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Working Group Member, Psychological Distress Screening Program for Cardiac Patients

Posted • Last updated


Open to Provincial Region, Patient partners across the province

Last updated

Are you interested in helping heart patients who may be experiencing anxiety or depression? Join our team to help as we develop a program to identify those patients while they’re in the hospital!

Open to: Patient partners across the province

Lead Organization or Department

Providence Health Care, St. Paul's Hospital Heart Centre


Our aim is to introduce a system for checking whether patients who have experienced a serious heart disease episode are feeling depressed or anxious before they are discharged from the hospital.

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.


  • Experience as a heart patient (either as a patient or a family member/caregiver)
  • Comfort working in a group to come up with solutions that are agreeable to all
  • Preference would be to have one patient partner living in an urban centre, and the other from a rural community. Participation from outside the Lower Mainland would be via teleconference.
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 Karen Estrin directly to see if accommodations may be possible.


  • Vacancies: 2
  • Meetings will typically be held monthly at St. Paul's Hospital from September 2017 - August 2018 (possibly extending until December 2018). Meetings are held during business hours, typically for 1 - 1.5 hours, and will likely be scheduled to suit availability.


Pending department approval: expenses related to travel (i.e. transit, parking up to $18/day, approved mileage) to attend the session will be reimbursed by Providence Health Care.


Patients with heart disease who also suffer from anxiety or depression are more likely to die sooner from their heart disease than patients who are not depressed or anxious. Depression and anxiety also contribute to reduced quality of life. Both depression and anxiety respond well to treatment (either counselling-type therapy, medications, or combination). However, the first step for treatment is to identify patients who are depressed or anxious. Our team has created a quick screening tool to identify such patients and we are going to be introducing it to the inpatient cardiac units at St. Paul's Heart Centre. The team includes a psychologist, a specialist nurse, bedside nurses and a spiritual care provider. We are carefully planning how to get this into practice so that nurses do this screening and the information is also transmitted to the patient's family doctor. Having patients advise us on our planned procedures, in terms of the patient's experience, would be a huge asset.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Karen Estrin
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Lower Mainland & Sunshine Coast

From Our Community

Cherie Mercer

Patient Partner, New Aiyansh

Cherie Mercer

I have learned so much about innovation and capacity building by being part of PVN. I signed up to build my leadership skills, however, I experience benefits for myself, my community and Indigenous peoples throughout the province. I understand more about the complexities and opportunities required to improve health care.