Patient & Family Advisory Council

The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital (BMSCH) was organized in September 2009 and currently meets once a month.

The mission of the PFAC is to collaborate with BMSCH leadership and staff to enable patients and their families to provide input on organizational policies and practices.

It is composed of two groups: the Family Advisory Council (FAC), which includes parents whose children have received services at BMSCH, nursing and other hospital staff, and physician representatives. and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), which includes pediatric patients and BMSCH staff.

The PFAC supports the organization’s mission and promotes patient- and family-centered care by putting the child and family at the center of all activities by working to:

  • Cultivate respectful, welcoming partnerships between patients, families, leadership and all staff
  • Encourage collaboration between families and providers of patient care
  • Strengthen communication between families and providers of care
  • Channel information and concerns from patients and families to organizational leadership
  • Offer effective solutions to patient-family concerns
  • Provide education and training that fosters an increased understanding of patient- and family-centered care values throughout the organization and community
  • Provide input for clinical programs to meet patient and family needs
  • Provide recommendations on operational issues that affect patients and families

Family Advisory Council (FAC)

The Family Advisory Council (FAC), created in 2009, is part of the hospital’s Family-Centered Care Initiative. The FAC consists of parents/caregivers who want to support the BMSCH mission by helping to improve the hospital for other children and their families. The members of the FAC collaborate with BMSCH leadership and staff to bring the patient and family voice to organizational policies and practices. The FAC promotes patient- and family-centered care by putting the child and family at the center of all activities.

The goal of the FAC is to:

  • Cultivate respectful, welcoming partnerships between patients, families, leadership and all staff
  • Encourage collaboration between families and patient care providers
  • Strengthen communication between families and the medical team
  • Channel information and concerns from patients/families to organizational leadership
  • Offer effective solutions to patient/family concerns
  • Provide education/training to hospital staff in order to increase understanding of Patient-and Family-Centered Care values throughout the organization
  • Provide input to ensure clinical programs meet patient/family needs
  • Provide recommendations on operational issues that impact patients and families

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

The BMSCH Youth Advisory Council (YAC), created in 2020, is an age-appropriate way for patients and teens to get involved and share their ideas and input on hospital programs and policies. The YAC is facilitated by a Child Life Specialist and is designed for patients aged 12-18 years old who have received any kind of treatment — inpatient or outpatient — at BMSCH. The YAC is a great way for youth to have their voices heard and give back by making the hospital better for others.

Accomplishments of the PFAC

Some of the ways and projects the PFAC has been instrumental in developing:

  • Facilitated Virtual Movie Night
  • Created Winter Comfort Kits for patients and their families
  • Provided feedback on improvement action plans for various units
  • Dining Room meal voucher program for caregivers
  • Inclusion of Parent Advisors on hospital committees
  • Revisions to the RWJUH Visitation Policy
  • Hospital-wide education on the core principles of family-centered care
  • Input for new BMSCH Patient Guide
  • Pediatric Pain brochure
  • Parent resource guide for NICU parents
  • Design of infection prevention brochure for patients/families
  • “What is a Teaching Hospital?” fact sheet to for patients/families
  • Educational lectures for physicians and other hospital staff
  • Transition Toolkit for pediatric patients moving to adult care
  • Improved hospital signage

How to Join

Let your voice be heard. Join our FAC or YAC! Virtual meetings occur every other month (6 times a year). Since meetings are virtual, there is no need to make a trip to the hospital.

To join, please fill out an application:

Completed applications should be emailed to April.Slowenski@rwjbh.org

or mail to:

The Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
C/O April Slowenski, Child Life Department
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

For questions, please call (732) 253-3135.

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