When Julie Thistlethwaite retired in 2011, she was looking for a place to volunteer her time. After a career that included a role as Director of Patient Support Services in healthcare, and having a great experience at New England Baptist Hospital for a rotator cuff surgery, she felt like the Baptist was a natural fit.
“At my interview for a volunteer position for NEBH, I was invited to join the Patient and Family Advisory Committee. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but when the committee and the role I would play was explained to me, it seemed like a good way to give back to a hospital I had really come to love and admire. It was also a way to get to know the hospital better and have input into decisions that are made. It was a really interesting opportunity for me,” says Thistlethwaite. The PFAC at NEBH provides a forum for patients and family members to share feedback, input and advice on the care and services provided to patients. This helps NEBH with the goal of improving on patient and family centered care, which is a top priority.
Now the co-chair of the committee, Thistlethwaite has found the experience to be very rewarding. “I feel strongly that former patients and family members should be involved with hospitals. You can make a difference in a hospital. It’s a great vehicle for sharing your ideas about how the hospital can be better, or for bringing thoughts about why you love the hospital. Being on the PFAC is a great way to make a difference, meet new people and have an impact. I love it."
For more information on the PFAC, and to learn how you can participate, please contact Jane Berger, Patient Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-754-5147.