Board Policy CA-360: Patient and Family Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Effective date: 2022-06-21


  1. Work in collaboration with Vitalité Health Network management to promote and support a culture of patient- and family-centred care.
  2. Provide advice and participate in the monitoring and evaluation of the work undertaken to improve the patient experience as well as patient- and family-centred care.


  1. Provide to the Board Quality of Care and Safety of Patients Committee guidance and advice pertaining to objectives, policies and practices to improve patient- and family-centred care.
  2. Participate in identifying priorities and projects aimed at improving the patient experience.
  3. Participate in developing and revising the various tools intended for patients and families (e.g. pamphlets, forms, teaching material, etc.).
  4. Promote collaboration between staff, physicians and the greater community toward enhanced involvement of patients and families in the planning and delivery of care across the Network.
  5. Provide input and feedback on the development of practices, policies, programs and teaching/orientation throughout the organization, programs/departments or units.
  6. Review and provide feedback on patient- and family-centred care communication strategies and education.
  7. Participate as a community partner or provide representation in the planning and operation of specific programs and/or committees throughout the Network as needed.
  8. Provide input toward an annual evaluation of patient experience partners within the Network.


The Committee is made up of eight patient experience partners from different regions throughout the territory served by the Network.

The Committee is chaired by a patient experience partner.

The Committee Vice-Chair is also a patient experience partner.

The Network’s President and CEO, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the Vice-President of University Mission, Performance and Quality are ex officio members.

Other Network staff members may be invited to attend as required.

Term of Membership

Three years with the option for a one or two-year term renewal, for a maximum duration of five years. Membership terms will be organized with appropriate overlap to ensure consistency of membership.

Membership terms, including those of the Chair and Vice-Chair, are revised annually at the Quality of Care and Safety of Patients Committee and recommended to the Governance and Nomination Committee for approbation.


50% of the Committee members plus one. Consensus is the preferred method of decision making. When necessary, a simple majority of 50% + one is used.

Meetings and Minutes

The Committee meets at least four times per year and at the call of the Chair. Most meetings are held via Teams. Travel may occasionally be required.

Minutes are drawn up and distributed to all Committee members.

Reporting Relationship

The Committee reports to the Quality of Care and Safety of Patients Committeeof the Board of Directors.

The Chair of the Committee sits on the Care Quality and Patient Safety Committee as an ex officio member.

Conflicts of Interest

Committee members must disclose before each meeting any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest and, where necessary, withdraw from the Committee’s deliberations and decisions.


Travel, accommodation and meal related expenses as well as other authorized expenses are reimbursed in accordance with provincial travel guidelines.

Additional Relevant Information

Conditions to be a patient experience partner

  • Be a patient or a family member who has had extensive or recent contact with the Network.
  • Show a sincere interest in working with a group to improve the patient experience across the Network.
  • Respect privacy and sign a confidentiality statement.
  • Be able to attend meetings in person or via teleconference while remaining an active member.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Committee.
  • Be able to work in a constructive fashion with the Leadership Team, physicians and staff members of the Network and with the Committee.

Overall requirements for a patient experience partner

  • Attend a screening interview.
  • Participate in an orientation session and take the mandatory education sessions.
  • Successfully complete the volunteer screening process.

Responsibilities of the Chair

  • Call and chair meetings.
  • Draft the agenda for each meeting.
  • Review the minutes of meetings.
  • Communicate with the Committee members.
  • Collaborate as needed with directors, managers and other people on issues related to patient- and family-centred care.
  • Represent the Committee and speak on its behalf inside and outside the organization at the request of the Leadership Team.
  • Vote where there is an equal number of votes case.