About Us: Partnering With Patients


patient experience

At Park Nicollet, some of our best innovations have been shaped by input from patient and family partnership councils. From the revolutionary patient-focused designs of Frauenshuh Cancer Center to innovative care models at Melrose Center, patients are helping create a brighter future at Park Nicollet. 

There are currently more than 120 patient and family partners serving as advisors on patient advisory councils and in similar roles at Park Nicollet. The 21 councils represent a variety of service areas, including clinics and specialty centers.

Anita Bilden, Patient and Family Centered Care Coordinator, helps organize patient and family partnership councils across the organization. "Patients love being able to give back to an organization such as Park Nicollet," Bilden says. "We have cancer survivors and other grateful patients who want to give back to care teams who provided them with health, healing and hope. Councils give patients a way to stay connected and make a difference in the community."

Success in Bloomington
At Park Nicollet Clinic-Bloomington, Suma Nair, Clinic Manager, knows the importance of what a council has to offer. "Patients are a wealth of information and experience," Nair says. "While team members are often limited to areas where we work, patients often use the health system in its entirety and are able to bring a very broad perspective to the table. Council members are great advocates for patients and Park Nicollet."

An active retirement
Dennis Haskin is one such patient who volunteers his time on the Bloomington council. "Originally, I was invited to participate in two patient focus group sessions with about 10 other patients," Haskin says. "After that was complete, I was recruited to join the patient and family partnership council."

"I've only been a patient at Park Nicollet for about two years, but my wife has been a patient for seven years," Haskin says. "We're both retired now; I felt that I had the time to help make a difference. My background in business taught me that focus groups can provide valuable insight. As patients, we are able to bring different knowledge and perspective to the table. I'm thrilled the staff at the clinic realizes our input is important."