The Family Advisory Council at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) has established a visible presence within MGHfC and the larger hospital community, and continues to positively influence patient care by providing a parent’s perspective on how to deliver meaningful patient- and family-centered care, with a special emphasis on family-centered communication. 

The following represents a sampling of the results of the Council’s collaboration with hospital leaders and staff:

  • Planned and presented at Grand Rounds on “Building an Effective Health Care Team,” featuring the mother of a patient with complex medical needs and her child’s health care team, which consists of a surgeon, a surgical NP, a gastroenterologist, a resident and a child life specialist. The panelists discussed the challenges of team communication when caring for a medically complex patient.   
  • Hosted a “Meet and Greet” event for new MGHfC residents and an “Ice Cream Social” for all MGHfC residents, during which parents explained principles of patient- and family-centered care and informed the residents about the Family Advisory Council (FAC) and its activities.
  • Displayed posters explaining the principles of patient- and family-centered care and the FAC, which are on view throughout MGHfC.
  • Continued to distribute ID badge attachments explaining the principles of patient- and family-centered care and practical tips for practicing family-centered communication to residents and staff.
  • Participated on the committee designing the flow for the changes to the Pediatric Admission, Pre-Op and Discharge areas, and advised the team renovating the Pediatric Emergency Department about aspects that would be the most family-friendly (i.e., layout of the waiting and play areas and selection of colors and materials to promote a relaxing environment).
  • Participated in Quality & Safety “Speak Up!” rounds, an award-winning initiative developed by the Joint Commission with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to engage patients in taking an active role in preventing health care errors. They also helped design and implement a forum for families to participate in the Quality & Safety “Speak Up!” program.
  • FAC members actively served on the following committees:
    • MGHfC Quality & Safety Committee
    • MGHfC Quality & Safety “Speak Up” Subcommittee
    • MGHfC Quality & Safety Hand-offs Subcommittee
    • Ethics Committee
    • Autism Hospital Admissions Committee
    • Patient Experience Committee
  • Participated in a dinner for members of all Massachusetts General Hospital family advisory councils with the president of Mass General and the chief nurse to share experiences, challenges and insights.
  • Organized for parents to participate in an Ambulatory Care rotation for residents, to share their experiences of having their child cared for in primary care. The purpose was to allow residents insight into the experiences of families in primary care.
  • Family member of the FAC spoke at “Chief of Service Rounds” sharing his insight with a multidisciplinary group of providers about his experiences of care in the hospital with his chronically ill child.
  • Family members for the FAC participated in two training sessions for residents, designed to enhance their skills in having difficult conversations with parents and patients. Family members participated in simulations with healthcare providers.
  • Family member presented a PowerPoint speech for Quality and Safety Grand Rounds along with a nationally recognized expert in patients’ rights and responsibilities for their own care.
  • Family member along with MGHfC Web Developer explored more efficient ways to orient new family members to FAC by creating a online resource containing up-to-date informational materials.
  • Family member helped develop a template for a hospital admissions plan for children with autism.
  • Family members were advised on the importance of patient confidentiality and new hospital regulations around protecting patient health information. 
  • Family members provided feedback to the team devising a new needle insertion program to reduce pain in children.

For more information about the Family Advisory Council, please send an email to