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Patient Partner Profile: Joani

February 26, 2019

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, Joani!

How long have you been a Patient Partner?

Officially for two years. Prior to that I supported the Critical Care Unit Action Council.

What compelled you to become a Patient Partner?

Two reasons. The first, my mother suffered a serious illness three years ago. We've had stays in ICU (Stratford & London), Medicine, the Emergency Department and the Inpatient Unit in Seaforth. Our experiences as a family were positive overall. When asked for feedback it made sense to do it in a formal and organized way via the Unit Action Council. I was raised to believe that doing the work must follow offering my opinion, so I'd best roll up my sleeves and help where I can! Second reason, my day job, representing the City of Stratford across the country and internationally, is made easier because the quality of care at the HPHA is so exceptional. The access to service, diagnosis and treatment as well as the commitment to preventative care is an asset to our community and one that I promote often. It makes sense for me to give of my time to help protect such an important resource.

What does your role as a Patient Partner entail?

I attend as many monthly meetings as I can, where we are engaged by the HPHA team working on special projects, amendments to operations, signage, etc. We are asked for our perspectives as patients and family. When my time is limited, I'm able to offer feedback via email. I also believe I am an advocate of the HPHA in the community by promoting the message, the team and the good work being done.

What's been the most rewarding part of being a Patient Partner?

Meeting the people, gaining a better understanding of the system and making a real impact. The HPHA (Stratford General Hospital) is where my babies took their first breath and where my beloved grandparents took their last. I will be forever grateful for the care our family has received along the way and it is my privilege to support the initiatives and the team that work to make an incredibly complex system appear singularly focused on the patient and family in front of them!

What would you say to others considering becoming a Patient Partner?

Do it! The team at HPHA have put an honest emphasis on the patient and family experience. Our voices, opinions and suggestions are heard, considered and implemented. You can allocate as much time as you're able to give and focus your attention on the areas of your experience and expertise. Each of us will require the resources of HPHA at some point so it's good to remember that “Decisions are made by those who show up!"

To learn more about becoming a Patient Partner click here!