Webinar Series: Patient Partnership in a Time of COVID-19

Since 2010, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement has led and championed partnerships with patients, family and caregivers to improve quality across the continuum of care. But the COVID-19 pandemic brings a new reality to patient partnerships as together we navigate a fast-moving healthcare sector with high pressure and increased risks.

Together with our partners, the CFHI is hosting a series of discussion webinars to facilitate pan-Canadian conversations about patient engagement during this pandemic.

The webinars bring patient partnerships and lived experience to specific and emerging issues, policies and practices that are rapidly developing and being implemented in response to COVID-19. These issues have direct impact on patients, families and caregivers and risk the quality and safety of care for both those receiving and delivering it.

Our aim is to provide a place for discussion about these critical issues of patient and family engagement, and, for participants to share and learn from each other as they respond to the evolving pandemic. The webinar topics are generated through conversations with our partners and networks and have immediate relevance.

The webinars are recorded and made available on this web page.

Upcoming Webinars

Thursday July 9, 12.00pm - 1.30pm (EDT)
How to Engage and Support Diverse Patient Partnerships During a Crisis Part 1

Co-Hosts: Justina Marianayagam (Patient Partner & Medical Student) and Haley Warren (Improvement Lead, CFHI)
Guest speakers: Kristy Macdonell (Manager-Health Equity, Scarborough Health Network), Lori Berger-Hegyi (Patient Family Advisor, Scarborough Health Network) and Faria Khan (Provincial Initiatives Consultant, Alberta Health Services)

Patient engagement and partnership efforts often focus on those that have the capacity, willingness and ability to engage. In times of crisis, this is often exacerbated, with many organizations going to those most familiar to them. However, these patient engagement efforts do not necessarily reflect the range of patient populations that use or need healthcare in Canada  – including those from ethnocultural backgrounds, who do not speak English or French, in lower socio-economic backgrounds, under-housed, or other underserved populations.

This two-part webinar will unpack a variety of considerations for engagement with diverse patient populations. We will explore the added challenges brought about by COVID-19, and specific ways we can do better, now, and after the pandemic.

Register to Attend


Thursday July 23, 12.00pm - 1.30pm (EDT)
How to Engage and Support Diverse Patient Partnerships During a Crisis Part 2

Following from the webinar on July 9, this second webinar will focus on incorporating trauma informed care into the work of patient engagement, appreciating the trauma that may have been experienced by patients, families and caregivers. In order to care for people in ways that creates physical, psychological, and cultural safety, people need to have choices and be empowered to be decision makers for their own care.

Recognizing and responding to different experiences people have through trauma, and reducing the risk of re-traumatization, requires taking an equity approach to engage with those who are traditionally less heard. This webinar will discuss the principles of trauma-informed care, and considers its implementation during the time of pandemic. We will also share techniques and resources to enhance patient engagement and partnerships in practice.

Register to Attend

Past Webinars

Thursday June 25: Embedding Patient Partnerships Across the Healthcare System

Watch Webinar via YouTube »
Presentation Slides: Embedding Patient Partnerships Across the Healthcare System »

Co-Hosts: Carole Ann Alloway (Family Caregiver Partner, Ontario) and Haley Warren (Improvement Lead, CFHI)
Guest speakers: Felecia Watson (Executive Director of Patient and Client Experience, Saskatchewan Health Authority [SHA]), Kevin Belitski (Patient Partner, SHA) Kathy Quinlan (Manager of Quality and Co-Chair of Patient Family Advisory Council, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare [HDGH], Ontario), Lisa Raffoul (Patient Advocate, HDGH), Barb Masotti (Co-Chair of Patient Family Advisory Council, HDGH) and Joe Karb (Vice President of Restorative Care, HDGH)

The underlying philosophy of patient-centred and patient partnered care, and the role of the family caregiver as an essential partner in care needs to be consistent and fully institutionalized across the health system and the continuum of care. Despite significant perceived gains in patient engagement, partnership and the emergence of patient leadership, in a time of COVID-19 many active patient partners noted opportunities for engagement were significantly limited. In many cases provincial, regional, local organizations brought together pandemic planning tables, and formed guidance and recommendations in the absence of engaging people with lived experience.
This discussion webinar is about advancing the conversation of patient engagement and partnership. How do we institutionalize this collaboration so it can withstand the turbulence of a crisis? We will discuss what enablers and barriers exist as well as identify the practices, policies and resources that would support strengthening engagement efforts during this time. 



May 26: Maintaining and Strengthening Patient/Family/Caregiver Partnerships

Watch Webinar via YouTube »
Presentation Slides: Maintaining and Strengthening Patient/Family/Caregiver Partnerships »

Co-Hosts: Claire Snyman (Patient Partner, British Columbia) and Carol Fancott (Director, CFHI)
Guest speakers: Caroline Wong (Executive Manager, Centre of Excellence for Partnerships with Patients and the Public, University of Montreal) and Vincent Dumez (Co-Director, Centre of Excellence for Partnerships with Patients and the Public, University of Montreal)

What does patient engagement look like in a time of COVID-19 from a patient, family or caregiver perspective and from an organizational and healthcare leader perspective? Participants on this webinar will discuss ways organizations have maintained their engagement and partnership activities and, in many cases, strengthened and accelerated their efforts. Participants will also share expectations and priorities for patients, families and caregivers.


May 12: Access to Care and System Navigation

Watch Webinar via YouTube »
Presentation Slides: Access to Care and System Navigation »
Webinar Synopsis: Access to Care and System Navigation »

Host: Heather Thiessen, Patient Partner
Guest speaker: Mario Lopez, Patient Partner and Mari Teitelbaum, Vice-President Strategy, Quality & Family Partnership and Chief Innovation Officer, CHEO

How have organizations pivoted to support non-COVID-19 patients and families? Participants in this webinar will discuss changes in system navigation, such as shifting to virtual care, and how that might affect patients, families and caregivers. We will explore how many changes are being co-developed with patient partners and communicated with their support. We will also talk about support needed to access care, from a patient perspective, and potential solutions and contingencies to address challenges faced.


April 28: Wave 4 of COVID-19 - Supporting Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health of Patients and Families

Watch Webinar via YouTube »
Presentation Slides: Wave 4 of COVID-19 »
Webinar Synopsis: Wave 4 of COVID-19 »

Co-hosts: Isabel Jordan (Patient Partner, CFHI) and Denise McCuaig, Métis Elder
Guest speaker: Yona Lunsky (Director Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [CAMH])

What challenges are patients, families and caregivers facing and how are they coping? This webinar will enable organizations to share approaches they are offering in partnership with patients, families and caregivers to support emotional, spiritual and mental well-being. We will also ask patients and families to share how they are approaching caring for their emotional well-being. We will facilitate a conversation about addressing longer term mental health trauma associated with COVID-19 and explore how partnerships and collaborations will help build solutions together.


April 16: Family and Caregiver Presence Policies and Practices - COVID-19 and Looking to the Future

Webinar Synopsis »

CFHI hosted a webinar discussion with members from the National Health Engagement Network about Family and Caregiver Presence Policies and Practices: COVID-19 and Looking to the Future.

During this conversation, patient engagement leaders and patient and family partners from across Canada shared new approaches to facilitate engagement. Participants also shared how their organizations are working to welcome family and caregivers as partners in care during the time of COVID-19.