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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June 2019 Edition
Dr. Michael Leaker - President's Excellence Award
Dr. Michael Leaker, a physician at Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH), has received this year’s President’s Excellent Award for Outstanding Achievement in Patient and Family Centred Care. In collaboration with many different healthcare providers, he led the work of developing a multidisciplinary care clinic at ACH for pediatric hemoglobinopathy patients and families. This new approach has not only improved the care experience for patients and families but has also had a significant positive impact for staff.

Our PFCC team had the pleasure to interview with Dr. Leaker and he shared the following responses to our questions.

1.     What does Patient and Family Centred Care mean to you?
When you can’t change the patient’s illness, it is about trying to make the process to best manage the illness as smooth and as comfortable as one can for both the patient and family.

2.      What was your biggest challenge with this project?
Coordinating all the different pieces into one single appointment care experience. There are a lot of healthcare providers involved in the care of these patients, including technicians from Foothills where patients previously had to complete tests. The Nurse Coordinators of all the different clinics were key to helping bring everyone together.

3.      What contributed to your success with this project?
Team work demonstrated by everyone involved. It was well recognized by everyone the value in moving towards this care model for these patients.

4.      What message do you have for other healthcare teams wanting to make a change in their practice area?
Just try it, you don’t know until you try and it could be easier than you think.

For more information about this project, and the other two recipients of the President’s Excellence Award in Patient and Family Centred Care, click here.
"What Matters to You?" Day
Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) joined other hospitals across Alberta, Canada, and the world in celebrating What Matters to You? Day on June 6th. We had 47 patients and families and 10 staff members fill out postcards and coloring sheets in the cafeteria about what mattered to them. Coloring sheets and crayons were also distributed to inpatient units and outpatient clinics throughout the hospital. Conversations were had with patients, families, caregivers, healthcare provides, and AHC staff about what matters to them and how to start that conversation.

Some of the major themes that emerged in the responses were kindness, empathy, compassion, support, listening, seeing the person and not their diagnosis, feeling heard and acknowledged, and being included as part of the healthcare team for their child. Thank you to everyone participated. We look forward to embedding this dialogue in our everyday actions and practices.
In the Spotlight - Philip Behman - Retirement Wishes
Earlier this month, we bid farewell to Philip Behman, Spiritual Care Provider, when he retired from Alberta Children’s Hospital after spending twenty years serving pediatric patients, their families and staff.

On his last day, Philip, delivered a moving presentation, Labyrinths, Mazes and Miracles: 20 Years of ’Soul” Care’ at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, to a theatre full of colleagues, family and friends. Although many people know Philip, and his former colleague Marcel Leffelaar, for their informal Friday musical bedside and hallway performances that inspired smiles and conversations, the rest of his week was spent supporting more challenging situations and experiences where he helped families and staff cope with pain and suffering.

Philip shared two actions that he took to help him provide this support - loitering with intent and divine interruption. Many in the audience could relate to these subtle, yet effective approaches and will remember walking away from conversations with him a little lighter and our hearts a little fuller, regardless of our spiritual and/or religious affiliation.

Without question, Philip will be greatly missed by many patients, families, and staff who have benefited from his work as ACH’s Spiritual Care Provider. We wish him all the best as he moves into a new chapter of his life!  
Remembering Nicole
We were saddened by the news of the passing of Nicole Wuetherick, a former ACH patient and member of our Youth Transition Patient and Family Advisory Council. Her mother, Sherri, was previously a staff member on the ACH PFCC Team and served for many years as a family advisor at ACH. Her sister, Rachel, was a former CAYAC member.

Nicole was remembered at a beautiful Celebration of Life on June 10th. We were reminded of her enthusiasm, sense of humour, love of talking and socializing with others, and her passion for music, She showed us all how to be resilient and strong in the face of adversity. In her words: I am Strong, I am Brave, I am a Fighter, I got this!
Self Reflection - A Learning Tool for Patients, Families, and Staff
Self-reflection is a useful learning tool that can be used by patients, families, and staff to learn from one’s mistakes and negative experiences to avoid repeating them. It can also be a useful tool to use for positive experiences to identify what worked so these thoughts and behaviours can be used again in another situation. It is recognized that it is not always an easy or comfortable process but it is an important practice that will contribute to better quality care and partnerships.

Koshy, Limb, Gundogan, Whitehurst and Jafree (2017) outline the steps to take when reflecting:
  1. Think about the situation – what, where and who?
  2. How did it make you feel – your emotional state?
  3. Why did it happen the way it did – making sense of the situation?
  4. Critical review – could you have done anything different or what would you like to keep doing?
  5. What will you do differently (or the same) in the future?

It can also be helpful to obtain peer or managerial support in reviewing your reflections for the purpose of further growth and development. We encourage you to reflect on a conversation or interaction you had recently for the purpose of learning and enhancing your ability to provide or receive care.