Wendy's family

Mighty Blog

Families as Partners program offers opportunities for patient family involvement

Children’s Minnesota values input from patient families. Getting involved in the Families as Partners program is a great way for patient families to share their insight to make the Children’s care experience better.

Wendy joined Families as Partners after son’s brain tumor

Read Wendy’s family’s story below to learn about her experience at Children’s and how she is involved in the Families as Partners program.

Question: What is your connection with Children’s Minnesota?
Answer: Both of our children receive basic pediatric care through the Children’s network. Our older son Colin was admitted for pneumonia twice before the age of three. Through the recommendation of our Pulmonologist, he had an MRI and was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumor. Since then, he underwent two brain surgeries and received physical, occupational and speech therapy. He lives a normal life today and is not in active treatment but continues to be monitored on an ongoing basis by several Children’s physicians and specialists.

Q: What do you do with Families as Partners?
A: I’ve shared Colin’s story with the Board of Directors and with senior-level staff at the Children’s Leadership Forum through the Family Speakers Bureau. I’ve also participated in the Families as Faculty program, where we work with current medical students and residents to provide education around patient- and family-centered care. I am in my second year on the Family Advisory Council as well, where I’ve had the chance to collaborate with a number of different departments across Children’s in hopes of improving patient experiences moving forward.

Q: Would you recommend FAP as a way for other families to get involved?
A: I would definitely recommend FAP as a way to get involved. I’ve now had the opportunity to share Colin’s story with several different audiences and I truly believe that we are helping to remind everyone what is so amazing, unique and special about working with children. I also hope that our experience is used to improve care for other/future patients.

Q: Do you have a favorite experience with FAP?
A: To date, sharing Colin’s story with the Board of Directors was a favorite experience for me. I remember being nervous when I arrived but the audience was so warm and welcoming. They were so grateful to hear about my family’s experience. I walked away feeling that my story made an impression and would be in their thoughts as they make future decisions for Children’s.

Families as Partners program

Families as Partners offers a wide range of opportunities for involvement, including sharing your Children’s story, educating staff, providing peer-support, and advocating for pediatric policy issues. If your child is currently a patient at a Children’s clinic or hospital, or has previously been a patient, we encourage you to get involved in the Families as Partners program.

Apply today

The next Families as Partners training session is coming soon. Apply today! Learn more by contacting Tessa Billman, patient- and family-centered care coordinator, at 612-813-7407 or [email protected].

Alexandra Rothstein