Our Journey of Walking the Talk of Patient Engagement

by Nadine Morris Carol Fancott, Director | 13 Nov, 2017 | 13 Nov, 2017

This week, CFHI welcomed Angela Morin to our Patient and Citizen Engagement team in the role of Patient Partner. The process to hire for this role was heartening—the number of highly qualified patient partners that came forward to be considered demonstrated to all of us the pool of talent, dedication and contributions that patients can make to healthcare system improvement and re-design. I am thrilled that Angela has joined our team. She is a highly respected patient partner with a depth of experience across the health system at local, regional, provincial and national levels, and is a partner who can provide insights into engagement practices and perspectives to respectfully challenge the status quo. I am equally thrilled for what I think this position represents for CFHI. 

When I started at the Foundation as the Director, Patient and Citizen Engagement earlier this year, I entered the organization with a sense of humility and privilege to serve in this capacity. I knew CFHI had contributed greatly to the field of patient and family engagement (PFE), as an early and strong proponent for engagement across the health system, building capacity of healthcare organizations across Canada. As I looked across the four collaboratives that we have conducted thus far in PFE, I could see how the portfolio has evolved—moving us from patient and family engagement that we support others to do, to embedding these same practices in our work within CFHI as we develop, deliver, implement and evaluate activities and collaboratives. We recognize that patient engagement is a journey and I see the promise of what this role of Patient Partner will bring to CFHI as we continue on our journey. The Patient Partner is not THE patient for all of our teams, but rather, will bring a voice to the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ we might want to partner with patients in our work. The presence of a Patient Partner at CFHI will help us to ‘walk the talk’ of engagement in consistent ways across the organization. It will also help us to engage meaningfully and in fulsome ways that shape all of the work that we do, across all teams, and the ongoing influence we can have to transform care across the Canadian healthcare system.

I have given a lot of thought to what it means to now bring a patient partner inside—as part of our staff at CFHI. Does it start to change their ‘patient’ identity? Will she start to speak ‘CFHI-speak’? Who does she represent? We know that engaging with patients is no simple task—and to recognize and continue to ask these questions, we can remain reflective in our work. What Angela brings to us, and what her role is positioned to do, is to capitalize on her expertise as a patient partner, to help us continue to learn and to consistently embed meaningful partnerships with patients and families in all that we do. Engaging and partnering with patients and families is a culture change, it’s a way of being—to consider, to respect, to listen intently to others’ perspectives and to welcome a diversity of voices to create something new. We are well on our journey!

Have a comment about this post?

Connect with us on social media.