.

Our current process at the Cowichan District Hospital’s (CDH) Pre-Surgical services is long outdated. It was created prior to expansion of our Surgical Services, and it’s time to update our processes.

This project was initiated by the Surgical Services Manager at CDH in partnership with the UBC Saunder School of Business. The UBC Saunder School of Business have facilitated an analysis of the change process, using tools and guided excercises to identify the root causes of these challenges and develop program changes.The project team will be presenting possible solutions to the UBC Saunder School of Business in January. This project work includes many different members of the Surgical Services team, including nursing, anesthesia, surgeons, administration, laboratory, medical imaging, surgical booking clerks and patient partners. Once selected, patient partners will be given an orientation to this work to understand our current processes, clarify terminology and have an opportunity to ask questions about the work done so far.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

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

From Our Community

Pamela Jessen

Patient Partner, Langford

Pamela Jessen

The Patient Voices Network allows me to engage and educate others on various health-related topics. By sitting on various committees and taking part in many activities, I can create real change in health care for everyone. It’s so empowering!