Patient and Family Advisory Council celebrates first year

​The Cottage Grove Community Hospital and Clinics Patient and Family Advisory Council marked a milestone with a first-year birthday celebration in May, and has a full agenda for the coming year.

The council—made up of 10 patient advisors, a physician and four staff members—was created with the aim of improving patient care through direct collaboration and involvement with patients. It’s part of a broader trend—one that PeaceHealth has embraced—to integrate patient- and family-centered care practices into health-care systems.

PeaceHealth Medical Group formed a Patient Advisory Council in 2008.

With just a year of work under its belt, the Cottage Grove council has accomplished all of its initial goals, including the implementation of a tobacco policy and the creation of an attractive, reader-friendly Patient Information Binder for the Medical floor.

“In this first year, we as physicians, staff and leaders have found the Patient and Family Advisory Council to be a very powerful tool for hearing the voices of our patients and families,” said Marsha Crosswhite, patient care executive. “In response, we continue to transform together how health care is delivered at Cottage Grove Community Hospital and Clinics to meet the needs of our patients and community.”

Membership on the council has actually surpassed expectations—the initial hope was for eight patient members, but 10 have joined, including husband-and-wife retirees Steve and Gloria Matthews.

“We’ve sometimes had a hard time finding a way to give back to the community, and for some reason we were approached and recommended for this,” said Steve Matthews, who worked as the fleet manager for the state of Oregon. “We really enjoy it. We love the hospital, we love all the folks there, and we’re dang near on a first-name basis with everyone. We’ve used almost every service there, so instead of going to the hospital it kind of feels like going to visit relatives.”

Matthews said he’s pleased with the council’s progress so far, and is eager to dive into more projects. Projects for the coming year include advising on the process design for the new South Lane Medical Group walk-in clinic, as well as launching a Patient Advisor Ambassador program, in which patient advisors will be trained to round with patients in both the clinics and inpatient units.

If you’d like to learn more about the Cottage Grove council, contact Marsha Crosswhite, patient care executive, at 541-942-6748. To learn more about PeaceHealth Medical Group’s Eugene-based Patient Advisory Council, which is seeking new members, contact Sheila Miller at 541-222-6242.