HQCA stands behind IMAGINE

An influential arms-length health organization in the province has placed its support squarely behind the citizen-driven, patient-focused IMAGINE Project.

With a mission to improve the quality of health care and patient safety in the Alberta health system, the Health Quality Council of Alberta’s ideals align well with the values of IMAGINE, said HQCA Board Chair Dr. Tony Fields.

“The HQCA is proud to support the IMAGINE Project because of its grass-roots, citizen led focus on patient-first healthcare culture,” said Fields.


“This adds to the understanding of patient needs, experiences, and will enhance how we connect with Albertans.”

Originally launched by the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary under the guidance of Calgary business icon Charlie Fischer, IMAGINE strives to spark a culture change in the province’s health care system and shift the system’s focus from bottom lines, and administrative and political pressures, to the patient and patient outcomes.

“The health care system is the only industry in the country that doesn’t put its customers first,” says Fischer, as he explains the need for IMAGINE.

“Whenever we have a conversation about health care it’s always about money, efficiencies, procedures, and it’s always about what’s easier or better or more efficient for the provider. It’s never about the patients or patient outcomes.”

IMAGINE is a long term initiative and social movement that aims to connect with all Alberta citizens, as equal partners with the health care system, while simultaneously bringing health organizations, providers, policy makers and patients to the same table in order to work towards a system that’s designed, and care that is delivered in partnership, with citizens.

IMAGINE thanks HQCA for expressing their vote of confidence in our mission and for providing important financial support for our initiative, said IMAGINE co-chair Judy Birdsell.

“HQCA has been a leading voice for safety and quality of health care in the province; their expression of confidence in our efforts is important,” she said.

“This support, coupled with growing evidence that involving citizens as true partners in planning and delivering health care leads to better outcomes, will help us all transition to a culture that values citizens as partners” said  Birdsell, adding IMAGINE looks forward to working with HQCA and other key partners in future to be a positive force for change toward a patient centred health care system.