Family Advisory Council

The Family Advisory Council is a diverse group of families whose children have received care (inpatient or outpatient) at one of Children’s facilities. They work collaboratively with staff to promote and enhance patient- and family-centered care and to improve the family and patient experiences. Learn more about our expectations of members of the Family Advisory Council.

For staff

Are you a Children’s staff member interested in collaborating with patient-families?  Would you like feedback on a project?  Do you have an idea or topic you would like to share before the Family Advisory Council?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Please complete this form and send it to [email protected].

What the family advisory council does:

As part of our mission, the Family Advisory Council uses experiences, wisdom and diverse points of view to:

  • Promote patient- and family-centered care
  • Advise and advocate for children and their families
  • Encourage positive changes to Children’s and the community.

Core activities

Activities the council participates in enhance the quality of child and family care experiences. Some examples of work the council has advised on are:

  • Service and facility development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Educational opportunities for staff, leadership, students, managers and all new employees.
  • Management of recommendations and concerns expressed by parents, family members, parent associations and others.
  • Policy review.


Use these fill-in-the-blank forms to help organize and track your child's medical information.

Resources and materials

The Family Advisory Council also publishes documents and resource materials to:

For example members of the Family Advisory Council prepared A Resource Guide for Families from Families (PDF), along with helpful videos,  to share important information and resources members have found to be useful. While this packet may contain only some of the information families need, many families have found it to be a great place to start.

Excellence in Patient and Family-Centered Care Award

The Family Advisory Council also established the Excellence in Patient and Family-Centered Care Award. This award gives families an opportunity to recognize and honor care providers who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to family-centered care. Nominate an individual or care team.

Current members and staff

Take a minute to meet current members of the Family Advisory Council — including patient family members and Children’s employees.

Our Staff:

  • Pamala VanHazinga, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Bjorn Gunnerud, VP, Marketing and Communications
  • Joy Johnson-Lind, Senior Director of Child and Family Services
  • Tessa Billman, Patient and Family-Centered Care Coordinator
  • Gabrielle Hester, Hospitalist
  • Andrew Berndt, Patient Care Manager, SPS
  • Natalie Lu, Quality/Patient Safety Coach, Quality and Safety
  • Brian West, Program Assistant

 Family council members:

Molly Bell family FAC

Molly Bell
Children: Addyson, born 2014
Diagnosis: Addyson: Trisomy 18, CHD, Pulmonary Hypertension, Choanal Artesia
Campus: Minneapolis, Minnetonka
Member: Since 2017

Beasley family - FAC

Amy Beasley
Children:  Ashley, born 1997; Austin, born 1998; Anthony (AJ), born 2001; Andrew, born 2002; Andre, born 2003
Diagnosis:  Andre: Wilm’s Tumor
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2016

Green family photo

Stephanie Green
Children:  Allison, born 2011; Tyler, born 2014
Diagnosis:  Tyler: premature at 30 weeks
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2018

Hughes family - FAC

Carrie Hughes
Children:  Keaton, born 2003; Parker, born 2004
Diagnosis:  Parker: Burkitts Lymphoma
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2016

Jenkins family - FAC

Stacey Jenkins / Chair
Children: Sam, born 2005; Maya, born 2007; Grant, born 2010
Diagnosis: Sam: Seizure disorder, multiple other concerns
Campus: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Member: Since 2013

Lucio-Thomas family FAC

Alana Lucio-Thomas
Children: Mariella, born 2010; Josefina, born 2012
Diagnosis: Mariella: Genetic difference (5p-), microcephaly, amblyopia, developmental delays
Campus: St. Paul
Members: Since 2017

Mattson family photo

Shannon Mattson
Children:  Lauren, born 1999
Diagnosis:  Lemierre’s Syndrome
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2018

Miller family - FAC

Becky Miller / Vice Chair
Children: Parker, born 2010; Connor, born 2013
Diagnosis: Parker: Neonatal hypoglycemia; Factor V Leiden (Heterozygote); Connor: Prematurity; Neonatal arterial thrombosis and subsequent tissue necrosis; Factor V Leiden (Heterozygote)
Campus: St. Paul, Minneapolis
Member: Since 2014

Olavson family - FAC

Kari Olavson
Children: Jacob, born 2011
Diagnosis: Jacob: Rare genetic disorder, seizures, developmental delays, non-verbal
Campus: St. Paul, Minneapolis
Member: Since 2017

Osborn family photo

Wendy Osborn
Children:  Colin, born 2012; Kyle, born 2015
Diagnosis:  Kyle:  Low grade brainstem tumor, dysphagia
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2018

Peterson family - FAC

Tera Peterson
Children: Finley, born 2013; Callie, born 2015
Diagnosis: Finley: premature at 32 weeks; Callie: premature at 34 weeks, HIE
Campus: St. Paul
Member: Since 2017

Paige Schram
Children: Owen, born 2011
Diagnosis: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Campus: St. Paul, Minneapolis
Member: Since 2016

Stockwell family - FAC

Jennifer Stockwell
Children: Benjamin and Bruce, born 2006
Diagnosis: Benjamin: Extreme prematurity, ELBW, IUGAR, BPD, pulmonary hypertension, global developmental delay, autism; Bruce:  extreme prematurity, ELBW, ADHD, dyslexia
Campus: Minneapolis
Member: Since 2017

Shelby Tietel
Children: Mya, born 2012; Charles, born 2015
Diagnosis: Charles: Congenital heart disease, Respiratory issues, and multiple other concerns
Campus: Minneapolis, Minnetonka
Member: Since 2017

Wakefield family - FAC

Beth Wakefield
Children: Max born in 2009, Anna born in 2012
Diagnosis: Anna: Ring 21 Chromosome with Q Deletions
Campus: Minneapolis and St. Paul
Member since 2016

Whitted children

Willette Whitted
Children:  Symphonie, born 2004; Judah, born 2013; Kellan, born 2013
Diagnosis:  Kellan:  Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, dextrocardia, heterotaxy
Campus:  Minneapolis
Member:  Since 2018

Join the Family Advisory Council

As the family member of one of our patients, you have important views and experiences that Children’s cannot get from any other source. Consider the opportunity to contribute your unique perspective as a member of the Family Advisory Council.

How to apply

Applications are always welcome for consideration for the following year’s recruiting period.

Becoming a council member is a four-step process:

  1. Learn about the time commitment and expectations of participation and training.
  2. Submit the two-page member application form.
  3. Meet with the Family Advisory Council recruitment committee (meet and greets are scheduled by the recruitment committee).
  4. The council communicates new–member selection results in December.


If you have any questions about  Patient Family Involvement at Children’s, contact Tessa Billman at 612-813-7407.