Patient and Family Advisory Councils

Zeeland Community Hospital

When Sepsis Hits Close to Home

Sepsis is the body’s often life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. Rising to more than one million cases in the United States annually, it continues to be a significant worldwide health care challenge and major cause of death.

Zeeland Community Hospital is committed to partnering with patients through their sepsis journey to better understand their care. The PFAC helped validate the importance of early sepsis response by participating in an emergency department demonstration called Code Sepsis. The PFAC pointed out that a sepsis diagnosis is overwhelming and small pieces of information could be absorbed better than one large discussion. They expressed the necessity for an efficient and involved care team.

One of our council members recounted his own experience. By sharing his vulnerability as a patient, front line staff and leaders gained a better understanding of what it feels like to have sepsis. This member’s story has been shared in all sepsis educational forums and an awareness campaign took place in September sharing sepsis signs and symptoms with the community.

Each member of our PFAC provides a unique perspective, allowing us to approach continuous improvement with a diverse lens. As current and former patients, their experiences and observations are important to help us reimagine the personalized experience for our community. Spectrum Health’s mission of improving health, inspiring hope and saving lives, could not be achieved without the influence and vital work of the PFAC. They embody the Spectrum Health values of compassion, collaboration, curiosity and courage, and are critical members of our health care team.

Joe Klesney, Chief Operating Officer

Thanks to all of our Council Members:

Zeeland Community Patient and Family Advisory Council

  • Marie Hamilton, Chair
  • Bob Sumrall, Vice Chair
  • Ruth Berghorst
  • Tara Buchler
  • Tino Caviggiola
  • Sue Fisher
  • Randy Johnson
  • Adam Locker
  • Abby Lucas
  • Jean Mulder
  • Colleen Schipsi
  • Travis Steinhoff
  • Sharon Tabaka
  • Tom Urbaniak
  • Michele VanderSchel

Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Leadership

  • Ron Lewis, President
  • Linda Schaltz, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Joe Klesney, Chief Operating Officer
  • Katherine Leech, Manager
  • Kristen Farmer, Director
  • Bethany Sprague, Administrative Assistant

Our Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital PFAC team is AWESOME! They are a very dedicated, collaborative and engaged group of volunteers who work effectively with the leadership team to ensure patients and families receive the best care provided with the utmost quality, safety and experience.

Marie Hamilton, Chair

Member Highlight - Tom Urbaniak

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

I have a 25-year history with heart health issues including quadruple bypass surgery, valve replacement surgery, numerous stents and recently a defibrillator/pacemaker device. I receive services at Zeeland and numerous clinics throughout West Michigan.

What motivated you to be a part of the PFAC?

Because my experience with Spectrum Health and other organizations is so extensive, I thought I may be able to relate well to the patient and family experiences of others. 

What PFAC accomplishments are you the proudest of?

Being new to the council this year, I am very pleased that everyone freely offers suggestions for improving the patient and family experience and find that staff members are very open to considering changes to address those concerns. After surviving two near-death events, I feel fortunate to still be here to offer whatever help I can.