What was your reaction when you first learned about the fellowship fund?
I was incredibly humbled and very personally touched. It was given to me as a surprise at a reception the Frankel Cardiovascular Center (FCVC) directors held after I received two recent national awards [2015 The Healthcare Executive of the Year Award and the Chairman’s Vanguard Award, both from the American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA)]. As Mr. Frankel gave me the fellowship, he noted that it would connect our families forever, which was so meaningful for me.
Back in 2006, when we were in the midst of opening the new CVC, some people had gone to the national IPFCC conference in Dearborn. They came back really excited and said I should explore this further. However, we were so busy opening the CVC and planning the operations, that it wasn’t until 2009 when I attended my first IPFCC conference in Boston and I was hooked. I could see where we needed to go. It transformed the way I thought about health care and gave me a whole new patient and family perspective. In fact, it rekindled for me the reasons I went into healthcare in the first place. The next year, with philanthropic support we took 26 physicians, nurses, and administrators to the IPFCC conference in Minnesota and came back with 12 action plans, energized to make a real difference.
Were there specific patient- and family -entered initiatives that were taken into consideration when you were honored?
One, I believe, was that we were able to bring the national IPFCC conference to UM in 2012 with significant development funding support which provided supplemental registration for over 250 UM staff and faculty, patients and family members. Mr. Frankel attended this event and was so pleased to see our commitment to PFCC and with an event of over 450 individuals across the State of Michigan, the significant presence of UMHS. Efforts within the FCVC have included bedside rounding, shift-to-shift nursing bedside report, restructuring cardiac rehab, and forming our PFSAC committee who frequently go on Gembas and query patients and families to provide insight into healthcare initiatives, projects, and plans.
What are your top two or three patient- and family-centered goals for the next year at the CVC?
Given the success of our bedside rounding video, championed by Dr. Kim Eagle, I would love to create a video on nursing shift-to-shift report and how our staff engages with the patients and families during care handoffs. I would also like to work on the transitions across the healthcare venues especially discharge to home – how can we make that more patient-centered? We need to involve patients and families in every aspect of how we deliver care.
What drives your passion for PFCC? Did you have a personal experience that impacted your work?
I was a nurse’s aide when I was 15 and I loved helping people, especially those who were sick and needed our care. As I grew older, I realized how tough it is to be a physician or nurse, but I wanted a position where I could support those incredible people who were better suited as care providers and address barriers to make the system stronger. From my earliest experiences in health care, I saw opportunities where efforts could be improved. There have been incredible advances in the world related to communication and technology and a greater focus on service. So why has health care not kept up? We know it could be better. We need the voice of the patient and family members to help us redefine health care so that we deliver what they truly need, eliminate waste and redundancy and meet them where they are so they can have the best experience and improve their health.
What type of work do you hope this fund will support?
The fund is for an administrative fellow. Our goal is to start with a summer fellow in 2016 and increase the length of the fellowship as the fund grows. The fund will be used to provide support for fellows, research assistants, students and/or trainees in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. The fellows who come to the FCVC will learn first-hand how care can be delivered in a patient- and family-centered way.
Here at the FCVC, we are focused on our core values and our mission to deliver superior compassionate patient- and family-centered care. We hope the fellows will carry that forward and do more by learning in an environment that is PFCC focused.