Mississauga Halton LHIN launches first Patient and Family Advisory Committee
Oakville (Jan. 12, 2018) – Patients, family members, caregivers and individuals with lived experience in the health care system came together in the fall as participants of the Mississauga Halton LHIN’s inaugural Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC).
The PFAC is a new forum that will build upon and complement existing patient and family engagement efforts within the Mississauga Halton LHIN. The committee will seek to ensure that patient, family and caregiver voices are embedded into Patients First health care transformation, and that citizen and lived experience feedback guides health care planning and delivery, to ultimately improve the region’s health services and delivery of care.
Committee members will work to inform the development of a strategy for regional patient and family engagement, which will officially launch in April 2018. As part of the strategy, members will look for ways to empower patients and caregivers to become agents of change.
“Our hope in the future is that we will be able to see patients, families and individuals with lived experience at every table where there is a discussion about patients,” said Bill MacLeod, CEO, Mississauga Halton LHIN. “We’re all users of the same system that belongs to all of us – patients and caregivers are informed citizens and can contribute valuable ideas and thoughts about how to improve the health care system.”
According to PFAC member and Georgetown resident Ernest Kolenda, involving patients with lived experience in discussions about the health system has two main benefits – it not only empowers patients and caregivers to find ways to improve the health system, but it’s also an opportunity for them to learn about what’s currently being done within the system to create better experiences and outcomes for patients.
“I have personal support workers coming into my house every morning and evening, so I’m able to talk about my experiences from this perspective,” said Kolenda. “But through this committee, I also have an opportunity to learn about the internal workings of the health care system – this gives me the chance to hear voices from the other side of the table, which gives me a better picture of what I can contribute and what gaps need to be addressed.”
The Mississauga Halton LHIN will continue recruiting new committee members to ensure representation from the region’s diverse communities and health care perspectives. Those interested in becoming volunteer members are encouraged to submit an application.
The committee is just one of the many ways the Mississauga Halton LHIN is engaging with patients and caregivers in the region. Individuals interested in collaborating with the Mississauga Halton LHIN in a different capacity are encouraged to contact Hanaa Elkalza, Patient and Family Engagement Coordinator, Mississauga Halton LHIN, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This PFAC joins other Mississauga Halton LHIN initiatives that are putting patients first, as part of Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. The Mississauga Halton LHIN’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee also joins other LHINs across Ontario who are establishing Patient and Family Advisory Committees.