May 2018 Members Update

Hello, members! My name is PJ Mierau. It is my pleasure to serve as Patient Critical Co-op’s Managing Director.
As we head into May, I want to give you an update of what we’ve accomplished in our first nine months, and give a sense of future plans.
First and foremost, thank you very much for your membership, participation and support.
This co-op exists to serve your interests, and the interests of all those depending on quality healthcare in Canada.
As you all know, Patient Critical takes no money from outside sources, in order to build a reputation for honest, authentic patient representation. We are also not a taxpayer-funded government agency, a medical association supported by yearly dues or a for-profit business. We chose this path to ensure that everything we say 100% reflects your concerns.
That means we had to get creative with how we connect. To make the most of our resources, we take advantage of social media, blogging, an active website and audio podcasting to get our message OUT… as well as online voting and polling tools in order to make sure we take our members’ opinions IN.
Patient Critical is still a young co-op -we turn one on Canada Day!- but we’ve already made strides towards becoming the voice YOU deserve representing your interests alongside doctors, health ministries and businesses.
Podcast
We have produced and released a baker’s dozen of  PatientCritical Podcasts. Four of our podcasts were produced to be included in Infoway.ca & BetterHealthTogether.ca’s #DigitalHealthWeek event, of which the Co-op was invited to be a Participating Organization.
Conferences
Co-op members have attended dozens of health conferences in the US and Canada. I’ve personally attended and live-tweeted six healthcare conferences in both countries. Several members of our co-op have been given stipends to attend healthcare conferences. One member participated in Infoway’s Vision conference.
I want to tell you more about the individuals and conferences attended, but PatientCritical has firmly established the privacy of our members; we don’t share their names or particulars with anyone for any reason. In future, we are considering how to maximize and share the learning co-op members receive from these opportunities while still respecting privacy and personal comfort zones.
Consulting
HealthCareCAN and the Canadian College of Health Leaders consulted with us about improving patient participation at the National Health Leadership Conference 2018 (NHLC2018).
June Update: In Globe and Mail Reporter Andre Picard’s opening address on behalf of the conference organizers, Patient Critical Co-op was credited for helping them achieve ‘Patients Included’ charter status.
We were consulted by PatientExperienceSummit.com on improving Patient Experience Forum 2018 after attending and speaking at their 2017 event.
Website and Resources 
Starting at just a few visits a week at launch, our website has grown to see over 50,000 unique visitors, more than half of those in the last four months.
PatientCritical.com/resources now includes over 160 curated entries covering dozens of healthcare organizations, resources, websites, podcasts, videos and patient stories.
We have produced eight free, downloadable poster-size PDF visual guides for patients, exploring health and digital literacy, informed consent and shared decision making.
Upcoming Efforts
Our top priorities remain:
1) growing our membership
2) polling our members’ preferences online at least 4 times a year
3) holding all meetings online-including Annual General Meeting
We will continue to transparently consult members for guidance, keep members informed about our progress, produce podcasts and visual guides, and vet resources to be included in our online Resource knowledge-base.
Lastly, I have been nominated to represent patient interests on a committee tasked with certifying the National Health Leadership Conference 2019 in St. John’s Newfoundland to ‘Patients Included‘ charter standards.
Tell your Friends!
Patient Critical was designed to be user friendly to members, and enable meaningful learning and decision-making with just a few screen-taps or mouse-clicks. We believe this is a powerful way to represent members and advocate for Canadians’ healthcare across this big country of ours.
To that end, I want to encourage you to spread the news! The more voices who trust us to speak for them, the more people will want to talk to us, work with us…and the more change we can inspire in healthcare!
Let’s make our Co-op’s July 1st birthday one to remember! Invite your friends and family to become members. Invite your neighbors and co-workers, the regulars you commute with and talk with at your coffee place! The more members Patient Critical Co-op has, the more diverse our members and the richer our voice, the more we can do for patients.
Please tell all your friends and peers concerned about healthcare to visit PatientCritical.com/join!
Having said that, there are many projects we’re considering, but don’t have the manpower or resources to attempt…yet.
Get Involved!
Think you can help us accomplish more? Have a project or area of healthcare in mind? Send us an email, get in touch on social media, and tell us what matters to you and how you think you can do more with Patient Critical Co-op.
If you want to help out on a project we’ve already begun, get in touch, too! Co-operatives are all about sharing the load to accomplish more than any of us could possible do alone. We promise you that taking part will give you warm and fuzzy feelings too 🙂
We’ll be sending out links to the next poll in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please visit PatientCritical.com and poke around, there’s always new information–including the endless ticker-tape of twitter on our home page!
Once again, we thank you for becoming members of Patient Critical Co-op. We truly believe that all of you are critical to keeping Healthcare Healthy, and it is my privilege as Managing Director to represent you in this good work!