Before she was an advocate for all patients and families at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, Angela Miney was a champion for one person: her daughter.
Miney, a family partner in the UF Health Pediatric Pulmonary Center, is also co-chair of the Children’s Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council that was formed in October 2013.
The mission of the council, made up of parents and hospital staff, is to support and enhance the patient and family experience at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Parents on the council bring the caregiver perspective as the hospital seeks to deliver patient-centered, safe, high-quality care within the parameters of UF Health’s strategic plan, The Power of Together.
“We were the first advisory council at the hospital. Pediatrics is leading the charge,” Miney said. “Partnership is really at the core of being patient- and family-centered at all levels.”
Since its inception, members of the Council have participated in pediatric residents’ orientations and have presented at a pediatrics grand rounds lecture. On an ongoing basis the council provides insight to staff members on patient education, such as providing feedback to pediatric intensive care unit nurses who were developing an education program for parents about central line infections.
Miney provides an important perspective that can sometimes be overlooked by those who work in a hospital every day.
“I’ve learned to be a good advocate,” Miney said. “I tell people, ‘Don’t underestimate what anyone will do for their child.’ You need to help parents do their very best.”
As medical care grows more complex and people live longer, more patients have family members or caregivers involved in the process.A patient-centered philosophy recognizes that patients, parents and family members have an active role to play in health care, Miney said.
Advisory councils are just one way to engage patients and families. UF Health is also committed to increasing their participation on hospital committees and task forces, Miney said. Miney is also a member of the Pediatrics Ethics Committee and the Pediatrics Pain and Sedation Committee, and more recently was invited to represent patients and families on the UF Health Shands Board Quality Committee.
UF Health’s next step is to develop a hospitalwide patient advisory council. This progress can be credited in part to Miney and her fellow advisers’ advocacy efforts at the children’s hospital.