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One year ago, Delta Health created its first-ever Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) where family members, caregivers, patients and healthcare employees could focus on a variety of hospital and patient/family-care initiatives.
Today, the group is composed of 10 members who have helped spearhead multiple projects and initiatives focused on improved patient care at Delta Health Hospital and its clinics.
“It has been amazing to see this council grow into what it is today,” said Richard Harding, Co-Chair of the Delta Health PFAC. “Everyone has come with ideas on how the healthcare system can be improved to better serve the community, and it has been a great way for us all to connect directly with hospital administration and healthcare staff at the hospital and clinics.”
The group has already spearheaded multiple projects and initiatives. One of which was suggesting that automatic door openers be added to the lobby bathrooms located in the main hospital building.
The Delta Health Foundation (DHF) is donating $3,800.00 to add the automatic doors to increase access for those with mobility impairments after PFAC recognized that the heavy wooden doors were difficult to pull open for many patients and family members coming to the hospital.
“The Foundation supports the services and people at Delta Health so when PFAC identified something that could be improved, the entire Board was excited to help,” said Darnell Place-Wise,DHF President.
Another project the group has been working on is the creation of sensory bags to help calm and comfort children. These bags will be for children who may be visiting the hospital as a patient or with their parent or guardian. The bags will include items like stuffed animals or books for different age groups to help ease and calm anxieties that can come from hospital visits.
PFAC is also in the planning stages to coordinate with Region 10 to develop presentations throughout the area in order to advise senior citizens on documents needed should they become incapacitated on what their wishes are.
The PFAC has two sub-committees to focus on these areas of patient service, satisfaction and safety as well as rural community outreach resources and education.
“When we created the three-year strategic plan for our organization, one of our measures of success was to improve patient experience engagement and satisfaction – the creation of our PFAC aligned perfectly with our goals,” said Matt Heyn, Delta Health President. “We want to remain in touch with the perspective of our patients and family members and want them to know that their voices and ideas will be heard. That is what makes this group so vital to our organization.”
PFAC meets the first Thursday of each month, with meetings alternating between noon meetings where the group gets to hear presentations from hospital staff and evening “working” meetings where the group dives into their special projects.
The PFAC has multiple goals to generate new program ideas, to enhance collaboration and cooperation and to improve the way that information is shared between patients, family and the Delta Health staff.
“Last year during the pandemic we saw it was a critical time to remain in touch with our community,” said Jacque Davis, Delta Health Director of Marketing/Communications/PR. “A group of Delta Health employees were appointed to the PFAC planning committee to help create bylaws, a charter and more. From there, the group began working on recruitment and we have been growing our membership ever since.”
A handful of hospital staff attend each PFAC meeting as non-voting members and are available to help answer any questions the group may have about hospital systems and more.
The group encourages any community members, patients, family, or caregivers who utilize Delta Health facilities to apply to join the Delta Health PFAC. To apply, fill out the general inquiry form located on the Delta Health website at deltahealthco.org/patient-and-family-advisory-council/. Those interested can also call 970.874.2291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.