Deborah Clark named Chair of ARH’s Patient and Family Advisory Council

February 10, 2022 – When Deborah Clark settled in McNab in 2010, she decided to contribute to her new community. She fulfilled that promise by volunteering with the Arnprior Regional Health Auxiliary from 2011 to 2016, then serving on the Arnprior Regional Health Board of Directors from 2013 to 2020 and has now stepped into the role of Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Deborah is a chemist and worked in the research labs at Nortel on semiconductor fabrication processes. When it was time to settle into retirement, Deborah and her husband were drawn to McNab’s waterfront for happy paddling and because it provided her husband, an astronomer, with open space to build an observatory.

“I came along for the ride and ended up joining the best community I have had in many, many years,” reflected Deborah. “It was important for me to fully engage with the community, and I chose to volunteer at the hospital because I knew it would be interesting and a good fit with my background.”

Deborah Clark, Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council

After Deborah served on the Arnprior Regional Health Board of Directors for seven years, she knew it was time for something new.

“I was still interested in the work of the hospital, but I felt I needed a change,” shared Deborah. “Then COVID came along, and I was really quite isolated. My father had also passed away a year ago and the day my dad died my mother spent five days in Arnprior Regional Health (ARH). I knew PFAC needed help and now I had more practical experience as a caregiver.”

When Deborah was on the Board of Directors, she was always impressed with the work of PFAC and remembers how when she first arrived in the community the hospital was a maze to navigate. Once PFAC implemented the wayfinding project, it made it significantly easier for patients and family members to find their way to appointments and services.

Deborah joined the PFAC in spring 2021 and was appointed as Chair in December 2021. As Deborah looks ahead to 2022, top of mind is PFAC’s leadership opportunity to formalize the essential caregiver role.

“I think the hot button topic and one that has come out of COVID is the role of the essential caregivers,” shared Deborah. “That hasn’t really been formalized in Arnprior and I think we can do a lot to improve the communication and the acknowledgement of the role of the caregiver. For example, putting badges on people so that it’s clear this person is intimately involved in the care of the patient. I really feel that’s the next thing our PFAC needs to work on—and I know the Hospital’s leadership team is already starting to think and talk that way.”

The current PFAC membership includes:

Heather Cassidy

Deborah Clark

Corinne Finn

Bruce Haywood

Carrol Haywood

Shelly O’Hara

Vila Smith

Chantale Wall

Leah Levesque (ARH)

To learn more about becoming a volunteer member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, please contact Judy Gibbons at [email protected].

About Arnprior Regional Health

Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) is a progressive 141-bed organization that includes a fully accredited community hospital, nursing home, primary health care centre and extensive community programs. ARH is a regional hub with a strong history of providing exemplary care to the residents of West Ottawa, McNab/Braeside, Arnprior and Mississippi Mills. As your partner in health, ARH is committed to listening to and responding to meet the needs of those we serve, because together, we create a healthy community.

For more information:

Melissa McDermott

Communications Manager

Arnprior Regional Health

[email protected]