Public & Patient Engagement

Patient and Family Advisory Council

Patient and Family Advisors join in activities with either the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) or the Patient and Family Advisory Network (PFAN). Volunteer advisors have some experience using health services in the Winnipeg Health Region. Members share an interest in collaborating to improve health services across the Region. This includes services provided in hospitals, community health services and personal care homes.

The purpose of the Council and Network is to advise the Winnipeg Health Region (WHR) on the design, improvement and delivery of services that will enhance the patient and family experience of health services in Winnipeg. Patients and families bring valuable perspectives to quality improvement in health care. The Council was founded in September 2011 with the Network coming together in June 2013.

Membership of the Council and Network

Potential members for the Council and Network are interviewed and matched to the volunteer position that is most suitable.  Members represent various social, cultural, and demographic backgrounds and occupations. All advisors receive and orientation and ongoing education opportunities.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council meets monthly from September to June, while the Network members participate in on-line consultations, speaking engagements and other activities as offered. This virtual Network, allows for more flexibility and diversity in membership (i.e., those with health challenges who are unable to attend a monthly meeting, families with young children, etc.). Joint meetings with other patient and family advisors take place at least once annually.

Volunteer Advisor Activities

The following is a short list of some of the activities that patient and family advisors have participated in;

  • Patient and family volunteers shared their experience of care in the Winnipeg Health Region at Regional Management Council meetings and the Quality, Patient Safety and Innovation Committee of the Board. These presentations are ongoing;
  • In three sessions during the 2012-2013 academic year, eight volunteers spoke with 130 Bachelor of Nursing students at Red River College. In a group of four-five students, each volunteer shared how an experience with health care has affected them; with a focus on the important role that nurses play in almost every interaction. These sessions are ongoing;
  • Consultation on improving the accessibility of WRHA Client Relations to the public;          
    • Several improvements were made to the WRHA website;
    • Client Relations contact cards were produced and are regularly distributed;
  • Consultation on the WRHA regional policy “Complaint Management and Reporting – Healthcare Experience;”
  • Development of staff education on Managing Complaints in healthcare settings;
  • Participation in a consultation and report on “WHRA Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) on Pain Assessment and Management.”  The report was shared with the WRHA Professional Advisory Council and the Regional Pain CPG Implementation and Education Working Group. This feedback informed the education and implementation of the newly revised CPG;
  • Reviewed and suggested revisions of the WRHA Consent for Autopsy Form and Brochure;
  • Development of Learning from Patient Experience case studies. These case studies are used in staff education.

Are you interested in getting involved?

We are looking for individuals who have direct experience with the health care system and/or family members who want to work collaboratively with others in order to improve the health care system.

Volunteer application form

Contact Wendy Singleton at 204-926-7159 or at for more information.

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