SVMC Launches Patient and Family Advisory Council
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: NEWS, 2021

SVMC Launches Patient and Family Advisory Council

BENNINGTON, VT—November 23, 2021—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), is gathering members for a new council made up of patients and their families. The new Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) aims to provide a forum for dialogue among patients, families, community members, and the health system as a way to ensure that the health system is meeting the needs of the community.

  • The group will be made up of 12 members of the community who have been patients at SVMC or who are a family member of a current or past patient at SVMC.
  • The group will meet every other month for an hour in the evening. Meetings will begin with a light dinner and chance to socialize before the business of the meeting begins.
  • The council will discuss patient safety, the quality of care, and patient comfort in the spirit of continual improvement.

“Our mission is to provide exceptional care and comfort to the people we serve,” said Paula Seaman, MSN, DA, RN, SVMC’s administrative director of Quality, Safety, Value, and Education. “We hope that this new group will bring us closer to what patients and their families are really thinking and feeling about their experience with us and help us ensure that we are fulfilling that mission for every patient during every encounter.”

Additional volunteer opportunities—including relating with patients, joining regional advisory boards, and attending organizational meetings—may be extended to members of the council who are particularly suited for taking on a more expansive role.

Those interested in membership should e-mail Once a full contingent of members have been identified, the PFAC will begin meeting, likely in the winter of 2021 – 22. 

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, healthcare system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.
SVMC has earned several prominent distinctions. Most recently, SVMC received the American Hospital Association’s Rural Healthcare Leadership Award for transformational change in efforts toward healthcare reform and its fifth consecutive designation within the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. It ranked fourth in the nation for healthcare value by the Lown Institute Hospitals Index in 2020 and is one of Vermont’s Best Places to Work. SVMC earned an ‘A’ for hospital safety from the Leapfrog Group for two years in a row. During the pandemic, SVMC and both its skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington, and the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Hoosick Falls, earned perfect scores on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services evaluation meant to determine the ability to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other infections.
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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