Neonatal Family Advisory Council
If you are inspired to make a difference by serving on the Neonatal Family Advisory Council or want more information, please email [email protected] or [email protected].
The Betty H. Cameron Women's & Children's Hospital's Neonatal Family Advisory Council formed in 2010 as a partnership between Neonatal Intensive Care Unit families and staff. Our Council empowers and encourages families to voice their needs and preferences and to play a central role in the care plan of their child. Our Council is dedicated to improving family-centered care through education and resources and by serving as another link between families and hospital staff. We are dedicated to a family-driven council, in which families have a direct impact on programs and policies that affect patient and family care.
The Neonatal Family Advisory Council's mission is to ensure family-centered care by empowering families and staff through education and support, as well as reviewing family needs and providing recommendations to NICU staff.
Members of the Neonatal Family Advisory Council believe:
- Family members are the most important members of their child's healthcare team
- Family members are the most knowledgeable about family needs
- Fostering the bond between families and infants is important for the child's welfare
- In honoring the diversity of families
- The core concepts of family-centered care are equally beneficial to families and healthcare providers
Offering Ongoing Support
In addition to serving as the voice for families, our council strives to provide emotional and social support to families with babies in the NICU. Our council provides supportive activities and promotes communication between families and staff so family needs and preferences are understood. To "normalize" the NICU experience (as much as possible), we focus on projects to encourage the bond between baby and family, and between families and their "neighbors" in the unit.
We meet monthly to discuss goals for policy improvement and family care projects.
The council constantly seeks suggestions for family-centered projects and policies. Our philosophy is that no one can better understand how to support or improve the lives of NICU families than those who have been there themselves.
The Neonatal Family Advisory Council uses several guiding principles to support our mission.
- To support diverse families with different needs
- To improve family sense of belonging
- To encourage understanding of what it feels like "to walk in those shoes"
- To promote family as a part of the healthcare team and encourage bonding between family and baby
- To recognize that it is the family's baby and the healthcare providers are the visitors
- To improve parent's positive experience with touchpoints through their NICU journey
- To encourage families to bond and build relationships with other families who have a child in NICU
- To promote family-centered care through education and support of staff
We understand that a strong support system is instrumental in coping with having an infant in the NICU. Caring Bridge is a free service to create personalized websites to stay connected to family members and friends during a serious health event.
Create a Page to Update Family
Creating a page with Caring Bridge is a wonderful way to keep family and friends informed while parents are involved in the day-to-day care of their newborns. You can personalize by sharing your story, posting photos and adding updates. Loved ones will also be able to post messages of encouragement.
To find out more information on starting your page, visit the Caring Bridge website.