There are many ways you can contribute to the community of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) that involve different amounts of your time and energy. Find a way that is aligned to your ability to make a contribution.
Connect with others who are living through what you have experienced
For some conditions, the UOHI offers patient support groups. Through these support groups, you not only benefit from others experience, but also support others through sharing your experience. Check the UOHI website to see if there is a support group for your condition: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/patients-visitors/tools-and-resources/patient-support-groups
The Patient Alumni is exploring building online communities through its new Facebook page. Stay tuned for developments on this initiative. Or, contact us if you would like to take a leadership role in building an online community for your condition at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved with the Patient Alumni
Contact the Patient Alumni to explore how you could get involved as a volunteer either in planning and delivering Patient Alumni projects and activities, or by being on a Committee and Group that is seeking patient perspectives. We are always currently seeking volunteers (patients and/or family members) with a variety of skills and time available (could be a few hours a month): to organize or help manage events, broadcast on FB live, participate in committees where a patient perspective is needed, or connect with patients/family members about to go through what you have experienced. To explore volunteer opportunities, please contact: email@example.com
Become a Patient Partner
Engaging patients is critical to our understanding of the issues that are most important for those living day-to-day with a specific condition. Only patients have the personal experience to understand the true impact of the diagnosis. The importance of involving patients (defined as patients, their informal caregivers, family/friends and the community at large) in our work happens in several ways: patient forums, focus group discussions, surveys or polls and formalized partnerships, for example.
You can learn more about patients being involved at the UOHI here: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/patients-visitors/patient-engagement-framework
To volunteer to become a patient partner to influence clinical care: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/patients-visitors/patient-engagement-framework/influence-clinical-care
To volunteer to become a patient partner for research: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/patients-visitors/engage-clinical-research/be-patient-partner
To read some Patient Partner testimonials: https://www.ottawaheartalumni.ca/en/help-shape-the-future-of-patient-care/
An example of Patient Partners at work: Patients with lived experience share their insight
Heart Institute Auxiliary
The primary role of Auxiliary volunteers is to provide support to patients and their families, to visitors, and to the nursing and medical staff. Members of the auxiliary can be found at information desks, in clinics and in intensive care areas. The Atrium Boutique—the Heart Institute’s lobby gift shop—is entirely managed by auxiliary volunteers. You can become a volunteer here: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/patients-visitors/volunteer