Community members interested in joining the Patient Partner program can contact Hospital Volunteer Services

If you are interested in promoting and supporting equal and communicative partnerships between healthcare providers and their patients and families, volunteering with Delta Hospital’s Patient Partner Program could be the perfect fit.

Currently supported by five volunteers, the program is focused on improving the patient and family experience in hospital and community health settings.

Delta Hospital encourages people who are passionate about patient and community-centered care to reach out and get involved in its Patient Partnership Program.

“The patient experience matters, and [healthcare leadership] need this kind of feedback to develop programs and care that are truly patient-centred. Patients’ needs come first, and that’s what we’re here for, to remind them and share experiences,” says Linda Perkins, a patient partner who volunteers at Delta and Peace Arch Hospitals.

Like Perkins, Patient Partners can volunteer at Delta Hospital, Peace Arch Hospital, or both.

At the start, volunteers will be trained and mentored to familiarize them with the role. Volunteers can choose their own schedule, but the program requires them to commit for one year.

In addition to working with other team members, the role involves working directly with patients, their families and healthcare professionals.

The work varies by need, but it’s all centered around the patient’s perspective and voice in how health care is planned, delivered and practiced.

For example, Perkins and fellow patient partner Tom Holland worked to improve wayfinding in hospitals by critically examining signage in and around the building.

“Some of the signs said things like ‘medical imaging’. Well, nobody shows up at the hospital for a ‘medical image’ – they show up for an ultrasound or CT scan. So this entry basically informs how including the hospital [directs] and moves a patient through the organization, from parking lot to front desk to ward,” says Holland.

Before the pandemic, the program was supported by 12 volunteers, but COVID has drastically reduced their team to three.

They have just recruited two new volunteers to bring them to five in total.

If you would like to learn more about Delta Hospital’s Patient Partner Program, contact Volunteer Services at 604-946-1121, entering the six-digit local number 787344.