The Cavalier County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) and Clinics is seeking community input on how to better serve the patients they care for with the creation of the Patient and Family Advisory Council.
By Melissa Anderson
The council is composed of 11 individuals that have ties to the hospital as either staff, patients, or community members.
“It was very deliberate to have both staff and non-staff be a part of this so that we have a wide range of different perspectives having input,” Val Cheatley, the social worker at CCMH and facilitator for the council, said.
The council is composed of Sheila Beauchamp, a nurse at CCMH; Cheatley, Jan Cooper who is retired; Allyn Hart, a semi-retired farmer; Andrea Jacobson, Human Resources with Mayo Construction; Vicki Kubat, EMT and Cavalier County Recorder; Roxanne McLean, semi-retired pharmacist; Carleen Schill, Transportation Coordinator with Cavalier County Senior Meals and Transit; Megan Shephard, X-ray technician at CCMH; Dustin Wagner, Medical Laboratory Technician at CCMH; and Jessica Waslaski, Physical Therapist at CCMH.
The members of the council were either nominated or volunteered to be appointed. Many on the council had similar reasons for joining as they wanted to improve communication between CCMH and the community as well as ensure that the best care possible is offered and can continue to be offered to the communities that the hospital and clinics serve.
“I really want to see the hospital thrive and community health thrive as well,” McLean said.
“I want to help the patients receive the best care and make CCMH a better place for patients to come to,” Waslaski said.
The council hopes to achieve improved communication between CCMH and the general public as well as make the facility a family-based atmosphere. Other goals include making patients aware of the numerous services that CCMH provides to ensure the retention of those services. Overall, the council sees themselves as advocates of the patients that CCMH serves while improving the operations of the facility.
“We are open to and encourage anyone to come and talk to any member of the council and know that any comments made will be completely confidential and only discussed amongst the council,” Cheatley said.
The council is still in its early stages of determining how best to achieve the goals they have set for themselves but feel surveys have proven extremely useful in assisting the hospital in becoming more accommodating to its patients in the past.
“We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken and ask that when surveys come out from CCMH to please take the time to fill them out as this will help make CCMH better,” McLean said.
“We are also considering the utilization of social media platforms such as Facebook to better reach and communicate with patients,” Wagner added.
Once the council has sufficient information, they will take their recommendations back to the Quality Assurance Committee who will in turn put forward the recommendations to the administration and management of the hospital to be implemented. The once-a-month meetings of the council usually occur during the first week and are generally not open to the public.
“We want the community to trust us to make CCMH better for them. We will do what we can to improve the hospital, but we also need communication from the community to do that,” Shepard said.
The council’s intentions of advising and providing feedback to hospital management will be taken seriously and allow them to better serve CCMH patients through structuring, services, and management practices at the facilities.