Patient and Family Advisory Council

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The Patient and Family Advisory Council ensures that patient- and family-centered care is embedded into policies, practices, procedures and programming. Please note: Family includes loved ones and caretakers who served as support during cancer treatment. 


By creating a patient- and family-centered culture that involves a collaborative partnership among patients, families, hospital/cancer center leadership and staff, our patients will experience care guided by the four principles of patient-centered care: Dignity and Respect, Information Sharing, Participation and Collaboration.


The Patient and Family Advisory Council is a critical group who provides insight and guidance to clinical leadership. Comprised of individuals who were treated for cancer at Rutgers Cancer Institute or RWJBarnabas Health or their loved one or caretaker, the Council helps to ensure that the patient’s point of view is included in clinical work flows and decisions, helping to create an exceptional patient experience.


What is a Patient and Family Advisor?

A patient and family advisor is someone who:

  • Partners with our physicians, nurses, staff and administration to provide guidance on how to improve the patient and family experience
  • Ensures that the patient and family point of view, perspective and experience are not only heard, but also integrated into service and quality improvements to ensure patient-centered care
  • Helps us plan program enhancements and process improvements to advance patient care
  • Provides a voice that represents all patients and families who receive cancer care at Rutgers Cancer Institute or RWJBarnabas Health
  • Actively helps to implement change

You do not need any special qualifications to be an advisor—what’s most important is your experience as a patient or family member. It’s important to us to create a diverse group that represents patients treated at Rutgers Cancer Institute or RWJBarnabas Health so that we are hearing perspectives that will make care better for all.

Being a patient and family advisor may be a good match with your skills and experiences if you can:

  • Talk about your experiences as a patient or family member, but also think beyond your own experiences in order to help improve care for others
  • Bring the patient and family perspective to committees, councils and initiatives, including safety and quality improvement, facility design, service excellence and education
  • Work well with a diverse group of people
  • Listen to and think about what others say, even if their ideas are different than your own
  • Actively participate in meaningful discussions by communicating honestly and openly
  • Support staff and leadership in patient- and family-centered care activities and initiatives


What are the expectations of a Patient and Family Advisor?

Advisors are asked to: 

  • Serve a one- or two-year term
  • Commit to one evening a month for meetings
  • Keep any information you may hear as an advisor private and confidential
  • Onboard as a volunteer through Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital


For more information about becoming a Patient and Family Advisory Council member contact:
Miriam Sajouste
Program Manager