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Southcoast Patient & Family Advisory Council

The Southcoast Hospital’s Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) provides a vehicle for improved communication among patients, families and staff. Serving as an advisory resource to administration and trustees, the council discusses and reports on issues concerning the greater Southcoast community to improve the reach and quality of care.

If you are interested in being a part of the discussion, apply online today to join the Southcoast Patient & Family Advisory Council.

Our Mission & Goals

The PFAC’s goal is to act as a “consumer advisory group” and serve as a link between Southcoast Hospitals and the communities we serve. The PFAC seeks to provide a voice for patients and families about the way in which care is delivered and to discuss concerns about care, quality and access.

The PFAC’s goal is also to champion family participation in hospital care and decision-making and gather information about significant issues and trends to be considered by hospital administration and staff in its policy-making, program development and staff training and education. The PFAC also helps advise Southcoast on community-based education needs to better inform the public about how to play an active role in their health care.

PFAC Membership

Southcoast’s PFAC consists of up to 24 members, with at least 50 percent of the representation coming from the community. Members serve for 2-year terms with alternating expiration dates to maintain continuity and consistency. Members can serve up to three consecutive terms.

The PFAC is co-chaired by someone from the community, such as a former patient or a family member, and by someone from Southcoast, such as an administrator, trustee or physician. Others are invited to attend the PFAC meetings, depending on the topics or issues to be discussed. Community membership is on a volunteer basis.

The PFAC meets on the last Monday of every month, except in May and December.

Current Members

Below is a list of our sitting Community Council Members, shown alphabetically:

Name: Michelle Bullock
Hometown: Swansea
Professional background: Teacher, Trainer in Psychological Education; Teacher K-12
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: Board of Directors for Swansea Council of Aging and Bristol Elder Services; volunteer at Swansea town events; enjoys Zumba and distance running
Why they joined PFAC: “My elderly family members received care at Southcoast Health and I wanted to give back in return for the care they were given.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2016


Name: Kathleen Campanirio
Hometown: Taunton
Professional background: RN with 25 years’ experience in many specialties; 30-year Vice President at a healthcare information systems company, consulting, installing, training and selling software systems; former healthcare coordinator at Headstart; trained and supported 100 clinincal staffers for VNA
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: AARP driver’s ed trainer in MA and FL; provides education for senior regarding Medicare Part D and works with Medicare Affiliates (BFAC) to educate seniors on Medicare services, patient empowerment and partnership; enjoys traveling, computers, and supporting special needs adults
Why they joined PFAC: “My experiences caring for my husband with his terminal illness and my special needs son, my retirement and my background in healthcare and process management.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2010 (Founding member)


Name: Den DeMarinis
Hometown: New Bedford
Professional background: Director of Development, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: Chairperson, Commission for Citizen’s with Disabilities Member; Southcoast Health Community Benefits Committee
Why they joined PFAC: “My past experiences with the health system and a need to try and make a difference.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2016


Name: Pam Ellis
Hometown: Mattapoisett
Professional background: Non-profit office management; software product management; informal educator
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: Leadership Southcoast Alumni Committee member; enjoys water activities and biking
Why they joined PFAC: “My passion for quality of care, recognizing improvement opportunities based on my own health and family experience.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2015


Name: Diane Gouveia
Hometown: Fall River
Professional background: RN, BS, M.Ed with service as Pediatric staff nurse, School Health and Administrative work in Fall River Schools (Ret.)
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: Volunteers at the Holy Trinity bi-monthly soup kitchen in Fall River; member of the “Shining Tides Quilt Guild,” donating time and resources to work for their community partners, the “Charity Quilts Program”
Why they joined PFAC: “I want to participate in strengthening patient and family experiences, safety and increasing communication throughout our healthcare systems through sharing personal experiences, as well as professional experiences, and work in collaboration with healthcare and community members.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2016


Name: Joan Menard
Hometown: South Dartmouth
Professional background: Started career in customer services and support in tech; higher education; transitioned to healthcare in 2008; project management, training and consulting
Personal Interests/Community Affiliations: Member of the DNRT and Helfand Community Garden; supports and participates at the Marion Institute and Round-the-Bend Farm; personal interests include music, reading, food and nutrition and sustainable living
Why they joined PFAC: “Just as the decline of company paid pensions prompted individuals to take control of their own retirement funding, the Affordable Care Act has created an environment where individuals will be best served by increasing their role in their own healthcare. I want to help patients be successful by sharing what I’ve learned about healthcare through my work with doctors, executives and staff at hospitals, and also in an outpatient primary care setting.”
Tenure on Council: Since 2015

The Southcoast Council Members are listed alphabetically below:

  • Nitya Bitthairi, MD, Hospitalist, Southcoast Health
  • William Burns, Director of Government Affairs, Southcoast Health
  • Paul Crawford, Vice President, Support Services, Southcoast Health
  • Darcy Lackie, RN, Chief Experience Officer, Southcoast Health Co-Chair
  • Julie Lizotte, RN, Director of Process Improvement, Southcoast Physicians Group
  • Susan Mangini, RN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Southcoast Health
  • Kerry Mello, Community Benefits Manager, Southcoast Health
  • Brad Silverman, Executive Director, Southcoast Health Urgent Care
  • Dilip Sthapit, MD, Hospitalist, Southcoast Health
  • Beth Sylvia, Director, Patient Access, Southcoast Health

Governance Structure & Previous Activities

For relevant information about PFAC governance and the impact we’ve already had on our community, view our by laws or download:


Issues and trends deemed as significant or urgent by the PFAC will be brought to the attention of senior administration and Southcoast’s Quality Steering Committee. An update on PFAC activity will be a standing agenda item for the Quality Steering Committee of Southcoast Hospitals Group. PFAC updates will be included in Quality Steering Committee minutes and available to the Board of Trustees via the Board Quality Committee.

Contact Us for More Information

We welcome questions and suggestions about Southcoast’s Patient & Family Advisory Council. Please contact Darcy Lackie, our Chief Experience Officer at Southcoast Health. If you have any concerns and compliments regarding the service you received as a patient, please call the Southcoast Hotline at 877-264-7244 or complete our feedback form.


If you are interested in joining PFAC, please complete the form below. All information submitted on this form will remain confidential. Once accepted into Southcoast Patient & Family Advisory Council, members names are published on Southcoast’s website and contact information is shared with other PFAC members.

Your application will be shared with Southcoast Health leaders and community council members as part of our application process. Information submitted on this form will otherwise remain confidential.