Rita Wiebe comes to us, as a Patient Partner from a small city in Northern BC. Prince George BC is what she has called home for her entire life. With a background in “real-life, citizen centred” outreach, brings a Patient partner lens to rural communities and cities, so prevalent in our great Nation.
Her post secondary education also includes many facets of communication, social and media relations.
She is no stranger to writing content for blogs, media releases and websites and especially enjoys being able to apply that “plain language” humanistic approach!
She has been a Patient Partner in various capacities for the past decade, starting with Patient Voices Network in BC. She has held engagements with the BC Cancer Agency, has worked on a couple engagements with a cancer researcher from Eastern Canada, is part of the BC Support Unit Patient Council and others.
Rita became serious about the “Citizen approach” to Patient Engagement about two years ago, after the death of her son from pancreatic cancer. The passing was with assistance from the MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) program. At that time, it was within the first 1000 cases since legalization in Canada.
Her journey as a team caregiver created a painful awareness of the need for a more humanizing lens for patients and families, which continues to fuel her passion. Her other passion lies with the 45-64 age demographic in terms of living a purposeful, engaged life for as long as possible. She reminds us that the ages of 45-64 is the best time to intentionally unlearn bad habits and replace with healthier ones.
This preventative, holistic (body, mind & spirit) approach has gained more traction since COVID. The healthcare decision makers seem to recognize the importance of going into the 65+ years with less health concerns. From the Citizen (patient) perspective, she knows the importance of the “whole person approach” to wellness!