North East LHIN Patient and Family Advisory Committee Applying Experience and Insights to better Northerners’ Health Care Experience

The North East Local Health Integration Network (North East LHIN) recognizes the value of listening to the voices of patients, clients, families and caregivers.

“When people are actively involved in setting health care priorities and contributing to projects, it is a win-win for all. As the health system manager the North East LHIN’s work stays focussed on ensuring a more people centric system of care, and consumers benefit from an easy system to navigate,” said Jeremy Stevenson, North East LHIN Chief Executive Officer.

Last year, the North East LHIN established a Patient and Family Advisory Committee – a diverse group of people from communities across the region – from the James and Hudson Bay coasts, to Echo Bay, North Bay, and many communities in between. Members provide advice to the North East LHIN on how to make the health care system more people-centred and less provider-focussed.

“The commitment and dedication of this committee is inspiring as they are always up to the challenge of putting people first. Continually being called upon to fill in surveys, discuss policy changes and participate in forums at the community, regional and provincial level suggests that each and every member takes their responsibility seriously,” said Marie Murphy-Foran, North East LHIN Patient and Family Advisory Committee co-chair from Elliot Lake.

These exceptional Northerners are actively helping to build a stronger system of care in Northeastern Ontario – one that is easier to navigate and more coordinated. Members report directly to the North East LHIN Chief Executive Officer and work in partnership to help ensure local priorities and health system issues are addressed collaboratively with fellow Northerners.

Co-Chair Alan Elliott, of Echo Bay says, “The committee members, with support from the North East LHIN, are doing tremendous work with patients and families at service provider and grass roots levels. The truly vulnerable need an ear all year long, and a strong voice, that doesn’t just listen but acts and asks for feedback in a continued effort for the best system possible.”

Some of the many initiatives North East LHIN Patient Advisors have been, and continue to be, a part of include:

  • North East LHIN Patient and Family Advisory Committee co-chairs sit on the provincial Patient and Family Advisory Committee Leadership Table and regularly attend meetings to share knowledge about common experiences and challenges across the province.
  • Participated in the Betty’s Journey workshop on the One Client One Plan project that aims to deliver a consistent approach to home and community care for clients with all providers within a client’s circle of care.
  • Member of Personal Support Workers Taskforce, helping address personal support worker capacity issues across the region.
  • Member of ministry/LHIN Home and Community Care Experience Survey Panel, providing input and recommendations regarding future home and community care surveys to help improve the patient experience.
  • Participated in Algoma Home and Community Care Network Committee meetings, identifying needs, gaps, and strengths in the community support sector.
  • Informed Northeastern Ontario’s Dementia Strategy development and offered input during focus group sessions.
  • Provided input into a discharge planning project at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, which will provide a checklist to patients upon admission to the hospital that aligns with the hospital’s discharge process
  • Provided input into the development of a rural Alternate Level of Care (ALC) avoidance framework for the NE LHIN.
  • Participated on the eReferral and Musculoskeletal Steering Committee on a project that will oversee and support the implementation of a central intake centre for referrals to Rapid Access Clinics for hip, knee, and low back patients.
  • Offered input into the process and development of the 2019-2022 North East LHIN Integrated Health Service Plan.
  • Helped streamline the North East LHIN’s complaints process
  • Sit on the North East LHIN Board of Directors Quality Committee, which oversees all patient services and quality matters of the LHIN.
  • Sit on the Regional Quality Committee, providing input on quality initiatives in the North East LHIN that enable improved patient outcomes and health care experiences.
  • Identify patient stories to be shared with North East LHIN Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team to educate on system strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Several advisors participated in Cultural Competency Training.


The NE LHIN Patient and Family Advisory Committee meet four times a year. The next meeting will be on January 28, 2019.