Case Study


The Vancouver Division of Family Practice, a not for profit representing family doctors, engaged Public Assembly to develop a process to include the experiences and ideas of health consumers in the development of solutions, particularly on improving access to primary care.


A 10-week citizen engagement process, based on best practices and the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) spectrum of engagement, was developed with multiple goals achieved through three main channels for dialogue with citizens that would solicit feedback:

  • An online interactive survey that informed and learned from citizens with a focus on the suggested solutions offered by GPs and health authority staff and physicians.

  • An online conversation through social media and a website to involve citizens in a two-way dialogue.

  • An in-person series of 12 community “kitchen table” dialogues to capture insight from marginalized populations and others who are often outside of health care system conversation. 

The campaign engaged over 8,000 people on-line and over 200 in-person, including over 1,000 who completed the survey. The data gathered through the campaign provided several key insights into changes being contemplated by the client, including:

  • A better understanding of the priorities of citizens in relation to primary care, the highest of which are finding a family doctor (for everyone, not just themselves), and the relationship between a person and their family doctor.

  •  Identifying trade-offs and proactive efforts that patients are willing to make so that the primary care system has greater capacity and stronger clinical relationships.

  • Information that helped the client develop and successfully implement improvements in system capacity, including: 

    • Fine-tuning its initiatives to address the needs with particular attention to language, gender, age and length of residence in Vancouver.

    • harvesting community tested evidence to share with funders to help shape more efficient billing and fee codes.


Vancouver Division of Family Practice

Services Offered

Visioning, Public Engagement Strategy, Consultation, Planning, Design Thinking, Creative Convening.