Moffitt's Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) serves as the "voice of the patient" by making sure patients' needs and concerns are always at the center of the health care Moffitt provides.
To strengthen this commitment, the council has established a Diversity Subcommittee, which seeks perspectives from patients of all ages, ethnicities, nationalities and gender identities.
"We want to capture the patient's voice, and that means all of our voices," said Moffitt Patient Advisory Manager Anne Bidelman. "The committee celebrates the rich diversity of our patient and family community and makes sure all perspectives are heard throughout the organization."
Moffitt launched PFAC in 2005 as part of a nationwide movement to improve patients' experiences in hospital settings. Today, the council includes patients, family members and Moffitt leaders. They seek patient input on everything from common medical procedures to hospital design. Moffitt leaders and clinicians actively listen and make enhancements.
The 11-member Diversity Subcommittee includes current and former patients, caregivers and Moffitt team members who are managers, communications professionals, a social worker, members of the Enterprise Equity Department and the Office of Community Outreach, Equity and Engagement.
"We want to capture the patient's voice, and that means all of our voices."- Anne Bidelman, Patient Advisory Manager
The Diversity Subcommittee recently reviewed marketing materials "to make sure all communications coming out of Moffitt and the visuals associated with them are representative of the diversity of our community," said Barbara Cruz, a University of South Florida education professor who has been treated for lymphoma at Moffitt, and who is a member of the subcommittee.
Cruz, who was born in Cuba and speaks Spanish, says it's important for Moffitt to listen carefully to a wide variety of patients because different communities have different concerns and viewpoints.
"You really have to have representation from the population that you serve," said Barney Morris, a former law enforcement and U.S. Air Force officer who is a member of the Diversity Subcommittee.
Morris is active in the nonprofit 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay and conducts community education to encourage men to be screened for prostate cancer. When it comes to outreach, he said, "One size does not fit all." Outreach in some Black communities should start in trusted neighborhood hubs, such as barber shops and churches. Facebook ads and generic website posts won't see the same results, he said.
By listening carefully to multiple patient voices, the PFAC Diversity Subcommittee is working to better serve the diverse cultures and communities of the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
"We recognize the importance of emphasizing diversity as an organization," said Moffitt Director of Patient Experience Cristina Perez, "and this committee is helping us do that."