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Patient and Family Advisor Program

As part of its Patient First commitment, the Ministry of Health has developed a Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) program to actively engage patients and families in its own work, including development, implementation and evaluation of health system policies and programs.

The move follows the development of a framework for patient- and family-centred care, to provide direction for the Saskatchewan health system. The concept was a key recommendation by Patient First Review Commissioner Tony Dagnone whose 2009 report recommended that "the health system make patient- and family-centred care (PFCC) the foundation and principal aim of the Saskatchewan health system".

1. Getting Involved

You will participate on teams, working groups, committees, task forces, and panels as an equal member, fully engaged throughout the process of developing, implementing and evaluating policies and programs where patient and family advice and perspectives are needed.

Your participation may be one-time or ad hoc participation, or ongoing participation. 

Examples include:

  • Casual consultation on developing a new - or changing the existing - policies and programs that may potentially affect patients and families (consultation can be in the form of meetings or phone conversations);
  • Occasional participation in meetings where perspectives of patients and families are needed for decision making (e.g. senior leadership meetings, branch meetings, etc.);
  • Participation in focus groups and surveys;
  • Development and review of audiovisual or written materials (e.g. brochures and pamphlets developed to provide information to patients and families or public); and
  • Sharing personal stories at meetings, conferences, and events.


These are some areas where you could be involved:

  • Hospital care and emergency care;
  • Cancer care;
  • Nursing homes and personal care homes;
  • Home care and community care;
  • End-of-life care;
  • Health promotion and prevention of illnesses;
  • Primary health care (clinics);
  • Mental health and addictions; and
  • Rehabilitation.


2. Patient and Family Advisors

Patient and family advisors are volunteers with recent experiences with the Saskatchewan healthcare system as a patient or a family member. Through them the perspectives of patients and families is included in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs that affect the care and services delivered to patients and families in Saskatchewan.

3. Skills and qualities required

Participants have the ability to:

  • Maintain appropriate and confidential handling of information;
  • Listen well and respect different opinions;
  • Share insights and personal experiences in ways others can learn from them;
  • Reflect on issues and priorities that are different than your own;
  • Comfortably speak in a group with candour;
  • Work productively and collaboratively with others whose backgrounds, experiences and styles may be different than your own;
  • See beyond your personal experiences to contribute constructively;
  • Think broadly about more than one issue;
  • Critically assess the work you are engaged in and provide constructive feedback without being adversarial; and
  • Attend meetings and/or participate in teleconferences on a regular basis.

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