Patient advisors

You can pave the way for positive care experiences for future patients

Advisory board2The Patient and Family Advisory Board is a group represented by both patient advisors and Cancer Center staff that meets monthly with the goal to assure the delivery of the highest standard of patient-family centered care.

“Patients and their family members have an essential role in guiding the work we do at the Cancer Center and throughout the University of Michigan Health System,” says Karen Hammelef, D.N.P., R.N., director of Cancer Center Patient and Family Support Services and cochair of the PFAB. “This partnership Continue reading

Heart transplant recovery brings deeper commitment

Bonnie Davis shares couple's story

Ralph Davis

Ralph Davis swam competitively again a year after his heart transplant.

In yesterday’s post we highlighted Bonnie Davis’ commitment to the Patient and Family Advisory Committee at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center, which she became involved in after her husband Ralph’s heart transplant recovery. Today we feature Bonnie and Ralph’s full story, as told by Bonnie.

Bonnie and Ralph’s story

My husband Ralph and I share the same story. He remembers very little of it, while I remember everything. The memories are vivid because of the intensity of emotion attached to it.

Continue reading

Wife of heart transplant patient tells couple’s story

Patient and Family Centered Care Spotlight: Ralph and Bonnie Davis

Bonnie Davis

Bonnie Davis became a Patient and Family Centered Care Advisory Committee member after her husband Ralph received a heart transplant at the University of Michigan.

If you have ever been a patient or caregiver, then you’ve probably been faced with the uncertainty that comes with medical terminology and procedure. In fact, it might have seemed like your doctor barely discussed your surgery with you or didn’t allow time for your family to ask questions about your options. For most patients and family members, this makes the medical process rather intimidating.

Fortunately, healthcare is moving away from this patient-directed approach and shifting toward a patient-centric model. Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) is a healthcare approach that works to remove the barriers between medical professional and medical patient by truly valuing the concerns, opinions and voices of patients and their families.

The “Nothing about me, without me” slogan has been recently introduced as the guiding principle for patient-centered care at the University of Michigan, where PFCC programs act as forums for patients and families to share their personal experiences with faculty and staff. Additionally, the University of Michigan Health System has established numerous Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) throughout hospital departments. Bonnie Davis, on behalf of her husband, Ralph, has served on the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center Patient and Family Centered Care Advisory Committee for more than three years. Keep reading to learn about the Davis’ story, as told by Bonnie Davis.

Continue reading

Turning blank spaces into healing places

New “Healing Wall” project provides distraction for patients

One of the new healing murals being installed in C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

One of the new “healing murals” being installed in C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

A visit to the hospital is hardly on the list of fun things to do — especially if you’re a kid. Many parents – myself included – have noticed a lack of distractions available for the children who were waiting to see a doctor or have a procedure. I’m sure I am not the first person to have wondered — wouldn’t it be nice to use some of the big, open walls in the new hospital to create something that would be visually interesting for all visitors and something what would engage the children while they wait?

I took my idea to the Mott Patient and Family Centered Care advisory group where the idea was refined with the input of the Mott families and staff. Together, we decided that a mural was a great way to make use of wall space that was currently blank. We discovered an amazing Michigan-based artist, Tracy Leigh Fisher, who had created murals in other hospitals as well as individual homes.

Continue reading

Cardiac rehab program exceeds expectations

Patient Bob Stephens: "They really cared about my well being"

Bob Stephens

“I can’t give the program a high enough rating,” says patient Bob Stephens of the U-M Preventive Cardiology Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Domino’s Farms.

Bob Stephens thought he knew what he was in for when he began the Preventive Cardiology Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Domino’s Farms, part of the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center. After all, he was no stranger to rehab, having suffered a heart attack years before the stroke he endured in 2012. But the 69-year-old grandfather of five found a completely different kind of rehab facility when he became involved with the U-M program.

“It was a wonderful experience,” he says, noting that his prior rehab facility didn’t come close to the University of Michigan’s program. “The staff at U-M really cared about me — about my well-being. The equipment was taken care of and I was monitored all the time when using it. I can’t give the program a high enough rating,” Bob says.

Continue reading

Making a difference for children on the autism spectrum

Patient and family centered care in action

The Safety & Security team at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital created "Coping Kits" to help children with autism better cope with their hospital experience.

“Coping Kits” help children with autism adjust to the sensory experience of being at the hospital.

A visit to the doctor can cause anxiety for any child, but for a child on the autism spectrum, it can be especially challenging.

Sometimes a child’s anxiety can build to a point where it becomes problematic for the care team to do their jobs. Those of us in the security team at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital started to see this happening more and more frequently. We’d get phone calls from clinicians asking for help with a developmentally delayed patient. We quickly realized that the way we might typically approach a patient was not effective in working with children on the autism spectrum.

We heard time and time again that some of these children had been denied care at other facilities because their behavior – which of course stemmed from the anxiety the environment around them triggered – made it too challenging for the clinicians to deliver care. We wanted to see how we could help ease their anxiety and make the experience more positive for everyone, so we started researching autism and ways to better respond.

Continue reading