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It started out simply as a tugging at her heart. Not long after her experience in the pediatric ICU with her son, Caroline DeLongchamps went back to the hospital where she would spend time with children whose parents were unable to be there. She had a family, a community, and plenty of resources to guide her through the most terrifying moments of her life. She recognized that not every family has those resources, so volunteering in the Children’s Hospital was one way she could give back, or pay it forward.
Volunteering led to her service on the Family Advisory Council, and then to numerous medical conferences around the country learning about Patient-and Family-Centered Care. She has spoken around the country at medical conferences, state hospital associations and she has presented for the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care at their International Conferences. The South Carolina Hospital Association invited Caroline to work with all of the hospitals in the state to teach them how to create Patient and Family Advisory Councils, thus recognizing MUSC as a leader in Patient and Family Centered Care.
She is the recipient of the Lewis Blackman Patient Advocate Award and received a pillar award as a Quality and Safety Leader. Caroline is the Manager of Patient-and Family-Centered Care for The Medical University of South Carolina Health System. She is collaborating with others to help transform the organization to a Patient-and Family-Centered system that honors and respects partnerships with patients and families. Leadership has engaged Caroline and other families on hospital committees and Quality and Safety initiatives, including all of the clinical design teams for the new Children’s Hospital…a sign that they are well on their way to realizing that transformation.
The Journey to Patient-and Family-Centered Care
Caroline tells a compelling story of how her son's accident and subsequent hospital stay led her to become the chair of the Family Advisory Council, sending herself to medical conferences all over the country in order to learn about patient and family-centered organizations. As manager of Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFAC’s), under Quality & Safety of MUSC Health System, Caroline teaches the value of partnering with patients and families to ensure better outcomes, including innovative ideas about ways health care organizations can include the voice of their customers.
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