Caring for Our Community

Community Advisory Council

Terms of Reference



Families and patients are partners with their health-care providers and are engaged in all aspects of their health care.


The purpose of LHSC’s Community Advisory Council is to provide community input and perspectives to inform LHSC planning and improve patient care experiences at LHSC. The council serves in an advisory capacity, making recommendations on matters that impact the experience of patients and families at LHSC. The CAC brings together individuals with a variety of experiences with LHSC:

    • To provide feedback on, and ideas for, initiatives and programs that enhance, ensure and embrace the model of patient-centred care;
    • To be a collaborative, positive and rational force for the enhancement of high-quality patient-centred care at LHSC; and
    • To advance patient engagement and patient-centred care principles and practices at LHSC.


The Community Advisory Council reports to the President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre.


The Community Advisory Council believes that the most effective advisory bodies include a mix of community members and LHSC staff and physicians to advance patient-centred care. The council is composed of the following:

    • A Co-Chair model by the end of the first year
    • A minimum of ten general (non-LHSC) members which may also include members from other patient advisory councils at LHSC
    • LHSC representatives whose roles help to enhance CAC activities

In order to ensure a balanced representation, at least 50% of the members of the CAC shall be family/patient/community representatives (i.e. not LHSC representatives).

The term for general members is two years, renewable for a maximum of 3 terms (6 years). Initial membership cycles and succession planning will be determined by the CAC such that rotations out and recruitment in will be balanced, representing no more than approximately one-third of the CAC in any given year.

A member may be asked to lead or participate in sub-committees for the CAC or may be called upon from time to time to participate on CAC-related projects.

Membership Selection

Candidates must complete an application form to apply for general membership on the Council. The application will be reviewed by the Co-Chairs to determine fit.

The candidate’s information will be shared with the CAC membership and, if accepted, the candidate will be confirmed by the Co-Chairs.


The initial Chair of the CAC will be LHSC’s President and CEO who will appoint a Co-Chair during the 2013 calendar year from the general members.

Subsequent co-chairs will be an LHSC representative and a general member as appointed by consensus or majority vote from the members of the CAC. The Co-Chairs will serve a minimum of two years, renewable for a maximum of 6 years. The Co-Chairs shall stagger their terms to ensure continuity of this leadership role.

The role of the Co-Chairs is to manage the meeting in a way that encourages open, honest and respectful dialogue among the members; to ensure that the purpose of the CAC is fulfilled through the CAC meetings; to collaborate with staff members to organize the agenda for each meeting; and, to represent the CAC as required.

Meeting Frequency

The CAC shall meet every other month or at the call of the Co-Chairs. A proposed meeting schedule will be presented at the last meeting of the calendar year for the next year.

If a CAC member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings they will be contacted by the Chair or designate to determine their commitment to continue or intent to resign.


Recording and distribution of meeting minutes is the responsibility of the support staff to the CAC. Minutes shall be distributed within ten working days after each meeting. The agenda for upcoming meetings will be distributed preferably at least seven business days before each meeting. The agenda will include a 10-minute break.

Communication and Reporting

At the discretion of the President and CEO, the Co-Chairs of the CAC may be invited to attend a meeting of the Board. Otherwise, CAC activities shall be reported through the regular President’s Report to the Board.


The Co-Chairs will determine if there is a sufficient attendance to conduct the meeting.

Decision Making

Consensus decision making is preferred and voting can be conducted to determine level of consensus.

Rules of the Road

The Rules of the Road are as follows and will be posted on each agenda.


  • Have FUN!
  • Ensure equal “air time”
  • Listen then speak – do not interrupt
  • Ask questions to seek clarification and to ensure sufficient dialogue
  • Turn phones off or to vibrate/ok to glance at
  • Invite different viewpoints
  • Do not use acronyms
  • Demonstrate mutual respect - no personal attacks
  • Start and end meetings on time


  • Recognize own assumptions and help other to surface theirs
  • Give voice to the “undiscussables”
  • Agree to have a “parking lot” for some items, discussion, etc.
  • Maintain confidentiality when requested
  • Be open to innovation/seek best practices everywhere
  • Do not think more money will automatically solve problems
  • Share personal experiences only in ways that others can learn from them
  • Always strive to be the best, improve outcomes and reduce pain and suffering

Council Purpose

  • Be ambassadors and champions for LHSC in the community
  • Link every effort to fostering and delivering a higher quality patient care delivery model