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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: Canadian Case Studies

Held February 16, 2016




Hear from the Ottawa Hospital, who adopted family presence in September 2015. Find out more about lessons learned, challenges and opportunities in advancing the practice of patient- and family-centred care by instituting open visitation and recognizing family members as partners in care.

Take part in our webinar and learn:

  • How family presence policies can serve as a mechanism to improve the patient experience;
  • About common myths surrounding family presence policies;
  • What the common barriers and opportunities to adopting family presence policies are;
  • About the key levers and winning conditions essential to moving from policy adoption to practice.


Debra BournesDebra Bournes, Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President Clinical Programs, Dr. Debra Bournes is the Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President Clinical Programs at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). She provides professional leadership to nursing and the other health professions, and oversees the Mental Health, Telemedicine, Family Health Team, and Obstetrics/Gynecology and Newborn Care Programs. From 2011 - 2014 Debra was Ontario’s Provincial Chief Nursing Officer at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. She has served as the Director of Nursing New Knowledge and Innovation at University Health Network in Toronto, as Assistant Professor at York University, and in cross-appointments at the University of Toronto. Debra is known nationally and internationally for her leadership in nursing theory-guided patient and family-centered care, academic practice and professional development for health professionals, health human resource analysis, strategic planning in nursing, and quality workplace/quality patient care indicator dashboards for healthcare leaders. In 2008, Debra received the University of Toronto, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Award of Distinction and the Ontario Hospital Association Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership. In 2009, she received the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario's Leadership Award for Nursing Research for her work on developing a research culture among health professionals.

Evelyn KerrEvelyn Kerr is the Director of Nursing Clinical Practice and has an extensive background in education, research, facilitation and project implementation. She oversees the professional practice for the 4200 nurses (RPN and RNs) at The Ottawa Hospital. She has over 35 years in nursing, is a leader who has coordinated and implemented multiple extensive corporate projects.


Chris ClementChris Clement is the Clinical Director of Mental Health, The Academic Family Health Team and Telemedicine at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and has diverse background including clinical experience, clinical operations, technology, risk management and medical affairs. She oversees resources planning, program development, project management, fiscal planning and the overall quality and quality improvement of the Mental Health, FHT and Telemedicine programs at TOH. She has many years of healthcare leadership and has coordinated and implemented multiple extensive corporate projects. Both have published several articles and presented at both national and international conferences.


Christine MaikaChristine Maika, Improvement Lead , CFHI

As an Improvement Lead with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), Christine provides support to organizations seeking to meaningfully and effectively engage patients and families in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services to improve quality. In this capacity, Christine is leading the Better Together Campaign in Canada. This campaign encourages healthcare organizations to adopt family presence policies, recognizing the role of families as partners in care. Christine has contributed to the analysis and evaluation of CFHI’s patient engagement demonstration projects and the Partnering with Patients and Families for Quality Improvement Collaborative to advance the research and understanding of patient and family engagement as a lever for quality improvement. Prior to joining CFHI, Christine worked as a Senior Program Officer with Health Canada’s First Nations Environmental Public Health Program. Christine is pursuing her Master of Public Health at the University of Waterloo.