PFAC member spotlight: Karl and Olga Schmidt

Meet two longtime PFAC members

Karl Schmidt has been a member of the CMH Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) for nine years. He joined because of an invitation from a friend. Olga, Karl’s wife, joined the PFAC four years later. PFAC is important to both Karl and Olga as they can learn what is happening at the hospital. They both believe PFAC is important for CMH, because it helps improve the system for patients, as well as caregivers. 

Karl and Olga Schmidt“I want to say thank you for having me in the group,” Karl says. “I don’t know how much longer I will be able to attend, but I really enjoy it!”

Olga was born in Lima, Peru. At age 33, she moved to Belgium, where she lived and worked for 10 years before returning home. There, she cared for her parents and taught in primary and high school. At her mother’s urging to become more independent, Olga moved to Canada to nanny. She lived there for 10 years and met Karl. 

Karl, 10 years older than Olga, was born in Canada. He retired after working 40 years at the Todd Shipyards in Bremerton, Washington. He has two children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Olga and Karl have been married for 13 years and live in Ocean Park, Washington. They have a poodle named Minit who is 10 years old. 

Karl and Olga have always enjoyed traveling and have great memories of places they have visited throughout the U.S., as well as the rest of the world. They will soon be visiting his oldest grandson, who is in the U.S. military in Belgium. 

Karl’s hobby is to collect coins and paper money from around the world. He has about 40 albums full of the money he has collected. Olga loves to travel, dance, cook, take scenic pictures, read fiction, and collect rocks, beads and jewelry. It seems she never sits still. 

Olga and Karl are facing the current challenge of his diagnosis of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. In Olga’s words, “He needs a lot of support — mostly emotional. Every day, I learn something new — that’s life.”

If you are interested in learning more about the PFAC and how you can join, click here