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 Join Our Mailing List.

JUNE 2022 Edition

Connect Care has Arrived

May 28th was the launch date of Connect Care at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Connect Care is a new way of using and sharing health information to improve care. It gives healthcare providers at AHS at its partners a central access point for more complete, up-to-date patient information and best practices. 

There's still lots to learn and adjustments to be made but we're already seeing some benefits for the patient and family experience. Dr. Vithya Gnanakumar talks about this from a physician perspective:

I love that all medical teams can contribute to the chart, and maintain the updated list of medical problems, surgeries, social history, allergies, and other important aspects of the chart. I love that I never again need to ask a patient if their immunizations are up to date- because detailed vaccination info is easy available in the Connect Care Chart. I take time to list all of my patients’ therapies (like physiotherapy or massage), medical equipment, and special funding in Connect Care, and will work hard to keep that part of the chart updated.

For the last several years I have worked hard to write the best medical notes I can, so the “next physician” (whoever that is) doesn’t need to ask a family to retell their story. Instead, that physician can use their appointment time to focus on the important medical issues that day. I think Connect Care does a great job of being “keeper of the medical record”, so physicians and families can spend more time focusing on the important issues for that visit.  

Dr. Vithya Gnanakumar, ACH Physiatrist

ACH 100th Anniversary - Did you know?

Did you know that the Alberta Children's Hospital has had a family advisory council since 1973? The original council is believed to be one of the first in North America. The first "family advisory committee" was formed to provide family input into an expansion of the hospital. The Council was a strong advocate for the expansion to include inpatient hospital services for all children requiring tertiary acute care. 

Future Councils would continue to influence the physical hospital. In the 1990s, they played a leadership role in preventing the closure of the children's hospital and in the 2000s, they provided significant input into the building of the current hospital. 

Beyond the building, the Councils provided a family perspective into the ongoing planning for and delivery of hospital services. Council members were invited to sit on various hospital committee and even had a seat at the hospital board table when it existed. Over the years, they influenced things like the establishment of Ronald McDonald House, the development of parent services, and the creation of parent comment cards. 

Our current Family Advisory Council meets monthly to consult on programs and services at ACH. We have over 25 members from a wide variety of health and life experiences. Contact us to learn more about the Council or other engagement opportunities. 

Save the Date - PFCC Week 2022 - October 3-7

We're excited to be planning our 11th Annual ACH Patient and Family Centred Care Week for October 3rd to 7th. This year we will celebrating the journey of Patient and Family Centred Care as part of the Alberta Children's Hospital 100th Year Celebrations. 

Plans include bringing back the popular staff challenge of decorating an object around the theme - this year it will be a cardboard 'suitcase' that will be available early September. Patients and families will be able to nominate staff champions who have been with them on their journey. 

More details will follow in early September. Let us know if you have any questions. 

Wanted - ACH Stories from the Past

For Patient and Family Centred Care Week, the PFCC team is looking for individuals who were either a patient or a caregiver of patient at one of the four hospital buildings that were used prior to moving to the current location. We want to share their stories and learn about the evolution of patient care during the 100-year history of the hospital.

Do you know someone who was a past patient or family member of a patient? Please ask your friends, your neighbors, the elders in your family if they would be willing to share about their experiences. 

Stories can be shared here or if preferred, email us to set up a conversation. 

Photo retrieved from the Glenbow Museum archives, c1920s, Nurse and patients, Junior Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta

2021/2022 Engagement in the Numbers

It was another year of virtual engagement for patient and family advisors and mentors at ACH. Over the 2021-22 year, we had 191 volunteers on the PFCC Network and together they contributed 1972 hours of volunteer time.

Our Councils sharpened their virtual meeting skills and more advisors joined committees and projects online. We helped to host 10 virtual focus groups throughout the year.  

Family to Family Connections peer mentors supported an increased number of families in one to one connections this past year. They also provided support in group settings such as ASD Diagnosis Sessions, NICU Building Connections, and Teens Talk Transition.

Click here for a full look at our Engagement in the Numbers Report. 

Advisors Wanted for the Fall

Do you know a patient or family member who would be great as an ACH advisor? Word of mouth is the most common way people find out about becoming involved.

We are looking for people to join our Network of advisors and/or one of our advisory councils - CAYAC (Child and Youth Advisory Council) or FAC (Family Advisory Council). 

We are especially looking for:

  • youth ages 12-16 who have ACH experience as a patient or sibling
  • youth and caregivers who live outside of Calgary (Red Deer South)
  • fathers for the Family Advisory Council

 Individuals interested can get more information on the FCRC website or by emailing the PFCC team. 

Summer Break

The ACH PFCC team wishes you a wonderful summer of relaxation and fun adventures. We'll be taking a break from the newsletter but will be back in September with lots of fall happenings. Please feel free to reach out to us at anytime.