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 the Teen Advisory Committee

   

Ashley Q., Co-Chair

Age: 21

From: Massachusetts

When did you beccome a member? July 2009.

Why did you get involved with the Teen Advisory Committee? I have been a volunteer at Children's since July 2008. I experienced being an inpatient here in 2007. I can provide valuable input into activities which might be engaging for older teens in the hospital.

What do you hope to accomplish as a TAC member? To help create awareness of what TAC is and to help develop programs and activities for teens in the hospital.

What do you want to do when you graduate from high school/college? I want to work with children in a hospital as a Child Life Specialist.

What's the best advice you have for teens that are in the hospital?
1. Let your doctor know your likes and dislikes.
2. Make sure your doctor includes you in decision making when appropriate.
3. Bring things from home to make you feel comfortable while in the hospital.

What's a random, interesting fact about you? I have never been on an airplane and I like to draw and do arts and crafts. 

Amy, Co-Chair

Age: 17

From: Massachusetts, right next door at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

When did you beccome a member? Since 2011.

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 do you hope to accomplish as a TAC member? I hope to help bring fun activities to the teens in the hospital and make some great new friends. 

What do you want to do when you graduate from high school/college? I am planning on becoming a nurse, hopefully in pediatrics!

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!

What's a random, interesting fact about you? I was filmed at Boston Children's for the show, "BostonMed." 

Kyle P.

Age: 19

From: Massachusetts

When did you beccome a member? 1 year ago

Why did you get involved with the Teen Advisory Committee? I got involved with the Teen Advisory Committe because I wanted to help the kids in the hospital.

What do you hope to accomplish as a TAC member? I hope to accomplish meeting new people and working in the hospital.

What do you want to do when you graduate from high school/college? I want to be a doctor or lawyer.

What's the best advice you have for teens that are in the hospital? Even when you think the hospital is just dull and boring, it can still be fun.

What's a random, interesting fact about you? I am easy for people to get along with. 

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
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