Engagement Strategy

The GHHN is committed to engaging patients, families, care partners, organizations, the community, and primary care in co-designing and transforming the healthcare system at the personal, program, and system levels in the greater Hamilton area.

We know that services, programs, and systems are significantly improved when they are co-designed with those who are using the services. Services are more fiscally responsible, more likely to be utilized, promote ownership of care, strengthen the patient-service provider relationship, and promote a culture of inclusion and diversity.

The GHHN is committed to being open, transparent and accountable, and to engage and empower patients, families, and care partners across all GHHN activities.



  • A healthier community that provides an equitable and seamless continuum of care that actively improves population health and meets the individual needs of our community. A population that is:
    Healthier, with lower rates of chronic illness;
  • Activated, informed, and empowered to navigate the system; and
  • Treated equitably


Engagement Mission

The GHHN will form active partnerships with patients, families, and care partners and meaningfully engage them as decision makers in their own care, as well as at the program and system levels. The GHHN is engaging patients, families, and care partners, community organizations, the community and primary care to co-design an equitable and culturally safe health care system in the Greater Hamilton area that is connected and patient centred.

GHHN Engagement Strategy

The transformation of health care in the Greater Hamilton Area is driven by the needs of patients, families, and care partners. The development of the GHHN Patient, Family and Care Partners, Partnership and Engagement Strategy is an integral step in creating an equitable, culturally safe, patient-centered health care system.

The Engagement Strategy sets out the overarching principles needed to guide and embed these essential partners in all work of the GHHN, and will serve as an ongoing demonstration of our commitment to patients, families, and care partners.  The strategy also supports a culture and health care system that is connected, strengthened, and patient centered.

To read the full GHHN Engagement strategy please click here:

Patient Family CarePartner Declaration of Values

The purpose of the Patient Family CarePartner Declaration of Values (PFCDV) is to articulate patient, family and carepartner expectations of Ontario’s health care system. The declaration is intended to serve as a compass for individuals and organizations who are involved in healthcare and social service delivery and reflects a summary of the principles and values that patients, families and carepartners note as important to them. It is meant to create a partnership between individuals interacting with the health care system including patient, family and carepartners and those who provide health services. The PFCDV should be used by providers across the health care and social service system in addition to patients, families and carepartners to inform partnership in care.

The GHHN invites our partners to adopt and uphold the following expectations of our healthcare system in support of patients, families and care partners.

To read the GHHN PFCDV please click here:

GHHN Engagement Toolkit

The Greater Hamilton Health Network (GHHN) co-designed the Engagement Toolkit with our Patient, Family, CarePartner Advisors, and our community partners.  The toolkit was developed to provide tools and resources to help shape engagement practices that aid us in creating a seamless and consistent healthcare experience and to develop common engagement practices regionally.

This project was inspired by the work of the Algoma Ontario Health Team and their Community Partnership Toolkit. Thank you for your permission to use your work as a foundation in developing our own.

A special thank you to Bonnie Pataran, the patient advisors, and our community partners for your support, guidance and contributions to this project. We hope that this toolkit will be a great resource to help shape and align engagement practices regionally.

Engagement Principles

Engagement Principles are essential when co-designing a system that is accountable and constantly improving. These principles outline the elements needed for the community to work together effectively, respectfully, and intentionally to transform healthcare in the greater Hamilton area. These statements do not stand alone, they work together to form a comprehensive standard for engagement in healthcare.


Partners share trusting, respectful relationships that enable experience, expertise, and perspectives to be clearly reflected in system planning and improvement efforts.



Partners are fully engaged in the change process and those in system leadership roles are accountable for embedding this commitment in system planning and improvement efforts.


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Engagement practices are impartial and inclusive. The diversity of partners is valued and is representative of the communities served.



Communication among all partners is timely, clear, inclusive, and respectful.



People with lived experience and their healthcare partners work together to identify and address barriers to participation.



Partners are fully engaged in the change process and those in system leadership roles are accountable for embedding this commitment in system planning and improvement efforts.


Ongoing Learning

Participants in patient engagement learn about each other’s perspectives and experiences, the issues at hand, and how the healthcare system may be improved.


Research and Evaluation

People with lived experience and healthcare partners jointly research, evaluate and make ongoing quality improvements in healthcare.