Do you want to help improve the delivery of health and community care in Northumberland County?

The Ontario Health Team of Northumberland Experience Partner Council is recruiting local volunteers with lived experience.

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY – Monday, March 20, 2023 – Have you or someone you support received care from local health and/or community care services in the past three years? Do you have an interest in working together with service provider partners to improve the delivery of health and community care in Northumberland County? If you answered yes to both of those questions, the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) may have the right opportunity for you!

Launched in 2021, the OHT-N Experience Partner Council is working to ensure patients, families and caregivers have a clear and equal voice in advancing local OHT-N priorities for health and community care services. Community volunteers, experience partners are active within all OHT-N governance, planning and project team structures.

OHTs – A new way of working together

Across the province, Ontario Health Teams are forming to find a new way of organizing care to plan and deliver health and community services in a way that is more connected to patients and clients in local communities. Here in Northumberland, where we have one of the province’s first OHTs, impact to date includes:

  • Rural Outreach Clinic in Colborne
  • Community Paramedicine Program
  • Coordinated COVID-19 Response
  • Volunteer Peer Support Program
  • Collaborative Strategic and Quality Improvement planning
  • Cancer screening awareness/information

With new projects getting under way this spring, more patient, family, and caregiver participation will be required to ensure sound and sustainable decisions are made, and the right work is prioritized.

A variety of opportunities available to suit different interests, experiences and availability

With this open call for interest, the OHT-N’s Experience Partner Council aims to expand from a small core Experience Partner Council drawn from OHT-N members to a larger team offering different ways to join the conversation. The original Experience Partner Council will grow in number. As well, new Experience Partner Project Pool, not quite as time intensive as the Experience Partner Council, and best suited to those interested and able to bring their lived experience to particular projects, will also be formed. Finally, a virtual Engage OHT-N experience partner community is planned, to enable smaller, faster issue-by-issue engagement on specific questions or issues before the OHT-N. The size of the OHT-N’s Experience Partner team will fluctuate and be dependent on local interest and OHT-N and Experience Partner priorities.

Anticipated time commitment

Like the opportunities for participation, time commitment will vary. The Experience Partner Council currently meets virtually as a group for monthly meetings, lasting two hours each. In addition to the monthly meetings, most of which are held in the day time, members of the Experience Partner Council also participate – as their experience and interest directs – on OHT-N committees and/or projects. The monthly time commitment and method of engagement for the Experience Partner Project Pool and the Engage OHT-N experience partner community will vary. Activities will be matched with committee/project needs and member input.

How to express interest

Patients, families and caregivers of Northumberland County with an interest in volunteering as  Experience Partners are invited to review the Terms of Reference and supporting recruitment documents and complete the Expression of Interest Form available on the OHT-N website.

Please feel free to reach out to the OHT-N via the contacts below, email the OHT-N directly at or phone 905-396-6486.

Feedback from current OHT-N partners

"As a patient, there is nothing more important to me than receiving high quality health services in my own community. To have the opportunity to help plan and improve these services so that others in my community can benefit too, is exciting.” – Lisa van der Vinne, Experience Partner of the OHT-N Experience Partner Council.

“It is an opportunity to be part of a team making positive contributions to improve delivery of health and community care to all members of our community.” – Howard Goodfellow, Experience Partner of the OHT-N Experience Partner Council.

“Having individuals with lived/living experience as part of our OHT-N is critical to ensuring all voices are involved in the planning and advancement of health and community care. We hope the three-tier model will encourage people with different time availability to participate and provide their expertise as an Experience Partner.” – Trish Baird, CEO of Community Care Northumberland, and Co-Chair of the OHT-N.