VEQ and CHSSN Launch Health Passport App 1.0

VEQ and CHSSN Launch Health Passport App 1.0

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

Quebec City (September 10, 2015) Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ) and CHSSN (Community Health and Social Services Network) are proud to launch the “When Language Matters” Health Passport App (version 1.0).

The Health Passport App 1.0 is designed to help individuals and families keep track of essential health information on their smart phone, tablet or home computer; it also provides a useful guide to words and phrases in French to let patients and caregivers interact more effectively with French-speaking health care providers.

“CHSSN has always focused on improving access to health and social services in English in Quebec,” explains Jennifer Johnson, CHSSN’s Executive Director. “The Health Passport App 1.0 brings the power and convenience of smart phones, tablets and online technologies to the existing approach of hard-copy health passports that has been very successful for our community-based networks.”

The App lets a user store, edit, and update essential medical contacts as well as personal health history, medications, allergies and other essential health information in their smart phone, tablet, or computer. It also allows easy reference to an onboard vocabulary list developed specifically to assist communication between patients and medical professionals.

Pioneered by MCDC, the organization serving the English-speaking community of the Chaudière-Appalaches Region of Quebec, the “hard-copy” version of the Health Passport has since been adopted in several regions of Quebec and in Francophone communities in Newfoundland and Yukon. An enhanced version with extensive translation resources was developed by VEQ and Jeffery Hale Community Services in Quebec City.

CHSSN has now created an electronic version for use by English-speaking communities across Quebec. This work was made possible by the financial support of Health Canada and its Official Languages Support Program.

“This is a natural and exciting extension of a tool and an approach that works!” says Jean-Sebastien Jolin Gignac, outgoing Executive Director of VEQ. “We know that some people will need guidance on how to download and begin to use the Health Passport App as this kind of technology may be new to them. We are ready to assist and show them how useful it can be.” The App is available for download at veq.ca/hp

In fact, VEQ produced a Health Passport App video soon to be available on their website for those seeking a step-by-step tutorial that can be followed at each viewer’s pace. People are encouraged to drop by at Fall Fest to download the app onto their smart phone or tablet device with the hands-on assistance of VEQ staff and enter a contest to win a mini ipad!

The “When Language Matters” Health Passport App 1.0 is CHSSN’s first project in a new effort to harness digital technologies to enhance equitable access to services in English in Quebec. As part of the release, CHSSN will work with VEQ to actively gather user feedback to enhance the functionality of future versions of the App.

VEQ is an autonomous, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of a dynamic English-speaking community in the greater Quebec City region and to the promotion of its interests.

CHSSN is a network over 60 community resources, associations, foundations, public institutions and other stakeholders dedicated to creating partnerships that enhance health and social services for English-speaking communities in Quebec.

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