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Volunteer Advocate

Collaborating with Your Clinic to Improve Your Healthcare

Collaborating with Your Clinic to Improve Your Healthcare

with Kathy Sabadosa & Leila Khan Cruikshank

On June 17th, 2015, Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted its third educational webinar in our Virtual Education Program for Patients and Caregivers. Kathy Sabadosa and Leila Khan Cruikshank, each from different perspectives, discussed, ‘Collaborating with Your Clinic to Improve Your Healthcare’.

Kathy is a Senior Research Associate at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in New Hampshire and she manages the national quality improvement program for the U.S. CF Foundation (CFF).  In addition to her professional expertise in CF care and quality improvement, Kathy also brings another perspective as she is also the parent of an adolescent with CF. In her presentation, Kathy provided an overview of the quality improvement initiatives in place at the CFF and taught us that the Foundation calls for patients and families to be integrated as full members of the care team in order to achieve improvements in care. Several clinics have already created strong partnerships with their patients and families so that, together, they can better manage the disease. Some examples of how patients and families have collaborated with their clinics include: creating wallet-sized medication cards; developing education materials like recipe books, newsletters, and websites; establishing an annual Family Night; and creating parent-to-parent mentoring programs.

Following Kathy’s talk, Leila spoke about her personal experiences in working together with the St. Michael’s Hospital Adult CF Clinic in Toronto. As the spouse of a CF patient, Leila is a long-time supporter of the CF cause. She served as President of the Stratford and District CF Canada chapter, now known as the HOPE (Huron-Oxford-Perth) chapter, from 1998 – 2003. In 2008, Leila was recruited to be a founding member of the St. Michael’s Hospital Patient/Family Advisory Board (PFAB), the first CF PFAB established in Canada. In her presentation, Leila explained that the PFAB and CF clinical care team work together to ensure services provided at the clinic continue to meet patients’ ever-changing needs. Today, the PFAB is actively involved in quality improvement initiatives at the St. Michael’s Adult CF Clinic. For example, they have implemented housekeeping audits to ensure patient satisfaction from an infection control perspective. The Advisory Board next plans to tackle Food Services at the Hospital to help educate staff about the unique dietary needs of CF patients.

To learn more about the many benefits of partnering with your clinic, please watch the full presentation here.

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