March 2007: Issue # 7

Celebrate World Health Day
Welcome Lisa Sockabasin to the Institute's Seminar Faculty
The Dana-Farber Patient Safety Toolkit is Now Available
Things to Do in Portland
Support the Institute on a Daily Basis!
The Institute for
Family-Centered Care
7900 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 405
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
P: 301 652-0281
F: 301 652-0186
Celebrate World Health Day

Each year on April 7th, the world celebrates World Health Day. On this day around the globe, thousands of events mark the importance of health for productive and happy lives. The goal of World Health Day 2007 is to focus on international health security issues, to engage high-level political interest in addressing these issues, and to show the close link of health to national and international security agendas. Natural and man-made disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, chemical and nuclear spills, bioterrorism, and large outbreaks of new and re-emerging infectious diseases are receiving increasing attention in a shared international public health agenda.

Health security policies are being developed and refined throughout the world. Increased collaboration among all people and nations will enable the international community to work for better health and, in turn, to assist in making the world more secure. The focus of the 21st-century global and local health care systems must strengthen partnerships among care providers, patients, families, and communities.

All sectors of society and all citizens share responsibility for health security. In the US, Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (The Bioterrorism Act) to protect Americans, as a collective society. Individually, Americans have learned much about how to safeguard their health, and many are doing what they can to live healthier, not just longer, lives. However, in it's "Report to the Nation on Trends in Health Security", AARP revealed that while consumers believe that they are expected to bear more responsibility for making informed health care choices, only half stated that they are sufficiently involved in decision making about their own healthcare.

As hospitals and health systems struggle with issues related to health security, quality, safety, workforce capacity, and cost control, they are recognizing that patient- and family-centered approaches and the perspectives of patients and families are essential to their efforts. The Institute for Family-Centered Care provides essential leadership on patient- and family-centered issues. It serves as a central resource for increasing the understanding and practice of patient- and family-centered care through the development and dissemination of materials, policy and research initiatives, training, technical assistance, and on-site consultation.

In celebration of World Health Day, the Institute for Family-Centered Care asks you to reaffirm your commitment to health practices and policies that involve collaboration and partnerships among healthcare providers, patients, and their families at all levels. To learn more about patient- and family-centered care, visit

Welcome Lisa Sockabasin to the Institute's Seminar Faculty

The Institute is pleased to announce that Lisa Sockabasin will share her expertise as a faculty member at our spring Hospitals Moving Forward With Patient- and Family-Centered Care Intensive Training Seminar. Lisa Sockabasin is the Director of the Office of Minority Health, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Born and raised in Maine, Lisa is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. Her father was Governor of the Tribe, and early on, Lisa recognized the difficulties faced by her community. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to work in the health field to benefit Native Americans.

The Office of Minority Health is one measurable example of Maine's commitment to deliver services that are individualized, family-centered, easily accessible, preventive, independence-oriented, interdisciplinary, collaborative, evidence-based, and consistent with best and promising practices. The Department of Health and Human Services values and supports staff as a critical connection to the consumer and is committed to engaging staff, stakeholders, providers, and customers in a collaborative partnership that continuously seeks excellence in service design and delivery.

Watch for the April Pinwheel Pages' discussion about the Office of Maternal and Child Health and the Office of Minority Health at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Prior to being named the Director of the Office of Minority Health, Lisa worked as a Regional Epidemiologist in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program for the State of Maine. She also was a Nurse Epidemiologist with the North American Indian Center of Boston, Inc., focusing on health disparities issues including diabetes management, facing the Native American community.

Lisa serves as the Program Coordinator for the Four Directions Summer Research Program at the Harvard Medical School, an eight week experience for Native American students to participate in a cutting edge research project, learn about Native American health care issues, and network with Native American students and faculty. In 2000, she was a student research participant in this program.

Lisa is a member of the New England Minority Health Strategic Planning Committee, which is charged with setting minority health priority areas for New England, and is a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF). In 2006, MeHAF launched a major initiative to begin work on the long-term priority of promoting patient-centered care. This initiative focuses on improving the integration of health care in Maine, particularly across physical, mental, and behavioral health sectors. MeHAF has generously supported the Institute's Hospitals Moving Forward Seminar by providing scholarships for four patient and family member attendees from Maine.

Lisa attended the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine, studying nursing and health policy. Her desire for learning is exemplified by her participation in a year-long leadership and networking program for public health professionals at the Northeast Public Health Leadership Institute in New York and her attendance at a six-week program designed to provide legislative training to diverse state leaders called "Massachusetts Commonwealth Legislative Seminar: Opening the Doors to the State House to Everyone." Lisa received the 2005 Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education at Cambridge College, MA, honing her policy research, leadership, and advocacy skills.

Bringing a wealth of experience and her unique perspective to our spring Hospitals Moving Forward Seminar in Portland, Maine. Lisa will present a plenary and multiple breakout sessions. Lisa's plenary session presentation is entitled: Enhancing Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Organizational Assessment and Practical Strategies. For more information on our Hospitals Moving Forward Seminar, visit

The Dana-Farber Patient Safety Toolkit is Now Available

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) is a longstanding leader in patient- and family-centered care. Beginning in 1997, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute sought assistance from the Institute for Family-Centered Care to advance the understanding of, and commitment to, providing cancer care in a patient- and family-centered manner. DFCI and the Institute for Family-Centered Care continue to work together to help ensure patient- and family-centered care at all levels of care. Maureen Connor and Reggie Mead are two faculty members from DFCI who will share their expertise at the upcoming Hospitals Moving Forward Seminar.

Over the past decade, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute worked to create an organizational culture that places a high priority on patient safety and on patient- and family-centered care. Patient Safety Rounds is an important component of DFCI's broad patient safety program. DFCI created the Center for Patient Safety to promote research, clinical improvement, and education at DFCI and beyond. The Center for Patient Safety has four priority areas: medication safety, communication and high performance teamwork, diagnostic errors, and infection control. Read more about the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on our website.

The Patient Safety Rounds Program began in 2001. The Risk Manager and other staff members made rounds in clinical areas to obtain staff input on safety issues. In 2004, the program expanded to include patient volunteers recruited to interview other patients and to obtain their input on safety concerns. This model of Patient Safety Rounds, in which both staff and patients are engaged in identifying actual and potential safety problems, continues at DFCI today.

In June 2006, the DCFI decided to share their practical strategies and successes by publishing: Implementing the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Patient Safety Rounds in Your Organization - a Tookit. The Toolkit is divided into nine sections that describe various components of the Patient Safety Program and offer resources that can be readily adapted for use in your organization:

  • Overview and Rationale
  • Organizational Assessment
  • Roles
  • Implementing Patient Safety Rounds with Staff at Your Organization
  • Involving Patients in Patient Safety Rounds
  • Training Staff and Patients for Patient Safety Rounds
  • Recommended Taxonomy for Classifying Incidents Reported by Staff and Patients during Patient Safety Rounds
  • Evaluation Tools
  • References

The Dana Farber Cancer Institute is pleased to share this Toolkit with you free of charge. To obtain a copy visit their website.

Things to Do in Portland

Portland, Maine's largest city, is an old seacoast town situated on a pennisula jutting into spectacular Casco Bay. It is an out-of-the ordinary city filled with galleries, one-of-kind boutiques and shops, and incredible restaurants serving everything from New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, and Maine seafood to nouveau cuisine. Schooners, water taxis, pedi cabs, trolley buses, and duck tours are all available in downtown Portland. Within a 15-mile radius of Portland lies a range of countryside and coastal landscapes to satisfy a variety of vacation appetites.

The Arts District of Portland combines the diverse cultural offerings of a major metropolitan area with a charming small-town flavor. No visit is complete without a lobster dinner, fresh from the Atlantic.


Old Port is one of the most successful revitalized warehouse districts in the country, both a working waterfront and a chic shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and experience the quaint charm of this district: boutique shopping, one-of-a-kind stores, restaurants serving Maine's famous lobster dishes or the latest nouveau cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife. Check out a few happenings listed below and visit the following Web sites for more in-depth Portland information: and

Portland Symphony Orchestra: Portland's resident professional orchestra, bringing the highest artistic quality to diverse audiences. Phone: (207) 842-0800,

Portland Stage Company: Maine premier professional theater, producing classics & contemporary works. Phone: (207) 774-0465,

Portland Pirates LLC: Member of the American Hockey League since 1992, playing 40 games at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Phone: (207) 828-4665,

PCA Great Performances: Bringing world-class performances to Portland's beautiful Merrill Auditorium. Classical, Opera, Broadway, dance, jazz & more... Phone: (207) 773-3150,

The Movies on Exchange: Movie house that features foreign & independent films.
Phone: (207) 772-9600,

Be warned! If you are a first time attendee at an IFCC Hospitals Moving Forward Intensive Training Seminar (and you seasoned returnees can vouch for this), we DO mean intensive. After a full day of comprehensive and practical sessions to help you become effective agents for patient- and family-centered change, you may not have the inclination to experience all that Portland has to offer. So, come early and stay longer to savor Portland's many marvels.

The Holiday Inn by the Bay guarantees discounted room rates for Seminar attendees who book by March 29, 2007. The special IFCC rate will be in effect for two days before and two days after the seminar. Within walking distance of the Old Port, working waterfront and Arts District, the Holiday Inn by the Bay is a perfect starting point for exploring Portland, Maine.

Support the Institute on a Daily Basis!

Every time you search the Internet, you can support the Institute. Every designated search using GoodSearch results in a donation to the Institute for Family-Centered Care. All you have to do is go to the GoodSearch Home page, click on the "cause list" dropdown box, and choose the Institute for Family-Centered Care as your "designated" cause. And while you're at it, you can put GoodSearch on your toolbar. This makes supporting the Institute so easy! As GoodSearch says: "There's no reason not to. You search . . . we give!"

GoodSearch is a search engine that donates fifty percent (50%) of its revenue to non-profit organizations designated by its users. It's a simple and compelling concept. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine. Because it's powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results. The money GoodSearch donates comes from its advertisers; the users and the beneficiary organizations do not spend a dime!

We are tracking the monthly searches that are generated by using GoodSearch in support of the Institute. The Institute's Goal for March is just 250 searches.

To join the campaign, use GoodSearch daily to look for anything, such as the address of your new friend's house or the number of lobsters that live in Maine. Simply click on the banner below, designate the Institute, and start your daily routine of supporting the Institute for Family-Centered Care. Thank you to our continuing supporters who are helping make this program a success.

Thank you to:

Vanderbilt University Hospital

for becoming a Pinwheel Partner of patient- and family-centered care.