Sharing and Caring Together: Hospital Celebrates 10 Successful Years of Patient and Family Centred Care

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is celebrating 10 successful years of Patient and Family Centred Care and the man successes that have been achieved since.

Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) is the provision of care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient and family preferences, needs and values, and ensures that the patient is at the centre of everything.

“Our Hospital has come a long way since beginning the PFCC journey ten years ago,” said Jean Bartkowiak, President & CEO. “In 2011, PFCC initiatives earned our Hospital a Leading Practice designation for Patient & Family Centred Care from Accreditation Canada and that designation has been dutifully maintained ever since. Our dedication to PFCC grows with each passing year as we build on our successes. I am particularly grateful to our volunteer Patient Family Advisors who support our clinicians in living our PFCC philosophical commitment.”

Over the past 10 years, PFCC has led to many impactful initiatives at our Hospital such as:

  • Bedside Whiteboards  – A valuable communication tool for staff, patients, physicians, and family;
  • N.O.D. (Name, Occupation, Do) – A simple but effective way for staff to introduce themselves and begin the formation of a meaningful relationship with their charges;
  • Patient-Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS) – An effective tool that significantly improves the discharge process and helps patients better manage their post-hospital care.

“PFCC is at the heart of everything to improve patient safety and quality of care. It is about caring together with compassion, to create the optimal experience for all patients, all the time,” said Dr. Valerie Grdisa, Executive Vice President of Research, Quality & Academics and Chief Nursing Executive. “My role allows me the unique privilege of seeing PFCC in action across a broad spectrum of programs, projects and professions – from the way it is intertwined into the research and academics that shape our programs – to the interactions that our amazing health care professionals and staff have with patients and families. It really does come full circle and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The Patient and Family Advisory Council is key to helping our Hospital achieve its goals. The Council consists of nearly 80 diverse and dedicated volunteers, who, based on their own past experiences, participate on interview panels for leadership positions, attend each council meeting, review policies, and provide input to guide new initiatives and revise existing ones.

“As Patient Family Advisors (PFAs), we do our best to represent the needs of all the patient’s families in Northwestern Ontario,” said Keith Taylor, Patient Family Advisor Council Co-Chair. “I am filled with pride as I look back over the past 10 years and all the positive ways that PFCC has shifted the way we deliver health care at our Hospital. PFCC is here to stay and I am excited to see what the next 10 years will bring.”

The meaningful contributions that PFAs have made over the past 10 years have not gone unnoticed by patients and families, or by Hospital board and staff.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Hospital team, I’d like to thank all of our Patient Family Advisors, who are fully integrated into our Hospital’s activities and play a huge role in PFCC successes,” said Matt Simeoni, Chair, Hospital Board of Directors. “Their commitment to collaboration with everyone at our Hospital truly brings our PFCC philosophy to action, improves patient, staff and physician experiences, and helps make us healthy together.”

To learn more about Patient and Family Centred Care, or how to become a Patient Family Advisor, please visit or contact


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