September 18, 2018
HPHA's Patient Partners share their valuable insights and first-hand knowledge of how services impact patients and their families. They serve in a volunteer capacity and work together with staff, leaders and physicians to acknowledge both exemplary care and areas for improvement. They also provide input and influence on the policies, programs and practices that impact the quality of care and services that individuals and their families receive at HPHA. We're happy to introduce you to one of our Patient Partners, Lynae!
How long have you been a Patient Partner?
I became a patient partner February of this year (2018).
What compelled you to become a Patient Partner?
I suppose you can say each patient partner was borne of unfortunate circumstance, as we've either received care directly or been part of a loved-one's journey. For myself, it was the latter, as I practically lived at the hospital while my younger brother received care over the course of about two months. More often than not, it was the little things that made my brother's day – a mug full of ice from a smiling volunteer or an extra Jell-O (one of the few things he could keep down) from the nutrition staff. I sometimes felt like we were both being treated and I wanted to acknowledge the staff and volunteers that made ‘our' stay as pleasant as it could be. You see a lot of different faces each with a unique style of care. As my brother's second set of ears, I was constantly trying to understand the acronyms and jargon. Eventually, it occurred to me that all I had to do was ask. At times, these felt like silly questions but usually, I wasn't the only person in the room wondering the same thing. Thankfully, my brother's health was restored and he is no longer receiving care within the Alliance. Still, I remain motivated to participate in the improvement of our local hospitals. I was born and raised in Stratford and plan to establish my life as an adult here. I believe we evolve through open conversation and hope to help build a stronger healthcare system, should myself or someone I love need it.
What does your role as a Patient Partner entail?
I am currently a participant of the Patient Partnership Council and have just joined the Accreditation Working Group. I enjoy listening to the various perspectives of interdisciplinary groups and contributing from the patient point of view.
What's been the most rewarding part of being a Patient Partner?
I love that I belong to such an awesome team of patient partners. As part of this group, I've met some of the most empathetic and encouraging people. My sense of belonging was completely affirmed after attending this year's Patient Partner Annual Meeting. I left the meeting feeling excited and motivated to expand my involvement within the organization. Better yet, I left knowing that my voice is valued, even if I feel like I'm asking the simplest questions.
What would you say to others considering becoming a Patient Partner?
I would encourage anyone who's interested to become involved. Being a Patient Partner is totally a ‘Choose your own Adventure' sort of journey. Your engagement depends on your own interests and availability and the Patient Experience Office is a great resources if you're not sure which direction to take.
To learn more about becoming a Patient Partner click here!