Annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference focuses on patient safety

The Center for Patients and Families at Augusta University Health held its 13th annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference on Jan. 30. The theme for the interdisciplinary conference was Listen…and be Led, featuring keynote speaker Sue Sheridan of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

The conference also featured five rapid-fire sessions on family-centered initiatives at Augusta University, including topics on Talking it Out in the BioPIT; Closing the Gap with PAP — Patient Assistance Program; Creating a Legacy — The Butterfly Cart; Responding to Violence in the Workplace; and Stop! Can’t Touch This, a session on infection prevention.

The sessions were followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Pascha Schafer, MD, Chief Quality Officer, who addressed patient safety opportunities, and the conference concluded with Building a Culture of Safety, featuring methods of strengthening patient- and family-centered outcomes.

Team members who exemplify patient- and family- centered care were honored at the PFCC Family Choice Awards, presented during a celebration dinner Jan. 29.

The recipients were:
  • PFCC Ambassador Award: Chris Miller, Director, Facility Services Center
  • Pat Sodomka Leadership Award: Anthony Horton, Manager, Operational Excellence
  • PFCC Partnership Award: Information Technology
  • PFCC Family Choice Award: Melissa Briggs, Physical Therapy Assistant; Georgia Gregory, Nurse, RWS; Douglas Johnson, Nurse, Pediatric Cardiology Cath; Debra Marranci, Assistant Nurse Manager, Perianesthesia; Jordan Phillips, Polysomnographic Technician
  • PFCC IMPACT Award: Creating a Clothes Closet – Supporting Patients with Dignity and Respect (Lisa Wilson, RN and Vanessa Spearman, MD)

Sheridan shared her experiences with the misdiagnoses of her son, which caused severe disabilities and preventable brain damage, and her husband, who died from cancer after an initial report indicated that a tumor taken from his spine was benign. It turned out to be an aggressive, malignant sarcoma that required urgent treatment. She offered recommendations on how clinicians and patients can be more engaged to avoid making such errors.

A copy of Sheridan’s change package is available by emailing the PFCC.

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Written by
Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Lead Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or

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woman smiling Written by Lisa Kaylor

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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