Fox Chase Staff Member Recognized for Advancing Patient-Centered Care

July 20, 2021

Delinda Pendleton, BSN, MSN, staff liaison for the Fox Chase Patient and Family Advisory CouncilDelinda Pendleton, BSN, MSN, staff liaison for the Fox Chase Patient and Family Advisory Council

PHILADELPHIA (July 20, 2021)—Delinda Pendleton, BSN, MSN, a long-time employee at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been named a Planetree Fellow in Person-Centered Care. The fellows program is operated by Planetree International, a leading person-centered care advocacy and standard setting organization.

For over a decade, Pendleton, staff liaison for the Fox Chase Patient and Family Advisory Council, has spearheaded the application of this type of care to how patients and healthcare professionals interact throughout treatment at the center.

“As I progressed in my career, I recognized that many of us in healthcare are patient-focused, but we’re not necessarily patient-centered,” said Pendleton, director of Patient Relations and Strategic Clinical Initiatives. “They’re two different concepts. Being patient-focused means that you do a lot of things on behalf of the patient but you don’t necessarily partner with the patient to make sure that their input is what’s appropriate.”

The honor distinguishes Pendleton as someone who focuses on patient-centered care, which emphasizes compassion, partnership, access, and inclusion in order to provide safe and fair care to patients, according to Planetree.

“Becoming a fellow signals not only Delinda’s conviction that person-centered care is the right thing to do, but also her professional track record of putting person-centered care into action,” said Susan Frampton, Planetree’s president.

Pendleton said that over a decade ago, she realized that although Fox Chase was performing extremely well in in terms of patient satisfaction, she thought it was important to fully adopt patient-centered programs in order to take the center’s programs to the next level.

To do so, she launched the Patient and Family Advisory Council, which seeks to highlight the role the family plays in ensuring the health and well-being of their loved ones. The council recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and has been thriving despite the pandemic, Pendleton said.

Learning about patient-centered care pushed Pendleton to pursue ways to better serve her patients as a bedside nurse and in her other roles as patient safety officer and infection control practitioner, she said. When the prestigious recognition from Planetree was offered, she thought it would be a great opportunity to demonstrate how Fox Chase has been making moves in the right direction.

Over the years, she has furthered her knowledge on this comprehensive form of patient care by attending classes and webinars and partnering and networking with other cancer research facilities who had similar programs.

Pendleton said working towards the Planetree credential motivated her to continually strive for improvement in patient care. She said she often asks herself, “What can our institution be doing better with our processes and our procedures?” The answer, she added, is very simple—empathy.

“At the end of the day, most of this is how we treat people,” Pendleton said. “There’s this avoidable suffering that we can do something about through getting our wait times better, speaking to patients, being more compassionate to patients, and being more courteous”

During a time that has been challenging for patients and staff, Pendleton said it is crucial for healthcare professionals to avoid becoming desensitized to the difficulties that patients encounter.

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.


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