Contributed by Haydee Mones, Vancouver General Hospital.

As we continue to strive toward building a community of care, we value the voices of everybody, including staff, patients, clients and their families. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is committed to putting people first as the foundation of our True North goals, so we are taking part in Change Day on 17-11-17. Together, as partners in care, we would like to hear your voice for endless possibilities and opportunities related to how we can contribute to providing quality patient and client care.

Change Day at VCH is an open invitation to anyone who would like to try something new, big or small, to make our system better. I am excited about its uniqueness and being a part of improving care with patients, clients and families in British Columbia. Change Day will also be an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the power of how any one person – patient, client, family member, staff member, student, volunteer, physician – can make a difference in our health care delivery.

One way we’re doing this is by supporting Lisa Stewart’s Change Day pledge through the VCH “You Make a Difference” contest, which aims to celebrate the staff who went above and beyond when caring for patients, clients and families. This, to me, is symbolic of what I personally believe in – the importance of acknowledging and honouring the people who come to work, day in and day out, at VCH.

We also believe that we are stronger together and that, as a team, we can make change happen. We believe that all voices should be heard regardless of position, title or culture. It is our differences that give us strength. Through VCH Quality Improvement and Releasing Time to Care, we will continue to listen and acknowledge these differences, and use them to empower us in providing the most competent care to our patients, clients and their families.

The next few weeks will be a dedicated time to hear as many voices and pledges as possible through our daily huddles, interdisciplinary team meetings, and Gemba visits (when our leadership go to “where the work is” and interact with staff as part of the team). We are mingling teams from Richmond, Coastal and Vancouver communities of care to visit each other’s sites and exchange ideas. We are reaching out to as many patients, clients and family members as we can. These may be ordinary meetings and visits, just like other organizations have, but what’s really important about what we are doing is the sharing, the connection and the collaboration towards “building a community of care.”