Patient Voices Network reaches out to Gulf Islands


The Patient Voices Network, in cooperation with Island Health, is looking for “patient partners” to join quality councils and contribute to improving care on Vancouver Island and in the Southern Gulf Islands.

Volunteers are needed to join Island Health’s various quality councils and Island Health’s re-launched Leader Forum. Quality councils meet regularly to approve new standards of care, review adverse patient events, identify improvements and celebrate successes. Councils provide the structure to address quality matters and improve the care Island Health provides. Leader Forum volunteers get the opportunity to develop leadership skills alongside Island Health decision makers.

“We are very keen to attract volunteers who have experience accessing health services within the Saanich Peninsula and Southern Gulf Islands,” said Leah Smith, an engagement leader for the B.C. Patient Safety and Quality Council’s southern Vancouver Island region.

“Local residents have a good sense of what is working well for the community, their unique local needs, as well as opportunities to improve the quality of services. Including patients from the Southern Gulf Islands is an important way to ensure that the perspectives and needs of those receiving health care services will be better understood.”

Elin Bjarnason is acting vice president of the quality, safety and experience department of Island Health. 

“We place tremendous value on the insights and knowledge gained from the experience of our patients, their families and the patient partners at Patient Voices Network,” she said. “The quality of care we provide is improved when we listen to patients and include them in conversations about health and care.”

Island Health’s quality councils are seeking people who:

• Have experience with receiving care or had a loved one receive care from Island Health within the last several years;

• Are interested in sharing insights and information about their health care experiences in ways that others can learn from;

• Are comfortable participating in a committee setting, including sharing lived experiences in a group setting;

• Can work respectfully in partnership with a variety of other people; and,

• Take a constructive approach to discussing concerns and ideas to address them.

To explore the opportunity, people should visit and click on “Sign up as a Patient Partner.” After completing and submitting the brief online form, a PVN staff person will respond.

Another option is to click on “Engagement Opportunities” on the website to see the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands opportunities and RSVP to the ones of interest. Wednesday, Nov. 1 is the deadline.

To get more information, Smith welcomes questions via email at


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