Parent Perspective: Parent Advisory Committee

Trish Beagle
Skagit Pediatrics Parent Advisory Committee

From Francie Chalmers, MD, FAAP: Skagit Pediatrics recently revived its Parent Advisory Committee after it had been dormant for several years. The Committee provides a wonderful means of formally connecting parents and clinic providers/staff to encourage sharing of ideas and feedback. It fits right in to the Clinic’s efforts to broaden the reach of its Medical Home improvement efforts by engaging with parents and caregivers at a new level.  The Advisory Committee historically implemented powerful projects for the benefit of all, and we look forward to even better community building efforts in the future.

I have always known that Skagit Pediatrics has been a great medical practice for my four children, but it wasn’t until I joined the Parent Advisory Committee that I began to understand the depth of their intentional care for their patients.

In creating the advisory committee, the doctors at Skagit Pediatrics have placed themselves in a humble position and asked their clients (families/parents) 1. What are we doing well? 2. What are our blind spots? 3. How can we do ____ better?  I joined the committee because I was asked, I had a few ideas and it seemed like a good opportunity to partner.

We meet quarterly as a group which is made up of grandparents raising grand kids, and parents whose kids are babies to teens and have a variety of medical support needed.  At the meetings, we’re given time to speak about new ideas to improve Skagit Pediatrics and the staff often brings to the table things they are wanting feedback about. One recent example of this was when they were considering how to make their forms more gender inclusive, but not confusing.  We all had different ideas on how to accomplish that goal and I believe we were helpful.

In my experience, the parent advisory committee has been an effective way to build community and invite parents to join in the doctor’s efforts to best serve the kids who come to Skagit Pediatrics.

Editor’s note: Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Beth Harvey will be speaking about family engagement at our June 8th Pediatric Population Health Forum. Free registration for WCAAP members!