Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is seeking applications from community members who have been a patient or a family member of a patient at either of the hospitals and want to partner with MAHC to improve the care experience.
Since 2017, MAHC has had a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) that provides the organization with advice and recommendations on matters where the patient perspective is vital to advancing person-centered care. To strengthen the patient voice across MAHC, the goal is to embed Patient Experience Partners throughout the organization in ways that best match their interests, experience and availability, such as participating on key standing committees or focus groups, helping to develop patient- and family-oriented education material and surveying, and participating in hiring interviews for staff.
“Patients and their family members provide tremendous firsthand experience and feedback that is important to ensuring we are always providing care that is centered on those we serve,” says Interim President & CEO Vickie Kaminski. “Patient Experience Partners should be passionate about enriching the health care experience for others and share ideas and information about experiences at MAHC to help advance programs, services and hospital priorities.”
Patient Experience Partners come from different walks of life and pockets of Muskoka, but all want to positively influence other patient and family experiences.
Introducing Tammy Purvis, an inaugural member of MAHC’s PFAC since 2017. Tammy applied because she and her family have used the hospital over the years, and felt it was important to be part of a council that would hear her voice and learn from her experiences while fostering partnerships with health care professionals.
“Being with like-minded people who are sharing ideas and suggestions to make a difference in the quality of care that patients and families are receiving is the most rewarding part of being a Patient Experience Partner,” says Tammy. “It is so rewarding to know that you are part of something that is making a difference in our community’s health care.”
Meet Emily Carty, who has been on MAHC’s PFAC since 2019 and also serves on the Obstetrics Committee and the Workplace Violence Committee.
“As a child and youth care practitioner I have supported many youth who have accessed and received services from the Huntsville site,” says Emily. More recently, Emily spent time as a patient at the South Muskoka site to give birth to her children and says the most rewarding part about being a Patient Experience Partner at MAHC is knowing that her generation has a patient voice in the mix.
“With my children and parents needing care from the hospital I am experiencing services from both ends of the spectrum,” says Emily.
Jan Kindy is a newer member of MAHC’s PFAC and says her decision to become a Patient Experience Partner came after her father’s lengthy hospital stay.
“It was during this time I was able to see how important the patient, family and hospital connection was. I can imagine this being positive in many ways… working with others to add value to the patient experience,” says Jan.
John Lock had a 36-year career with Toronto Paramedic Services and was fortunate to serve on numerous hospital committees in the GTA, and around the province. He felt MAHC’s PFAC would allow him to combine his own patient experience with his past professional and committee involvement to give back to his community.
“My wife and I have been patients of MAHC numerous times over the past couple of years, and we have both commented that we have never experienced the exceptional care that we have experienced at MAHC,” says John. “The compassion, the welcoming atmosphere and the exceptional care begins at the door of the hospital and continues through the experience. We are blessed and very fortunate to have such a great team at MAHC.”
Valerie Pimentel worked in health care for over 40 years. Since retiring from the industry, she wanted to continue her strong passion to ensure that quality patient care is delivered to all, and offer her commitment by being an active member of MAHC’s PFAC.
“I have been a patient in hospital myself, as well as my husband, children, and parents,” says Valerie. “I live and cottaged in Muskoka since childhood, therefore, I believe I have a lot to offer and to give back to this very important committee.”
Since becoming a member of PFAC in 2019, Valerie has seen the council evolve and develop. She is currently the co-chair.
“We are emerging onto many hospital committees and actively participating and are able to bring the patient’s voice and perspective into these meetings,” says Valerie. “We also have a voice in the development of policies and procedures and routines that are focused on patient care delivery, thus allowing us to further ensure the patient’s voice is heard.”
If you have been a patient at MAHC or a family member of a patient at MAHC in the last two years and want to partner with MAHC to improve the care experience, visit www.mahc.ca/PEPapplication/ to learn more about becoming a Patient Experience Partner.
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