By Bernard S. Little
WRNMMC Command Communications
Projects focused on putting patients and families at the
heart of medicine highlighted the Dr. Paul Florentino Patient- and
Family-Centered Care (PFCC) Excellence Awards program May 3 at Walter Reed
National Military Medical Center.
Navy Capt. (Dr.) Mark Kobelja, WRNMMC director, commended
the work that staff, both active duty and civilian, as well as medical
residents, presented at the program. “It’s extraordinary,” he said. He also
described the projects as “amazing” and indicative of WRNMMC’s efforts in keeping
patients and their families at the core of the medical center’s mission.
Work presented at the program explored Opioids Impact on Benefit
from Spinal Cord Stimulator; Development of a Wellness Platform for Oncology
Patients with Cognitive Complaints; Sexual Health and Intimacy Services at
Walter Reed Bethesda; Implementation of a Family-Centered and Multidisciplinary
Cardiogenetics Clinic; Automation of the I-PASS Tool to Improve Transitions of
Care; Multi-Disciplinary Rounds on the Internal Medicine Wards; and Psychiatry
Behavioral Health High Risk Management for Children and Adolescents.
U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Moira McGuire earned the
first-place ribbon for her team’s project examining sexual health and intimacy
for wounded, ill and injured service members and their spouses/partners.
McGuire’s team concluded, “Exceptional efforts of a multidisciplinary team have
led to improved specialized care and continuity in the area of sexual health
and intimacy, enhanced care for wounded, ill and injured service members and
their spouses/partners, improved quality of life, and all consistent with
patient- and family-centered care tenets of collaboration, active
participation, dignity and respect, and open and honest information sharing.”
Genetics counselor Lydia Hellwig earned second-place honors
for her research involving implementation of a family-centered and
multidisciplinary Cardiogenetics Clinic. “Before the Cardiogenetics Clinic was
created, patients and providers alike were inundated with the challenges of
inter-departmental coordination of multiple specialty visits in order to ensure
proper care. With the Cardiogenetics Clinic in place, we have increased the
quality of care provided while decreasing the number of specialty appointments
required for these military families by 72 percent.”
Psychologist Laura Wandner, Army Capt. Sarah Ordway and Navy
Lt. Thomas Mellor shared third-place recognition. Wandner researched opioids
impact on benefit from spinal cord stimulator, and Ordway and Mellor researched
multi-disciplinary rounds on the Internal Medicine Wards.
Dr. Lina Kubli, of the Paul Florentino PFCC committee,
explained the benefits of patient- and family-centered care include an increase
in the quality of care; greater trust between providers, patients and their
families; and improved confidence in the overall health-care system resulting
in better outcomes. The tenets of PFCC include mutual dignity and respect,
unbiased information sharing, active participation from patients and families
in their care, and open collaboration among practitioners and providers.
The PFCC committee along with the Department of Research Programs
at WRNMMC conduct the PFCC excellence awards and program in honor of
Florentino, whose career took him from work as an Air Force flight surgeon to
deputy commander of medical services at the former National Naval Medical
Center, a predecessor of WRNMMC.
Florentino helped guide the integration of NNMC and the
former Walter Reed Army Medical Center to form WRNMMC, and he was a major
contributor in shifting the paradigm of care from being primarily physician
driven to physician, patient- and family-centered, acknowledging the pivotal
involvement of the patient and the patient’s family in health care. He died in
2011 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. To continue his legacy, the
PFCC excellence awards program is open to any WRNMMC department or team that
initiates research, innovation, or process improvement to benefit patient- and
Francesca Bjorklund served as guest speaker at this year’s
Florentino PFCC excellence awards program. The mother of twin girls with a health
condition affecting their nervous systems and speech, Bjorklund advocates for
PFCC. She explained that the successful health care of children starts at home
as well as creating a partnership with medical, therapeutic and educational
teams. She stated that with a team approach, children with challenges are
better able to leap their hurdles and succeed in all facets of life.