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Patient and Family Advisory Council

Patient and Family Advisory Council

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Note: Patient and Family Advisory Councils are continuing to meet virtually at this time. We welcome new members!

Click here to view our most recent PFAC Newsletter, published bi-weekly since April 2020.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care Philosophy

At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we are committed to partnering with patients, families, and caregivers throughout their healthcare experience. Patient- and family-centered care includes:

  • Respect for patients' values, preferences, and needs

  • Coordination of care
  • Comfort and emotional support
  • Information, communication, and education
  • Involvement of family and friends

What is a Patient and Family Advisory Council?

One of the ways we partner with patients, family members, and caregivers is through Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). A Patient and Family Advisory Council is a monthly meeting with both staff and volunteer members. Our volunteer patients and families collaborate with employees (clinical, administrative, and support) to provide guidance on how to improve the patient and family experience. At the monthly meetings, councils work on a variety of hospital and patient- and family-centered care initiatives.

What does a patient, family, or caregiver advisor do?

Patients and their families are often the most knowledgeable members of the care team, and can offer unique perspectives and valuable feedback about the care they receive. 

A volunteer patient advisor is someone who helps improve the quality of the healthcare experience for patients and family members. The advisor should enjoy working with others and contributing their ideas, and be respectful of different perspectives.

During a PFAC meeting, a patient and family advisor might do the following:

  • Share their healthcare experience with doctors, staff and other advisors.
  • Participate in discussion groups. Advisors tell us what it is like to be a patient or family member of a patient and how we can improve the care, quality, safety, and service that we provide.
  • Provide input 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 the table.

When do we meet? 

There are six Patient and Family Advisory Councils at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. They each meet for two hours in the evening, once a month.  

If you are interested in more details on a particular council, please email or call 443-287-0110.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Launched a program with Musicians from the Peabody Institute to visit patients in their rooms, playing keyboard and oboe for patients.
  • Contributed to the revision of Smart Source appointment letters, removing written directions and adding GPS coordinates and street addresses to help patient navigation.
  • Provided ongoing input to the Emergency Department renovation plans, including overall facility layout, room functionality, privacy, patient flow, personnel safety concerns, etc.
  • Worked to secure a $150,000 grant to provide free meal trays for breastfeeding mothers with an inpatient child.
  • Contributed to the development and opening of the new Skip Viragh Outpatient Center.
  • Held the first Dance Marathon to occur in a hospital setting, The Baltimore Boogie had 97 participants and raised over $20,000.

Read more about our accomplishments in our 2019 Johns Hopkins Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council Annual Report.

How Can I Join?

If you have ideas to help improve care for patients and their families and/or you or someone you love receives care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we invite you to join as a Patient and Family Advisor! Your voice matters to us and will help us improve the care we provide to all.

Submit Application

Still would like more information? Please send an email to or call 443-287-0110. To explore other opportunities to volunteer at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, please contact the Office of Volunteer Services.

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