Spotlight On: Leslie Ayre-Jaschke, IMAGINE Citizens member who is passionate about the rural voice 

In this series, Spotlight On, we introduce you to the people actively involved with IMAGINE Citizens. This month features Leslie Ayre-Jaschke, Governance Group member, Operations Committee Co-chair and Lead for the Theory of Change Project.

Leslie Ayre-Jaschke started volunteering for the Red Cross in grade three, and she never stopped. A long-time resident of Peace River, Alta., she holds a Bachelors degree in Education and Masters degree in Health Promotion, both from the University of Alberta.

Before her retirement, she was most recently a program evaluation consultant for small and large programs. Her work was largely in Northern Alberta and included four years with the Alberta Rural Development Network. She has a dynamic and lengthy professional and volunteer history.

Leslie became involved with IMAGINE Citizens through her activities with the Health Quality Council of Alberta. “I had no intention for doing more volunteer work, but someone sent an HQCA call for applicants with rural experience.“ I don’t bring a strong patient experience, but I do have a lot of connections and have rural perspective, so I applied and have now served for nearly six years.”

She participated as an HQCA volunteer with IMAGINE Citizens and then joined the steering committee. Leslie is now a member of the Governance Group and co-chairs the Operations Committee. Additionally, she is the Lead for the Theory of Change Project and has been actively involved in the co-design of Healthcare 101.

Many years with the internationally known La Leche League taught her what it’s like to create a social movement and about how groups of volunteers can train each other and provide services. Her interest in breastfeeding was reflected in her MSc thesis research, which linked adult education principles to the education and supports offered to pre- and post-natal mothers.

When not engaged in all her member and volunteer pursuits, Leslie enjoys camping, walking, reading – she’s part of a 30-year book club – politics, family history, and staying in touch with family and friends.

“IMAGINE has the freedom to engage with whomever.” says Leslie. “We have more potential for impact as we build our network and engage more citizens in Alberta. And we have more potential for working with other organizations with the citizen voice at the table.”

Asked what she has read recently on health care, she cites the book Managing the Myths of Health Care: bridging the separations between care, cure, control and community, by Henry Mintzberg.

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About the Author

Margaret Ferguson is a creative information manager with a strong base in writing, editing and design. Proudly Canadian and a self-professed global participant, she deeply appreciates her Alberta roots. Based at present in Calgary, AB, and happily engaged with the IMAGINE Citizens Communications Working Group, Margaret’s current interests are in natural medicine, communications, and travel.

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