Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people that have been brought together by geographic proximity, common characteristics, or a special interest in order to address issues affecting the well-being of their community.
To achieve its goals, the South West LHIN must access the collective wisdom of local communities and build on the work that has already been started by health care providers and partners to improve health care. We are working with consumers, families, service provider agencies, established networks and local partnerships as we develop a clear picture of our unique geographic area and its health care needs. Working with you, we will define and implement innovative strategies to address the challenges facing our current health system.
Community engagement framework
The South West LHIN Community Engagement Framework outlines our goals and guiding principles for community engagement, and proposes an approach to develop meaningful conversation as we embark on this journey with our partners. The ideas and principles outlined provide the foundation for more detailed strategies and plans to ensure active participation in every aspect of our work in the community.
Our commitment to building and maintaining a vibrant dialogue with our partners is demonstrated by our four goals of community engagement:
- Focus on the people who use health care. We will work in partnership to build a system that places the consumer at the centre and engage with those who are most knowledgeable about their needs, experience and satisfaction with health care services.
- Enhance local accountability. We will enhance accountability by providing opportunities for input into decision-making and fostering a sense of mutual responsibility for achieving goals.
- Balance priorities. We will work to ensure that the full diversity of voices in the community are heard, and to build a shared sense of responsibility for achieving balance among competing priorities.
- Develop system capacity and sustainability. We will draw on the knowledge and capacity of our partners to identify needs and to help build sustainable, long-term local solutions.
Successful series of 17 community sessions held across the South West in July and September.
The goals of these sessions were to:
- Share information about current trends and issues
- Listen to your ideas and concerns about the health care system
- Celebrate recent enhancements to the health care system
- Get feedback on proposed priority areas for improvements
The feedback was incorporated into the South West LHIN’s second IHSP that will be in effect for 2010-2013.
The sessions were hosted by LHIN Board members and LHIN staff were on hand to make presentations, take questions and record community concerns, ideas and general feedback. At most sessions, to facilitate dialogue and allow smaller groups to engage on different issues in an organized manner, an “open house” style format that guided the public to move through a series of stations was used. At each station a LHIN staff member supported the discussion, however, at some venues crowd size or room layout prevented this and a more traditional “town hall” format was used.
Additional activities related to the overall community engagement process for the Integrated Health Service Plan included an online questionnaire, telephone survey, targeted engagement with aboriginal partners, the francophone community, provider staff that work with new Canadians, and physicians.
Please click here for a list of frequently asked questions from the public engagement sessions.