Share your heath care stories, ideas with LHIN

Press Release

The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has launched an innovative community engagement initiative to involve residents and health professionals in Northwestern Ontario in shaping the region’s health-care system.
“Share Your Story, Shape Your Care” uses a custom website that allows residents, patients, and health-care professionals to send the North West LHIN their stories and ideas directly via the Internet.
The website—www.northwestlhin.on.ca/myvoice—makes it possible for people across Northwestern Ontario to get involved in shaping priorities quickly and easily. It includes special features such as a YouTube video, an interactive “Choicebook,” a “shared story room,” and a weekly blog by North West LHIN CEO Gwen DuBois-Wing.
Since some people do not have access to the Internet at home or at work, the online survey is available for people to complete on paper.
Paper copies can be downloaded and printed from the website, obtained from the North West LHIN, and also will be made available at health care facilities and municipal buildings across the region.
In-person events also are being planned for the region.
Responses from participants will be used to develop the next Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP), which will guide health system planning and funding allocation decisions for the three-year period from 2010-13.
Input is sought from all Northwestern Ontario residents—from teenagers to retirees and seniors, patients and their families/caregivers, physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, health-care professionals (e.g., dieticians, social workers, physiotherapists, and dentists), and others involved indirectly in the health system and beyond.
To thank people for taking part, several prizes are available. There will be draws to win a Nintendo Wii Fit and one of three iPod Nanos.
The “Share Your Story, Shape Your Care” site will be open until Feb. 28.
The North West LHIN will be reporting its findings on the “Share Your Story, Shape Your Care” online survey in late spring. All participants who register on the sign-up list on the website will be notified when the report is up.
There also is a special feature available for all participants. They can sign up to receive a personalized participant report by e-mail comparing their choices with the overall survey results.
“I am excited to announce the launch of the ‘Share Your Story, Shape Your Care’ initiative,” said DuBois-Wing. “This new approach to engaging the community will help us hear people’s stories and ideas about our health-care system from across Northwestern Ontario.
“I’m looking forward to reading people’s submissions and encourage everyone to visit the website—to share their stories and shape the future of health care,” she added.
This is the first time the North West LHIN has used an online method of community engagement, which works well in a region as vast as Northwestern Ontario.
To learn more about, and take part in, the “Share Your Story, Shape Your Care” project, visit www.northwestlhin.on.ca/myvoice
To read more about the North West LHIN, visit www.northwestlhin.on.ca
The North West LHIN is responsible for planning, integrating, and funding local health services—hospitals, long-term care facilities, the Community Care Access Centre, community health centres, community support services, and mental health and addictions agencies.