Advisory Councils – making a difference to healthcare
Friday, January 18, 2019 9:59 AM
When AHS and Albertans work together, we develop a greater understanding of what matters to people when it comes to healthcare, and reach better decisions. The overall health system, our patients, and all Albertans benefit. One of the ways we ensure we hear from Albertans is through our Advisory Councils.
Since 2009, Advisory Councils have made a significant contribution to healthcare programs and services. Council members are passionate about healthcare; interested in listening to people; and committed to giving communities a voice in healthcare planning.
Council members have a unique relationship with people in their communities. As volunteers they:
- Listen to community members’ views and share those perspectives with AHS;
- Give advice and help to inform the decision-making process;
- Host public Advisory Council meetings, and promote and participate in activities that enhance Albertans’ health;
- Give feedback on public education materials, policies, or discussion topics; and
- Share information on health services with the community and share feedback with AHS.
Here are just a few examples of how the work of Council members across Alberta has made a difference to patients:
- Sharing input about the importance of mental health and wellness contributed to the opening of a new addiction and mental health site at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. This facility will help individuals and families access the supports they need - day and night;
- Supporting the Sylvan Lake Ambulatory Care Centre initiative;
- Influencing the decision to open the new High Prairie Health Complex;
- Hosting meetings in in Fort Vermilion, La Crete, and Rainbow Lake to create awareness of addiction and mental health services available in each community;
- Providing recommendations to inform the AHS Health and Business Plan;
- Contributing to Alberta’s Cancer Plan to 2030, Changing our Future;
- Influencing and providing input into the provincial guide to Indigenous Traditional Protocols;
- Partnering with AHS to provide information about addiction and mental health as well as continuing care services by Telehealth to more than 12 sites in Central Zone; and
- Partnering with AHS to provide sessions on Medical Assistance in Dying and continuing care services in the communities of Edson and Westlock.
Through Health Advisory Councils, Albertans have a voice in healthcare planning – a voice that is considered as all levels of AHS decision-making. If you’re interested in becoming a member, recruitment is happening now.
About Advisory Councils: there are 12 regional Health Advisory Councils and four Provincial Advisory Councils: Cancer, Addiction & Mental Health; and Seniors and Continuing Care; Wisdom Council; and a new Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity PAC, which will hold its first meeting in March 2019.