November 1, 2017

Waterloo Wellington LHIN Exemplifies Patients-First Approach By Launching Patient And Family Advisory Committee (PFAC)

Waterloo/Wellington, Ontario – Fifteen local community members came together to share their experience with the local health system, as the Waterloo Wellington LHIN launched its new Patient and Family Advisory Committee this fall. The committee was created to embed the patient and family voice into decision-making, program and service design, and initiatives across the health system.

The committee will continue to significantly improve the quality and availability of local healthcare by bringing lived experience to the table. “Communication is so critical to the patient and family member, it allows them to feel empowered, to make an informed decision about their care or the care of a loved one, and to know that their voice is valued and honoured by the care provider”, says PFAC Chair Coreen Duke-Carroll.

Duke-Carroll joined the committee after caring for her terminally ill mother, while grieving the death of her sister who lost her life tragically by her husband whom had been struggling with mental illness and addictions for many years. For her and for many others on the committee, it is a personal mission through which they can share ways to improve the system based on personal experience as a patient or caregiver.

Over the next year, the PFAC will be part of developing a Patient Experience Program by working with patients and families who will identify gaps and help to ensure greater equity in the health system. The Patient Experience Program also aims to influence models of care to create better health outcomes and, like its name suggests, improve the overall patient experience.

The PFAC meets six times per year with much of the work happening behind the scenes. Although there are currently no openings on the committee for new members, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN is always looking for ways to collaborate with patients and caregivers in the community. Those interested in giving their suggestions on ways to improve the Waterloo Wellington healthcare experience can email Jenny Flagler-George at

The PFAC committee is just one way in which the Waterloo Wellington LHIN is exemplifying the Patient’s First Action Plan for Healthcare developed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, which ensures that recommended changes in the local healthcare system are a reflection of the needs of those that it serves.


“Now part of the Waterloo Wellington LHIN’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), I am inspired by the LHIN’s desire to incorporate the patient perspective into processes, programming and campaigns. By making the simple and important change of incorporating the patient and caregiver voice into the broader functioning of the organization, I can already see the impact.”

Coreen Duke-Carroll – Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee

“When we put the call out for members for this committee, the response was overwhelming. There were so many people with lived experience eager to come forward with their stories and suggestions to help improve the healthcare system here in Waterloo Wellington. I am thrilled to be part of this work at the Waterloo Wellington LHIN and I know that the committee will help us continue our mission to make it easier for residents to be healthy, and to get the care and support they need.”

Jenny Flagler-George - Manager, Planning Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network


Over the past decade, the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has worked to significantly improve the quality and availability of local health care. Now, we’re focused on making it easier. Easier for you to be healthy. Easier for you to get the care and support you need. Easier for you and your family to live the healthiest lives possible.

We connect you with care, at home and in the community, and better connect your health system to improve your care experience. As a crown agency of the Government of Ontario, we invest $1.1 billion annually in local health services to improve the health and wellbeing of the almost 800,000 residents we serve across Waterloo Wellington.

The Waterloo Wellington LHIN is governed by a board of up to twelve directors who are selected by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and appointed through Order in Council. Board meetings are open to the public and take place at a number of locations across Waterloo Wellington.


Information about the Waterloo Wellington LHIN and its Patient and Family Advisory Committee is available on the Waterloo Wellington LHIN website at

For a list of members and bios, click here.


Contact: Connie MacDonald Director,

Communications & Community Engagement,

Waterloo Wellington LHIN

519-748-2222 ext. 3235