NHH PFAC expands by three

By Cecilia Nasmith

Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council is growing, with three new additions following the latest open call for interest.

The three individuals beginning their involvement with the council this month have accepted program opportunities aligned with their experience and interest – Lisa van der Vinne of Cobourg in Surgical Services, Barry McMahon of Port Hope in the Intensive Care Unit, and Alexis Smith of Colborne in the Baby Friendly Initiative-Maternal and Child Care.

Since forming at NHH in December 2016, the hospital's press release said, the council has expanded steadily, Patient and family advisors now play active roles at NHH in three capacities – as equal partners on all core-program Quality and Practice Committees, on departmental assignments, and on special programs that are both corporate and PFAC-drive.

“Guided in their work by a co-designed vision and purpose, NHH PFAC volunteers are a key part of decision making throughout the hospital, working with front-line staff, managers, physicians and the board to continuously improve the experience of individuals who receive care at NHH, and their families,” the release said.

“With recent NHH experience ranging from surgical services to maternal/child care and caregiver support, the three newest PFAC volunteers are all looking forward to becoming more directly involved with staff, physicians and other patients and caregivers to continuously enhance the patient and family experience at NHH.”

McMahon said he was inspired to apply by his belief in volunteering.

Having recently given birth at NHH, Smith wants to lend her experience to enhance breast-feeding supports and services for new moms like herself.

Van der Vinne hopes to use her surgical-services experience to give back to the program and professionals who supported her and – by extension – the community.

Hospital president and chief executive officer Linda Davis said the PFAC is one way to partner with patients and caregivers to enhance the quality of care they provide.

“We’re very grateful to the generous volunteers who have stepped forward to share their experience and their wisdom in this capacity,” Davis said.

For more information on the council please, see the Terms of Reference and Role Description located on the Patient and Family Advisory Council Page under the Patients tab of the hospital website at

While calls for interest are issued when opportunities arise, expressions of interest may be submitted at any time. The Expression of Interest form will be found on this web page, along with biographies of all the council volunteers.