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PFAC: Helping Patients, Families Have a Voice

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Author name: Lee Health


Kelsie Gregware PFAC Photo

At Lee Health, we know that patients and their families are knowledgeable members of the care team. We want to include their perspectives and valuable feedback about their experiences at our hospitals.

Our Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) helps patients and families join forces with Lee Health physicians, nurses, administrators, and other team members to help improve your quality of care.

In short, patient and family advisers help ensure your voice is heard.

A Personal Story

Kelsie Gregware shares her take on why she became a PFAC member: 

"As a parent who has experienced a challenging extended stay with an infant in a children’s hospital, I joined PFAC to share my perspective and help provide ideas on how to improve that experience going forward for other families.

"Our daughter, Chloe Grace Gregware, was born prematurely on Jan. 15, 2019... and she was transported shortly thereafter to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. By this time, my husband and I had been foster parents with the Department of Children and Families (DFC) for more than four years and had adopted our daughter Mia (age 4), when we got the call from DCF asking if we would be interested in fostering newborn Chloe.

"We learned that she had been born approximately 6 weeks premature..., weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces and presented with minor feeding issues. 

"Chloe was released into our care on Jan 30, 2019, after her 15-day NICU stay at Golisano. When we brought her home, we immediately noticed that things were not right.  

"We knew the best place to start getting Chloe the help she needed was to have open conversations with her doctors and utilize their knowledge to get to the root causes. From February 2019 through December 2019, we had over 200 doctor appointments, three hospitalizations (one of which was a 22-day stay) and one surgery.

"By the age of 5 months, in June of 2019, Chloe was hospitalized for three weeks, due to severe malnutrition, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and dehydration. And miraculously, due to the steadfast dedication and loving care of both our family and her doctors, Chloe began thriving. By age 2, in February 2021, we joyfully adopted her through the DCF.

"Our family’s experience of having been thrown into the medical community while juggling everyday life was a very difficult time for us. Simple tasks such as organizing medical documents, making appointments, sharing communication between doctors … all of it was new to us. No matter what, we were going to be advocates for precious little Chloe. 

"We did our own research and sought out families with similar experiences to help guide us. Thankfully, we found some remarkable doctors, nurses and resources through social media.

"Our family’s goal with my becoming a PFAC member, is to simply to help other families have an easier time in their transition from everyday life to suddenly having to survive in the medical whirlwind that we ourselves experienced. We want to help Golisano Children’s Hospital explore ways to help patients and their families find resources and comfort as they gain their bearings with whatever they are going through in the hospital."

One of our advisers, Rachel Dion, joined PFAC after a positive experience at Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. She bonded with the staff while they cared for her children, and she wanted to maintain those relationships.

“I made a promise that after everything that happened with my daughter, and all the care my son had received, I would give back in whatever way I could,” says Rachel. “Being part of PFAC allows me to provide valuable feedback to help future patients.”

Stephanie Kafka was drawn to PFAC after bonding with the Golisano staff who cared for her children.

“Prior to PFAC, there were times when I wished the hospital had more individuals advocating on behalf of the patients and their families, because as a parent, you forget that you have a voice to advocate for yourself,” says Stephanie.

Lee Health is committed to finding ways to deliver exceptional experiences. Join our team! For more information about becoming a parent and family adviser, email [email protected].

Lee Health is committed to finding ways to deliver exceptional experiences. Join our team! For more information about becoming a parent and family adviser, email [email protected].

You can also submit your application here:

#LeeHealthStrong #GoGolisano

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