Patient engagement means that community members and community advocacy groups are involved in health research, from the first stages of governance, priority setting and decision-making through to how research is conducted and results are used. At Hotıì ts'eeda, we prefer to use the term Community Member rather than Patient to reflect the fact that all members of our communities interact with the health system.
We prioritize Indigenous health and communities in our Unit, in recognition of the fact that Indigenous peoples' experiences in the health care system are often lacking in cultural competency and safety and are built on an exploitative and often harmful history. Our goal is to work with community members and support their goals to try to make the NWT health system more effective and appropriate for NWT Indigenous communities.
Our vision for community engagement is that:
- Researchers understand the importance of community involvement in all stages of research.
- Community members understand the importance of their involvement and the importance of the research.
- Respectful collaboration is established among communities, researchers and health care providers, including building capacity through things like cultural competency training.
- The experiential knowledge of community members is valued and celebrated as part of the research process.
- Research is informed and co-directed by community members and responds to community priorities.
Hotıì ts'eeda will work with community members from across the NWT to determine priorities, build capacity and raise awareness in engagement.
Are you a community member interested in being involved in health research? Contact us.