Our Work - Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
YAC works within a youth-centred framework, including Open Space Technology and World Café style formats. We design our own agenda, communicate our own passions, and take responsibility for them.
We meet once a month during Office Hours where we concentrate on team building, developing skills we need to succeed, set priorities for our work, figure out our golden insights, play music, eat, and stay connected to our purpose. Between office hours we work in small teams on projects we personally feel passionate about. And most importantly – it is always about having fun!
YAC projects towards a more youth-centred IWK have included:
- Establishing monthly Office Hours where centre-wide staff ask YAC members their perspective on care issues, service design, youth communication, or to invite them to participate on a project.
- Developing a ‘Youth Communication – 101’ workshop for IWK physicians and staff (resulted in wait lists to get in!)
- Developing YAC’s “IWK Cup” - an innovative, sports-themed video aimed at educating health care providers and other youth/families about the best ways to engage youth in their health care.
- Delivering Pediatric Grand Rounds – to a standing room only auditorium! Topic: working with youth in ways that work in health care.
- ‘Passionate About TP’ (toilet paper) Project in GI Day Clinic
- Presenting at National, Provincial and Local conferences and symposiums incorporating youth perspective (i.e. Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres, ‘Transitions in Youth Conference’, etc)
- Interviewing senior administration and clinical staff for engagement and relationship building
- Conducting patient interviews with lots of other youth patients to get their perspectives and experiences as well
- Providing in depth consults and youth patient perspective on topics ranging from youth and sexuality to youth-centric inpatient play rooms and the IWK teen lounge, to business planning, to healthy eating at the IWK, to policies like complementary and alternative therapies.