Every year, on October 10th, the world comes together to observe World Mental Health Day, a day that reminds us of the profound impact mental health has on individuals, communities, and societies. It’s a day when we collectively raise our voices to spread awareness about mental health issues and advocate for better access to mental […]
Imagine Citizen Network (ICN) members have proudly been active participants in the Precision Health (PH) program at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine since its inception in August 2021. The program aims to provide healthcare tailored to individual characteristics and has four streams: Quality and Safety Health Professional Education Innovation and Entrepreneurship Precision […]
This marks the first year we have produced an annual report and we’re pleased to share it with you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Is all your health information accessible to all providers? Why you might want to keep a paper trail
Can you be confident that your health data and entire health record are complete and available to any healthcare provider when needed? What about your prescriptions from your drug store? Is that information available if you suddenly experience an emergency? The short answer is no.
May 19 was the tenth anniversary of Greg’s death. A lot has happened since then, highlighting life-altering gaps in accessing information within Alberta’s healthcare. Much work still needs to be done.