Mighty Blog

Family Advisory Council seeking applicants

Applications are being accepted for a 3-year term on the Children’s Minnesota Family Advisory Council. The Family Advisory Council (FAC) is a diverse group of families whose children, or grandchildren, have received care at Children’s Minnesota clinics or hospitals. As a member of the Family Advisory Council you have the opportunity to share your experiences and diverse points of view to advocate for children and their families at Children’s Minnesota and in the community.

Apply today! Applications are due 10/4/19.

Family Advisory Council members, Becky, Willette, and Wendy share a little about their experience on the Family Advisory Council and why it’s a great opportunity for other families.

Becky

Family Advisory Council Chair, Member since 2014

Why did you join the Family Advisory Council?

During our hospitalization, I observed excellent care and communication (for the most part!) from our care team. However, I also observed that not all patient families had that same experience based on differences like socioeconomic status, ethnic backgrounds, etc. We may all speak differently and come from varying backgrounds, but all people can feel and understand when they are being treated with dignity. That should be a critical, non-negotiable part of every care experience. I wanted to be part of something that helped to promote the type of experience that we had and extend it to all families that Children’s serves.

What do you do with the Family Advisory Council?

I’m starting my seventh year on the Family Advisory Council. I served as a patient family for the first three years, spent two years as FAC Vice Chair, and I am now serving my first of two years as Family Advisory Council Chair.

What would you say to families who are thinking about applying to be involved in the council?

The Family Advisory Council is a commitment and requires dedication. However, it’s one of the most rewarding opportunities that I have had. It gives back to me more than I give to it! I truly feel like I’m making a difference for current and future patients and their families. I’ve also formed strong friendships with a few of the other parents on the council – those are priceless.

Do you have a favorite experience with the Family Advisory Council?

My favorite Family Advisory Council project was when we got to weigh in on the Children’s Way Values document. The council played a big part in re-forming the document so that it was truly centered around the kids and families that Children’s serves. The document went under a huge transformation and eventually ended with the values that you see and hear throughout the Children’s system today.

Is there anything more you would like to share about your experience on the council?

The Family Advisory Council is woven into so many things at Children’s. I’m grateful that Children’s not only says that they listen to patients and their families, but actually do it in weaving patients and families into critical work – not just once, but time and time again.

Willette

Member since 2018

Why did you join the Family Advisory Council?

I joined the Family Advisory Council to give back to Children’s because they have given so much to my family.

What do you do with the Family Advisory Council?

I attend the monthly meetings and at those meeting various subgroups are formed of which I have been a part of.

Willette

What would you say to families who are thinking about applying to be involved in the council?

Being on FAC is a great experience. You will be able to give input on things that you are  passionate about. You will also be able to meet other families that have had care at Children’s. Most importantly, you can be a part of the change that you would like to see for Children’s.

Do you have a favorite experience with the Family Advisory Council?

My favorite experience with the Family Advisory Council is when the CEO of Children’s comes to our meeting and answers our questions. He willingly takes the feedback. He not only listens but puts what we suggest into action and that is a great thing to be a part of.

Wendy

Member since 2018

Why did you join the Family Advisory Council?

After our son Colin received all of his treatment at Children’s Minneapolis, our family was so grateful and I wanted to find a way to give back. I was excited for the opportunity to share our experience in a way that could influence change and improve care for future patients.

What do you do with the Family Advisory Council?

The Family Advisory Council gives members an opportunity to provide the patient and family perspective on various policies and issues that come up at Children’s throughout the year. The departments that have come to present and gather feedback from the Family Advisory Council really take our comments into account when developing communications, policies and processes.

Wendy and her family

What would you say to families who are thinking about applying to be involved in the council?

Joining the Family Advisory Council is a great way to make a meaningful and lasting impact. It is a chance to share your experiences, both positive and negative, for the betterment of patient care going forward. The families who are a part of the Family Advisory Council truly do provide a unique and important perspective for the hospitals and clinics.

Do you have a favorite experience with the Family Advisory Council?

I particularly enjoy the work we’ve done with a number of different departments on developing patient communication tools. Personally, it is a great way for me to leverage my background and professional experience to help in developing effective messaging.

Is there anything more you would like to share about your experience on the council?

The Family Advisory Council has given me the opportunity to learn about different departments and functions within the hospital. I have also learned about stories and experiences of other members of the council. Having a broader view of all of the services Children’s Minnesota provides, and all that goes on behind the scenes, makes being a member of the Family Advisory Council such a fulfilling experience.

Kaitlyn Kamleiter