Frequently Asked Questions


What hospitals fall under the University Health Network (UHN)?

The University Health Network includes Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Rehab Institutes, and the Michener Institute.

Learn more about our hospitals

Patient Partner Program

We want to ensure that you focus on your health during your acute care journey, whether as an inpatient or going through active treatment. We encourage you to apply once you feel that you are living well in the community and have had a chance to reflect on your experiences.

Our team appreciates that the patient experience at any healthcare facility is invaluable to our learning and understanding of how to improve our organization. We welcome your application however preference will be given to UHN patients.

As Patient Partners work directly with staff on specific UHN initiatives, the time commitment for each partnership will vary. For instance, committee-work might require a time commitment of once per month, but a focus group will only require one specific date and time.

Most meetings are held during the day (8 am – 5 pm), however opportunities do arise for evening meetings or online work only.

The program commits to informing you of the time commitment for each specific initiative prior to partnering with that initiative.

Patients and caregivers can also participate through the Virtual Patient Focus Group. This group is an online forum to provide feedback and input through online surveys and questionnaires. For more information, please visit Virtual Patient Focus Group.

No, the majority of Patient Partner engagements take place virtually. For the most part, you will be using Microsoft Teams to join and participate in meetings using video and/or audio. Our team can help you download and access Microsoft Teams to ensure you are fully prepared to participate virtually.

Patient Partners are reimbursed for travel and supports needed when attending meetings at a UHN location ie. TTC, Wheeltrans, cabs, Uber, parking, meals when on-site for more than 4 hours, personal support workers and child-care.

At this time, the Patient Partner Program is not a peer-support or mentoring program. Patient Partners work directly with UHN staff only on hospital initiatives and quality improvement projects. Please visit Volunteer Resources for peer-mentoring opportunities.

Our team, together with UHN staff, is committed to sharing project outcomes with our Patient Partners. We are in the process of developing a formal feedback tool to ensure the engagement was meaningful and fulfilling for both our Patient Partners and the project.

If you are a UHN staff member, please visit the Intranet site for more information on the Patient Partner Program.

Virtual Patient Focus Group (VPFG)

When you join the group, you will need to provide the UHN site(s) you have had care, and your preferred e-mail address for receiving surveys.

  • Your email address will never be shared outside of our program
  • Surveys and questionnaires should never ask for your name or health information
    • Please do not voluntarily provide this information in your survey responses
  • All responses and suggestions collected will be combined and shared together, and identities will remain anonymous

Surveys and questions come from UHN staff, departments and programs who are initiating a change or improvement in their work, and are looking for patient feedback.

Questions will be related to UHN policies, procedures, priorities and projects. Examples: What do you think about open visiting hours at UHN? Are you interested to receive digital updates about your health? When thinking about your mental health care, what is most important to you?

Surveys are sent out approximately 12 to 14 times per year.

If you have questions about a survey that you received, please contact the Patient Partnerships team at Survey responses are not mandatory and you can choose which surveys you would like to respond to.

Last Updated: 21/02/2024​

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