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Sharp Health News

Improving behavioral health care, one idea at a time

Oct. 13, 2016

Patient advisory council

Their input is powerful and a catalyst for change.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital is made up of prior behavioral health patients, their family members and staff of different ages and cultural backgrounds. Their purpose is to identify and participate in improvements for enhancing a healing environment to support patient- and family-centered care at the hospital.

The council members, known as advisers, attend a monthly PFAC meeting in addition to hospital work group meetings, which were previously only open to staff members. The advisers share ideas and experiences at meetings that could affect patient care including quality, safety and service.

“One of the benefits of having an adviser involved is that we get a different awareness of the experience at our hospital, how it’s being received and how it can be enhanced,” says Christiana Paul, vice president of the patient care continuum for the hospital and co-chair of the PFAC.

Some new ideas have come from presentations given at the council meetings by hospital staff. Managers are invited to speak about the services they provide in their unit and how their management style supports patient- and family-centered care.

With each presentation, council members collaborate on how the hospital can enhance the availability of resources to meet the needs of patients and their care partners.

A recent contribution involved feedback during the creation of a new brochure for the Sharp Mesa Vista Care Partner Program. The brochure explains the role of care partners and how the hospital supports them. Patients and family members have a unique outlook on what education is helpful, and how best to convey information.

“I felt honored to be able to share my perspective as a family member while program materials were being created,” says Sue Moore, prior patient family member and co-chair of the PFAC.

Additionally, the council has weighed in on food quality, hospital accessibility, and class and services information. Over the next year, they will be active in some of the design choices for upcoming renovations at the hospital.

If you are a former Sharp Mesa Vista or Sharp McDonald Center patient, or a family member of a patient, and would like to join the PFAC, contact Melody White at or 858-836-8393.

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