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Home » Public & Patient Engagement » Patient and Family Advisors

Patient and Family Advisors

Who Are Patient and Family Advisors? 

Anyone who has experience with health services in the Winnipeg Health Region (including East St. Paul, West St. Paul, and Churchill) can be a Patient and Family Advisor. This includes past and present patients, clients, and residents at hospitals, community health centers, and personal care homes, as well as caregivers, family members, natural supports, and community members.  

What do Patient and Family Advisors Do?

Patient and Family Advisors are part of a community of people from different social, cultural, and demographic backgrounds and occupations, with a common goal of improving health services in hospitals, personal care homes, and community health centers in the Winnipeg Health Region. You will have the chance to share your experiences, perspective, opinions, suggestions, and questions about how health services are designed, improved, and delivered. Patient and Family Advisors participate in advisory councils, consultations, focus groups, research or project teams, committees, and working groups. Examples of activities you might be asked to participate in include: 

  • Participating in a committee or working group with other volunteers, staff, students, and people from other organizations and communities (e.g. researchers, non-profit organizations) 
  • Participating in consultations, focus groups, or surveys on topics related to health care or capital projects within the healthcare system 
  • Co-creating and reviewing health care resources and materials (e.g. reports, policies and procedures, webpages, brochures, videos) 
  • Sharing personal experiences with staff, leadership, or in educational settings to bring awareness to patient experience and care issues 
  • Acting as partners in making decisions about quality improvement projects or programs 
  • Sharing your input and feedback to help us improve how we engage with Patient and Family Advisors  
  • Welcoming new PFAs and providing your support as a mentor (where appropriate) 
  • Alongside WRHA staff, sharing the work of the PFA Community through writing, presentations, videos, and visuals 

What to Consider When Becoming a Patient and Family Advisor 

You do not need formal education to bring valuable ideas and views to quality improvement in health care. We will work with you to make sure have the orientation, support, and resources you need in your role as a Patient and Family Advisor. Depending on your skills, abilities, availability, and interests, we will match you with opportunities that are a good fit for you.  

In general, people who are a good fit for this role are able to: 

  • Work collaboratively with staff, students, and other volunteers 
  • Share perspectives and insights in ways others can learn from 
  • Respect, support, and listen to the perspectives of others 
  • See beyond their own experiences to represent broader patient and family perspectives 
  • Maintain confidentiality of patient and organizational information 

Deciding to become a Patient and Family Advisor will not affect you or your loved one's care, or your relationship with your doctor or any health care provider. We will never share your feedback directly with anyone or associate your name with specific comments without your explicit permission.  

Patient and Family Advisors are volunteers and do not receive money for their involvement. However, we will work with you to address any barriers you may experience to ensure you can be meaningfully involved (e.g. helping with childcare costs, tech support, printing materials, access to resources). We will also ask you about what kind of supports, resources, and accommodations you may need to participate and work with you to ensure you are able to perform your role as a Patient and Family Advisor.  

What is the Time Commitment? 

There are currently no regular meetings of Patient and Family Advisors. The commitment required will vary depending on the project or program. It could be one day, a few months, or years. We will share this information with you and you can choose whether or not to get involved. Generally, we ask that you have at least an hour per month to participate in engagement activities. We will ask you about your availability and scheduling needs, as well as any accessibility needs or barriers to being involved.  

How do I Get Involved?

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Patient and Family Advisor, please call, text, or email one of the Patient and Family Engagement team members below to talk about your experience, skills, and interests and find out what kind of opportunities would be a good fit. Apply at  

For more information, please contact:

Trish Roche
[email protected]
2nd floor-1155 Concordia Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2K 4L5