Submitted by Amanda Falcone, Middlesex Health
(April 29, 2022)—-The Middlesex Health Patient and Family Advisory Council is celebrating 10 years of service to the patients and families cared for by Middlesex Health.
Council members include patients and their family members, caregivers and health system staff. Their mission is to collaborate with Middlesex Health on opportunities to achieve the highest-quality, safest and most respectful and compassionate care. The Council’s goals are to improve the patient and family experience; promote patient and family-centered care; to strengthen communication and collaboration between patients and their families and the health system; to educate patients and their families about the importance of taking responsibility for their own health and health care; and to provide input for achieving the highest level of patient safety.
“We are fortunate to have a dedicated and active Patient and Family Advisory Council,” says Dr. David Cosentino, Middlesex Health’s chief medical officer and vice president of quality and patient safety. “These volunteers take time out of their busy lives to help make Middlesex a better place.”
Over the past decade, the Patient and Family Advisory Council has contributed positively to Middlesex. For example, it created checklists to help hospital patients know what to expect during their stay, collaborated with hospital staff to design patient-friendly hospital room white boards, and supported the implementation of a uniform policy that requires Middlesex staff members to wear a specific color uniform based on their department. This helps patients better identify who is caring for them.
Most recently, the Patient Family Advisory Council installed a plaque recognizing Middlesex Health’s staff for their bravery, compassion and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a COVID-19 Memorial Garden, located across from Middlesex Hospital’s main entrance, was created thanks to the Council’s efforts. About 300 daffodil bulbs were planted last fall for Middlesex Hospital patients who died from COVID-19; others were planted in memory of those who died from COVID-19 and were loved ones of Middlesex Health employees. These daffodils are now blooming and on April 26, 2022, served as the backdrop at a ceremony as the Patient and Family Advisory Council was recognized by local, state and health system leaders for its contributions to the health system.
“We all came to the Patient and Family Advisory Council for our own individual reasons, but are grounded as one cohesive group by our passion for Middlesex Health,” says Sheila Daniels, a Middletown resident and co-chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council. “We are a diverse group with one collective voice that speaks up for all of the patients and families served under the Middlesex Health umbrella. We feel fortunate and grateful for the seat we are allowed on this Council and appreciate the value Middlesex Health sees in our work. We look forward to continuing our service for years to come.”