During this Patient Experience Week (April 25-29), we take time to recognize the contributions of a special collection of people who participate in shaping our patients’ experience – SHN Patient Family Advisors (PFAs). This amazing group does their essential work for the hospital by sharing their lived experience as current or former SHN patients and/or family of patients, and it results in real changes in the lives of people who receive care from our organization.

Ally Ladak, SHN PFA Ally Ladak, SHN Patient Family Advisor

Ally Ladak is a patient of SHN’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program – a program that is staffed by people who have dedicated themselves to help him get his life back. Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been creative and adapted, doing everything necessary to keep Ally motivated in his exercises at home. The virtual, but personal, engagement provided by the staff has kept him in on the track to recovery.

This compassionate treatment has helped shape his feeling that, “hospital health equity has three principles – People. Place and Partnerships.” That last principle was a huge motivation in his decision to take action for his community.

Ally was inspired by his experiences to become a Patient Family Advisor (PFA) at SHN. As a PFA, he has had an opportunity to share his story and talk about his hospital experiences at meetings with staff, physicians and at other hospital events – adding an important perspective to the conversation about how to improve the experience for others.

That work has led him to understand the impact he can have. He is now looking at new ways to contribute. Recently, he was inspired by the experience he had when getting vaccinated at an SHN facility. It provided him with the kind of interaction he would like to see made available to all patients.

“When I went to Centennial College in Scarborough for my COVID vaccine in 2021, I noticed a number of people wearing green jackets who helped me. The green jacket is worn by the SHN hospital volunteers. I look forward to applying to be a volunteer and wear an SHN green jacket.”

Jan Haskings-Winner, SHN PFA Jan Haskings-Winner, SHN Patient Family Advisor

The unthinkable brought Jan Haskings-Winner by ambulance to an SHN Emergency Department this past December. What she endured was extremely difficult, however the way she looks back on that time is coloured most by the positive experiences she had as a patient.

“Every patient has their needs met when they enter SHN, no matter how they arrive, or for what reason. They are treated with respect and kindness and professionally.”

Jan is the current co-chair of the SHN Patient Family Advisory Council. In her role, she has partnered with health care teams on quality improvement initiatives and projects that have brought meaningful change. She has also contributed to the recruitment process for new employees and physicians to help ensure that the kind of experience she had as a patient continues on into the future.

By supporting Patient Experience Week, we are showing that we appreciate the hard work of our advocates and encourage their continued efforts on behalf of patients.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, whether you engage in a week-long celebration or just a day, this week is a great way to celebrate accomplishments, re-energize efforts and honor the people who impact patient experience every day.