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 had 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 Council (PFAC). I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but when the committee and the role I would play were 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 email@example.com or 617-754-5147.