Hedrick Medical Center is in the midst of recruiting members for a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The Hedrick PFAC will be comprised of a diverse group of patients and family members who meet regularly to discuss ways to enhance the patient care experience and promote quality, effective health care in a safe environment, Jennifer Dixon, director of patient care services said.

“We want to give our patients and families an opportunity to share their unique experiences with us because we want to improve the services and make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of the patients we serve, and their families,” she added.

The advisory council, is a new initiative being seen in hospitals across the country, Dixon noted the establishment of the council is also being implemented at hospitals across the Saint Luke’s Health System.

“We feel like this will give us a great opportunity to gain a new perspective,” Dixon said. “A lot of the time we get focused on what we, as health care providers, think patients want and this will give them the opportunity to give them a voice and for us to make some changes, from their standpoint.”

Initially the board will meet once a month, but the council will decide what the meeting schedule and times fit their needs best.

Dixon noted the council will play a pivotal role in many projects across the hospital.

“We would like to have them help us with patient education materials, hospital policy and associated education,” she said. “It may be anything from signage in the hospital and clinics to reviewing our satisfaction scores and data and ways to improve.”

Dixon will serve as the staff liaison for the board, which will also include Dr. Bob Gaekwad, surgeon, and five or six former patients, or their family members. Other staff members will attend meetings and serve as liaisons as projects or areas of concern involving their area of expertise are discussed.

Patient family advisors are expected to serve a term of one year, with the option to renew for a second consecutive year if approved by the staff liaison.

Currently, Dixon is accepting applications for those interested in becoming board members.

“We are looking for former patients or their family members who have a passion for wanting to improve health care with a positive approach and are willing to see things from others perspectives,” she said. “We want to provide better patient centered care and be the health care choice for our community - that is the whole goal.”

Those interested in applying to be on the PFAC must be at least 18 years of age and must have been a patient or family/caregiver of a patient at Hedrick Medical Center within the last three years. Since space on the council is limited, applicants will be asked to go through an interview process. To apply, please visit www.saintlukeskc.org/PFAC and select Hedrick Medical Center as the facility, or contact Jennifer Dixon at Dixon@saintlukeskc.org or 660-214-8235.

Plans are to have the members selected and the first meeting held in June.