15. Empowering change: Leading primary health care teams towards transformational systems redesign (Workshop)

Background; In the Spring of 2017, the Mayor of Grand Bank NL reached out to Eastern Health concerned about the unprecedented loss of many community members to suicide, in 9 months and a lengthy wait list for access to Mental Health and Addictions Services (MHAS).   Eastern Health in partnership with the Provincial Primary Health Care Division of the Government of NL, committed to working with the community through community consultations, and the implementation of a quality improvement process.  A stakeholder group was established comprised of community groups, organizations, health staff and people with lived experience, and was instrumental in supporting and encouraging change.

Overall objective for the workshop; To Illustrate innovative practices in patient engagement and quality improvement which can create radical change in Primary Health Care and MHAS delivery in rural NL.  The result of this radical change is a Mental Health and Addictions Service that offers open access, where everyone is a priority and there is no waiting list, an engaged community with a focus on physical and mental wellness, and a dramatic reduction in the loss of community members to suicide.

Ideas to be explored, skills to be acquired, or problems to be addressed; Using the PARiHS model (Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services) for change focusing on health care provider, community and patient engagement, this workshop will demonstrate how a quality improvement and experience based codesign approach, can achieve true patient engagement in   primary health care and MHAS reform.

Intended learning outcomes for participants; To gain knowledge and have a practical opportunity to participate in a skill building simulation that can be used when assisting teams to engage in innovative change.

Timings that clarify the structure of the workshop and activities, including opportunities for reflection; refer to attached chart.

Originality and innovation; a small close-knit rural population with an unprecedented number of suicides, required an adaptive and facilitative leadership style to lead change in a sensitive and complex environment.  Actively engaging patients, families and community members, side by side with health leaders and professionals/staff, to co-create change as an innovative solution to improve the quality of MHAS service on the Burin Peninsula, NL.

Steps aimed at engaging the audience and facilitating interaction; volunteers for simulation activities,    Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated activity and facilitated discussions related to change, and will explore how an empowerment and quality improvement approach can be implemented and facilitated in their community and/or organizational context.

Relevance to the conference theme; in dealing with a complex and sensitive situations such as suicide in our rural communities in which people have had significant impact from loss, requires innovation, new ways of facilitative/adaptive leadership, in which community leaders and people with lived experience are brought together with health care providers and leadership to partner to seek solutions for such complex health issues in our community.  This approach to leadership creates a culture of safety where people’s experiences are equally valued.

Practical application of learning through such takeaways as tools, templates, checklists, etc; model a   Participants will be provided the practical opportunity to learn how simulated activities can be used to facilitate teams in understanding their own work and to identify opportunities for process and cultural level change and innovation.


Evelyn Tilley – Eastern Health

Terri Jean Murray – Eastern Health

Diane Dunphy – Eastern Health

Natalie Randell – Eastern Health

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