Patient Advisory Councils
Heart failure. Stroke. Organ transplant. Cancer. Mental Illness. These are the names of diseases, not people. For too long the medical industry has failed to fully embrace the human side of medicine. At Strong Memorial Hospital, we’re doing everything we can to reverse that trend. We recognize that each patient has a personal story, and truly understanding that story is equally as important as the medical expertise we provide. That’s why working collaboratively with patients and families is at the essence of everything we do. It drives our compassion and fuels our efforts to pursue the highest order of innovation, science, and technology.
An Asset and a Resource
We do more than recognize patients and families, we learn from them. After all, who could possibly understand the patient and family experience better than patients and families? These are our customers and their voices are a valuable resource for keeping the patient perspective at the center of our quality improvement efforts.
Strong Memorial Hospital’s Patient Advisory Council, or PAC, unifies this resource. PAC is a group of Strong Memorial patients, family, and staff members who act as advisors assisting the hospital by engaging in a productive dialogue, providing feedback on satisfaction initiatives, and identifying areas for improvement and development.
Shaping the Future of the Patient and Family Experience
Members of the Patient Advisory Council are volunteers. Their experiences and collective efforts are humanizing medicine and allowing patients and families to participate as a solution to an array of patient concerns and needs. Chances are you can relate to one of their stories. Consider it for a moment; don’t you have one of your own?
Strong Memorial Hospital’s PAC members currently include:
- Amanda – Amanda is a brain surgery survivor whose medical experiences have made her a passionate patient advocate. While recovering from her surgeries, Amanda has involved herself with a number of creative-minded volunteer projects. She is particularly interested in bringing more compassion and awareness to patients and their families throughout all forms of hospital communication.
- Beryl – Now widowed, Beryl gained a lot of experience while her husband was treated at Strong for many chronic medical problems over a 20-year period.
- Deb – Deb’s husband was a liver recipient nine years ago. She is an active volunteer at the hospital and a retired dental hygienist.
- Karen – Karen is both a medical practitioner and a patient family member. Her father was admitted and unexpectedly passed away. Today, Karen is an advocate for better communication between families and the medical staff.
- Kathy – Kathy’s professional expertise was in the field of communications. Today she applies her skill to improving the dialogue and mutual interaction between URMC staff and their patients; including herself and her family members.
- Maria – Motivated by her role as a health care consumer, which included spending three weeks in the hospital, Maria is an active advocate for patient and consumer rights with special attention to behavioral health. She focuses on improving all aspects of the patient experience including the various steps of admission and post-discharge activities.
- Mark – At the young age of 44, Mark spent three months in the hospital and emerged having survived an aortic dissection, stroke, and leg amputation.
- Mary – As a University of Rochester nursing graduate, Mary’s efforts for patient advocacy were intensified when she went through the hospital experience as a family member when her husband received a heart valve transplant.
- Michelle – Michelle is Mark’s wife and works closely with doctors and nurses sharing her expertise as a family member and primary support person.
- Neil – Neil is a cancer survivor and patient advocate.
- Paula – A year after starting work as a receptionist for Strong’s Social Work and Patient Services Department, Paula’s college-aged son suffered a severe brain injury and was a patient for many weeks. Her experience has helped her better understand the needs of patients and families.
- Rose-Marie – A cancer survivor herself, Rose-Marie was widowed when her husband, a URMC Professor of Medicine, died of a brain tumor. She is especially focused on communications among doctors, patients, and family members.
- Sue – Sue spent a lot of time in the Pediatric Units as one of her daughters was born with developmental issues, and her other daughter was born with a rare brain disorder. She channels her energy into fostering good working relationships between family members, patients, and doctors.
Would You Like to Make a Difference?
If you want to turn your patient, family, or medical experience into a solution that will help others, Strong’s Patient Advisory Council may be right for you. For more information, please call the Office of The Strong Commitment at (585) 275-8794.
Other URMC Patient Advisory Councils