Empowering the Citizen Patient

A New Campaign to Help People Support Their Health and Navigate Care in Kootenay Boundary

We all benefit from access to the information we need for our health & health care.  The ‘Empowering The Citizen Patient’ series shares practical information to help community members better understand our health care system, alongside tips & resources to support health & navigate care in Kootenay Boundary.

In challenging times, with a family practitioner shortage and many barriers to patient care, this project aims to uplift community spirit, offer practical tips, and help everyone in our region participate more effectively in their health care at all levels.

Mindy Smith (PACC), RaNae Nicholls(PACC), Maggie Williams (PACC Admin, KBDivs), Maria Klement (PACC CoChair), Vince Salvo (PACC), Ksenia Forde (PACC Support, IH), Paul Burgener (PACC), Leora Gesser (PACC CoChair)

‘Empowering the Citizen Patient’ is led by the Kootenay Boundary Patient Advisory Committee & Community (PACC), which is a group of citizen patients. We want to reassure community members that the voice of patients is being heard, and that together with all the health care organizations, practitioners and managers and front-line health care staff, we’re working hard to continually improve the system so high-quality health care is available for all people in Kootenay Boundary.

“Knowledge is the cornerstone of empowerment,” says PACC CoChair, and Grand Forks resident, Leora Gesser. “As a community member and patient, I want to reassure community members that the voice of patients is being heard. I want to tell people about all the amazing, collaborative efforts going on to make our health system work better for us, and that we can get involved ourselves to help improve our health and health care in Kootenay Boundary. That’s what being a citizen patient is all about.”

We invite you to click/tap on the links below to learn more.


And we would love to hear from you!

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Article #5: Healthy People, Healthy Communities – Taking a Closer Look at Supporting Our Psychological Well-Being

Mental health is a hot topic these days — from television, radio, to social media and kitchen table conversations. This surge in awareness is partly due to the opioid epidemic, the many crises our world faces, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health encompasses our emotions, feelings of connection to others, past trauma, our thoughts about ourselves and our ability to manage life’s ups and downs…

Article #4: Healthy People, Healthy Communities – Getting the Most Out of Medical Appointments

When you have an appointment with your family practitioner, it’s natural to have concerns and questions. An effective approach that many of my patients have found useful is to bring a maximum of one to three topics for discussion in order of priority. They create a clear, legible list with questions to ask in order to avoid forgetting important points. Bringing a piece of paper or a notebook for note-taking is also a good idea. Additionally…

Article #3: Healthy People, Healthy Communities – Tips for Caregiving and Caregiver Resources

At some point in our lives, we all take on the role of being a caregiver – whether it’s for a child, a partner with a temporary illness, a friend with cancer, or for an aging parent. Statistics Canada reports that, in 2022, 52% of women and 42% of men provided some form of care such as meal preparation, personal care, or helping with medical treatments for children and/or care-dependent adults. Caring for someone we love is a profound way to connect…

Article #2: Healthy People, Healthy Communities – Dr. Smith’s Tips for Taking the Reins on Medications

Managing medications can be a daunting task, especially when caring for loved ones. In this “Empoweringthe Citizen Patient” article, Dr. Mindy Smith shares valuable tips for medication management that she uses herself today, and recommended to her patients before retiring from practice.

Article #1: Healthy People, Healthy Communities – What’s Happening in Health Care

Access to health care is difficult for some and confusing for others; many people don’t have ongoing access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner (referred to as “Attachment”).  Health care leaders – those people  entrusted with overseeing and improving health care – are working hard to find solutions so that high-quality culturally safe health care is available for all. This article describes the current health care system in the Kootenay Boundary (KB)  and provides a number of resources to help you better navigate the system.


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