What is the Family Advisory Council?
The Family Advisory Council (FAC) was formed in 1998 and serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Directors, administration, and hospital staff. The council’s mission is to work in partnership with hospital staff to promote the delivery of Patient and Family Centered Care. FAC members identify the needs and priorities of patients and families and work on annual goals that will benefit families coming to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
Membership consists of individuals who subscribe to the purpose and responsibilities of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council. Family members are parents, grandparents, or guardians of children who have been patients.
To be eligible for membership FAC applicants need to attend three consecutive meetings as a prospective member, complete an application, meet with the Membership Liaison and be selected for membership. The council meets the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM with the exception of the months of July and August.
In order to maintain membership, members are asked to attend a minimum of five meetings yearly plus the January meeting where the annual Goals are discussed. If a member is unable to satisfy the minimum attendance requirements, FAC member will need to re-apply for membership in the future.
Responsibilities of the members of the FAC
- Provide a vital link between Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the families it serves.
- Provide feedback on delivery of services for all children and their families.
- Review issues and concerns referred to the Family Advisory Council and provide recommendations to the hospital.
- Participate in the development of guidelines and policies.
- Work with the Department of Learning and Development Services in providing staff training sessions on Family Centered Care and Effective Communication with Patients and Families.
- Assist in the planning of new facilities and services.
- Volunteer to be on hospital committees and/or FAC projects.
Family Advisory Council Accomplishments
- Promoted family engagement in their child’s medical care
- Developed Q.U.E.S.T (tool that encourages families to ask questions regarding care)
- Created list of services available for patients and families while staying at Nicklaus
- Have led activities for National Patient Safety Awareness Week
- Led the design of the Michael Fux Family Center
- Implemented a family awareness video/brochure on patient falls
- Implemented family awareness brochures on pain management
- Participated in the design of the Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion
- Participated in lean processes to improve communication among care providers
- Serve as members of the Patient Safety Committee
- Serve as members of the Board of Director’s Marketing Committee
- Implemented of Scrappin’ Moments program
- Host the Santa video conference call event
- Assisted in the development of the Ambulatory Surgery Information Card
- Reviewed Nicklaus Childrens Hospital policies and procedures
- Family Advisory Council rounding
- Participated in the Customer Service Excellence Program
- Speak at national conferences representing our FAC at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Testimonials from FAC Members
“My children have spent most of their early to mid-childhood as patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. My oldest son was born with Down Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality. Children with Down Syndrome have both developmental delays along with many health issues. At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital my son has received a variety of procedures including surgeries, therapies, and preventive treatments. In addition, my youngest son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He underwent an extensive chemotherapy protocol over a period of five years. At times, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has been our family’s second home. We relied on the doctors’ knowledge, advancements in technological treatments, and care of the nurses to heal both of our children. It was the sum of these experiences that motivated me to join the Family Advisory Council. I wanted to share the personal knowledge I gained through my family’s journeys to improve the quality of care, communication, and support system for future families. Ultimately, my goal as a member of the Family Advisory Council is to contribute the lessons I learned along the way to help improve the partnership between the families and the medical care providers.”
– Marilyn Aguilera
“We spend a lot of time at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, both inpatient and outpatient, to work with numerous specialists. I chose to get involved with the Family Advisory Council for three main reasons. First and foremost, I want this hospital to be the best that it can be, so I’m excited to offer my insight. Second, I enjoy being able to participate in the development of new programs – it’s empowering to be able to listen to staff from various departments make presentations and they greatly value our feedback. Last but not least, my family and I enjoy the camaraderie of the other families at the monthly meetings and special events. I encourage other families to join the FAC for these reasons, and many more!”
– Andrea Abramowitz