Collaborate with ICN to add your voice to Refocus Alberta’s Health System

As we look towards a change in Alberta’s health care system, we at ICN are excited to play a role in engaging with citizens to shape Alberta’s Health System Refocus initiative.

Join us as we explore the key principles that will support the new system along with the organizations: primary care, acute care, continuing care, and mental health and addictions. Together, we’ll identify what we hope the system will look and feel like with Alberta’s refocusing initiative.

ICN Welcomes New Board Members

At our June 2023 Annual General Meeting, ICN welcomed four new Board members and for the first time since our founding in 2015, a new Board Chair.  ICN is pleased to welcome Stephen Samis as Board Chair.  Stephen relocated to Edmonton one year ago after working across Canada in health policy areas for many years.

ICN’s Post Election Message

Imagine Citizens Network would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Premier Smith and the United Conservative Party on their victory in our recent provincial election. We would like to congratulate Rachel Notley and the New Democratic Party for their successes as well as all candidates who stepped up in the election to serve Albertans.

The new government has a mandate to pursue, over the next four years, improvements that will move us toward the goals of a more prosperous, generous and equitable province. Both major parties campaigned to improve healthcare in many key areas, and Premier Smith talked about making Alberta’s healthcare system the best in the world. That is a goal that ICN is fully committed to working collaboratively to achieve. 

Citizen Insights: Alberta Clinical Research Consortium Engagement Project

Early in 2023, Imagine Citizens Network was invited by Alberta Innovates-Health to speak with Albertans about their awareness and understanding of clinical health research (CHR) in Alberta.

CHR in Alberta aims to improve wellness and health outcomes by developing new treatments and technologies or approaches to care.

Giving Day – Make a Gift Today

Imagine Citizens Network, in partnership with the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary, is thrilled to invite you to participate in Giving Day. Your donation will be doubled thanks to matching funds from the University!

Last year, we saw an incredible demand for our citizen engagement services. We are proud to be a trusted and respected organization that brings citizen perspectives to the forefront.

Engaging Albertans on Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System

Imagine Citizens Network (ICN) has been working with Albertans to capture what matters most to them about primary healthcare and share these insights with the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative. The goal is to identify immediate and long-term improvements that can build on Alberta’s many primary health care successes. 

ICN engaged with 32 Albertans from across the province to identify guiding principles that reflect people’s values regarding the redesign and delivery of primary care programs, services, and care.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health – Modernizing Primary Health and Care

This is the third story in our series Modernizing Primary Health and Care where we share the recommendations we provided to Alberta Health’s Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative.

Our health is shaped by a complex set of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, environment, and social determinants of health. Social determinants of health refer to a wide range of social, economic, and environmental factors that affect our health, such as income, housing, education, and discrimination.

Advice to the National Roundtable on Primary Care

Last fall, Judy Birdsell, ICN’s Board Chair, had the rare opportunity to meet and hear from leaders in Primary Care from other parts of Canada at the invitation of The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health.

“This was an invaluable experience, not only to have ICN’s voice at a national table, but to meet ten other exemplary leaders in Primary Healthcare from across Canada,” says Judy. “This opportunity has enabled connections with several individuals at the roundtable.”

With input from ICN members, we brought the following key messages to the Roundtable:

Board Recruitment March 2023

Imagine Citizens Network (ICN) is looking for Board Members to join our organization. The Board of Directors provides leadership and strategic oversight to ensure the organization is working to its full potential. We are looking to add individuals with valuable experience and diversity to our Board.

Focusing on Community – Modernizing Primary Health and Care

While a citizen-centred approach to health is essential, many factors beyond an individual and his/her family impact health. Health is a community accomplishment. Structural and social community assets such as easily accessible recreation facilities, green spaces, employment opportunities, affordable housing, safe roads, faith-based and cultural organizations, and service clubs are examples that contribute to health outcomes.

Healthy Aging in Alberta – Measuring What Matters 

The recent Healthy Aging in Alberta: Measuring What Matters project led by Imagine Citizens Network, in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the University of Alberta, was a unique opportunity for citizens to help AHS identify the most important measures of quality in its work with seniors, continuing-care clients, and their supporting caregivers to improve health, well-being and independence. 

Becoming Citizen-Centred – Modernizing Primary Health and Care

At Imagine Citizens Network, we believe citizen-centred care should be a priority in reforming Alberta’s primary health system. 

Citizen-centred care considers the individual in the context of their life, their environment and social context and the opportunities life has afforded or limited, and the health and community options available in them. This needs to be the starting point for primary health: the understanding of the context in which the citizen lives. 

Modernizing Our Primary Health Care System: Including a Patient-Citizen Voice

We have had a wonderful response to this project and registration for it is full. Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to learn about other engagement opportunities in the future. Plans for primary health care system changes in Alberta are coming. Let’s make sure citizens help shape the plans!   […]

Digital Health – What is it and why it matters 

We are on the cusp of unprecedented change in the way health services are delivered, personalized, accessed, and funded. The rapid growth in connected personal health services, devices, and data is creating opportunities to re-imagine aspects of healthcare access and delivery, personal health and fitness, and health data.   

Who Should Own Our Health Information? 

As healthcare becomes increasingly reliant on technology, questions about who owns health information and how it is accessed become increasingly important. Understanding where data is stored, how it is accessed, and who is responsible for safeguarding it are at the centre of the digital health evolution. According to Dr. Ewan Affleck, “information is the currency of care.” Personal health data is an enabler of patient safety, better health outcomes and reduced harm.  

Educating Future Healthcare Leaders: ICN Brings the Patient Voice

Last summer, Imagine Citizens Network (ICN) was invited to participate in the new transdisciplinary Precision Health program at the Cumming School of Medicine (University of Calgary) which brings together future healthcare leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators to improve patient care. Precision health is a new and innovative approach to healthcare delivery. It’s tailored to a patient’s genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors and, as the name implies, it is aimed at keeping people healthy by personalizing the prevention and treatment of individuals “precisely”.

Health Equity: The Vision for a Fairer and Healthier World

As September signals the start of the formal academic year, students from all communities across Canada prepare for the year of learning ahead. Yet significant cultural variations may emerge to illustrate the diversities and dynamism of the student group as a whole. Equity raises awareness about these important variations with reference to fair access and participation in basic needs such as health and education, to transform social systems that serve everyone equally within their unique contexts.

Supporting Newcomer Communities to Improve Their Own Healthcare

Several years ago, ICN and other patient-partnered organizations initiated the iKnow Health project to help people in Alberta understand how healthcare works, how to navigate and advocate for themselves, and how to apply their rights. While that project was designed to reach a wide population with its online guide Healthcare Basics for Albertans, we knew there were significant additional challenges for rural and minority/marginalized communities. To better understand these challenges, we partnered with the Alberta International Medical Graduates Association (AIMGA) to support volunteer Connectors to host seven conversations about healthcare in newcomer communities in Alberta.