Contributing to Health and Wellbeing
“I credit Quest as one of the main reasons for where I am now. I used to be homeless and suicidal and I didn’t have any ambition in life. I have an apartment now, I volunteer in the community, I have a purpose – Quest really gave me a reason to live, that’s the way I look at it.”
Jon was introduced to Quest through Start Me Up Niagara.
He remembers his Outreach Worker telling him “Quest often works with people in situations similar to yours; they are open-minded, flexible, and respectful.” Jon recalls “I didn’t have a doctor and I had just come from the streets. I was staying at the Salvation Army’s Booth Centre. My blood pressure was through the roof and I hadn’t had medication in over a month.”
Jon has been a client with Quest Community Health Centre for three and a half years now. During that time He has accessed nearly all of Quest’s services. “I’ve received primary care, dietitian services, outreach, chiro, and dental. I’m participating in counselling and I’m about to start Feet First because I have diabetes.” He adds “I’ve also done groups like Road to Empowerment, Craving Change and the Healthy You – Weight Management Program.”
Jon knows that Quest is about people helping people and communities helping communities. Those are features that make it really unique and effective. “Quest is filling a void in the health care system.” says Jon. “They’re helping people that have trouble getting help.” Jon also enjoys the overall Quest environment and culture. “I really connect with the Staff and actually enjoy it. I don’t have family involved in my life but I feel supported and cared for here.”
And, as far as Quest is concerned, Clients possess invaluable knowledge and expertise. As Jon sees it “A lot gets done as a result of Client Satisfaction and Feedback Surveys as well as the Client Advisory Committee.” Jon is about to start his 3rd year on the Advisory Committee. “We have provided Quest with advice on intake forms and website development, as well as overall Programs and Services.”
When asked about a key Quest feature that was influenced by the Advisory Committee, Jon responds pretty quickly — telephoning Quest. He observes “it gets pretty busy at Quest and in the past it was hard to get through when you called. Like if you forgot when your appointment was or if you needed to change the date or time and you called in, the line might be busy. That was frustrating. Also, the automated system wasn’t equipped for rotary phones, so you couldn’t select any options or opt to speak to a real person if you called from a rotary phone.”
The Advisory Committee raised the issues and brainstormed solutions. The result? Quest implemented a Call Reminder System that automatically calls Clients to notify them of upcoming appointments. “That helped a lot.” comments Jon. “Now you know when your appointment is and less people are calling in to confirm appointments, which opens up the phone lines. Quest also added an option to allow individuals calling from rotary phones to stay on the line to speak to someone. The response was great.”
The Committee’s Staff facilitators confirm this. “The Client Advisory Committee is immensely valuable here at Quest.” It really shows that we’re committed to Client-centered practice. It gives us an opportunity to ask our Clients, ‘how can we do better?’. The Committee shows our Clients that we care and that their voices and perspectives matter. It’s not always easy to know what should change if you’re personally delivering the service.”
Looking to the future, Jon has more suggestions to enhance Quest’s services. “I’ve really liked all the Groups I participated in, Quest always has a good variety. In the future I hope to see an All-Men’s Group. Those are hard to find. I think lots of guys like me would enjoy connecting together in a group like that.”
By way of summary, Jon’s final words say it best, “Quest Staff and Clients work together, and that’s why Quest can solve complex challenges. In my life, Quest has given me a purpose. I still have some struggles, but I can manage now. I feel valued and at home here. Quest saved my life. That’s a big thing for me to say.
– Jon at the 2015 Quest Annual General Meeting
*Since the 2015 Quest Annual General Meeting, Jon moved into a new role at Quest CHC. He is now the first client to be a part of the Quest CHC Board of Directors.