NYGH Patient Advisor wins 20 Faces of Change Award

Pat Mackey’s patient-centred care legacy lives on

TORONTO, March 10, 2015 – North York General Hospital (NYGH) is proud to share Patient and Family Advisor Patricia (Pat) Mackey is a recipient, posthumously, of a 20 Faces of Change Award for her contributions to improving patient- and family-centred care.
Pat Mackey
                          Pat Mackey
Pat Mackey was an inaugural member of North York General's Patient and Family Advisory Council. The council is made up of former patients and family members of patients who have received care at NYGH. Working in partnership with the hospital, the council ensures the needs and priorities of patients and families are considered and incorporated into matters that impact them.

“Pat had a remarkable ability to share her experiences, good and bad, in a way that made our staff, physicians and myself want to keep listening and learning from her,” says Tim Rutledge, President and CEO, North York General Hospital. “Learning Pat won a 20 Faces of Change Award is a proud moment for those of us at the hospital who had the chance to know and work with her.”

When Pat's cancer returned in 2013, she was concerned her terminal illness would prevent her from volunteering as a patient and family advisor. Her oncologist suggested she could still give back by sharing her thoughts and observations on what it is like to live with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

“Being a member of the council brought so much joy to Pat. She believed so strongly that by working together (patients and families, and staff and physicians) real, meaningful changes could be made,” says Michael Mackey, husband of Pat Mackey. “When her cancer came back she saw first-hand how storytelling, and her own story, could also help improve the patient and family experience.”

Beginning in March 2013, Pat recorded her thoughts on what it is like to live with a terminal illness, what she believed is the role of patient and family advisors, and shared examples where she did and didn't receive patient- and family-centred care. This footage is now being used across the hospital to recruit volunteers and to instill North York General's culture of patient- and family-centred care in current and new staff.

Pat Mackey: Living with a terminal cancer diagnosis has had over 5,000 views in just over 12 months on YouTube.

In recognition of her contributions to furthering patient- and family-centred care, Pat's family established The Patricia Mackey Patient- and Family-Centred Care Educational Award. To date over $120,000 has been donated.

The funds have been used to establish an annual Patient- and Family-Centred Care Education Day at the hospital where experts visit and share the latest developments in this field. The award also provides annual professional development in the form of workshops or other forums in patient- and family-centred care for one or two staff, physicians, volunteers or patient and family advisors from any area in the hospital.

Launched last November, the 20 Faces of Change Awards campaign sought nominations of patients, caregivers, health care leaders and practitioners, family members, community members, volunteers, and staff who have contributed to improvements in patient- and family-focused care. The 20 recipients were chosen by a specially appointed Selection Committee of third-party health care leaders who sorted through over 80 nominations from a diverse range of teams, individuals and organizations, submitted from all across Ontario.

North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across three sites. Through partnerships, collaboration and academic endeavours, we seek to set new standards for patient- and family-centred care. Working together with our patients and their families, we are making a world of difference.

North York General Foundation supports North York General's ongoing pursuit of excellence in providing patients with the best care today while driving the health innovations of tomorrow. To make a donation in support of The Patricia Mackey Patient- and Family-Centred Care Educational Award, or learn more about how this award is improving patient- and family-centred care, visit nyghfoundation.ca.

For more information, contact:
Elizabeth McCarthy
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs