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Patient partnership is a shared journey of empowerment and collaboration

My name is Jenna Kedy, a 19-year-old chronic illness warrior from Nova Scotia, deeply engaged in the realm of patient partnership.

Since 2019, at the tender age of 15, I embarked on a journey as a patient partner, collaborating with various organizations, including e-Health. As I reflect on my experiences spanning the pre-pandemic era to the current “new normal,” the landscape of patient partnership has evolved significantly.

My involvement in the patient partner sector has undergone transformation over the past five years. As I aged, graduated high school, and navigated lifestyle changes, the nature of my contributions naturally shifted. However, amidst these changes, my commitment to patient partnership remained unwavering. The onset of the pandemic marked a turning point for volunteerism across sectors. Notably, I observed a decline in people’s availability to volunteer. The economic shift forced individuals to dedicate more hours to work, leaving less time for altruistic endeavors. While this change impacted the volunteer landscape broadly, patient partnership was no exception. An emerging challenge is the difficulty individuals face in finding volunteer opportunities, particularly in patient partnership. In my own journey, I stumbled upon this world during a hospital admission when a child life specialist presented me with an opportunity. Many might not be aware of these opportunities, necessitating accessible information and application processes.

My initial exposure to patient partnership was serendipitous. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to encounter such opportunities organically. Accessibility to information and streamlined application processes become pivotal in ensuring that a diverse range of individuals can engage in patient partnership. In conclusion, my passion for patient partnership remains unshakeable despite the changing tides of life and the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The evolving landscape calls for increased awareness and accessibility to ensure that more individuals, like myself, can discover and contribute to patient partnership. As we navigate the new normal, it is crucial to foster a culture that encourages and supports volunteerism, making patient partnership a shared journey of empowerment and collaboration.

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