Laura Bennett started as a patient partner with BC Renal in 2019. To date, she's been part of a focus group, a key patient engagement working group, a number of our committees and our BC Kidney Days (BCKD) education event:
- Past roles:
- Co-chair, BC Renal Patient & Family Engagement Framework Working Group
- Member, BCKD 2020 Planning Committee
- Panelist, BCKD 2020
- Current roles:
- Member, BC Renal Patient & Family Engagement Advisory Committee
- Member, BC Renal Core Committee
- Member, BC Renal Executive Committee
Laura is also part of quality improvement and research activities outside of BC Renal, for example, as a member of the Patient Voices Network Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group. As a patient partner, she was listed as one of the co-authors on a research paper that was an interprovincial effort. Laura is involved in two other research groups; at the time of our interview, one group was waiting on ethics approval and the other had submitted its finished proposal in April, 2021.
We are very grateful Laura has taken time and interest in being involved with BC Renal. Recently, we connected with her to learn about her thoughts on volunteering as a patient partner and a bit about what she enjoys doing outside of this work:
Prince George is the largest municipality that I have ever lived in; I grew up in smaller places such as 100 Mile House and Williams Lake. This makes an impact because I can bring insight about rural care, traveling for care, and how our health authority presents unique challenges.
Also, as a person with First Nations heritage, I sometimes share my perspective from that point of view to offer a different experience for people to consider.
The pandemic shifted many activities from in-person to virtual interactions. I found it a strain to attend multiple Zoom meetings in a day or week for various activities in my life. I had an opportunity to share this challenge with one of my BC Renal colleagues who was supportive and provided me with tips on how to mitigate 'Zoom fatigue' and ways in which to vary my involvement.
It would be the way I have been treated with respect and feel like the other committee members are actively listening to what I have to contribute.
I have felt valued and believe I am making a difference. On top of that, BC Renal's Helen Chiu and Brenda Lee, who provide patient engagement support, are incredible to work with.
I want to know that the patient partners continue to feel respected, welcomed, and valuable.
I would like more representation from the hardly reached populations.
I want to believe that all due considerations are taken when ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Spending time with my family is my favourite way to relax. I have two grown sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, three grandsons and some extended family. My other interests include: reading, writing, singing, acting, directing, boards games, and giving my tuxedo cat (Max) the snuggles he needs.
We extend a big thank you to Laura for her contributions to BC Renal to date and for sharing her experiences and thoughts with us for this profile!