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Facilitate: CCO's PFAC Experience
“A good way to facilitate communication between the members, between meetings – I think some kind of a web space or an area where people can come in and post their thoughts, chat, and share their ideas.”
– PFAC staff member


Co-Chair Nominations:

  • Interested council members were asked to share their thoughts about what they felt they could bring to the role
  • Council members anonymously submitted nominations for the co-chair position through an online survey (including for themselves, if applicable)
  • Two nominated council members withdrew their nominations in favour of the nomination of a third council member
“I think we could do a better job at really getting value out of a council by being very clear about what it is that we want at the beginning.”
– PFAC staff member

Lessons Learned & Recommendations

Chair and co-chair roles

Initially a staff member was assigned the role of Chair. The rationale was in order to create the ‘environment’ for the Council to begin to work, there needed to be someone with the leadership and facilitation skills to enable the Council to be effective. Subsequently we engaged the Council members to nominate and select a co-chair who was a patient. 

Our experience has been that having a staff and member in the roles of chair and co-chair is an effective model. The two roles work in collaboration: developing the agenda, facilitating the meetings, preparing before each meeting and debriefing after the meeting. The Council members have provided positive feedback on the model that is in place.

Supports for members

From time to time, an organization might want to expand the involvement of Council members; for example, inviting one or two to participate in a panel discussion to share their experiences and the role they play on the Council. If a member is invited and accepts, it is important for the organization to prepare the member.

For example, we invited a member to participate on a panel presentation at the Annual General Meeting. It can be intimidating being a patient or family member speaking to a large audience, including Board members. We organized time to work with the member to build her confidence, offering suggestions if asked, and providing feedback along the way. Following the event, she read in the CEO's blog to the organization about the impact she had on the audience. She felt encouraged by the support, and overwhelmed by the impact her story made to the audience.

Last modified: Thu, Dec 27, 2012
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

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