Memorial Hospital seeks input from patients and family members

February 6, 2023

Media Contact: Carrie Burkett 603-356-5461 ext. 2264
or Tim Kershner 603-356-5461 ext. 2198

NORTH CONWAY, NH – An important community resource at Memorial Hospital, the patient family advisory council (PFAC), is re-emerging from the pandemic.

PFAC aims to serve as a conduit between the public and Memorial Hospital, engaging patients and family members in discussion about ways to improve the patient experience. While PFAC continued to meet virtually during the past three years, engagement opportunities were limited. The group is now looking to bolster engagement and is seeking new members to participate in Memorial Hospital’s advisory process.

“We are always thinking about how we can be more patient-centered in the way we deliver care,” says Lawrence Carbonaro, Senior Director of Operations at Memorial Hospital. “PFAC keeps us connected to our patients and community in a meaningful way. Before the pandemic, we were able to engage PFAC members in some great projects. I’d like to see this level of engagement return.”

“The goal of PFAC is to provide insight and be the voice of patient,” says Tracy Kanzler, PFAC facilitator and Patient Safety Specialist at Memorial Hospital. “This process informs how we deliver health care. We want to involve PFAC with anything that affects the patient experience.”

PFAC meets monthly as a forum for patients and families to provide input into decision making at Memorial and to actively participate in the development of policies, new facilities and programs.

“I have seen PFAC members make a big impact,” says Carbonaro. “There were two patient guides we developed-one for orthopedics and the other for women’s health. We included PFAC members to be a part of our subject matter expert groups. They were equal contributors in the process and made these guides far more useful than they would have been without their insight. We still use both of these guides for our patients today.”

Kanzler is eager to recruit a few more members to PFAC. “We are looking for folks who have had experiences at our hospital either as a patient or as a family member or caretaker of a patient. We are looking for diverse perspectives. Someone who has the capacity to engage and a willingness to get involved can really have an impact.”

Rachael Brown joined PFAC about eight years ago and has found the experience to be both cathartic and rewarding. “My husband had been a patient at Memorial and he died in 2014. The staff were so kind. They were caring and professional and just so sweet to him. I wanted to give back.”

Brendan Battenfelder joined PFAC just a few months ago. “Rachael [Brown] suggested I join the PFAC committee,” says Battenfelder. “I wanted to support the hospital in some way. It seemed like the ideal place to help foster stronger relationships between the community and the hospital.”

Brown highlights the value of Memorial as a critical access hospital. “We live in a rural area, so our community hospital is vital and I want to help keep it thriving. I love that I can help shine a positive light on things. I like to get involved in projects that interest me, where I can bring my experience with writing but also offer a lay person’s point of view.”

“We all end up interacting with our local hospital in some way over time,” points out Battenfelder. “I have young children and have needed to rush them into Memorial in the past. I can bring forward a parent perspective. I am listening to other parents to hear how their interactions with Memorial have been positive or how they could improve.”

PFAC meets on the second Wednesday of the month. Meetings are a hybrid format with options to attend meetings in person or online. To learn more about applying to join PFAC, email or call 603-356-5461 extension 2644.


About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, visit  or call 603-356-5461.