Teen Advisory Committee

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Teen Advisory Committee Boston Children's Hospital's Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) is made up of 18 to 22 teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 years who receive their care at Children's Hospital.

TAC meets monthly for one and one half hours in the early evening. Free parking and a light dinner are provided at each meeting. The Teen Advisory Committee was started in 2002 and its mission is to:

  • Give teens a forum in which they can voice their thoughts, ideas, and concerns
  • Provide an opportunity to develop and practice self advocacy skills
  • Work towards enhancing the hospital environment for their peers

Tips for teens staying at Boston Children's 

Watch these videos from members of the Teen Advisory Committee on what to bring with you when you stay or visit the hospital.

TAC Projects

TAC has completed many projects that are social, educational and community oriented. These include:

Teen Cart: This was the first project initiated by TAC. The committee felt that teens needed their own activities separate from the younger patients. To accomplish this, two carts filled with "teen only" activities were built and brought to the bedside of hospitalized teens by high school and college aged volunteers.

Teen Cart Video: TAC members and the teen cart volunteers worked together to write, act in and edit a video to show to teen cart volunteers. Six skits were acted out with right and wrong ways to approach potential problems that might be encountered.

Focus Groups:


  • assent to participate in research 
  • overall visual appeal of the hospital’s new web page design (web design team)
  • ethical considerations for social networking for patients and providers (hospital ethicist)
  • ease of searching the CHB website (web team)
  • TAC input regarding teen appeal of hospital food, inpatient rooms (bed linens, curtains, how to personalize each patient’s bedspace), waiting areas, hospital gowns, and electronic games (hospital administration)
  • how providers communicate with boys and young men
Adolescent/Young Adult Healthcare Communication Project: TAC members believe that teens need to be included at an early age in making decisions about their health care so that they can gradually learn about their diagnosis, treatments and medications. They believe that if this is done, by age eighteen, they will be well prepared to take responsibility for their own care.

  • Results: We were pleased to find that most of the people who filled out the survey feel that Children’s Hospital does a good job including teens in making decisions about their care beginning at an early age.

Additional Projects:
  • Hosting the annual hospital Education Fair, an event focusing on disability services offered by educational programs after high school.
  • Teen input to "Welcome to Children's Hospital" publication for inpatients.
  • Helped select several pieces of art for the new clinical building.
  • Participated in focus groups.
  • Videos of interest to teens and adolescents.
Future Projects Planned:
  • "Ask the TAC" video series.
  • Continued development of video library of topics of interest and importance to adolescents.

Joining TAC

Who can join?

  • Young adults between 14 and 21 years of age
  • Patients who have or are receiving their care at Boston Children's Hospital

Members must be available to meet once a month for one and one half hours in the early evening

Application/Interview

Download a TAC candidate application.

Consent

Completed applications can be returned to:

Christine Rich, MS, RN, Center for Families
Christine.Rich@childrens.harvard.edu

Teen Resources at Boston Children's


Meet a Teen Advisory Committee Co-Chair

Amy

Why did you get involved with the Teen Advisory Committee? I got involved with the TAC because I wanted to meet and help other teens like me. 

What's the best advice you have for teens that are in the hospital? Keep laughing and try to have fun! Also, don't be afraid to speak up for yourself! You are part of the team!


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