Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) serve as one primary way for Massachusetts General Hospital to realize the opening words of its mission statement: “Guided by the needs of our patients and their families.”

PFACs integrate, elevate and promote the patient and family voice in the development of programs, services and initiatives.

PFAC members lend their expert thoughts and ideas by participating in regular PFAC meetings, participating in hospital committees and providing feedback in a variety of other ways.  

All of our activities at Mass General are driven by the needs of those who entrust us with their care. Hearing their voices, examining the delivery of care through their eyes and tapping into their personal experiences helps the hospital strive for excellence in serving our many patients and families.

Mass General launched its first Family Advisory Council in 1999. Since that time, several additional PFACs have formed and evolved and made a difference across the organization. (For more information, please see the Annual Reports below.)

In the words of some of our members:  

"I’ve had the—I’ll call it a privilege—to be involved in some pretty high-end meetings of topics that normally a person not trained in the world of medicine would not be in, but my only role, my only expertise, was the voice of the patient."

"When I was in a room with people who are running that department, they took me seriously. They listened to what I had to say in terms of representing myself as a person, as a patient and, then, representing other patients. It felt amazing to be able to have that voice...I think it speaks volumes to the culture that has been created here."

"One of the great things about the Family Advisory Council is that they provide for systemic change."

"We’ve done a lot of stuff together on the PFAC there. We have lots of discussions about the littlest detail, from the parking garage attendance to the receptionists, to the ambassadors, to the patient’s bill of health, to the caregivers. And I think it all makes a difference. Every one of those things makes your experience here either great or not-great."

"We are 26 active members, 15 alumni members and six staff members, working to deliver our mission, ensuring the voices of patients and families are represented."

"Our lively, vibrant collegial forum discusses patient-family member perspectives and addresses strategies on how to address different interactions across the continuum of care with fellow patients, their loved ones, residents, fellows, support staff and nursing staff."

"[PFAC has] been wonderful, and it has provided so many different opportunities for me as a patient to assist me in my journey into coming to terms with my disease."

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