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Regional Dysphagia Management Team Steering Committee

Posted • Last updated


Open to Northern Region, Patient partners across Northern Health

Last updated

Are you interested in improving the overall mealtime experience and quality of life of residents with eating, drinking or swallowing problems? If so, please join a discussion on identifying and prioritizing aspects of dysphagia management important to patients and their families.

Open to: Patient partners across Northern Health

Lead Organization or Department

Northern Health, Regional Dysphagia Management Team (RDMT)


To obtain regular input  from stakeholders to help mold the future direction of the Regional Dysphagia Management Team, ensuring that residents across the North continue to receive high quality and sustainable dysphagia management services including:
  • Prioritizing current and future endeavours
  • Determining ways to best utilize time and resources
  • Promoting dysphagia related initiatives throughout Northern Health
  • Providing perspective from the member’s area of specialization in regards to dysphagia management

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate (at a local community or program level) on the spectrum of engagement (  The promise to you is that the health care partner will look to you for advice in decision making, developing alternatives, and solutions and include your recommendations into the decision as much as possible.


  • Open to 2 patients, family, or community members in Northern Health Region
  • Experience with long term care is an asset.
  • Experience with dysphagia (choking, eating/swallowing difficulty) as a patient or family member/care giver
  • Comfortable calling in to a teleconference and speaking up
  • Patients should have previously attended a PVN orientation session and signed the Volunteer Agreement. If you have not attended an orientation but are interested please contact the Engagement Leader directly to see if accommodations may be possible.


  • Meetings will be held by teleconference, the second Wednesday of every 3 months from 1-2pm PST.
  • The length of commitment one year (can extend if interested)


No expenses are anticipated as the meetings are being held by teleconference.


Dysphagia is a term used to describe difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia refers to difficulty, discomfort and/or disordered swallowing. Dysphagia can occur at any stage of the swallow from the head to the stomach including oral (in the mouth), pharyngeal (in the throat) and/or esophageal (in the esophagus) stage.   In 2012 a working group composed of NH therapists and outside experts identified significant gaps in dysphagia services as well as confidence and competence of practitioners managing dysphagia across Northern Health (NH). Long term care was identified as the population with the greatest need for increased dysphagia services, due to the high incidence of dysphagia (approx. 60% of residents). With the dedication and hard work of the dysphagia working group they were able to facilitate the creation of the three fulltime positions of the RDMT (Registered Dietician, Occupational Therapist, and Speech Language Pathologist). Membership to the steering committee is open to any Northern Health employee, patient, resident and/or family member within Northern Health. Representation is needed from:
  • Each health service delivery area
  • An operational leader such as a residential care manager
  • Executive Lead for Elder Program
  • Practitioners working with residents with dysphagia i.e. – Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Registered Dietician
  • Nursing staff representative
  • Quality Improvement Lead
  • Direct Point of Care staff – resident care aide

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Cathy Almost
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Northern BC


From Our Community

Nancy J. Wood

Patient Partner, Sidney

Nancy J. Wood

I was thrilled to discover the Patient Voices Network, where the array of places to be the voice of a patient is vast and incredibly interesting. Besides my ongoing “gig” with the BC Emergency Medicine Network, I have enjoyed being involved in several one-off initiatives. I love working with professionals who genuinely value the perspectives of their patient partners.