Patient Advisory Council

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Sacopee Valley Health Center started a Patient and Family Advisory Council in August of 2009. The council is made up of five patients who meet quarterly to discuss patient care, program initiatives/development, publication redesign and offer input to SVHC’s staff from a patient’s perspective.

The Sacopee Valley Health Center prides itself in having patient’s input in its operations. The council’s first project was to help with the redesign of the lobby area which was completed in the fall of 2011. With the help of the council members, the check-in area was redesigned with a more open concept and the patient of our patient support specialist created a more welcoming feeling. Additional suggestions from the council were handrails in the halls and a separate area for check-out.

With the council’s valuable input and support, SVHC now offers informational “Shared Decision Making” DVDs, focused on colorectal screening options. The DVD assists patients to decide which screening option is best for them.

The council is also regularly consulted in the layout, appearance, and text of program publications. They helped create our “Integrated Primary Care” and “Pathways Through Pain” brochures and the inclusion of “Patient Centered Medical Home” materials in all New Patient Packets.

This is only a snapshot of all the hard work and input the council has provided Sacopee Valley Health Center. We thank them for their dedication to SVHC and the patients we serve!

Meet the Members!

Alice Eschrich-Simeti
Advisory Council Member since 2009

Alice has been a member of the council since its inception and resident of Limerick for the past 16 years. She moved here from the “big city” New York City and has not missed it a bit. Alice moved to Maine, only knowing her daughter, but has found the people to be very friendly and helpful. Alice is a member of the Limerick Research club and a “friend” of the Limerick-Newfield Lions Club where she helps out as much as she can. Alice has been a patient of Sacopee Valley health Center since moving here. She has found all of her needs met extremely well and was honored when asked to be a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council. She has found her opinions and suggestions readily listened to, considered, and discussed. Alice says,” I am very grateful to be able to give back to the community when it has given me so much.”


Joseph D. Finkle
Advisory Council Member since 2009

Joe is a retired postal worker and a Navy Veteran who has traveled the country and world extensively. He now resides in Parsonsfield. His interests include literature, music, and the internet.



Joseph Vaughan Jr.
Advisory Council Member since 2010

Joseph moved to Brownfield in 2006 with his wife and three children. He became a patient of the Sacopee Valley Health Center in 2009 after a trip to our walk-in care. Joseph was so impressed with the staff and facility that he decided that this was the health center that best suited his needs. Joseph enjoys spending time with his wife, two young daughters, grown son and his first granddaughter. He volunteers at the local food pantry and is a member of Brownfield’s Recreation Committee. Being an active member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council for the past six years brings him satisfaction when his opinions or suggestions are utilized. Joseph says, “I have never experienced this in a healthcare setting before.” Joseph welcomes other patients to contact him with any suggestions, questions or concerns and he will present them at an Advisory Council Meeting. He says, “I am confident  that our health care professionals will devote themselves to ensure all patient needs are heard and met to the best of their capabilities.”



Ellen Needham
Advisory Council Member since 2009

Ellen has lived in the Sacopee area since 1999 and has been volunteering at the health center since 2000. Ellen also volunteers at Sacopee Valley Elementary School in the 2nd grade class. She says, “I think a person can always learn something new.” Ellen’s husband passed in 2005 and she has a who lives in Seattle. “Being on the Patient and Family Advisory Council seemed like a natural step having already been a volunteer and it is a rewarding job.”



Bonnie Engroff
Advisory Council Member since 2016

Bonnie was born in Maine but spent most of her life in South Carolina and Texas. In her earlier years she was a bartender, then became a mortgage loan officer. In 1999 Bonnie bought a large hay farm in North Eastern Maine and learned how to become a farmer. The transition from Texas weather to Maine weather sure was a challenge. While operating her hay/horse farm she went to college and obtained two associates degrees. Bonnie is a few classes away from a Bachelors Degree in Science. Bonnie decided one day to make a few pies for her vegetable stands and that turned into a very successful home bakery. The operation got too big so she moved to the warm south… Parsonsfield, Maine. Bonnie opened another  bakery which is growing at lightening speed thanks to this
wonderful community.  Bonnie says, “It is my pleasure to serve on this council as it makes me feel like my opinion truly does matter.”



Ilene Dashner
Advisory Council Member since 2017

Ilene has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Vermont College. She moved to Limerick in 2005 and has lived there since. She is very involved in the community and has worked at the Limerick transfer station for approximately the past 6 years. In her free time she enjoys reading and making jewelry which she gives her own unique and creative touch. Ilene is eager for the opportunity to help improve patient experience by providing feedback and offering ideas for improvement.