Make a difference by becoming a public advisor

I am writing in support of one of the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) initiatives to engage community members to improve the health and well-being of Nova Scotians.

I recently had the opportunity to sit as a public advisor to the Nova Scotia Cancer Care Program on their accreditation team. This team worked diligently over many months to engage with those caring for persons with cancer throughout the province.

During this time period, they listened to each other’s concerns while sharing information and resources, worked to standardize forms to improve collaboration and continuity of care between/among different care sites, identified areas for new approaches, and problem solved.

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I was impressed with how well they worked together, all expressing concern about providing the best care for patients and families. They truly strived to understand the reasons for the many differences across the province and to understand the impact of local circumstances. They reached out to other accreditation teams in areas they felt affected their patients or where they could help improve outcomes for others. I sincerely hope that this forum for collaboration continues on into the future. Many areas for improvement and ideas to address them were generated.

I was also impressed with how patient the group was with my questions and concerns, gently explaining where I did not understand and incorporating my suggestions were appropriate. I have learned that becoming a public advisor for a NSHA working group is a great way to help shape our Nova Scotia health and wellness care approaches. I strongly recommend it to others.

Through becoming a public advisor, we, as people from all walks of life throughout Nova Scotia, can make a difference.

Dorothy R. Barnard

River Bourgeois