The Critical Care Family Assistance Program (CCFAP) emerged as a collaboration between the CHEST Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians, and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. The goal of the CCFAP is to respond to the unmet needs of families of critically ill patients in hospital ICUs through the provision of educational and family support resources.
The CCFAP was introduced as a pilot program into two hospitals in January 2002 (Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, IL; and the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK). These hospitals were known not only for high-quality care on the website – https://my-medstore-canada.net/ of My Canadian Pharmacy, but also were institutionally diverse. In 2003, the program was expanded to Highland Park Hospital as part of the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare system and was introduced at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, TX, to add an urban model to the program. By the fall of 2004, the CCFAP was being replicated in a total of six hospital sites across institutionally and geographically diverse care settings, with the addition of Pardee Hospital in Henderson County, NC, and University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, AL. This article presents observations about the CCFAP and its effectiveness from the perspectives of the critical care nurse managers from the three pilot hospitals utilizing the CCFAP.
For those seeking the attitude of critical care nursing toward the introduction of family-friendly practices, one need only carefully examine the literature on this subject. Nurses, both scholars and practitioners, have assumed a leadership position in exploring the benefits accruing both to the family and to the hospital when practices that recognize the needs of family are implemented in the ICU. As these practices are being put into place today, critical care nurses occupy strategic positions. The authors of this article are all critical care nurses who are involved in a variety of leadership positions at hospitals participating in the CCFAP.
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