A VOICE FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES
August 29, 2018
Dave Fasano believes everyone has the responsibility to look out for those who can’t look out for themselves. That’s why most days he can be found at Runnymede Healthcare Centre, caring for his wife, Lori. That philosophy is also his motivation for taking on the challenge of co-chairing Runnymede’s Patient Family Advisory Council.
Lori Fasano was 52 years old when she went into cardiac arrest in her Mississauga home. The resulting anoxic brain injury left her wheelchair bound. Communication is a challenge. While she can understand, she is unable to verbalize or express herself beyond limited movement.
"Nothing’s been the same since," Dave said.
Lori and Dave met in a physiology course at the University of Manitoba. Their first date was Nov. 19. 1979. Dave was 19 and Lori was just shy of her 19th birthday. They were married in 1983 and had two children, Scott and Alison.
Lori studied pharmacy and steadily rose up the ranks to become a national leader in retail pharmacy. The family moved to Mississauga in 1997 and Lori managed Zellers’ slate of pharmacies. When Zellers was sold to Target, she moved into consulting.
Dave also worked in pharmaceutical consulting but when it became too much to juggle work and visits to the hospital, he opted for early retirement so he could better care for Lori.
"It was not a decision," he said about his choice to give up his career. "Lori was in the position where she needed someone to be her voice."
In his new role with Runnymede’s Patient Family Advisory Council, Dave is not just a voice for Lori, but an advocate for all patients at Runnymede.
Runnymede’s new Patient Family Advisory Council is an unprecedented way for patients and families to influence care delivery. The more formal meeting structure expands on the success of the long-running Patient Family Council. The Advisory Council will be made up of patients and family members who commit for a full year, with its leadership shared between a Runnymede staff member and a patient family member, who each serve as co-chairs.
"The idea behind the council is to effect what people see on a daily basis," Dave said. "Through the change in structure, we’re able to better impact policy and procedure, and see changes that occur from input at the patient and family level."
By fostering longer-term relationships the new council provides participants with an opportunity to be a part of meaningful change and improve the quality and safety of health care services. Participants will be asked to share their stories, review information and educational materials and participate in short or long term projects.
"When the right people are involved, it can lead to a significant change," Dave said. "We are fortunate to be at Runnymede because of the quality of people who deliver care. But there are always opportunities to improve, and that is driven by involvement in council."
To apply to be a Patient Family Advisory Council member, please contact email@example.com or 416-762-7316, ext. 2640.