September 28, 2020

Consumers celebrate five years of service

Four of Northern Health’s consumers, and members of our Patient Experience and Community Advisory Committee (PECAC), celebrated five years of continuous service last month.

In recognition of their ongoing commitment, Maureen Canzano, Fiona Micelotta, Nurcihan Ozturk and Dalal Sleiman received a certificate of appreciation and an engraved pen.

Through the committee these consumers have contributed to the development of staff education, consumer education and patient and staff information resources.  This committee receives regular progress updates on Northern Health’s actions to improve patient experience.

“Our consumer members provide advice on these strategies based on their unique experiences of receiving health care and their strong connections with the diverse community we serve,” said Sherrilyn Ballard, Consumer Participation Coordinator.

The four consumers come from various professional backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience to share.

Maureen has a background in teaching, counselling and social work.  She has worked professionally in health care, welfare and teaching, and has joined Northern Health in a range of activities including, staff education in the emergency department, ‘Choosing Wisely’ project, appraisal of staff grant applications and staff recruitment. Her daughter has a complex physical disability and she is a member of the Whittlesea Disability Network.

“Maureen has brought to Northern Health’s attention how we can make a difference for patients living with a disability in accessing our services,” Sherrilyn added.

Fiona is the mother of young children and strengthens Northern Health’s response to the needs of children living with a chronic condition. She works at a Special School and has participated in staff recruitment and co-design projects with Northern Health.

On the other hand, Nurcihan has a passion for community development and has highlighted the needs of our culturally and linguistically diverse community.  Nurcihan is President of the Turkish women’s Recreational group and has held many roles in supporting the needs of the migrant and refugee communities, children and those living with a disability. She sees the work of PECAC as an important link to our community:

“Just as consumers need to learn and know how Norther Health works and what services it provides, Northern Health needs to understand and learn from the broader, diverse community,” she said.

“Nurcihan has invited Northern Health to visit her Turkish Women’s group and we have provided them with education on medication reconciliation and access to a session from Diabetes Victoria.  Nurcihan has since joined the Safer Care Victoria, Patient and Family Council,” Sherrilyn added.

The fourth consumer, Dalal, also has a background in community development and services for the multicultural community.  Dalal has vast experience working to assist newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers. Currently, Dalal is working at City of Whittlesea, Brotherhood of St Laurence and also runs her own migration services business.

“Dalal assists Northern Health in understanding the barriers for access to services and the health care needs of migrant and refugee communities living in the North. She is a member of our Cultural Responsiveness working group and the Strengthening our Hospital Response to Family Violence consumer working group,” Sherrilyn explained.

Sophie Rodier, Manager Patient Experience added “Northern Health thanks our consumers for their dedicated five years of service to PECAC.”