The 3rd International Conference provided lots of opportunities to learn and to network. In addition to a multitude of concurrent sessions, participants could attend plenary meetings with speakers from around the world, leadership luncheons, networking dinners, visit the Exhibit Hall, see poster presentations, or check out the video theatre.
At the opening plenary, you could hear a pin drop during Margaret Murphy's moving presentation. She set the tone for the entire Conference as she presented one mother's perspective. Read more about Margaret Murphy's story on our website at http://www.familycenteredcare.org/advance/pafam-murphy.html
Rosemary Gibson, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, had the audience in her hands with her show and tell of a hospital gown and stories of how patients and families are crucial players in making health care safer. In order to make her point Rosemary adapted Ghandi's quote:
"A patient is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to serve him."
Jack Davis, from the Calgary Health Region, gave insights into the roles of leaders from his perspective as the CEO of a large public health region committed to patient- and family-centered care. You can hear his remarks on-line and learn more about his presentation. (Watch for an article in next month's Pinwheel Pages about Jack Davis and the Calgary Health Region.)
About two hundred attendees signed up for the three special luncheons. The Executive Leadership Luncheon, held Monday, July 30 featuring nationally recognized leaders, generated a dynamic discussion about implementing patient- and family-centered care at the executive level. On Tuesday, nurse executives and educators, along with patient and family faculty, explored opportunities for integrating patient- and family-centered care at all levels of nursing education. And at Wednesday's Primary Care Lunch every seat was filled for the interactive discussion about how to connect patient and family advisors and leaders with primary care physicians, organizations, and educators to create and evaluate patient- and family-centered medical homes.
Tuesday's sold-out networking dinner provided time and space for lots of networking. For example, one participant reported an amazing conversation with a combination of
perspectives, from three moms of children with health problems, two
pediatric physicians (one from France, one from the US), a NICU RN, a patient representative from Switzerland, a hospitalist from Oregon, and an oncology/transplant person. Reportedly, "the dinner group laughed a lot . . . and also spoke seriously and . . . always respectfully of each other's viewpoints. . ." including not only a debate over US medicine vs. French socialized care, but also a pediatrician saying, "OK, I've ALWAYS wanted to ask a parent this . . ." The parent then told her story, asking for the physician's thoughts. Words cannot adequately capture the feeling generated at many tables around the room as people connected across professional, personal, and geographic boundaries to share their stories.