PFCC Star of the month: Julie Brouillard, Clinical Nurse Specialist, neurosurgery and neuro-oncology

At the Children's, we pride ourselves on putting the needs of children first. Part of that means taking a system-wide approach to patient and family-centered care (PFCC) and highlighting our peers who fully incorporate PFCC values in their daily work. This month, we’re launching a new feature to do just that.  We’ll bring you a new “PFCC Star” every month: a staff member who embodies what it means to work in partnership with families by empowering them to participate in decision-making and promoting information-sharing to improve the patient experience. Each “PFCC Star” will receive a special pin. In turn, they’ll be asked to nominate another colleague they think is deserving of being highlighted for their approach to working with families.

Julie has been part of the Neurosurgery and Neuro-oncology team for the past two years, but first began her career at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in 1998. “As a pivot nurse for neurosurgery, brain and spinal tumour patients, Julie plays a big role in coordinating complex care services for patients and families,” says Julie’s colleague, Dr. Geneviève Legault, a neuro-oncologist who interacts with Julie daily via email, phone calls and during weekly clinic visits. “She helps coordinate follow-ups with specialists in other departments, coordinates care for patients who sometimes come from hospital centres outside of Montreal, and is the main contact for families as they undergo treatment. Her role as a link between families and the team is very important, and my work is greatly facilitated by her presence,” she says.

“I think every family who has worked with Julie would agree that she is always available, warm, reliable and reassuring. Working with her is extremely easy, because she’s always informed about how patients are doing and how families are coping. She quickly lets me know when things aren’t going well and I need to intervene,” says Dr. Legault.

The impact of Julie’s approach, however, is likely greatest felt among the patients and families she regularly works with. “The hospital is a big place, and when your child is sick, you feel completely overwhelmed by all of the appointments you need to manage,” says Geneviève Beaudoin, whose 16-year old son Francis has needed treatment in the Neurosurgery Department. “Julie has always been available, quick to respond to my sometimes panicked phone calls and questions, and has been someone I feel I can trust and rely on. I know she’s a very busy person, and yet she always stopped what she was doing whenever she saw us in the waiting room and took time to check in. She’s truly wonderful and I am really happy she is being recognized for her great work.”

For her part, Marie-Claude Boucher, mom to 18 year-old patient Marie-Jeanne says Julie’s approach to patients and families made her feel like a valuable member of the team. “Whenever I speak with Julie, I feel listened to. I feel like no matter what, she will help us find a solution that is in the best interest of what will work for Marie-Jeanne.”

Join us in congratulating Julie for her dedication to patients and families by consistently incorporating patient and family-centered care values in her everyday work.