The Burnaby Hospital planning committee is moving forward, with dates now set for public consultations starting in late June and running till September.
Pamela Gardner, citizen chair with the committee, told the NOW that they're hoping to make the process as open and accessible as possible to help them gather a diverse set of ideas and opinions.
"It's wide open," she said. "Somebody said, 'Twelve people (on the committee) isn't enough,' and it's not - we need more ideas and suggestions and opinions. That's why we want everybody's input."
Gardner said they've been using social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, to start spreading the word and interacting with the community.
They've also begun a poster campaign and are about to roll out a T-shirt campaign.
"If we want to hear from everybody, we have to reach out, so that's what we're doing."
She said they've already received a handful of submissions with a variety of themes - for example, one individual dropped off a computer disk detailing his experiences with a hospital in another country, while another resident raised the point that Burnaby has some of the highest concentrations of refugee populations in the country who may have unique medical needs.
"We're not decision-making at this point - we just want to build the puzzle so we can send Fraser Health the information," she said, adding that no one should feel their ideas, questions or opinions aren't important. "Sometimes it's the minuscule stuff that can turn on a light."
People can send in submissions by email or set up a time to make a presentation at the public consultations.
Gardner said those sessions must be pre-booked and will be 15 minutes each - 10 minutes for a presentation by the individual, followed by five minutes for questions.
Those sessions will be open to the public to watch and will be held at central locations alternating between North Burnaby, South Burnaby and Central Burnaby.
Those locations are still being determined, but Gardner said they're keeping public transit and easy access in mind as they plan.
"We really want people to come and engage - they can make a presentation or they can come and observe."
Gardner, who owns Burnaby Orthopaedic, was named as citizen chair of the committee by Health Minister Mike de Jong in late April.
De Jong announced at that time that the committee was being struck as the first stage of a master planning process to look at the future of Burnaby Hospital.
The committee is expected to come back with an initial report in the fall.
Dates for the public consultation sessions will be June 28, from 4 to 7 p.m.; July 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; July 19 from 4 to 7 p.m.; July 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Aug. 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.; Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sept. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m.; and Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The final date for written submissions to the committee is Friday, Sept. 7.
Email mybbyhospital@ hotmail.com to reserve a date and time to make a presentation, or to send in a written submission.