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.

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February 2019 Edition
Hospital awarded prestigious ChildKind Certification

Alberta Children's Hospital has been awarded the prestigious ChildKind International designation for our hospital's strong commitment to children's comfort and pain relief. It joins nine other North American hospitals who have received  this designation. 
The hospital has a long-standing history of pain prevention, assessment and management which has recently become more formalized and woven into all aspects of our care through the Commitment to Comfort program. 
Commitment to Comfort has a mission to promote comfort and lessen distress for all children and families at the Alberta Children's Hospital. The program is centered around offering children and families five strategies with every painful or distressing procedure: 1) distraction (toys, ipads) 2) breastfeeding or sucrose (for infants less than a year old) 3) numbing cream (for all needle pokes) 4) positions of comfort 5) use of positive/coping language from healthcare providers and families.
As well, there is provider and family education and support such as surgery preparation and needle coping workshops, developing individualized comfort care plans, Child Life consults, and the use of our procedural sedation protocol when needed. 
Click here for more information about ChildKind. Click here to learn more about ACH's Commitment to Comfort program, or contact an ACH Child Life Specialist. 
Promoting comfort. Partnering together. Every time.
Presentation to the Beryl Institute global community!

Marie McNaughton, Family to Family Connections Coordinator, Deb Thul, Well on Your Way Youth in Transition Coordinator, and Adam Watson, Volunteer Peer Mentor and former ACH patient, have been given the opportunity to present to the Beryl Institute community on March 12th at 12:00 pm MST
The Beryl Institute is a global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge. They have over 55,000 members representing over 80 countries. 
Their presentation topic is Engaging Peer Mentors to Support Patients and Families in Transition. The webinar will discuss the use of volunteer peer mentors to support patients and families going through youth care transitions at the Alberta Children's Hospital, highlighting the use of peer mentors for one to one connections and the peer-led workshop "Teens Talk Transitions".

Beryl has extended complimentary webinar access for patients, families, and staff in our network. Click here to register and enter the code: PXPeerMentor during the checkout process.

Do you know a teen that has a chronic medical condition?

If so, we encourage you to let them know about our Teens Talk Transitions program available at Alberta Children's Hospital. 

It is a free four (4) week workshop to help youth ages 14-18 learn to manage their health condition in a fun and supportive environment with their peers.
Teens are encouraged to bring a similar aged peer along for support (this could be a sibling, friend, or cousin).

Date: Starts on Saturday, February 23rd
Time: 10:00 am to Noon
Location: Alberta Children's Hospital

PARENTS: We also have a program for parents that runs at the same time. 
To register contact Deb Thul at 403-955-7252 or email

In the Spotlight... Emma Folz 

It is with bittersweet emotions we say farewell to Emma Folz, an ACH Patient Care Manager for PICU, NICU, KidSIM, and RSV. Emma has been with ACH since 2005 and is known for her strong clinician and leadership skills. She is also a great champion of patient and family centred care (PFCC).
Emma shared some of her PFCC learnings: Engaging families in an inclusive and meaningful way provides golden nuggets of insights. Even better is during working groups with staff/ physicians /family advisors, when we each learn of each other's perspective, building further insight, trust and understanding. We have learned families see us one big team, one big system. As a result, the EFFECT team tag line "One Patient. One Team" will always resonate with me because of that work. 

would encourage all health care centers to form a Family Advisory Council, a group of passionate patients / families who have direct experience with the health care system and patient transitions... having this group at ACH 'on tap' once per month makes it much easier to access patients / families for this purpose... by making it easier, it's more likely that health care teams can access the patient and family voice."

We wish Emma all the best in her new position as Executive Director of Critical Care, Cardiac Sciences, Medicine and Respiratory Services at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary. All the best Emma - you will be missed by many patients, families, and staff!

Communication Tip for Staff!

The Teach Back technique is an effective way to ensure that a patient and/or family understand the information that has been discussed. It helps to reduce incorrect understandings and misapplication of information which can impact patient outcomes. Teach Back can be used in almost any interaction where information is being given, such as for diagnosis, medication, treatments or discharge instructions. 
It is best to frame the question in a way that places the communication responsibility back on the healthcare provider:  

We have covered a lot today and I want to make sure that I explained things clearly. Would you mind explaining to me... (what the next step is, what are some of the signs you need to watch for, etc.)
I want to make sure we are on the same page, could you explain to me...

Would you mind repeating back to me in your own words what you are taking away from this conversation, so I know if I was clear?
Quote of the Month 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has Margaret Mead

Learning Opportunities
Patient and Family Centred Care Grand Rounds
Family Presence: A Crucial Conversation
Thursday, February 28th from 12:00-1:00PM
At ACH you can view this presentation in B2-200

Come hear about research regarding family presence,
a patient story, and how to overcome challenges
related to family presence. All staff, volunteers, and
physicians are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, March 13th, 9:00AM MT
Dr. Robyn McQuaid will be presenting on:
Understanding the impact and pathways of intergenerational trauma and resiliency on the mental health and wellness of First Nations peoples in Canada

Click here for more information and to register.