5. Going Beyond: Community Partnerships, Volunteering

In this lesson we will look at how a positive work environment can be supported by community partners and volunteers.

Community Partnerships
Every organization exists in the larger context of its community, and building strong community relationships benefits everyone.

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No organization exists in a vacuum; building capacity means looking at external available resources. Some community organizations have funding in place specifically to help newcomers to Canada—organizations that can offer support to your patients, their families, and staff members.

Self-Reflection: Community Partnerships


One path to help introduce IEHPs to the healthcare system in Ontario is through volunteering. This is valuable experience for an IEHP, and good for organizations with limited resources.

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Rhonda Lewis of The Scarborough Hospital says,

I would suggest that organizations that do not have the resources could start by bringing on IEHPs in volunteer capacities, by working with bridging programs to provide practicum placements . . . These do not require resources. They may require a little time from—from preceptors within the organization to spend on actually providing some kind of mentorship to IEHPs, but in terms of hard finances, I don’t believe they require huge resources, and . . . that would be a good first step for . . . such type of organizations to work on, or to consider.

Waheeda Rahman  of The Scarborough Hospital says,

It’s a great opportunity to get IEHPs to come in and actually work within a healthcare environment. It gives them an opportunity to see and observe, but also to participate in a meaningful way in supporting patients.

Encouraging and mentoring IEHP volunteers even before they start working means that IEHPs are better prepared once they are certified and ready to work, and have an appreciation for the organization that helped them along the way.

Self-Reflection: Volunteering

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