Since its founding in 1980, the Family Advisory Council has had many successes within the Drive/Lead, Partner/Support and Advise/Share framework. Here are some of our notable recent accomplishments:

Education and Training

  • Family Advisors are raising awareness in a variety of forums about what it is like to receive care at Boston Children’s. They share their stories and perspectives at new hire orientation and service excellence trainings as well as medical handoff trainings for clinical staff (called I-PASS). In doing this, our Family Advisors bring a renewed sense of awareness of the hospital’s mission to all staff, whether or not they provide direct clinical care.

Goal Setting

  • In May of 2016, three Family Advisors played key roles in the half-day Strategic Goals meeting led by Laura Wood, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president, Patient Care Operations, and chief nursing officer. They brought the family perspective to workgroups to shape the Nursing/Patient Care Services Department’s strategic vision for the year. 

High Reliability

  • The Family Advisory Council was integrated into this hospital-wide, culture-changing initiative, which is focused on achieving zero preventable harm to any patient, family or Boston Children’s staff member. Family Advisors provided input about patient and family priorities at the start of the project to shape its trajectory, and two Family Advisors now serve as representatives on the core team with senior leadership. In addition, Family Advisors are attending a four-hour Error Prevention Training alongside staff to learn how to practice three key safety behaviors: Speaking Up for Safety, Communicating Clearly and Paying Attention to Detail. Finally, Family Advisors are creating a toolkit for patients and families that aligns with the hospital’s key safety behaviors and high reliability principles. 

Patient Experience

  • Family Advisors have worked closely with Boston Children’s Access Program to set standards surrounding patient and family access to hospital services, from the first phone call to the discharge home and follow-up care. Family Advisors work with the Access team to shape the delivery of this care and lead projects designed to provide a consistent experience for all patients and families.

Quality Improvement Initiatives

  • The Program for Patient Safety and Quality (PPSQ) has incorporated Family Advisors into several key safety initiatives, including alarm management, the surgical consent process and pain management.


  • Family Advisors engage with researchers on individual projects and serve as advisors on two established research fellowship programs.
  • Family Advisors also provide the family perspective on research-related team projects, which span a spectrum of topics.

Technology and Innovation

  • The Family Advisory Council created the Virtual Advisors forum in August of 2015, and it has become the hospital’s most diverse pool of family voices. The Virtual Advisors forum enables local, regional, national and international families to participate in timely projects regardless of their physical location.
  • In addition, the Family Advisory Council has a working relationship with Boston Children’s Innovation and Digital Health Teams. Family Advisors join discussions on how to adapt technologies and information systems to serve the needs of patients, families and clinicians.