Patient and Family Advisor Margo Twohig wins Minister's Medal

Following her treatment for breast cancer at North York General Hospital (NYGH), Margo Twohig wanted to find a way to give back to the place where she had received her care. When she was asked if she would consider becoming a patient and family advisor (PFA) for NYGH, her first thought was, “Well I don't know anything about medicine.” Margo quickly realized that as a patient she had a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise to bring to the table and that providing the patient voice and perspective was exactly what the hospital was looking for.

This is the first year that a Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety has been awarded to a patient and family advisor. Margo was chosen from nominations across Ontario to receive this honour for her contributions as a patient, family and caregiver champion at the hospital. 

 Watch the video:  Margo Twohig has made an incredible difference at NYGH by providing her perspective as a patient to help improve the way care is delivered. Watch this video produced by the Ontario Government.

Since becoming a PFA and Co-chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council in 2012, Margo has made valuable contributions to 15 projects that range from redesigning the chemotherapy clinic to better considering privacy and comfort for cancer patients, to developing information pamphlets for alternate level of care (ALC) patients. She has been an integral member on 10 committees, councils, boards, and task forces. 

Margo's contributions to improving the patient and family experience can be felt across many units and programs at NYGH. She has been consulted on a number of hospital and patient experience projects at the conception, design, implementation, evaluation and sustainability stages.

Patient and family advisors play a crucial role in ensuring that NYGH truly provides patient- and family-centred care.

Volunteers like Margo contribute to all aspects of the hospital by providing their expertise and perspective as former patients or family members who have received care at NYGH. Their voice helps shape the decisions we make so that patients have the best experience possible.

Margo Twohig and her team receive the award

Margo Twohig and NYGH staff at the presentation of the Minister’s Medal on October 24, 2017. Left to right: Jamie Campbell, Director, Organizational Development and Volunteer Services; Anna Tupis, Program Director, Cancer Care and Ambulatory Program; Karyn Popovich, Vice President Clinical Programs, Quality & Risk, and Chief Nursing Executive; Margo Twohig, Patient and Family Advisor; Pam Goldsilver, Patient and Family Advisor; Clara Ho, Consultant, Patient- and Family-Centred Care; Jennifer Quaglietta, Director, Patient Experience and Quality; Tim Rutledge, President and CEO. 


This article first appeared in the November 2017 issue of The Pulse.

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