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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.

    • 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.

How to Join

Want to get involved? Email your completed application to [email protected] 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

  • Established in 2008, the MATC-PFAC works in an active and mutually beneficial partnership with patients, family members and providers of the Memory Center. The MATC-PFAC incorporates the patient and family perspective and obtains council members’ input throughout the development of Memory Center programs and practices, providing a forum of exchange of interests, concerns and proposals between the council members and the Memory Center.

    Director: Andrea Nelson, R.N., M.S.N.

    Read our Annual Report to learn about our goals and accomplishments

    Thinking about joining us? Here is the application form.

    Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center Patient and Family Advisory Council group photo
    MATC PFAC members. Top row: Peter Savage, Colleen Caroll, Helen Hovdesven, Co-chair, Pam South, Mary Grace Day; Middle row: Fran Princehouse, Joe Princehouse, Russell Kempner, Janet Michel, Nathan South; Bottom row: Thomasine Baskerville, Erin Leichman, Kay Paide, Mary Ann Esfandiari, Co-chair, Rosemary Hines

  • 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
  • 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 treatment 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
  • 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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