For the Chirgwin Family of North Bay, Ontario, involvement in the health care system began upon the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and hospitalization of their patriarch, Andy Chirgwin, over four years ago.
With the help of Tamara Dube-Clarke, Patient and Family Partnered Care Coordinator at North Bay Regional Health Centre, the family created a video called “Andy’s Story” to introduce Andy, a retired policeman, husband, father and grandfather, to his caregivers. The video, spurred from the family’s desire for staff to know Andy as a person and who he was before his diagnosis, has since been viewed over 1,500 times on YouTube.
“Andy’s Story” has been used both locally and in the broader health care community as a training tool, including at a Patient Engagement Forum held by the North East LHIN and The Change Foundation last spring. The video has also:
- Been integrated into the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s regular staff training for dementia care;
- Featured at “Pursuing Excellence in Geriatrics 2013” – a provincial multidisciplinary geriatric conference with over 200 delegates – in order to highlight the importance of the lived experience; and
- Highlighted in the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association’s Summer 2014 newsletter.
The willingness of the Chirgwin Family and Tamara Dube-Clarke to share “Andy’s Story” has helped to bring the patient voice back to health care in North Bay, as well as spark related conversations about patient-centred care across the province’s health care system. Sadly, Andy passed away in January, 2015.