Better Together Campaign: Spreading Family Presence Policies to Accelerate Healthcare Improvement

Le service d'interprétation simultanée est offert pour cette série.

Healthcare organizations in Canada are adopting patient- and family-centred care in an effort to improve patient safety and health outcomes. These organizations are finding that partnering with patients and their families creates better work environments and leads to operational efficiencies. As a practical step towards more patient- and family-centred care, many Canadian healthcare organizations are embracing innovative family presence policies that include loved ones as an integral part of the care team. CFHI invites you to learn more about the Better Together campaign, launched in partnership with the Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC).

Sessions in the series:

Better Together: Changing the Concept of Families as ‘Visitors’

Held November 5, 2015


On November 5, learn about the Better Together campaign to promote family presence policies in Canada and how you can participate. CFHI will also share results from the first baseline study of acute care hospital visiting policies conducted in Canada.

Hear from special guest Bev Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of IPFCC, who will share how family presence policies can serve as a catalyst for improving patient and family-centered care, and the patient experience. The session will profile Alberta Health Services’ South Health Campus, an organization recognized for creating a sustainable practice that supports family presence throughout all points of care and service areas using a blended approach of both family presence and visiting guidelines. This session will highlight how the organization is embracing family presence and examine how to involve staff in this innovative practice.

In the first of this two part series, presenters will:

  • Explain how family presence policies can serve as a mechanism to improve the patient experience;
  • Outline the benefits to patients, families and staff of implementing a family presence policy;
  • Describe family presence policy trends in hospitals across Canada;
  • Explain steps that can be taken to establish a policy that supports patient and family-centred care;
  • Highlight best practices shared by leading organizations that have implemented family presence policies.


Bev-Johnson-100Bev Johnson serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care’s Board. She has over 25 years of experience in organizational development and management. She has worked as a health professional providing direct care in hospitals, managing a hospital unit, and teaching. She has served as a trustee of a hospital, national health care organization, and a school board. In these trustee roles, she has chaired and served on strategic planning committees and had fiduciary responsibility for non-profit organizations. She has provided technical assistance and consultation to over 250 hospitals across the United States and Canada. She has published widely on patient- and family-centered issues and strategies. Bev is the recipient of the 2011 Dorland Health People Award for leadership in the area of patient- and family-centered care, the 2008 Stanley Graven Award for outstanding contribution to the National Perinatal Association, the 2007 Stan and Mavis Graven Award for Leadership in promoting optimal environments and developmental care for high risk infants and their families, the 2007 Changemaker Award by the Board for the Center for Health Care Design, the 1992 Lloyd Bentsen Award for leadership for family-centered care, and the 1990 Humanitarian Award from Pediatric Nursing.

Colin Del CastilhoColin Del Castilho attended the U of C Medical School followed by the Rural Alberta South Family Residency Program. He then completed an extra year of training in Emergency Medicine in 2005/2006 and has now been an Emergency Physician for the past 8 years. Initially, Dr. Del Castilho was the Emergency Department Site Chief at both the Peter Lougheed Centre and South Health Campus. Currently, he is the Acting Facility Medical Director at South Health Campus and also a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Calgary.

Joanne GantonJoanne Ganton
is the new Executive Director of Engagement and Patient Experience in the Quality and Healthcare Improvement Division of the Alberta Health Services (AHS). She works with a team of professional consultants and engagement experts to engage the organization, patients and families on a journey towards excellence in patient and family centred care (PFCC). Joanne will be key in shaping the implementation of AHS’s Patient First Strategy.

Joanne brings to AHS more than 16 years experience in patient and family centred care. She was the Manager of Patient & Family Centred Care (PFCC) at South Health Campus (SHC) in Calgary.  At SHC, Joanne was integral in the development of the PFCC department and processes, site-wide PFCC practice standards/policies, and implementation of quality and patient experience improvement initiatives. She also played a vital role in developing and implementing the SHC Patient/Citizen engagement plan, including facilitating the work of the Citizen Advisory Team for the design and building of the new campus. SHC is the first adult acute care site in Alberta to fully embrace a patient and family centred care philosophy;  to change the definition of ‘visitors’; and implement comprehensive Family Presence practices; and was the first Canadian site to be recognized as ‘exemplar’ by the Institute for Patient & Family Centre Care’s Better Together campaign for changing hospital visiting policies and practices. Joanne has shared the South Health Campus – PFCC story and their innovative practice of welcoming family presence during resuscitation, both locally and nationally on television, in the National Post, on CBC Radio The Current, and numerous other media.

Joanne holds a Bachelors of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and is recognized as a local, provincial, national, and international leader in the advancement of PFCC. As the parent of a special needs child, Joanne has presented with the Canadian Association for Pediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) and with the Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care (IPFCC) on her personal patient and family health journey experiences and on her collaborative work to improve the health system. Joanne, an active volunteer in the community, is the past president of the Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association, former Chair of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Family Liaison Council, member of the Family Design Team, and former advisor on the National Research Advisory Group for the Parenting Matters research project. She now brings her passion and leadership to drive cultural change and embed patient and family centred care practices into healthcare planning, delivery and evaluation throughout all Alberta.


Maria JuddMaria Judd, Senior Director, Patient Engagement and Improvement, CFHI

Read biography >>