North West LHIN honoured with International Public Participation Award:

Share Your Story, Shape Your Care initiative receives Innovation Award

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) was honored Monday night with the Innovation Award by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) at the 17th annual conference in San Diego, California.

The North West LHIN's project, Share Your Story, Shape Your Care, won this award for innovative practices to involve remote communities in strategic planning for health care delivery. Through the use of multiple public participation efforts and techniques that included significant use of web-based and social media, the North West LHIN gathered stories and ideas, and reached out to more than 800 participants over a huge geographic region in Ontario, Canada.

"This is the first year that IAP2 is offering the Innovation Award in our Core Values Awards program," said Anne Pattillo, IAP2 President (2009). "The Core Values Awards honour projects and organizations that represent the best practice internationally in the field of public participation in decision-making. The awards are evaluated against IAP2's seven Core Values for public participation practice."

Share Your Story, Shape Your Care demonstrated the effective use of web-based technologies and social media in a public participation process that aimed to involve and include patients, families, health providers, and the public. The information gathered through this initiative informed the North West LHIN's 2010-2013 health services plan.

"Share your Story, Shape your Care" was not afraid to experiment with social media tools and new technologies for online dialogue - and it paid off. The project is now a model and source of inspiration for engaging people across a large geographical area creatively and effectively," said Sandy Heierbacher, Core Values Award judge and Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD).

"We are thrilled to have received this international award. This initiative has gathered valuable information to support local health care planning and decision making" stated Gwen DuBois-Wing, CEO, North West LHIN.

"This award is an honour and would not have been possible without the many local health service providers and community members who helped to promote the project and those who took the time to participate and share their stories," stated Kristin Shields, Senior Consultant, Planning and Community Engagement, North West LHIN.

Entries to the Core Values Awards competition are reviewed and evaluated by a judging panel composed of past Core Values Award winners, experienced public participation practitioners and academics in the field of public participation.

IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world. Currently, IAP2 has over 1,500 active members in 26 countries. The annual Core Values Awards competition coincides with IAP2's international conference. More information about the International Association for Public Participation and the Core Values is available from the IAP2 website: www.iap2.org.

SOURCE NORTH WEST LOCAL HEALTH INTEGRATION NETWORK

For further information: For further information: IAP2 Media contact: Moira Deslandes, Executive Director, Telephone: + 61-451-3000-90, Email: moira@iap2.org; North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Media contact: Kelly Arnold, Communications Specialist, Telephone: (807) 684-9425 ext. 2030, Email: kelly.arnold@lhins.on.ca

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NORTH WEST LOCAL HEALTH INTEGRATION NETWORK

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