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COVID-19 Update

Patient and Family Advisory Councils at Johns Hopkins Bayview

Johns Hopkins Bayview’s Patient-Family Advisory Council helps bridge the gap between the viewpoints and experience of patients and their families, and organizational decision-making.

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.

  • The Purpose and Responsibilities of a PFAC
    • Serve as a communication channel and improve relationships between patients, families and hospital staff.
    • Provide a way for patients and families to assist in evaluating and providing input on the delivery of services to patients.
    • Collaborate as partners with staff, physicians, and administration in the planning and operation of programs to enhance care and services.
    • Provide opportunities for staff to listen to their customers.
    • Establish a link between the hospital and the community at large.
  • What You Might Do During a PFAC Meeting
    • Share your healthcare experience with doctors, staff and other advisors.
    • Participate in group discussions to talk about ideas for how a hospital can improve its care, quality, safety, and services.
    • Provide insight from the patient and family perspective about hospital 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.
  • What Is Patient- and Family-Centered Care?

    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.

How to Join

Want to get involved? Email your completed application to or call 410-550-0627. To explore other volunteer opportunities at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, contact the Volunteer Services Department.

PFACs at Johns Hopkins Bayview

  • Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center (MATC) Council

    Established in 2008, the MATC-PFAC works in an active and mutually beneficial partnership with patients, family members and providers of the Memory Center by incorporating their perspective throughout the development of the center’s programs and practices. The PFAC provides a forum of exchange of interests, concerns and proposals between the council members and the Memory Center.

    PFAC Chair: Andrea Nelson, R.N., M.S.N.

    Current Active Membership: 16 patient and family advisors and 6 staff members

    The Memory and Alzheimer's PFAC requests that members commit to a one or two year term and complete an application process. Your application will be reviewed and a formal interview will be scheduled with the center leadership staff and /or a PFAC member.  Once selected, the new PFAC member will be asked to complete the registration process with the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Volunteer Services, which includes TB testing, a criminal background check, as well as volunteer orientation.

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Reviewed and provided feedback for the 6th and 7th editions of “The 36-Hour Day,” written by a Johns Hopkins emeritus professor Peter V. Rabins.
    • Provided support and volunteers for the Family Resource Center, an on-site resource for families visiting the Memory Center, until temporary closure of the center due to COVID-19.
    • Participated in planning and/or provided event-day support for several events, including:
      • The 12th Annual Journey to Hope Conference for Caregivers in November 2019.
      • The second annual conference “Roadmap for Caregivers: Navigating the Nuts and Bolts of Dementia Care”. This event was canceled due to COVID-19 and rescheduled for June 2021
    • Continue to support and volunteer for the Club Memory, a now virtual monthly social engagement group for dementia patients and caregivers.
    • Various PFAC members attended events and other engagements, including:
      • The annual dinner of the Memory and Aging Community Advisory Board (MACAB) of Greater Baltimore to learn more about dementia-related needs in the local African-American and Latino communities.
      • Quarterly meeting of the MACAB to gain insight and advice regarding diversifying council membership
      • Abramson Center in Philadelphia to discuss the role of a PFAC, key steps in development of a new PFAC and the services PFACs provide for patients and families
    • The council met with MATC staff to discuss beautification efforts and expenses to enhance the appearance of the Memory Center. This included purchase of 2 new/updated exam tables and new artwork in the exam rooms.
    • Two PFAC members met with, trained and advised a JHSPH intern for her practicum in the Family Resource Center from December 2019 to April 2020. The final result was presentation of an FRC operations analysis since its inception in 2017, reorganization and addition to current resources and an updated and streamlined data collection flow sheet.

    Our 2021 Goals

    • The 13th Annual Journey to Hope conference for dementia caregivers will take place virtually on Saturday Nov 14, 2020. The PFAC is actively participating in event planning, including designing the agenda and advising the event planner and digital/audio production company. Several PFAC members will serve as panelists.
    • The PFAC will be launching a blog on the Memory Center website in fall 2020.
    • PFAC members will collaborate with Jane Marks, R.N., and the GWEP to present the second annual “Roadmap for Caregivers: Navigating the Nuts and Bolts of Dementia Care” conference in June 2021. This event will include a virtual component for caregivers unable to attend in person.
    • The council has committed to increasing membership by 10% (i.e. adding 2 new members).
  • Beacham Clinic Council

    Established in 2018, the Beacham Clinic PFAC works in partnership with patients, family members and providers of the Beacham Clinic to enhance the care of our geriatric outpatient population while supporting their caregivers. This committee reviews the impact of current services and discusses proposed program changes to enhance the patient and family experience for those they serve. Dr. Elizabeth Phung & Myra McChriston manage the PFAC.

    Chair: Myra McChriston

    Membership: 9 active patient and family advisors and 3 staff members

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Held two meetings (August 2019 and April 2020).
      • At the August meeting, our members heard a presentation on frailty and palnned an education booth for the 2020 MDPCP patient fair.
      • At the April virtual meeting, members discussed the cancellation of the MDPCP fair due to COVID-19 and heard presentations from Clinical Nutrition, Called to Care and Physical Rehabilitation.

    Our 2021 Goals

    • Meet twice (fall and spring) via zoom
    • Recruit more members
    • Poll the PFAC members about ways to stay engaged with the elderly as we continue to grapple with the pandemic
    • Consider a virtual fair for patients to give information about changes to the practice due to COVID-19
    • Update the PFAC on changes to the practice as a result of the MCPCP program
  • Latino Family Advisory Board

    Established in 2011, the Latino Family Advisory Board is a mechanism for Johns Hopkins Bayview to tailor clinic services and programs to the unique needs of Spanish-speaking families in Baltimore, enhancing the capacity of the health system to serve diverse patients and families.

    Latino patients and families who do not speak English well are at high risk for disparities in both access and quality of health care. In general, there has been relatively little input from patients and families who do not speak English well in patient/family engagement programs. The Latino Family Advisory Board is one key resource for Johns Hopkins in delivering the promise of medicine to all patients.

    Chair: Sarah Polk

    Co-chairs: Flor Giusti, Isabel Fernández Abaunza, Monica Guerrero Vazquez


    • 16 active patient and family advisors
    • 2 physician co-directors
    • 1 staff coordinator
    • 1 social worker
    • 1 child coordinator

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Led the patient subcommittee for the PCORI grant focused on Latino Childhood Obesity.
    • Collaborated with two Latino councils: Active and Healthy Families (part of an intervention) and Youth Advisory Council.
    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, adapted to virtual meetings via zoom, which allowed to host meetings throughout the summer months.
    • Supported a research study on childhood anxiety, providing feedback for content, outreach and materials review.
    • Members of the board have joined other external projects led by Centro SOL including the Census 2020 as promotoras.

    Our 2021 Goals

    • Continue virtual meetings until it’s safe to return to in-person meetings
    • Support research outreach and programming development
    • Provide feedback on telehealth services at the clinic
  • Neurosciences Council

    Established in 2016, the Neurosciences Patient and Family Advisory Council is a platform that allows the voices of patients and families to be heard by the team in the Neurosciences Outpatient Clinic. In doing so, programs and operations are designed to support patients receiving optimum patient- and family-centered care. The work of the Neurosciences PFAC supports the Neurosciences Strategic Plan.

    Chair: Donna Gavin and Kelly Clark

    Membership: 10 active patient and family advisors and 11 staff members

    Highlights of Our Recent Accomplishments

    • Introduced PFAC members to how patient photos will be taken during their visit and added to their chart.
    • Encouraged members to become hospital volunteers by providing training on what is needed before they can be a volunteer.
    • Presented group with Press Ganey and CGCAPS scores.
    • Presented electronic delay board to PFAC members for their input, which was relayed back to the team finalizing the delay board data points.

    Our 2021 Goals

    • Share reports on data from Patient Experience in Clinic, Press Ganey Point of Care in Clinic Survey with Reporting.
    • Introduce electronic delay board.
    • Recruit additional patient/family advisors and healthcare providers.
    • Improve the overall patient experience from the first access phone call to the conclusion of the patient visit. Our medical office assistants who create an initial impression either on the phone or when the patient enters the office will be sent to a refresher service excellence training course. Once all medical assistants have completed the course, we will begin to monitor our CAHPS scores to see if there is a noted improvement.

Our Accomplishments

  • Decreased missed appointments in the outpatient clinics
  • Improved parking access for pulmonary clinic
  • Started Medicine for the Greater Good program for medical students
  • Developed the Bridge-to-Home initiative
  • Debuted MyChart (online patient portal / electronic patient medical record)


Patient Family Advisory Council

Johns Hopkins Bayview Patient and Family Advisory Council members talk about their reasons for being a part of the PFAC and the impact they've made on the patient experience.

Voices from the PFAC: Colleen

Colleen’s husband Don was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2008. She cared for him at home before coming to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 2011. Find out more about their experience.

Voices from the PFAC: Eric

In 2013, Eric's wife Karlyn suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and was transferred by Lifeline MEDEVAC to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Find out more about their experience.

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