Community Engagement

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is committed to ongoing engagement with stakeholders that have a stake in, or will be impacted by the actions of the organization.  In the interest of openness and transparency, and as an important member of the community, MAHC is committed to incorporating community participation into identified initiatives where appropriate that enables stakeholders to share relevant information with MAHC. MAHC's 2015-18 Strategic Plan identifies "Engagement" as a core value, and more specifically defines our commitment to "working together with commitment, honesty and integrity."

Community engagement is a process that enables two-way dialogue and interaction between MAHC and the community so that community members can be informed and involved in the planning and, when appropriate, the decision-making process for health care services and policies that affect their lives.  It is also a means of helping people to understand the issues confronting their hospitals and possible solutions.  Community engagement is the process of working with and through groups of people to enact positive action. It includes information sharing, consultation and active involvement in decision making.

MAHC has developed a Community Engagement Framework that supports strong, active and inclusive communities, who are informed and involved in decision-making, as appropriate.  This framework is one approach that enables MAHC to maintain and improve services to enhance the quality of health care available in Muskoka and East Parry Sound.  The framework is intended to assist MAHC decision-makers, managers, physicians and staff in better understanding the broad practice of community engagement and how it can assist in responding to patient needs.

Like all health care organizations, MAHC is operating in an environment of constant change, growing financial uncertainty and increasing demands and expectations from internal and external communities.  The Framework does not mandate specific community engagement formats to be used at specific times.  Each situation demands its own approach and process.  Rather, the Framework seeks to institute a strategic approach to every community engagement process hosted by MAHC.  The Framework will not address all of the challenges of managing the complex issues of community engagement, yet by introducing a consistent, strategic approach it will equip MAHC with the tools needed to move towards more meaningful, inclusive and effective public involvement.

It is important that participants understand the context of policy making in health care, that it is neither rational nor linear, but a complex process that is influenced by a multitude of factors both internal and external to the organization.

How Can I Be Engaged?

There are a variety of ways that community stakeholders can get involved:

  • attend a Board meeting
  • apply to become a Board member
  • apply to become a community representative on a Committee
  • invite a MAHC staff member to your community group
  • attend/participate in MAHC hosted community forums/meetings