Departments & Programs,Programs and Initiatives,Patient and Family Advisor Partnership Program,The Advisor Connection,Resources

2017 07 (Jul) - The Advisor Connection

2017 07 (Jul) - The Advisor Connection - Departments & Programs, Programs and Initiatives, Patient and Family Advisor Partnership Program, The Advisor Connection, Resources

ISSUE 1 | Jul 2017

ξ PFA Spotlight
ξ What’s New at UW Health
ξ Staff Spotlight
ξ Get to Know your Program Staff

Soon after the birth of their son, Liam, American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) became a
second home for Brianne Coffey and her family. Born with complex care needs, Liam’s first
few years of life were filled with clinic visits, surgeries, and many unplanned hospital
As AFCH became an integral part of her family’s life, Brianne wanted to find a way to become
more involved. The child life specialist working with their family told Brianne about the PFA
Program and Brianne became a member of the PFA program in 2015. She soon joined the
AFCH Patient and Family Advisory Council, helping to improve the hospital that she had come
to see as a home. Beyond her involvement in the AFCH PFAC, Brianne draws on her
experiences to help improve care as a member of the Voices of UW Health Patient and Family
Speakers Bureau. She has spoken at Quality Week (2016) and shares part of her story via
video for new resident and fellow orientation. “I am most proud of sharing my son’s health story
to help others understand the experiences of special needs families as well as educate UW
Health professionals about the impact effective care team planning can have on patients and
their families.”
PFA Spotlight: Brianne Coffey

Welcome new PFAs!

New Since January 2017:

Carrie Axtman
Mick Dowd
Trevin Gay
Kristina Grebener
Debbie Ford
Desiree Drollinger
Mary Jeanne Murl
Cheri Gallivan
Bob Gersbach
William Hogan
Joan Huml
Donna Pomrening
John Mirasola
Brittany Colo’n
Julia Leichtenberg
Gina Salazar
PFAs Impact Specialty Care Redesign Group

The Specialty Care Redesign workgroup is focused on changing
the way UW Health schedules, coordinates, and follows up with
specialty care visits. In a recent meeting, one of the PFAs,
Kristen Cassarini, shared that although she receives most of her
healthcare through UW Health, she chooses to routinely travel to
Chicago for one specialty due to the lengthy triage process and
poor access into that specialty within UW Health. “Hearing that
one of our very engaged patients is choosing to travel over 2
hours to experience better access and more coordinated care
helped create a sense of urgency around improving access and
coordination of care at UW Health.”
– Heidi Menaker, Senior Health Systems Engineer

“I think the Specialty Care Redesign group has the potential to
really make a big impact. We've only met a couple times, but this
is a huge undertaking and the PFAs in the group represent
several different disciplines and perspectives in the bigger UW
Health system. There seems to be a lot of collaboration with a
high emphasis on PFA input.” - Jenny Huffman, PFA

Staff Appreciation Corner:
Cassie Shumway
This quarter, the PFA Program recognizes Cassie
Shumway, Nursing Education Specialist, who was
nominated by PFA Laura Stoller, for her innovative
use of patient and family stories to improve care at UW
Health. In addition to her outstanding work as a
caregiver, Cassie is also a visionary in incorporating
patient and family voices into staff education. The UW
Health PFAs would like to thank Cassie for her
contributions to nurse education and her commitment
to bringing the patient perspective into health care

Get to Know Your PFA Program Staff

UW Health has a new
vision and strategic
plan, both influenced
by Patient & Family
Advisors! One of the
top priorities is to
“Exceed the
expectations of our
patients and families”
as we provide
Healthcare. More to
come as this plan is
rolled out!

PFAs are featured in
3 videos on the
Carbone Cancer
Center website to help
patients understand
what to expect when
undergoing cancer
treatment, including
chemotherapy. Click
HERE to view the
In January, the PFA Program gained a new Manager:
Jenna Wright. Jenna started at UW Health in 2014
in Learning and Development, a division of Human
Resources, and is excited to join the PFA Program.
Before coming to UW Health, Jenna spent 15 years
teaching English and communication skills in both
academic and workplace settings after receiving her
Master’s degree in Linguistics from University of
Wisconsin - Madison. As the manager of the PFA
Program, Jenna hopes to make the PFA program
more visible and sought-after as a resource for staff.
She is also excited about developing new ways for
PFAs to engage in improvement work by creating
opportunities for PFAs to interact more directly with
our patients, staff, and environment.

Becky Spindler has been the PFA Program
Assistant since August of 2015 and will be
celebrating her 15th anniversary with UW Health.
This year, she completed the Fundamentals for
Aspiring Leaders Training course and looks forward
to developing a plan for diversity outreach of the PFA
Program. Outside of her role in the PFA Program,
Becky is an accomplished author, with publications
including the Huffington Post, and recently co-wrote a
short screenplay which placed in the semi-finals at
the Nashville Film Festival. She also teaches
Creative Writing for Madison College. Her motto:
Home is where your story begins.

A parting note from Jenn MacLure: As I conclude my term as a
Public Humanities Fellow with the PFA Program, I want to thank
the program staff, past and present, for welcoming me and
teaching me so much over the past year. I’ve been continually
impressed by the commitment of this organization’s staff to
making sure that humanity remains at the heart of healthcare. It is
with a mixture of sadness, gratitude, and excitement that I make
this move to Ohio to begin a job as an Assistant Professor of
English at Kent State University. Above all, I want to thank our
remarkable PFAs for contributing their time, insights, and stories.
It has been such a pleasure to get to know you all.