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Community sought for hospital council

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Grace Hospital is looking for community members to join its new patient and family advisory council.


Hospital officials say they are looking for eight people to sit on the council, which will help guide and direct the delivery of care and services, as well as strategies for patient and family involvement.


"Community participation in what we do is very important," said Jon Einarson, executive director of the Grace Hospital Foundation.


"As a community hospital, we serve the constituency. Our job is to deliver the best care possible. People in the community with an independent eye and a fresh perspective can only help us do our jobs better here."


The council will meet monthly and address issues at the hospital to streamline processes and improve service delivery, Einarson said.


The council will include Einarson, as well as the hospital’s patient relations officer. Other hospital officials will participate when the situation warrants, he said.


Einarson hopes the council can have its inaugural meeting in late October or early November.


"We want the community to guide us with their experience," he said, noting individuals who haven’t had experience at the hospital are still encouraged to apply.


"Any opinions are certainly good opinions"


The 255-bed hospital primarily serves St. James-Assiniboia, Charleswood, Headingley, and Stonewall, and sees hundreds of patients a day.


As the patient relations officer for the hospital, Lori Maksymyk deals with people trying to navigate the hospital system, and gathers compliments and complaints about service delivery on a daily basis.


It’s important for a hospital to ensure it isn’t operating inside of a bubble, she said.


"We really want to ensure the services we provide here are the best for the people of the community," said Maksymyk, who lives in Sage Creek.


"If we’re only operating in our little bubble, we’re not extending out and stretching things in terms of learning from what our patient’s experience is like."


The two are hoping for a "robust response" from the community, across varying social, cultural, and demographic backgrounds, Einarson said.


Half the membership will receive three-year appointments, while the other half will receive two-year appointments to help maintain continuity, Einarson said.


The council will operate on the best practices seen at other hospitals with councils, like St. Boniface, Einarson said.


"It’s something of a lump of clay," he said.


"We’re excited to have this new opportunity and want it to have an effective say in what we do."
The deadline for applications is Fri., Sept. 28. All applicants will be subject to a criminal record check.


For more information, contact Nicki Zappia at 204-837-0140 or by email at nzappia@ggh.mb.ca.

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matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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