Patient and Family Advisory Councils

Neurological Health

The Importance of Partnership

“The most important work we have done this year has been on improving patient and provider interactions. Doctors and patients should always be able to walk out of the room feeling like their interaction was both meaningful and productive.” – Bradley Pienton, Chair

Having a positive and productive relationship is crucial to the health and wellbeing of the patient. The leadership team engaged the PFAC to evaluate all aspects of physician/patient communication from a new patient perspective. The patients shared that when they are first referred to neurology they are seeking answers to symptoms and hopeful that the neurologist has reviewed their chart. They provided pointers on how to convey care and empathy to the patient thorough body language and key phrases. Council members were invited to spend time directly with physicians, providing a deeper understanding of the patient’s needs.

I am so grateful for the continued commitment and expertise we receive from our Neuro Health council. Our council members use their deeply personal and often ongoing stories to create the burning platform for us to improve how we care for our patients and their families.

Sarah Banks, Vice President

Thanks to all of our Council Members:

Neurosciences Health Patient and Family Advisory Council Members

  • Bradley Pienton, Chair
  • Russ De Boer, Vice Chair
  • Carol Allore
  • Cheri Compton
  • Kristen Cove
  • Irene Marco
  • Paula Termeer
  • Christopher Trainor

Spectrum Health Leadership

  • Sarah Banks, Vice President
  • Jeremy Bainbridge, Director
  • Nicole Wills, Director
  • Deb Sprague, Improvement Specialist
  • Lisa White, Administrative Assistant

The thing I appreciate the most about the PFAC is how much everyone invests of themselves into the process of changing healthcare for the better. The leadership teams, council members, medical and business staff all come together eager to exchange viewpoints, openly consider other perspectives and candidly address the most complicated issues that our patients and providers face. I am constantly amazed by what we can achieve together.

Bradley Pienton, Chair

Member Highlight - Irene Marco

Can you please share your or your family’s experiences with Spectrum Health?

Both of my parents became sick at 72 and 73 years old and I had to move them from Arizona to Grand Rapids to take care of them. My mother had several strokes in 2008 leaving her with lasting side effects. She went from being a busy, vibrant, thriving woman to a frail, broken person. They told her that she would never walk without her walker and she will never be “normal” again. My father retired early so he could take care of her. After four years, my father fell into a deep depression; it is believed that he experienced post-traumatic stress syndrome because of my mother’s illness. Now with early onset Alzheimer’s, he can’t take care of himself. I am the primary caregiver and patient advocate surrounding my parents with the appropriate care.

What motivated you to be a part of the PFAC?

Our experience overall has been positive. When there is an opportunity for improvement, I prefer to share the issue and then help solve it. Spectrum Health always seeks to resolve the issue and is open to ways to improve the patient experience. The PFAC is very respected with the leadership so I know it’s worth my time to help.

What PFAC accomplishments are you the proudest of?

I love helping the patient experience and maybe even saving a life.