What is the role of Bluewater Health's community advisory panels?
Community advisory groups are common in many organizations to enable strong links to the community and to improve delivery of organizational services. Bluewater Health has two advisory panels; the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and the Rural Health Advisory Panel (RHAP).
The CAP and RHAP are important components of Bluewater Health’s community engagement strategy and support the achievement of its vision: Exceptional Care - Exceptional People - Exceptional Relationships. Bluewater Health will cultivate an environment that values open communication, relationships and partnerships with those we work with and serve.
The CAP and RHAP serve as a two-way communication mechanism between the hospital and the communities, and from informed representatives of these communities to the hospital. The panels act in an advisory capacity, providing the senior leadership of Bluewater Health with community specific issues, questions and suggestions related to hospital operations and health service delivery. Items for discussion reflect both Bluewater Health and the panel member suggestions. The panels meet four times a year.
Bluewater Health’s President/CEO attends all meetings, as does a representative from the Board of Directors. Other hospital staff and professional staff participate on a regular basis or may be invited as guests to address issues identified by the panels. The panels are led by a staff facilitator, as designated by Bluewater Health's President/CEO. The President/CEO reports to the Board of Directors on panel meetings and issues raised.
Who are the community members on the panels?
The CAP and RHAP consist of members who are broadly representative of the community, reflecting many backgrounds and experiences and the diverse communities and viewpoints that make up the Bluewater Health catchment area. The RHAP’s focus is on rural health issues with the members being drawn from the rural communities served by Bluewater Health.
They are volunteers and expected to attend the four meetings annually. They are interested in the hospital and healthcare, connected to their communities, able to participate in a meaningful way on a cross section of issues and enjoy interacting and learning with others.
How are the panel members chosen?
New panel members are selected by the current panel and facilitator, as required, from a list of nominees obtained via local newspaper advertisements and panel-approved recruitment suggestions. Applicants may be suggested by current panel members, community leaders or respond directly to advertisements.
All applicants are asked to complete an application form and provide two community references. A major factor in the evaluation of applicants is the need to ensure that the panels are a broad representation of the communities served by Bluewater Health. Applicants are evaluated using panel-approved selection criteria. The selection process includes an interview, either in person or on the phone.
For more information about our community advisory panels, please contact Christine Murphy, Special Projects Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.