Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children searches for new Patient Family Advisory Council members

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 8:38 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Right now, leaders with the Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children are trying to fill two spots in their Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Leaders say it’s an impactful program that allows patients and visitors to share their concerns and work with hospital officials to find solutions.

Here are their responsibilities:

  • Improve communication between patients, families and staff
  • Empower patients, families and staff through continuous education
  • Identify and address all aspects of patient and family needs (body, mind, spirit) throughout the hospital experience
  • Enhance cooperation among clinicians, patients and families for the benefit of the patient’s healthcare team
  • Protect the patient’s dignity and assure safety
  • Assure the best possible medical and emotional outcome for the patient and their family members
  • Participate in the development and planning of patient and family satisfaction initiatives, new facilities and facility renovations

Many advisory councils were dormant when the coronavirus first hit the United States in March 2020, but they’re getting back to normal now.

Huntsville Hospital’s director of patient experience and advocacy, Pat Jackson, says the groups are becoming an integral part of the hospital.

“They are the voice of the patient,” says Jackson. “They come in, they talk, they’re very candid. They’re not afraid and we have to ensure that we’re listening.”

Chief Nursing Officer Arin Zapf says they want a diverse representation of their patients in every single one of their groups. She says they want diversity in several areas like experience, employment, race and more.

The Women and Children PFAC leaders are searching for someone with experience in their hospital’s delivery room.

Zapf says they want as many perspectives as possible in the PFAC.

“We gain valuable information, insight and perspective from our PFAC council,” says Zapf. “Our clinical team and the nursing team work with our council on various projects: education materials we’ve worked on, redesign projects. Just seeing it through the eyes of the patient or customer or visitor is very helpful.”

The Women and Children’s PFAC is a two-year commitment. It meets every other month. You can fill out an application here, they are accepted on a rolling basis.

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