PFCC - Newsletter
You can learn about Patient and Family Centred Care activities at Alberta Children's Hospital by reading our monthly e-newsletter - Together We're Better. This newsletter will give you insight into Family Centred Care Initiatives, profile our Family Centred Care champions, and keep you up to date on upcoming education opportunities. Archived copies are available on the FCRC website.
To receive the newsletter via email, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the November edition of Together We're Better.
Family Bedside Orientation Pilot
Unit 3 is the site of an exciting pilot of Family Bedside Orientations. Once a week, a parent volunteer is visiting patient rooms and connecting with recently admitted families on the unit. They are providing information about the hospital, supports for families, and ways to partner with the healthcare team. The bonus is this information is provided by parents who have first hand experience with hospital admissions with their own child.
So far, the response has been positive. One parent told us: "There is a lot on parents minds while in the hospital so it was nice to have someone say 'here are some resources you may find helpful'. It's comforting."
Thanks to our Family to Family Connections volunteers, Sandi and Heather, for being the parent volunteers on this pilot which ends in mid-December. At that time we will gather all of the knowledge learned and make recommendations for future family bedside orientations.
To learn more, contact Marie McNaughton, 403-955-2456.
CAYAC is 10 Years Old!
Back in 2003, the Southern Alberta Child and Youth Health Network identified the need to engage youth in meaningful ways in the planning and delivery of child health programs and services. The former Health Regions and ACH were significant partners in that network and all nominated youth from around Southern Alberta to become members. These youth gathered for the first meeting of CAYAC - the Child and Youth Advisory Council - in the fall of 2003.
Ten years later, CAYAC, now under the umbrella of ACH, remains a thriving youth council. Currently there are 32 members, ages 13-21, from around Southern Alberta. They meet six times a year on Saturdays and provide their input for a wide range of child health related work. Over the years, the opinions of CAYAC members have influenced the building of the Alberta Children's Hospital, the design of child and youth programs,the development of publications and social media, and the creation of policies and procedures. As well, CAYAC has taught others how to engage youth and has provided a youth voice at conferences and events.
CAYAC members come from a variety of life and health experiences. Over time, they develop confidence in expressing their thoughts and ideas as well as build communication and leadership skills. This past year we connected with many of the CAYAC alumni and heard how CAYAC has influenced their life and career choices:
"I just finished my first year of medical school, a decision to pursue heavily due to my experiences with CAYAC. CAYAC showed me family centred care and that healing is much more than medicine. It is having a pet room so that patients see their dogs and cats during long hospital stays, bright interiors to mimic the sunshine for patients who can't venture outdoors and large Lego windows to make the building seem less like a hospital."
"Without CAYAC I don't think I would have been as aware of how I can impact the world just by making one person at a time feel more comfortable."
"CAYAC has influenced me by allowing me to think about issues from a different standpoint - for example, emphasizing child and family-centred care has led me to a greater interest in translational (moving from lab to clinic to practice) research."
Every month, we want to introduce you to some of the family members and staff involved with Patient and Family Centred Care initiatives at ACH.
This month, meet Sandi and Heather, who are the parent volunteers with the pilot Family Bedside Orientations.
Sandi Oelhaupl is an active mother of three children. Her 15 year old daughter's long and complicated medical journey since birth has led her down a path of engagement and advocacy. She has been a member of the previous Family Liaison Council at ACH, served as a parent representative for the Student Health Partnership, and volunteered for the Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association.
Sandi signed up as a Family to Family Connections volunteer when it started in 2007. She has since supported numerous families on their child health journey. This past year, she worked with the Parents as Partners working group to create the Parents as Partners tip sheets. All of this knowledge and experience is invaluable in her new role as a parent volunteer with the Family Bedside Orientation Pilot.
Always positive, Sandi shares some of what she she has learned over the years: "I have learned that although I support other families they always have something to teach and share with me. I have learned how to partner more effectively with my own child's healthcare team. I have learned how to be a better advocate. Along the way I have realized that without my child's complicated medical journey I would not have met and gotten to know a whole community of wonderful people."
Every two weeks for the past three years, Heather Caya, can be found at the Foothills NICU providing support and encouragement to families at Family Tea Time. This is one way she connects to families as part of her role as a Family to Family Connections volunteer. Heather can relate to parents in a NICU because she spent time there herself when her twin girls were born. She also has years of experience with medical treatments and hospital stays as a result of her one daughter's rare genetic condition.
Heather also helps healthcare professionals understand the family experience. She has spoken at conferences and served on hospital committees. As well, she co-facilitates training sessions for new Family to Family Connection volunteers. Her knowledge, experience, and passion for supporting families make her an ideal parent volunteer for the bedside orientations.
Heather is a busy, involved mother with a son and twin daughters. However, she always makes time for what she describes as her passion - helping other families deal with having a sick child. These families are the recipients of her genuine compassion and kindness. Heather describes some of what she has learned through this experience: "I have learned that no matter what condition the child has, the feelings and emotions and changes the family goes through often mirror each other. If I'm able to make a little bit of a difference and make somebody feel a bit better on that day, I'm doing what I want to do. Each time I volunteer it makes me go home and be so appreciative of what my daughter has become through all of her struggles".
We are very grateful and fortunate to be able to work with these skilled volunteers who help to ensure the Alberta Children's Hospital is truly Family Centred.
Thanks Sandi and Heather!
If you or anyone you know is interested in exploring becoming a family centred care volunteer, please contact us.
In This IssueBedside Orientation Pilot
CAYAC is 10 Years Old
FCC Rounds - Jan 31
My Health Passport Workshop
December 5 Webinar
Be Your Own Boss Workshop
Volunteers Wanted for ACH Family Guide Review
We are still looking for a couple more family members and staff to review a draft of the revised Alberta Children's Hospital Family Guide.
This guide features the amenities and supports available to families at ACH. It will be given to families when they come to the hospital.
We need your help to make sure it is complete and accessible.
Family Centred Care Rounds
Join us for a conversation on Patient and Family Centred Care.
Listening to experience and allowing ourselves to be reflective about our own practice and about our interactions is a powerful way to learn. FCC Rounds are set up to create an hour in which we can do this type of reflection.
Staff and family members are encouraged to attend. No sign-up is required.
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
ACH Auditorium, 4th floor
Family and Staff Presenters needed for Family Centred Care Rounds
We're looking for individuals who would like to share their experiences as a staff member or a family member. Each session focuses on a principle of Patient and Family Centred Care. Presenters discuss their experiences in a conversational style.
Workshop for Youth
My Health Passport
Create a customized, wallet sized card you can keep with all your medical information.
Open to youth ages 12 and up (parents welcome)
Wednesday, November 27
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Alberta Children's Hospital Room B4-228 (4th Floor)
For info or to register, contact Well on Your Way Youth Transition Program, 403-955-7252
The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care is presenting:
Applying Patient-and-Family-Centered Concepts in Dealing with Challenging Situations with Families
Staff and Families are invited to come and view it.
Thursday, December 5
11:00 a.m. - Noon
Room A2-905 (In FCRC)
Workshop for Youth
Be Your Own Boss
A program to help youth with a chronic health condition learn to manage their illness.
Open to youth ages 14-24
Wednesday evenings Feb 5, 2014- March 12, 2014
East Calgary Health Centre