St. John Receives 2006 Family-Centered Care Award

PRESTIGIOUS AWARD: Peter B. Angood, M.D., FCCM, former president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine presents St. John’s Delores Nelson, R.N., Nancy King, R.N., and Dr. Gerald Plost, M.D. with the 2006 Family-Centered Care Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Courtesy St. John Medical Center

St. John Medical Center announced today it was selected as the recipient of the 2006 Family-Centered Care Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine. The accolade recognizes innovations that improve care provided to critically ill and injured patients, the family and those chosen by the patient to be with them.

Sponsored by the Society of Critical Care’s Medicine Patient and Family Support Committee, the award acknowledges implementation of St. John Medical Center’s initiative to better support patients and families during periods of critical hospital care. St. John’s submission profiled the expanding role of its family care specialist (FCS), a position created by Gerald Plost, M.D. and his adult intensive care unit management team to assist in the delivery of compassionate care to patients and families in St. John’s intensive care units.

According to the submission, the role was initially that of family advocate, encouraging staff to view the patient/family perspective during intensive hospital care scenarios. FCS responsibilities grew to include counseling, development and implementation of educational programs for staff and family members, leadership to ICU staff in development of family care skills and advocation for changes in the ICU to meet patient and family needs. The FCS position is especially unique because it is filled by a critical care registered nurse.

The FCS efforts, as well as an increasing need for support with complex end-of-life issues for families and patients, ultimately led to the creation of the Palliative Care Consult Service (PCCS) department within St. John Medical Center. The PCCS focuses on the relief of physical, psychosocial and spiritual suffering, while attempting to maintain the best possible quality of life for a variety of end-stage diagnoses.

“It is our honor to be recognized by the Society of Critical Care Medicine for the development of our family-centered care program,” says Dr. Plost. “This recognition further exemplifies our belief that treatment in the ICU should be fluid, focusing on ongoing assessment, evaluation and striving for excellence in compassionate care for families as well as patients.”

Dr. Plost, Nancy King, R.N. and Delores Nelson, R.N. accepted the award on behalf of St. John Medical Center at a ceremony January 8, during the Society of Critical Care Medicine Awards presentation in San Francisco, Calif.

Updated 03-09-2006

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