Patient or Family Advisor at the IWK
This role is typically onsite and can range from being a member of an Advisory Council to working committees, project teams, or operations groups. These are volunteer roles, however parking expenses and child care expenses (as required) are covered in exchange for your valuable time.
Commitment usually involves a monthly meeting, with email correspondences and preparation between meetings. Some more short terms projects may involve more frequent meeting times. As well, depending on the work at hand, some groups are more formal or informal than others. See the Section “Current Opportunities” for full descriptions of available roles.
Becoming a Patient/Family Advisor at the IWK requires:
- Meeting our General Criteria (“What we look for in Advisors”)
- Filling out an easy application telling us about your experience and ideas
- An informal interview with a representative(s) from the group
- Connecting with our Volunteer Services office for criminal background and child abuse registry checks, confidentiality paperwork, ID and parking pass
- Patient/Family Advisor Training (1-2 hrs) and background orientation to the work at hand so you can comfortably fit right in.
The entire process from application to training can take as little as 1-2 weeks.
The benefit of this process is to ensure that each Family Advisor feels comfortable and confident in their new role, and so they have the ability to ‘hit the ground running’ in the important input and perspective they will bring to the table.
Roles so far at the IWK Health Centre have included the IWK’s Family Leadership Council, Capital Planning and Oversight Committee, Business Planning, Unit-Based Operations Committees, etc.
Become an Online Patient/Family Advisor. Join the IWK Exchange!
- We will connect with you by email.
- Projects take no longer than 5-10 minutes.
- Contribute when it is most convenient for you – day or night.
- Only choose the consults you are interested in.
- All of your input, suggestions and your identity will be confidential (unless you give us permission to use your information) when we share with staff/physicians.
- Your input will influence how the IWK designs care and service, and when it does we will show you by emailing you the results.
- You can withdraw at any time.
Benefits of Being a Patient/Family Advisor with the Exchange:
- You will help the IWK’s Family Leadership Council (Patients, families, staff, and physicians) to give a fuller picture of Health Centre needs and issues.
- Your input will help effect change and inform decision making made by Health Centre staff, physicians and leadership.
- You will see how your patient and family voice can make a difference in the care and services the IWK provides.
- It is a great way to give back to the IWK and your community.
- Know that you will be helping the IWK become a more patient and family centered place to be.
Signing up is easy!
- Email email@example.com to indicate you are interested in becoming a member of The Exchange.
- A few times a month either the IWK’s Family Leadership Council, Executive Leadership Team, Patient and Family Centred Care, a committee, project team, etc. will forward a question to the Exchange. For example, what works well for patients and families at the IWK around a particular service? And on the other side, what doesn’t work well? Here are our current boundaries, but here is what we are thinking. What do you think? Do you agree? And what are your ideas?
- You think about it. Take it to family, friends, neighbors if you like. Get back to us over email with your thoughts, input, feedback, ideas… let us know what you think. Your experience as a patient/family member at the IWK makes you a part of our team. Join the conversation!
- If it is the kind of consult that results in a next draft, and when we have updates, we will forward them to you so you can see how your input made a difference.
Who are we looking for either of these opportunities?
We are looking for Patient and Family Advisors from all backgrounds, age groups, and experiences. Current and former patients, adult patients, parents/guardians, grandparents, partners/spouses, siblings, daughters/sons, etc. All of your voices are important and needed.
For more information about these opportunities please visit www.iwk.nshealth.ca/familyadvisors, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470.3955.