Young mother giving birth to a baby

Recently, the UVM Medical Center introduced a new space for mothers and babies to spend their first few days together. This new Mother-Baby Unit is centered around the importance of  high quality patient care that focuses on the importance of family bonding after birth. The staff on our Mother-Baby Unit strives to make every family’s experience positive, and knows that the best way to do so is to invite families’ feedback about their experiences.

Patient- and Family- Centered Care is a hospital-wide strategic initiative that recognizes that patients and their families have valuable wisdom, advice, and experiences that can be used to improve the delivery, quality, and safety of health care.

Our Mother-Baby Unit is committed to improving our families’ experiences and thus is working to build an active, multidisciplinary advisory council to consistently and meaningfully incorporate family voice into practice.

If you have been a recent patient or family member of a patient on our Mother Baby Unit, you have important insight to share based on your hospital stay and we want to partner with you to improve care and the patient experience. We would like to invite you to become a patient/family advisor to our unit.

What is a patient/family advisor?

A patient/family advisor is a patient or family member of a patient who provides advice, feedback or suggestions through participation in a focus group or on an advisory council, with the goal of making services more responsive to the needs of patients and families.

Danielle Browne, a recent patient and now mother of a patient, collaborated with our Patient and Family Centered Care Coordinator and shared her story:

“I am a 42 year old first-time mother who was initially referred to UVM Medical Center for what should have been a routine ultrasound. What we discovered, however, was a shortened cervix that led to one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever been through. I went from being a proud expectant mother to someone ordered to bed rest, terrified of losing my growing baby girl. For six weeks my husband and I fought to keep our pregnancy, with four of those weeks being admitted to UVM Medical Center’s Mother and Baby unit.

The emotional pressure of that experience was suffocating at times. I was out of work and my husband was commuting regularly just to stay at my side in my hospital room. I truly feel I was able to survive this ordeal thanks to the expert care and tender regard given to me by the staff at the Mother and Baby unit. They offered comfort when I needed emotional support, empowered me with expert guidance as I was trying to understand what was happening medically, and they allowed me and my husband to turn our room for one month into a temporary home. Our daughter was born 13 weeks early, and I am proud to say she is stable and strong over in the NICU. My husband and I feel that we owe our daughter’s life to the medical attention we have received during our stay.”

How can you get involved?

Please contact Charlotte Safran at charlotte.safran@uvmhealth.org to learn more about opportunities to give feedback specific to our Mother-Baby Unit, or attend our ‘Mother-Baby Unit Tea and Discussion’ on January 29 from 2-4 p.m. in our Garden Atrium Café.

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