Patient as Partners working group ‘buzzing with excitement’

The Patient as Partners – Working Dialogue Group held its two-day conference in Vancouver last week

The Patient as Partners – Working Dialogue Group held its two-day conference in Vancouver last week. The BC Ministry of Health recently identified patient-centered care as one of their priorities and the purpose of this conference was to receive input from stakeholder on what patient-centered care should look like in BC. I was lucky enough to be among the 200 or so stakeholders to attend the conference.

Despite having an eternal optimistic attitude, I have to admit I was more than a little skeptical. My internal voice said something to the effect, “Wendy, how likely is it that the Ministry of Health will listen to anything you have to say, let alone do anything about it?”

Although no promises were made, by the time Friday afternoon arrived, energy and optimism oozed from the room. The majority of us were buzzing with excitement (and clearly too much caffeine to fend off exhaustion) and chomping at the bit to get share what we learned.

For two days, I sat in a room with Ministry of Health employees, physicians, care providers from health authorities and from community organizations and most importantly, patients or people with stories to tell about their experiences with the health-care system.

I met a person who openly discussed her mental health challenges and the judgement she faced from health-care providers. I heard the story about a person diagnosed with cancer whose test results were misplaced by her doctor’s office resulting in a two-month delay in her diagnosis. I met a family caregiver in her early-30s, caring for her terminally ill spouse while balancing raising two children and a career. I was thanked for my column by an adult child caring for their parents (both with dementia) in residential care facilities.

They vented frustration with the staffing ratios and some of less than desirable conditions of an institutional environment.

Patient-centered care isn’t new. Most of us remember the buzz word from the early 2000s. No one can agree on a single definition; however, the dialogue in the room focused on the idea that persons using the health-care system (this includes the recipient of care/services, families and caregivers) are supported and encouraged to participate in their own health care as well as make decisions about their health care.

In 2007, the Ministry of Health worked with the organization ImpactBC to establish the Patient Voices Network, a provincial group of persons using the health-care system, families and caregivers to promote better population health and encourage public participation in shaping the health-care system. Patient Voices Network is now Patient as Partners.

What inspired me the most from the conference was the sheer number of people who want to help make changes to BC health care system.

People like you and I.

Patient as Partners encourages anyone and everyone to have a voice. The best way to do this is to visit their website at or call them directly toll-free at 1.888.742.1772.

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Solutions. Her column runs in the Comox Valley Record every second Thursday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two of the weapons seized in a Nov. 8 traffic stop in Black Creek. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP seize guns, drugs in Black Creek traffic stop

Two arrested in connection with incident

Christmas will look a bit different in Cumberland this year, not only because of COVID restrictions but due to changes from BC Hydro about hanging decorations on the poles. Record file photo
Snowflakes a no-go for Cumberland’s power poles

Village, business association looking to promote shopping local for holidays

The Trenton Golden Hawks are changing their name and uniform for one game on Nov. 27 as they become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey. Twitter photo
Hockey team honouring fallen Snowbird with Comox Valley connection

The Trenton Golden Hawks will become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game

A late-blooming Welsh poppy gave the Cox garden some unexpected colour last month. Photo by Leslie Cox
DUCHESS OF DIRT: La Nina signs not necessarily steeped in science

LESLIE COX Special to The Record I am beginning to think climate… Continue reading

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit are investigating

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

3L Developments president Dave Dutcyvich is pictured during a 2018 meeting at the regional district boardroom. File photo
Denied developer prefers not to log Comox Valley land: Planner

At its inaugural meeting Tuesday, the Comox Valley Regional District board refused… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Most Read