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11/19/2019 7:00 AM

#SuperSHIFTER Janet Bradshaw is the Project Coordinator supporting the work of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, a patient-led program of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.  Respectfully referred to as Mama Bear by her colleagues, Janet's passion, empathy, and creativity is what drives her to ensure the patient voice is heard in healthcare.

What can you tell us about your role at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute?

Janet Bradshaw (right) with Abisaac Saraga at a Patients for Patient Safety Canada meeting
Janet Bradshaw (right) with Abisaac Saraga at a Patients for Patient Safety Canada meeting

As a Project Coordinator, I have the privilege of supporting the Patients for Patient Safety Canada program; that is the major part of my job. When a request comes in for patient involvement, I match the patient members with the engagement opportunities to advance patient safety.  Last year, there were over 100 requests for patient volunteers to support patient safety and quality work. I support the Patients for Patient Safety Canada co-chairs and build relationships with all the volunteers. I am also fortunate to coordinate the in-person meetings for Patients for Patient Safety Canada. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Generally, there is no typical day. At the moment, a lot of my time is spent on planning and arranging logistics for the next Patients for Patient Safety Canada in-person meeting taking place in November.  I try and go above and beyond to bring a little extra to the table to let the patient members know how much they are appreciated. 

In my spare time, I am always busy creating something.  I do a lot of crafts and enjoy knitting and crocheting. In the past, I have made flower and maple leaf lapel pins as a way to give a little piece of myself to the patient members to take home with them. This year, I am making poppies for everyone as I feel it is an important way to honour the hours of volunteer time that the patient members have given to us.

What do you like most about working at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute?

The organization is so supportive and a great place to work. They ensure we have the skills that we need to do our job and that we are comfortable in our position.

I enjoy the people that I work with. We are a small team that does very important work and I feel we are making a difference. There is always a lot happening and everyone is so passionate about what they do. We are not here solely for the job; we are here because we believe in what we do. Everyone cares so much and wants to make the healthcare system safer.

What I enjoy most about my job is the interaction with patients and hearing their stories. Their stories are so touching and truly help to spread the word about the importance of patient involvement to advance safe care. Those stories inspire me too.

What are your hidden talents?

I am positive and look for the good in every situation. I like to bring people together and am always looking for ways to help people work together.  There is the Mama Bear side of me that is nurturing, and shows a lot of empathy and patience.

What is your proudest moment with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute?

I get a lot of fulfillment in doing a good job, keeping that spark alive and igniting the passion of the patient members in telling their stories. Every time I watch one of the patient videos, I am proud of the role that I played behind the scenes to help patients to share their experiences and make a difference to other patients and to the healthcare system.

With the launch of #ConquerSilence, the patient voice is one of the most important voices of this campaign. I have been working with the patients that are so brave in sharing their stories. Those stories are so powerful and help to get the message out.  I am proud that I have been able to lift them up and help them to find their voice and do their part in making the campaign successful.

What are your hopes for patient safety?

Family is very important to me. I have a large family, five children and seven grandchildren. I do the job that I do to ensure that they are safe too. In the next five years, I would like to see the healthcare system get safer and the public become more aware of the magnitude of the problem so that they can be vigilant and keep themselves safe.

Janet is celebrating her 5th Anniversary with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. To learn more about her work with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, email Janet at jbradshaw@cpsi-icsp.ca.