Patient and Family Advisory Councils

United and Kelsey Hospitals

Taking Time to Make a Connection

We live in a world of busy, but the simple gesture of taking a moment to sit alongside a patient or family member can leave a lasting impression. United and Kelsey PFAC members partnered with the Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care Unit teams to emphasize the value patient and family engagement. The “Commit to Sit” initiative focuses on having the care teams take five minutes to sit with their patients and families to make a personal connection. A member shared examples of specific actions the nurses, providers and other clinical staff used to help them feel more at ease during a traumatic time in their lives.

These few moments made them feel valued and important. Another member explained how lonely the hospital can feel during an illness. She explained that making a connection goes a long way. These personal stories inspired the care team to strive to make a human connection rather than just “seeing” another patient who needs medication or a test.

I appreciate how our Patient and Family Advisory Council is open and honest about our services and the passionate engagement they bring to each meeting. What a great partnership we enjoy with our PFAC and the contributions they offer truly impact our success!

Carol Dwyer, Chief Nursing Officer

Thanks to all of our Council Members:

United and Kelsey Patient and Family Advisory Council Members

  • Don Burns, Chair
  • Marilyn Hansen, Vice Chair
  • Debra Bendon
  • Esther Crowley
  • Tesla Gerheiser
  • Gay London
  • Juliana Morano
  • Barbara Pearson
  • Jeff Wilhelm

United and Kelsey Hospital Leadership

  • Andrea Leslie, President
  • Percy Mahar, Chief Operating Officer
  • Carol Dwyer, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Andrea Russell, Manager
  • Kristen Farmer, Director
  • Laura Dargitz, Administrative Assistant

What I appreciate the most about the PFAC is the energy and effort of the leadership as they listen, respond and report back to the PFAC. It is so rewarding to see the impact of the PFAC.

Don Burns, Chair

Member Highlight - Marilyn Hansen

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

For my husband, our family and myself, 2015 brought many changes, trials and joys. I view my diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer as a precious gift that I would not have wanted to miss. The Lord used the care and compassion provided for me at United Hospital in Greenville to heal, encourage and accommodate myself and my family every step of the way throughout this journey. We cannot say enough about the concern, both physically and emotionally, shown to us during these past four years. My entire family felt loved, understood and tenderly accommodated through my entire journey.

What motivated you to be a part of the PFAC?

In 2017, I was approached about my desire to “give back” in a volunteer capacity with the United/Kelsey PFAC. It was an easy transition from patient to PFAC member. Each month, our PFAC is encouraged to bring their own unique experiences to the table and motivated by system leadership to share both the positive and negative experiences. This interaction is vital to bring positive change. How refreshing it is to work with leadership who genuinely desire to improve every aspect of the patient family experience and help ease the often-turbulent journey faced by both patients and their families.

What PFAC accomplishments are you the proudest of?

Setting goals and seeing them become a reality to enhance, improve and fine tune the system is a fulfilling addition to my PFAC experience and my own personal life.