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How to Get Involved - Patient and Family Advisors

Patient or Family Advisor at the IWK

This role can range from being a member of an Advisory Council to working with 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 can involve a monthly meeting, with email correspondence and preparation between meetings. Some short term 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 available roles.

Becoming a Patient/Family Advisor at the IWK requires:

  • Meeting our General Criteria (“What we look for in Advisors”)
  • Filling out an application telling us about your experience, ideas and interests
  • An informal interview with a representative(s) from the group
  • Connecting with our Volunteer Resources Department 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 benefit of this process is to ensure that each Family Advisor feels comfortable and confident in their new role, so they are able 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, Wayfinding & Signage Committee, Infection Prevention and Control Committee, Women's and Newborn Health Strategy Planning Group/Working Group, Information Desk Renovation, etc.

Become an Online Patient/Family Advisor. Join the IWK Exchange!

  • We will connect with you by email.
  • Contribute when it is most convenient for you – day or night. 
  • Only choose to provide input and suggestions on those items you are interested in. 
  • All of your input, suggestions and your identity will be confidential (unless you give us permission to identify you) when we share with staff/physicians.
  • Your input will influence how the IWK designs care and service.
  • 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 full 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.


Who are we looking for? 

We are looking for Patient and Family Advisors from all backgrounds, age groups, and experiences. Parents, guardians, current patients, former patients, siblings, grandparents, partners, sons, daughters, other support persons. All your voices are important and needed.

For more information about these opportunities please visit www.iwk.nshealth.ca/page/current-opportunities-patient-and-family-advisors, email pfcc@iwk.nshealth.ca or call 902.470.6896.