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  • Our Family Advisory Committee’s big impact...
  • August 26, 2014

    Our Family Advisory Committee’s big impact

    People collaborating around a board room table

    Keeping client and family centred care at the heart of Holland Bloorview 

    The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) helps ensure client and family centred care is at the heart of everything that Holland Bloorview does. The advisory committee is made of up Holland Bloorview families, who share our expertise and provide guidance on all major hospital projects and initiatives. When Holland Bloorview families talk, the hospital listens. 

    Meaningful partnership 
    Holland Bloorview’s FAC started over 20 years ago. Over the years, it grew and evolved into one of the most important advisory committees at the hospital with over 30 members. It ensures that Holland Bloorview families have meaningful input into high-level decision-making and initiatives in the hospital. Holland Bloorview President and CEO Sheila Jarvis, senior management and project leaders regularly seek FAC members’ input into projects. The FAC members don’t just approve initiatives or give feedback on projects ready for implementation, they are involved early on and provide direction when projects are just getting started. 

    Sitting within the hospital’s Family Leadership Program (FLP), “The FAC advises Holland Bloorview on strategic priorities and day-to-day functioning to ensure client and family centred care remains a central focus for the hospital,” said FAC co-chair Cheryl Peters. 

    Leading the way 
    In 2013, Holland Bloorview’s Family Leadership Program was recognized as a leading health care practice by Accreditation Canada, which surveys and accredits health care organizations to promote excellence in providing safe and quality care. 

    Patients Canada, which brings the patient point of view to heath care organizations and policy makers, had an opportunity to visit Holland Bloorview to learn about our client and family centred care in 2012. The organization commented that client and family centred care feels like it is deeply embedded in the organization. 

    The FAC’s big impact 
    In the past couple of years, FAC members have been involved in over a dozen initiatives in and out of the hospital. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:

    • The roll out of the Electronic Health Record
    • The Bloorview Research Institute Family Engagement Committee that is currently working on a framework that will involve families in all aspects of the research projects undertaken by our scientists
    • Five-year strategic plan development
    • Patient safety initiatives
    • Involved in an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) toolkit project at St. Michael’s hospital
    • Developed client and family focused simulation scenarios that are used to teach employees

    The FAC operates under terms of reference and rules of engagement and families sit as co-chairs and vice-chair. The FAC sets yearly goals and has accomplished many projects including:

    • Inpatient welcome kits
    • Fundraising led by FAC member Fred Char
    • Currently developing a client and family centred care award for Holland Bloorview employees

    Many members get involved in activities outside of the FAC, such as:

    • Presenting at conferences locally, nationally and internationally
    • Sharing stories at new staff orientation
    • Getting involved in special projects in the hospital, including theBloorview Research Institute research day

    Getting the support we need 
    All Family Leadership Program members, including those who sit on the FAC, are provided with training opportunities to grow their skills, such as workshops on facilitation, public speaking and communication style, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School courses. 

    What to expect at FAC meetings 
    FAC meetings are always engaging and visitors are welcome. The FAC is a vibrant community that is committed to supporting client and family centred care at Holland Bloorview and the health care system. Meetings happen at the end of each month and at each meeting you will find:

    • Parent to parent networking and sharing
    • Holland Bloorview families who children are outpatients, inpatients, represent various diagnoses and ages
    • Two youth representatives from the Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
    • Two Holland Bloorview employees (Amir Karmali and Laura Williams, who support all activities of the FAC)
    • Senior Management Team representatives
    • A Bloorview Research Institute (BRI) scientist, who shares their research project
    • Two to four project leaders seeking feedback or providing updates
    • Holland Bloorview board members

    The FAC continues to inspire and create positive change at Holland Bloorview. If you want to get involved with the FAC or learn more, contact Amir Karmali, family centred care specialist, atakarmali@hollandbloorview.ca.

    Read more about client and family centred care at Holland Bloorview

    Story by the Family Advisory Committee