Members will be chosen through the Patient Voices Network process. Meetings will be held at a central location, likely Castlegar. Submitted photo

Volunteers sought for Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee

Committee will include 6-9 patient/family reps, one IH rep, and one rep from KB family practice

If you want to have a voice in the future of health care in the Kootenay Boundary and like to volunteer, then a newly-formed advisory committee might be the right fit for you.

This opportunity is not a grievance forum. Rather, it’s a chance to support change to health care services in the area, which envelopes about 80,000 people living from Nakusp to Nelson and Castlegar to Greater Trail, as well as Grand Forks and the Kettle Valley.

Seven seats are open on the Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee which asks, “Do you have an interest in participating in innovative health care redesign projects?”

Contributors in the advisory committee are meant to provide guidance, to healthcare partners, on meeting the needs of patient and families in the service region.

“Your role will be to bring your experiences to the committee, and provide recommendations to initiatives happening within the region,” the organization states. ““As we create an integrated system of care in Kootenay Boundary.”

Those interested have until Dec. 5 to RSVP the Patient Voices Network by visiting patientvoices.bc.ca or by calling 250.879.1077 to talk with an engagement leader.

To volunteer, you must be signed up as a “patient partner” with the Patient Voices Network, or willing to sign-up, and have access to email. A simple form is available on the group’s website, and once that is complete, an intake interview and orientation session will follow.

Also key, is that volunteers must be able to attend most meetings. Additionally, the person must be willing to share his/her experiences with a group that will have diverse perspectives. There will be four or five meetings each year held at a central location within the service region.

This advisory committee follows work Interior Health is doing with the Divisions of Family Practice through what is called the “Collaborative Services Committee” or CSC. The goal is to find ways to support the creation of an integrated system of care at the local level.

Interior Health, patient partners, and local physicians sit on the CSC. Further, the Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee will provide a forum for the patient voice to advise the CSC on primary care improvements and system change at the local and regional level.

The Patient Voices Network operates under the auspices of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. Demographics such as age, ethnicity and gender are included in the patient partner sign-up. The council states, “(We) recognize that B.C.’s communities are culturally diverse, and that characteristics such as age, ethnicity and gender affect our health care experiences and needs. We ask you for your demographic information to ensure that our engagement opportunities reflect the diversity of our province.”

Terms of reference here: Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee

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