Patient and Family Advisory Councils


A Patient’s Voice Brings the Behavioral Health Strategy to Life

What does it mean to be the safest place for our patients and employees? The Executive PFAC collaborated with leaders to help answer that question while exploring the future state of behavioral health and workplace violence prevention.

Council members encouraged leaders to be transparent about the struggle to manage the increasing demand and that the organization needs to continue engaging other community resources. They reiterated meeting a patient where they are and showing you’re listening first is what’s most important in a vulnerable moment.

Council members provided integral feedback on the following initiatives now underway:

  • Behavioral health teams will partner internally to support psychological safety in the workplace and meet the needs of our employees.
  • Deliver tele-psychiatry collaboratively for our workforce and our patients.
  • Support care/placement for our emergency, inpatient, outpatient, ambulatory and continuing care patients in coordination with community-based mental health urgent cares/crisis center model(s).

Provide behavioral health services to our emergency services patients, continuing care patients and our inpatients by offering psychiatric liaison services.

I appreciate the dialogue and know we have important work ahead - let's keep the conversation going and keep raising up the tools and resources to aid our teams. These are the first important steps to help our colleagues, patients, families, friends and communities. I look forward to continuing this important work and involving all of you in the solutions. Solving for these issues will truly require all of us.

Gwen Sandefur, Chief Care Transformation Officer/President, Spectrum Health Hospital Group

Thanks to all of our Council Members:

Executive Patient and Family Advisory Council Members

  • Wally Wasilewski, Chair
  • Katie Canfield, Vice Chair
  • Anedra Eatman
  • Bert Elliott
  • Kristen Myers-Chatman
  • Dennis McMurray
  • Steve Rosenberg
  • Gary Wade

Spectrum Health Leadership

  • Darryl Elmouchi, MD, President, Spectrum Health Medical Group / System Chief Medical Officer
  • Gwen Sandefur, Chief Care Transformation Officer / President, Spectrum Health Hospital Group
  • Brian Brasser, SVP, Chief Operations Officer
  • Leslie Jurecko, MD, SVP, Quality, Safety & Experience
  • Josh Kooistra, DO, SVP, Chief Medical Officer, Delivery System
  • James Bonner, Sr. Director
  • Sarah Brodhead, Sr. Project Specialist
  • Lisa White, Administrative Assistant

Professionally, I work in customer relationship management. I see firsthand how different businesses prioritize their customers. As an advisor, I’m consistently impressed with Spectrum Health’s commitment to hearing the voice of their customers. I’ve seen firsthand the council speak and Spectrum Health listens. It’s not like this everywhere. Together, we can be very proud of this close, productive relationship.

Wally Wasilewski, Chair

Member Highlight - Bishop Dennis McMurray

Can you please share your experiences with Spectrum Health?

I was recently contacted by a husband with three children; “My wife is dying, has one month to live, our insurance can’t go any further, we have no hope and we are not ready for her to die; can you help?” I reached out to PFAC Leadership and Healthier Communities quickly championed the cause & this wife and mother lived another 18 months. The family was able to gracefully embrace the eventual loss.

What drove you to be a part of the PFAC?

As a pastor, advocacy is an important part of my work. In view of disparities in health care it was an opportunity, responsibility & passion to get involved with West Michigan’s largest health care provider.

What PFAC accomplishments are you the proudest of?

I’m most proud that Spectrum Health values the input of community people who serve on its various Patient and Family Advisory Councils. The commitment to customer care and service has been a motivating factor for involvement. The fact that our ideas count and are implemented is extremely important and gratifying.