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Patient and Family Advisors Community Leadership
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About Leadership Resources Institute Membership

The Patient and Family Advisors Community Leadership along with the Global Patient and Family Advisory Council provides advice on strategy, growth opportunities and future plans for the community.

Barbara Lewis
Joan's Family Bill of Rights

Zal Press
Patient Commando Productions

Barbara Lewis
Founder, Joan's Family Bill of Rights

Barbara Lewis launched a three-decade career first as a journalist writing for numerous national publications from the Wall Street Journal to Ladies Home Journal and from Physicians Management to Modern Healthcare. She returned to school, obtaining an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she’s taught business communications and where she currently lectures on primary research. After receiving her MBA, Barbara founded a marketing consulting firm. Act three of her career began when she wrote Joan’s Family Bill of Rights about her sister’s last days in the ICU. When the health system asked her to make three presentations at their facilities, she was shocked by the number of healthcare professionals who lined up to tell her their stories. She decided to leave a consulting career and work to improve the patient experience.

Since 2013, Barbara has been researching Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) and building a business case for why hospitals should have one. Unfortunately, only 55 percent of hospitals have a PFAC. The Beryl Institute supported a survey that she conducted at the beginning of 2014 and the Partnership for Patients supported a second survey at the end of the year. She continues to accumulate examples where PFACs have saved hospitals money, increased safety and improved the patient experience. Barbara is the part-time Managing Editor of DocCom, an online communication learning program for clinicians.

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Zal Press
Founder, Patient Commando Productions

Zal is the leading patient proponent of the use of patient narrative in medical education as an innovation tool to improve the practice of patient centered care. He founded Patient Commando Productions in 2010 as a social enterprise to produce authentic Patient Experience programming that informs and enriches our understanding of critical Health Care Issues. Patient Commando Productions is a CME provider of accredited continuing medical education programming focused exclusively on the patient experience.

For 25 years prior to founding Patient Commando Productions, Zal was the president of a contemporary wall décor manufacturer after a career as a marketing and communications professional. Throughout this period, he managed a chronic illness while developing his new career as a professional patient. His wife and 2 now-young adult children played pivotal roles in the 30 years it took him to move up the patient engagement ladder.

Patient Commando Productions produces Medutainment – health education informed by the patient experience using visual and performing arts. The company facilitates patient storytelling clinics with award winning, Second City alumnus, Brian G. Smith and presents live stage events such as the Canadian Comedy Award winner "Cancer Can’t Dance Like This,” a one man show starring Daniel Stolfi. The website is the most diverse collection of patient stories in any medium, with contributions from accomplished authors, filmmakers, educators, researchers and numerous internationally recognized patient advocates. Through innovative partnerships such as the collaboration with the Canadian Public Health Association, the site provides a platform for the unheard voice of remote, vulnerable and marginalized health populations.

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