Nova Scotia Health Authority names members to Patient, Family and Public Advisory Council

Twelve community-minded individuals from across Nova Scotia have been confirmed as members of Nova Scotia Health Authority’s new Patient, Family and Public Advisory Council. 
Engagement with Nova Scotians to create a healthier future is among the priorities in Nova Scotia Health Authority’s strategic plan. The need to involve patients and families in planning, in order to understand their experiences, perspectives and needs, is also reflected in Accreditation Canada standards. 
“We are grateful to these individuals for their willingness to help us broaden our engagement efforts in order to advance patient and family-centred care throughout the province,” says Nova Scotia Health Authority President and CEO Janet Knox. “The understanding we gain through their efforts will lead to better, more informed decisions that improve both the quality of our services and the health of our population.” 
Members include:

  • Margaret Dechman, Sydney 
  • Patricia Gates, Halifax
  • Diane Govindsamy, Halifax
  • Belle Hatfield, Yarmouth
  • Kristen Hemming, Dartmouth – Co-chair
  • Ted Hobson, Mahone Bay
  • Cheryl King, Stewiacke
  • Maureen Leahey, Pugwash
  • Yvon Leblanc, Margaree Harbour – Co-chair
  • Sharon Paul-Rudderham, Sydney 
  • Len Thomas, Lyons Brook 
  • Catherine Vey, New Minas

 The volunteer council will work with staff to provide advice to Nova Scotia Health Authority in a number of areas, including how to engage Nova Scotians on targeted initiatives, such as provincial planning, accreditation and patient surveys. Members will also consider what has already been learned from Nova Scotians through past engagement activities.
“I believe that patient and family centered care is imperative in all care,” says Council Co-chair, Kristen Hemming. “I have seen the monumental changes that patient and family advisory councils can have in health care planning, delivery, and the direct positive impacts this has on patients, families and staff.”
Members participated in an orientation session in late October and have additional meetings scheduled throughout the fall with an initial focus on Health Services Planning, a joint provincial initiative being led by Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK Health Centre and the Department of Health and Wellness. The initiative will help lead to multi-year plans for health services, by exploring and proposing new provincial and coordinated approaches to a range of services that Nova Scotians rely on to be healthy or to support them when they are ill. 
More details on the council, including brief biographies on each member, is available on our website. Information on Health Services Planning can be found at:

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