Become a Patient Advocate

    Do you reside in the Edmonton area?
    Are you a caring, empathetic, compassionate individual who is looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others?

If your answer to the above questions is “Yes,” the Open Arms Patient Advocacy society is looking for you. Click here to read more about this exciting opportunity.

What’s Important to Seniors’ Health in Alberta?

Do you live or work in the province of Alberta and are you:

  • an older adult (65 years of age and over),
  • a caregiver of an older adult (spouse; family member; friend; neighbour), or
  • a clinician or health/social care provider (doctor; nurse; care aides; allied health provider; pharmacist; social worker) working with older adults?

If so, the Scientific Office of Alberta’s Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network invites you to complete the following survey. By responding to the survey, you will be helping to determine the direction/priorities for future research and initiatives in the area of seniors’ health.

Feedback Please

A small group of patient/famiy advisors and Alberta Health Services staff have been working to create an app that could easily capture data regarding the patient/family experience at the end of a clinic/hospital visit. This app would allow programs/areas to obtain information about the patient’s/family’s experience immediately after the care was received. All feedback, including Ideas and suggestions of how the program/area could be more patient and family centred, would be provided anonymously. Having this information readily available would allow managers and healthcare teams to make improvements in the care provided by their program/area.

A prototype of this app has been developed, which will be tested in two clinics. However, before doing so, your assistance is being sought via the completion of a short survey relating to the prototype. If you could take a few minutes to complete this survey, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help! Please note that the survey is NOT limited to family/patient advisors.

The Cost of Speaking Up?

Oft times, patients and families are hesitant to express their complaints and concerns relating to a particular care facility. The source of this hesitation can be from a deep sense of fear – the fear of retaliation. While in most cases no negative repercussions result when a complaint or concern is raised, such is not the case in a long-term care facility in Ontario, Canada.

According to a retired hospital nurse and daughter of a resident at the care facility, she is no longer able to stay in her mother’s room while her mother is being cared for by the staff. The reason for this restriction is because of the complaints the daughter made about the substandard care and dangerous hygiene practices she witnessed. “You complain and this is the price you pay.” What does this say about the facility’s view of family presence?

Click here to read the full story.

Family Presence: Ming Ming

The following was submitted by Emma, a member of the Pts4Chg community. Thanks, Emma.

This is Jim. He spent 8 long weeks as an inpatient at the Red Deer Regional Hospital. Thankfully, the unit he was on allowed pet visitors. For Jim, this was patient centered care! Seeing his dog, Ming Ming, brought him such joy and the drive to do what he could to get home to her. Thank you Red Deer Regional Hospital for realizing pets are family too!

Get Involved – Healthcare 101

There is an exciting initiative underway in Alberta. If you are interested in healthcare, you will definitely want to read Patty’s announcement below.

“The project will co-design with the public content relevant and meaningful to Alberta citizens to inform them on how the healthcare ecosystem works. The project will identify content and pilot test one foundational content by May 31st , 2016. We are doing this to help AB citizens experience the health care ecosystem in a positive way”

If you are interested to be involved or participate in this exciting opportunity, please see the invitation and respond to the contacts provided below.
Patty Wickson at or (403)629-2139 – South of Edmonton
Rhonda Shea at or (780)974-3414 – North of Edmonton

Updates on Family Presence Work

Hello Pts4Chg Community!

Over the last four months the materials for patients and families as partners and advisors have been refined a wee bit and are also now translated into French. Our small ‘collation of the willing’ (volunteer citizens, patient and family advisors and CFHI) also thought it important to also create a survey to help improve the materials upon use. I know that many of you provided feedback already (which I still have) and some of that has made it into the current version. Much of it has not though, as we needed to find a way to capture input that would likely also come in nationally. So please complete the two short surveys if you have time, so that your impressions on the info can be included when next edits are made, likely well into 2017.

If you are active on Twitter, here are some suggested hashtags for the overall Better Together campaign too, that this is part of, if you are tweeting this info out.

  • #MoreThanAVisitor
  • #Cdnhealth
  • #shoulder2shoulder
  • #familypresence

These two documents are designed to support the movement for Family Presence in healthcare.

1. The first document, Partner Tips, is intended to be used by patients and families at the point of care (e.g. at the bedside, in an office or clinic).

2. The second document, Conversation Tips, is intended to be a resource for patients and families in conversations with healthcare providers, or organizations, or communities.

Please feel free to download, copy, distribute and use these documents. You will need Adobe Reader on your device. You are welcome to adapt them to meet your local team’s needs.

These tips sheets are also available in French:

Want to have your say and Be part of the pilot for these documents!?

The volunteers with ‘IMAGINE CITIZENS Collaborating for Health’ would appreciate your feedback and comments about these two documents. Please click these links to complete the two surveys about each document:

1. “Partner” Tips Survey and
2. “Conversation” Tips Survey.

Comments received will be reviewed by IMAGINE CITIZENS’ volunteers so that any significant edits can be incorporated. New versions will be available periodically, every six months or so, through the partner organizations.

Thank you for your help!

Troy Stooke
IMAGINE: Citizens Collaborating for Health & Member of Pts4Chg community

Family Presence: More of a Presence

exciting newsFamily Presence is becoming an important topic in Alberta’s healthcare system. As such, we have added a Family Presence area to our website. There you will find some new material that is hot off the press! Click here if you are looking for Family Presence tips, conversation starters and more…

Helping Oneself and Others

In an online post, Sheila, a member of the Pts4Chg community, raises an important topic. How does one obtain assistance for oneself or others when it comes to health care? How does one

tactfully get help for yourself or a loved one, or even possibly someone we don’t know who is in the hospital and we see that he/she is not getting the care that the Dr. prescribed, such as meds being missed or denied, patient not being fed, etc. Sadly, only those who have a loved one who comes to visit, will get these issues fixed, but I have seen (too many times) meals delivered to people without a loved one there to feed them, which were just picked up and taken away when the dietitians came back to collect trays, no one to feed those who are the most sick and alone or help them get the care the Dr. prescribed. In my local hospital, those with visitors get the most care because then there are ‘witnesses’ to what did or did not happen. The ones who are alone are in a dangerously negligent position.

Any comments and suggestions relating to this topic are welcome.