Patient & Family Advisor Program
Our Family Advisor Program is an opportunity for family members, on a regular basis, to use their experiences from their stay with us to provide insight to enhance and improve our delivery of care and help develop new programs and processes throughout the hospital.
Interested family members are asked to attend a two-hour training session designed to prepare them to successfully serve on various hospital committees that meet on a regular basis. The training covers basic information related to the philosophy of patient-and family-centered care, family-centered care as related to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the role of a family advisor, and an introduction to the 3 main family advisor roles at St. Louis Children's Hospital. In addition, we try to equip participants with skills for using their variety of hospital experiences through practical application of story development and use of storytelling to invoke change.
In addition, potential family advisors attend the hospital’s Volunteer Orientation, which provides additional hospital and HIPAA information, a state criminal background check and TB testing (both are required), and other basic information needed to become an official volunteer.
- Family Advisors - Serve on various unit-based, departmental, or hospital-wide committees on a regular (monthly) basis.
- Family Faculty - With additional training in storytelling, family advisors may choose to serve the hospital through the sharing of their experiences to specific groups for a more educational purpose. There are opportunities for family panels, with 2 or more advisors, or on an individual basis.
- Family Mentors - This program requires additional training for family advisors to mentor newly-diagnosed families in a similar department or diagnosis area as their family’s experience. Mentors are paired with a social worker that works closely with families in specific diagnoses. Special training focuses on listening skills, establishing and maintaining boundaries, and family empowerment, as well as other skills.
- Teen Life Council - Established in October 2010, this group meets one Saturday each month and is comprised of teen patients (past and current) and their siblings/friends.
How can I become a family advisor?