IMAGINE citizen board member organizing the Power of Information Sharing Event
By Nancy Walter
Our series, Spotlight On, introduces you to the people actively involved with IMAGINE Citizens. This month features Alana Kitchen, a Healthy Buildings Engineer, volunteer event planner for the Partners in the Power of Information Sharing: Educate, Empower, Engage Event on Oct. 3, and active member of IMAGINE since spring 2018 and IMAGINE board member since spring 2019.
Alana has a BSc in chemical engineering from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ont. She is the founder and president of Who to Call Inc., a Calgary startup that connects Calgary homeowners with quality home renovation and maintenance professionals. Alana juggles a busy family and career life and describes herself as an inspired forever learner. With her love for learning she hopes to be inspired and to be able to facilitate change and to create better patient outcomes.
Alana experienced Alberta’s health-care first hand when her son was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma. She discovered gaps that limited her ability to access and fully understand her son’s health information, and gaps in information-sharing between different health-care providers.
“Ultimately, this should be a partnership between the different services and health-care providers,” she said. “Instead, there is a lack of information sharing and access. There needs to be an ability to extract and gain access to data and health information.”
Alana learned parents do not have an advocate in the system and need to have the means to advocate for themselves and for each other.“It is up to all of us to help each other out,” she said. Alana found that IMAGINE Citizens gives her an effective platform to advocate for better health information sharing and access.
Alana enjoys the engagement through IMAGINE Citizens and knowing that she is part of something that is moving the health-care system forward. “Health care affects all of us, whether we are a parent, child, sibling or friend. It shapes all of us and we all have personal experiences that we can share to better the system,” she said. “Working with IMAGINE and seeing the hard work all of our volunteers put in has given me hope (in humanity).”