Patient and Family Advisory Councils at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we are committed to partnering with patients, families, and caregivers throughout their healthcare experience. There are eight patient and family advisory councils (PFACs) at The Johns Hopkins Hospital with over 200 members that include patients, family members and hospital staff. Each PFAC meets for two hours in the evening, typically once a month. All meetings are currently held via Zoom. We welcome members who represent diversity with respect to culture, race, religion, age, sexual preference and socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.
Read Our Newsletter
This newsletter (PDF) is published biweekly since April 2020 and provides a variety of updates and resources to our PFAC members.
See Our Accomplishments
Read our annual report (PDF) to learn more about the activities, accomplishments and next year's goals of each of our councils.
Patient Advisor Role and Responsibilities
Patients and their families are knowledgeable members of the care team and can offer unique perspectives and valuable feedback about their experience at a hospital. Learn more about what it’s like serving on a PFAC.
- Promote respectful, effective partnerships between patients, families, and clinicians.
- Increase understanding and cooperation between patients, families, and staff.
- Transform the culture towards patient- and family-centered care.
- Improve quality, patient safety, and patient health outcomes.
- Establish a link between the hospital and the community at large.
- Share healthcare experience with doctors, staff and other PFAC members.
- Participate in group discussions to talk about ideas for how our healthcare organizations can improve care, quality, safety, and services.
- Provide insight from the patient and family perspective about policies, care practices, and patient education materials.
- Identify patient and family needs and concerns.
- Serve on subcommittees and workgroups to help bring the patient and family perspective to these efforts.
- Encourage and support patient-centered care across the institution.
The philosophy of patient- and family-centered care focuses on:
- Respect for patients' values, preferences, and needs.
- Coordination of care for more efficiency.
- Comfort and emotional support for mental health.
- Information, communication, and education.
- Involvement of family and friends.
The Joy of CollaborationMusic at Bedside
Musician Jacob Lyerly plays guitar at a patient’s bedside as part of Sound Rounds (previously Musicians on Call), a PFAC initiative created in partnership with the Peabody School of Music.
The Joy of CollaborationRaising Funds for Children
The Teen and Children’s Council annual “Baltimore Boogie” event raised over $45,000 for sick and injured children in the local community.
How to Join
If you or someone you love received care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and have ideas to help improve care for patients and families, we invite you to join one of our councils as a patient and family advisor. Your perspective matters to us and will help us improve the care we provide to all. The application process involves submitting an application, participating in an interview and completing the volunteer recruitment process
To join the Teen and Children's Council, please fill out this application.
To join any of the other councils, please use this link:
Discover more opportunities at The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Office of Volunteer Services.
PFACs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Adult Patient & Family Advisory Council advocates on behalf of patients and families of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for the provision of the highest quality of patient- and family-centered care. The Council infuses the voice of the patient into every aspect of the Hospital so that all patients receive optimum patient-centered care.
Council meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month.
Example of projects we get to be involved in:
- Participate in focus groups
- 1 member participated in a “Zoom virtual visit” simulation to prep Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) students to call family members of inpatients.
- Started a PFAC COVID-19 Newsletter to share important and updated information with our PFAC members. It includes websites and resources, open committees and current projects, webinars and articles from national PFCC organizations, etc.
- Provided feedback on the “Score Your Fall Risk” flyer used on inpatient units for fall prevention patient education.
- PFAC member acted as the liaison between The Johns Hopkins Hospital and her community to sew and donate over 700 masks and 100 headbands to the hospital.
The Pediatric FAC aim to promote a culture of patient- and family-centered care at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The council provides resources and guidance to strengthen collaboration, communication, and mutual respect between the healthcare team, patients and families to achieve the highest quality outcomes and care possible. Parents or legal guardians whose child has experienced care at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and any hospital staff members are welcome to apply for membership.
The council meets on the third Wednesday of each month, with the exception of August and December.
The Teen and Children’s Council provides a way for adolescents who receive care at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center to provide insight and feedback on their hospital experiences. This offers an opportunity for the healthcare team to listen to their perspectives and incorporate them into patient care. The Teen and Children’s Council also strives to give back to patients of the Children’s Center through fundraising and hosting special events. All patients and siblings served by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and any hospital staff members are welcome to apply for membership.
The council meets monthly on the second Tuesday of each month.
As a council member, you may expect to be involved in projects and activities such as:
- Participating in the white coat ceremony for medical students
- Planning and hosting a homecoming dance for former patients, as well as other events
- Providing feedback on MyChart initiatives
- Offering a teen's perspective on a variety of patient experiences that may include food options, signage and wayfinding, patient communications, etc.
The Emergency Medicine PFAC aims to improve the quality of patient- and family-centered care and the overall experience for the patients and visitors of The Johns Hopkins Hospital's Emergency Department. If you would like more information on the council, please email [email protected].
The council meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month.
As a council member, you may expect to be involved in such projects and activities as:
- Advising on improving the waiting room experience with the focus on patient comfort
- Collaborating on a system for delivery of updates to patients via text messaging
- Designing brochures and similar materials to help patients know what to expect in the emergency department
- Participating in the new hire process for new emergency department employees
- Advising on the ways to inform patients about relevant clinical trials
The PFAC at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) is dedicated to promoting safety, quality and optimal patient experience for the patients and visitors of the center. We believe that patient voice helps shape essential decisions regarding the patient experience from diagnosis through survivorship.
The council meets on the first Thursday of each month.
As a member of the council, you may expect to be involved in projects and activities such as:
- Advising on peer-to-peer mentoring programs for SKCCC patients
- Advising on and advocating for better food and nutrition options for cancer patients at Johns Hopkins
- Providing feedback on patient education materials and the best ways to disseminate them
- Evaluating signage in the SKCCC facilities
- Serving on the Maryland State Council on Cancer Control
Each month, members hear from a variety of speakers who update the council on developments at SKCCC. Many council members also participate in the decision-making process at the SKCCC by serving on committees and workgroups outside of the regular meetings.
The Ambulatory PFAC aims to create an ideal patient experience at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, with the focus on four components of an outpatient visit:
- Pre-visit and scheduling
- Arrival and check-in
- Visit, treatment and check-out
- Post-visit follow-up
The group meets on the third Thursday of every month.
As a member of this council, you may expect to be involved in projects and activities such as:
- Planning for the Johns Hopkins Drug Take-Back Day.
- Advising on usability and features of various technologies, including MyChart and the Johns Hopkins Visitor Welcoming System.
- Advising on policies related to patient safety, billing, chaperones and related topics.
- Collaborating on patient-centered videos such as this one.
- Helping physicians in training practice important patient communication skills.
- Advising on wayfinding, signage and parking for visitors to the outpatient center.
The Fetal Therapy Medicine Council aims to improve patient experience and broaden outreach for the Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy. Meetings are held monthly.
As a member of this council, you may expect to be involved in projects and activities such as:
- Assisting in the planning and implementation of the center's annual picnic
- Contributing to newsletters and other patient-focused communications, including social media
- Helping establish a peer-to-peer program to connect current and former patients, creating a community of support
The Center for Transgender & Gender Expansive Health PFAC was established in 2023 in an effort to improve the patient experience and broaden outreach for the center. Meetings are held every other month but may increase in frequency as the PFAC grows.