We have been following the work of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, a formal body that provides advice and recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario (where we are based). Their recently-published “Patient Declaration of Values” was of particular interest, because it reflects the values of our own mission to help people at various stages of their care journey to live independently and with dignity.

These are the things people say matter to them. We are listening.

- Mary Pat Hinton, creator of MemorySparx

In the words of Council Chair Julie Drury, “The Declaration is a vision that articulates a path toward patient partnership across the health care system”. This path is paved with challenges that we all have a responsibility to solve, and the Council hopes that the Declaration will guide new policies and programs that put patient/family needs at the forefront.

To learn more about the Patient Declaration of Values and the Patient and Family Advisory Council, visit the Ministry’s website. Here is a snapshot of the Values:

Patient Declaration of Values for Ontario

Respect and Dignity
  • We expect that our individual identity, beliefs, history, culture, and ability will be respected in our care.
  • We expect health care providers will introduce themselves and identify their role in our care.
  • We expect that we will be recognized as part of the care team, to be fully informed about our condition, and have the right to make choices in our care.
  • We expect that families and caregivers be treated with respect and seen as valuable contributors to the care team.
  • We expect that our personal health information belongs to us, and that it remains private, respected and protected.
Empathy and Compassion
  • We expect health care providers will act with empathy, kindness, and compassion.
  • We expect individualized care plans that acknowledge our unique physical, mental and emotional needs.
  • We expect that we will be treated in a manner free from stigma and assumptions.
  • We expect health care system providers and leaders will understand that their words, actions, and decisions strongly impact the lives of patients, families and caregivers.
  • We expect open and seamless communication about our care.
  • We expect that everyone on our care team will be accountable and supported to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively.
  • We expect a health care culture that values the experiences of patients, families and caregivers and incorporates this knowledge into policy, planning and decision making.
  • We expect that patient/family experiences and outcomes will drive the accountability of the health care system and those who deliver services, programs, and care within it.
  • We expect that health care providers will act with integrity by acknowledging their abilities, biases and limitations.
  • We expect health care providers to comply with their professional responsibilities and to deliver safe care.
  • We expect we will be proactively and meaningfully involved in conversations about our care, considering options for our care, and decisions about our care.
  • We expect our health records will be accurate, complete, available and accessible across the provincial health system at our request.
  • We expect a transparent, clear and fair process to express a complaint, concern, or compliment about our care and that it not impact the quality of the care we receive.
Equity and Engagement
  • We expect equal and fair access to the health care system and services for all regardless of place of origin, background, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, marital or family status, education, ethnicity, race, religion, socioeconomic status or location within Ontario.
  • We expect that we will have opportunities to be included in health care policy development and program design at local, regional and provincial levels of the health care system.

We know that this is everyone’s goal. How do we get there? What are the barriers?


Let’s tackle this topic together.


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