Expression of Interest to become a patient, family or caregiver partner

Apply by Monday May 1, 2017

The South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is seeking members of the public to participate on committees working to provide coordinated and comprehensive care for patients and family.  

The South West LHIN is a crown agency responsible for the planning, integration and funding of nearly 200 health service providers including hospitals, long-term care homes, mental health and addictions agencies, community support services, community health centres, Aboriginal health centre and the South West Community Care Access Centre. The South West covers an area from Lake Erie to the Bruce Peninsula and is home to almost one million people.

To provide coordinated and comprehensive care for patients, the LHINs now have a stronger role in creating more effective service integration and greater equity. The LHIN has long recognized that listening to patients and their families and their stories can lead to improvements within the healthcare system. Following the passage in December 2016 of the Patients First Act, the LHIN is now creating new committees with a stronger patient/family/caregiver voice that can advise the LHIN on system-wide priorities and drive change locally. The groups include

The South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is currently seeking members of the public to offer their perspectives on health care as patients, family members, and caregivers. This is a volunteer role.

Anyone who has been a patient, a caregiver, or a family member of a patient, and who lives within the South West LHIN geography can apply to be considered for membership. To apply, anyone interested must complete and submit this Expression of Interest.

Commitment requested

Each Patient, Family or Caregiver Partner selected will be expected to participate at the sub-region integration table meeting within your geography area. In addition to participating in the local sub-region integration table, Partners would be expected to participate on one LHIN-wide regional committee, either the Patient and Family Advisory Committee or the Health System Renewal Advisory Committee.

  1. The Patient and Family Advisory Committee will meet twice each year.
  2. The Health System Renewal Advisory Committee will meet four times each year.
  3. The sub-region integration tables will meet monthly.

Meetings will be held in person, with consideration for teleconference or other electronic method available as needed. 

The South West LHIN will work to consider an individual’s interest when matching them to one of the LHIN-wide regional committees.

Benefits of joining

These groups are a great way to help shape what quality care looks like in your community and the South West LHIN. Through this opportunity, you will share your experiences and ideas on aspects of the health care system that impact your experience and outcomes. We want to hear what matters to you and your community.

You will work with and learn from a tremendous group of peers from across the South West LHIN area. You will build your listening and speaking skills as you share your own experiences and ideas. You will also get to learn a great deal about the health care system and different initiatives designed to improve care.

Support for your participation

Partners will be supported so that they may be an engaged and effective volunteer, including:

  • Covering the costs of travel, meals, lodging and caregiver costs
  • Providing background information and learning materials
  • Offering support in using online communication tools
  • Matching each Partner with a health service provider to help with logistic aspects of meetings to facilitate your full participation in meetings.

The South West LHIN will continue to monitor and align to provincial direction and policy around reimbursement for patient, family and caregiver participation in committees.

If you are concerned about potential barriers to participating, please contact Pauline Adams at the South West LHIN at 519-640-2565.  We are committed to assisting all members so that they can participate successfully, and will do our best to accommodate your needs.


These new groups covered under this Expression of Interest create a formal partnership between patients and families and the LHIN.

LHINs have also identified smaller geographies within their boundaries called sub-regions that will be the focal point for integrated, local planning and service management and delivery. Sub-regions have been in place informally in LHINs for many years and they are now being formalized. They will be the avenue for local improvement and innovation with the common objective of improving the patient experience. The groups will also support local work to improve the health, wellness, patient experience, and value for money for residents in each sub-region.

The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is also recruiting members of the public to be a part of the provincial Patient and Family Advisory Council. This council will give advice to the Ministry on key health policy issues. It is made up of 15 members through an open public process and will represent all of Ontario. This Expression of Interest for the Patient and Family Advisory Committee is only for the South West LHIN. More information on the provincial Council is available online at

1. Patient and Family Advisory Committee

The committee will advise, collaborate and co-design with the South West LHIN, including its leaders and staff, about health system policies and practices. This work includes co-designing the broader patient engagement strategy from the planning stages through to the delivery of patient and family-centred care within the South West LHIN.

Key Roles

  • Develop a collective vision of patient and family-centred care
  • Establish a strategy to increase meaningful patient engagement, and advance the culture of patient and family-centred care within the South West LHIN
  • Identify opportunities for improving quality of care in the South West LHIN
  • Co-design strategies to actively partner with patients in designing, planning and improving healthcare services
  • Develop draft policies or position papers that support policy change and champion patient and family-centred care
  • Co-design communications that will go to the public
  • Review evaluation methods to help define success of system improvements

 *Full details are included in the Committee’s terms of reference

2. Health System Renewal Advisory Committee

The committee will advise the LHIN on system-wide implementation of Patients First, the Integration Health Service Plan and future South West LHIN strategic directions. Some patient and family partners from the sub-region integration tables will also be members on the Health System Renewal Advisory Committee

 *Full details are included in the Committee’s terms of reference

Key functions: What work will this committee do?

  • Champion equitable access to and availability of necessary health care services
  • Provide system and operational advice, insight and recommendations to the LHIN leadership team and sub-region integration tables
  • Provide advice on regional programs and how they interact with sub-regions
  • Provide guidance for developing and adopting standardized methods of health care delivery
  • Identify opportunities and challenges to standardize sub-region processes to support LHIN-wide programs
  • Share information on the progress/ challenges of individual sub-regions
  • Identify change initiatives within sub-regions that should be optimized and spread across all sub-region

3. Sub-region integration tables

Each table identifies, plans and makes recommendations for local priorities, and drives change locally through innovation and collaboration.

Key functions

  • Enable, enhance and champion collaboration between patients, providers and other system stakeholders
  • Establish sub-region priorities for improvement in line with Patients First and the Integrated Health Service Plan
  • Ensure local priorities include consideration of Francophone and Indigenous people in the sub-region
  • Ensure local alignment with LHIN-wide programs
  • Work together to reduce duplication and integrate services
  • Foster an environment of shared responsibility
  • Leverage current communication and reporting structures to share information

*Full details are included in the Terms of Reference 

Privacy and confidentiality

Your privacy is important to us. The personal information collected when you express interest will only be used to contact you. The stories, experiences and ideas you share in committee meetings will be kept confidential. We will seek your consent before publishing any information that could identify you, such as your story or your picture. Your information will be retained only while you are an active member of the committees.  

Membership selection process

Further information on the recruitment will be posted on the South West LHIN website, including a short video to on why the patient voice is important in healthcare planning and why would a patient, family or caregiver partner be interested in participating in a LHIN committee. Applicants that submit an expression of interest to the LHIN will receive an email to confirm we have received your information. After reviewing the applications, selected applicants will be invited for a meeting.  A key consideration during the selection process will be recruiting members that represent the diversity of the population within the South West LHIN area.


Expression of Interest